For the next week or so we will examine players from every position who are returning after lengthy, if not season ending, injuries. We will examine players from both leagues, their current ADP, possible alternatives, and finally giving a green light to draft them. Today two former elite center fielders.
AL Grady Sizemore: ADP (98) the 23rd OF off the board. Ahh the injury bug, remember when Sizemore was the 5th overall pick in 09’ then coming off an injury dropped to 25th in 10’ now after back to back injury riddled seasons we see the once 40/40 candidate down to 98th. Here is the latest from Indians general manager Chris Antonetti; the club hopes Grady Sizemore (knee) will be ready by Opening Day or shortly thereafter. Two things here, “hope” and “shortly thereafter” We are into February and he hasn’t even started running yet, he has started hitting but once you hit the ball you need to run. That is worrisome. I had targeted Sizemore as my comeback player of the year but with this recent news I’m now more cautious. When healthy, Sizemore is a rare combination of speed, power and defense. In his first four full seasons, he averaged almost 27 home runs and 29 stolen bases a year while making three All-Star teams and winning two Gold Gloves. But after being limited to just 109 games because of injury in 2009, Sizemore played only 33 games in 2010 before an awkward slide in May forced him to undergo season-ending micro fracture surgery on his left knee. As eager as the Indians are for their 28-year-old star to be back in their lineup, he needs the regain his stroke at the plate just as badly. He was batting just .211/.271/.289 with no home runs at the time of his injury last year. Currently going in rounds 8-9 I would feel comfortable drafting him due to his tremendous upside. What I would not do is make him your 1st OF off the board, even in those previously mentioned rounds. Get an elite OF then take a chance on Sizemore as your 2nd or 3rd OF. I’m not at all impressed with the alternatives coming off the board after him: Soriano (102) Wells (103) Abreu (123)
NL Carlos Beltran: ADP (213) the 49th OF off the board. The persistent injury is a major concern for fantasy owners. Beltran, who turns 34 on April 24, is in the last year of that large 7 year contract. With only 1 year left on that contract, it was interesting to find out the Angels balked on Beltran and decided to take on Wells’ large contract.That to me is a red flag because they could have gotten Beltran for peanuts just so the Mets could take his contract off the books. The true test will come early in spring training. If Beltran cannot hold down the CF job and then gets moved to RF you will know he does not have the wheels he once possessed. At this point Beltran's fantasy service is at an all time low. At least you will not have to pay a lofty price for his services. If he comes into the season healthy, he might be worth a roll of the dice as your 4th or 5th OF, if he gets hot you trade that hot start with his name recognition and get a younger upgrade as I have mentioned in previous posts. The interesting this with the ADP is Pagan (who he is battling at CF) is going 3 OF spots later at (225)