Would you rather have Rickie Weeks or Ian Kinsler?
I would take Kinsler. In 2009, he played 130 games and had 31 home runs and 31 stolen bases. Of course, health has been an issue for Kinsler. In five seasons in the majors, he has topped 600 plate appearances just once. In those seasons his plate appearances have been 474, 566, 583, 640 and a career-low 460 last season. While he has missed games, he’s still a good bet for 20-20. He was disappointing in 2010, but a groin injury played a factor. Weeks’ injury history is even worse. Many were waiting for the breakout season from Weeks, and it happened last season because he played in 160 games. Before last year, his games played were 96, 95, 118, 129 and 37. People will draft based on last season’s stats of 29 home runs, 112 runs, 83 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Weeks still strikes out a lot, so his average will be around .270. Weeks has just one season of more than 20 stolen bases. I don’t doubt the talent, but I’m not sold he will stay healthy after just one season of showing durability. I think Kinsler is the better player, will have better stats, and even if he misses 20-30 games, his numbers will still be good and you can always find a fill-in for the time he is sidelined.
|Ian Kinsler is a better pick than Rickie Weeks. Photo Credit: Keith Allison|
Our 5×5 head-to-head mixed league is a 12-team keeper league. I can keep between one to four players. I have Mat Latos ($8), Francisco Liriano ($8), Drew Stubbs ($10), Andre Ethier ($15), and Jon Lester ($20). Which ones would you keep?
All of these players are fairly valued or undervalued, so it would be wise to keep four. I’d start with Stubbs, who gives you that power and speed combination. He likely won’t hit for much of a batting average because of a high strikeout rate, but he has always been able to draw walks. Ethier was off to a sizzling start last season before a broken finger impacted him the rest of the way. Expect at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a good average. Liriano is another keeper. He pitched much better than the actual numbers show if you look at the peripherals. Liriano had a 9.44 K/9, 2.72 BB/9 and a 2.66 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) ERA compared to an actual ERA of 3.62. He increased his groundball rate to 54 percent and had a 1.26 WHIP. If you’re looking at value then Latos is a better bargain than Lester. I think Lester has a good chance to win the Cy Young award, and he is a Top 5 pitcher this season. To get that for $20 is worth it. He has a K/9 of at least nine in two consecutive seasons along with good control, and he increased his groundball rate to 54 percent. Lester has produced an ERA of 3.41 or less in three consecutive seasons pitching in the American League East.
In a 12-team keeper league, I can keep eight. It’s a 5×5 roto league. I’m in bad shape and am tired of getting made fun of by the guys for being terrible. I am trying to turn it around this year. Who should I draft first with my third overall pick? My keepers are Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen, Michael Stanton, Austin Jackson, Tim Lincecum, Tommy Hanson, David Price, and Max Scherzer. I think the top seven hitters available will be Brandon Phillips, Derek Jeter, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Martin Prado, Delmon Young, and Adrian Beltre. Who would you draft? (If possible can I have your top three). Thanks a lot.
You won’t be the source of jokes any longer now that you’re in the right place. I don’t know what other keepers you had to consider, but keeping four pitchers is a lot. However, you did select good ones. If your keepers aren’t locked, I would drop Jackson and keep someone else. My first choice is Adam Dunn. There are very few players that you can pencil in for 40 home runs, and Dunn is at the top of the list. He has hit at least 38 home runs in seven consecutive seasons. The first five seasons, he hit at least 40 home runs and has hit 38 in each of the last two seasons. It doesn’t matter what park Dunn plays in because his home runs go a long way, but U.S. Cellular Field is a great park to hit in. Phillips had a hand and wrist injury last season in the second half and still finished with 18 home runs and 16 stolen bases. He’s a good bet to go 20-20. I rank him second and I’ll go with Jeter third. Shortstop is thin and Jeter will score a lot of runs, get double-digit steals and hit for a good average.
I am in a 5×5 keeper league. I will keep Cole Hamels ($15), Tim Hudson ($10), Chad Billingsley ($11), Clayton Kershaw ($10), Matt Kemp ($14), Andre Ethier ($9), Jason Heyward ($6), Pedro Alvarez ($5). I can keep four of these six: Stephen Drew ($12), Chris Johnson ($9), Craig Kimbrel ($9), Neil Walker ($9), Jose Tabata ($9), and Bryce Harper ($9). What makes the most sense?
Only National League players are listed, so I will assume this is a mono league. I would certainly keep Drew. Shortstop is a thin position, and Drew would go for a higher price. Drew has yet to have the big breakout season many envisioned for him. He has some power, and the Diamondbacks could run more this season. Drew has good speed and could still bases. Kimbrel is also one to keep. As of now, he will split the closing job with Jonny Venters. It’s possible that Kimbrel emerges as the main closer, but regardless, he will have value and will get saves. He struck out 40 in 20 2/3 innings last season and just needs to improve his control. Walker is also a keeper, who will provide double-digit home runs, some stolen bases and is slated to hit second in the lineup in front of Andrew McCutchen. For the final player, it is Tabata, who will provide stolen bases and runs hitting leadoff. He had 19 stolen bases in 405-at bats last season. I believe in playing to win this season and Harper won’t have a big impact. Johnson was very lucky last season with a .387 Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP). He had a 91/15 K/BB ratio in 341 at-bats, so the average will drop.
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