Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2010 Keepers: Catcher

Paging Matt Wieters, paging Matt Witers...

If there ever was a thin position in a keeper league, the 2010 catcher crop is it.

Which is where Wieters becomes very much an enigma. So much promise, yet so much disappointment until the middle of September hit.

Wieters ripped off 4 HR and 16 RBI in the final 19 games, including five games with three hits.

Significant? Perhaps.

Wieters was hitting .239 on July 18, but finished with a strong .288 average.

I've got him as a definite maybe, but if you have a man crush, then go ahead and retain his services.

Definite Keepers
Joe Mauer
Victor Martinez

Definitely Maybe
Brian McCann
Jorge Posada
Matt Wieters

Only in Deeper Leagues
Benji Molina
Kurt Suzuki

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2010 Keepers: 3B

Two thrilling walkoff HRs in one night? 

You can't beat playoff time. 

Unless your favorite team and fantasy both tanked and have moved quickly onto football.

But let's stop for a second and talk about third. As in the hot corner.

Who do you keep and who do you throw back? It's fairly straightforward as we look forward to the 2010 draft.

Definite Keepers (10 team, 6 keeper league)
Miguel Cabrera
Mark Reynolds
Alex Rodriguez
Evan Longoria
Ryan Zimmerman
David Wright
Kevin Youkilis

Definitely Maybe
Chone Figgins
Pablo Sandoval

Only in deeper leagues
Michael Young

Commentary: Chipper Jones, Mike Lowell and Scott Rolen, you are honorably dismissed from the third base keeper discussion. You all served this position well, but age and injury have caught up to you and you're no longer keepable. Keeper is largely based on youth and projection of stats, not what you've done for me lately -- or two years ago. There will likely be little argument with anyone on this list. Each definite keeper finished in the top 40 of Yahoo's ranking this year with the exceptions of ARod and Wright, who both missed time. Wright could be moved to the maybe list, if you honestly believe his power has been zapped, but I don't think that's the case. A return to 25 HR is likely and I wouldn't be surprised if they moved the fences in at Citi. Young, if he was 5 years younger, would be definite material, but he's not, so he's not. Figgins and Sandoval are both tough calls. Consult your roster for final verdict. If you have no other speed, go ahead and retain Figgy's services. Sandoval just turned 23, folks, making him a very tough call and I would definitely keep him in 12-team or greater formats. The hot corner is just not that deep.


Friday, October 9, 2009

2010 Keepers: SS

For all you disgruntled Jose Reyes owners out there, take a deep breath.

Sure, you were burnt by a Top 5 pick this season. Reyes' hamstring issues probably kept you from contending all year, but if you're in a keeper league, do you still hang onto Mr. Excitement?

How could you not?

OK, there's the feat that he won't fully recover, but he's only having surgery to remove the scar tissue, not to repair the September tear, which tells me it's not as bad as some of his early-career hamstring woes.

Anyone with 70-SB, 15-HR potential has to be given a longer leash, even if he only had 147 at-bats this year.

My advice would be try to find the Reyes owner in your league right now and make a low-ball offer while his 2010 outlook is still somewhat murky. He may be thinking of throwing him back in the pot next year anyway.

As far as the rest of the SS position, it's pretty much slim pickens out there. Here's how I see it.

Definite Keepers
Hanley Ramirez
Troy Tulowitzki
Derek Jeter
Jimmy Rollins
Jose Reyes

Definite Maybe
Jason Bartlett
Michael Young

Only in deeper leagues
Yunel Escobar
Alexei Ramirez

Commentary: Outside of Reyes, Bartlett is probably the toughest call here. I would like to see more than one pretty good year to elevate him into "Definite" status. If you drafted him this year, you probably rode his 30 SB and .320 average to a high finish and may want to reward him. I have no prob with that. The average may be a one-time deal (career .298 hitter in the minors), and there's not a lot supporting his 14 HR this year, but the speed is for real. Rollins finished as a top-80 player after one of the worst starts in MLB history (17/14, .272 after the break), but I would understand if you lost faith in his elite status. Escobar reminds me of someone who's on the cusp of breaking out, but I'd still be surprised if it happened. I don't think we know what we have with Alexei, another big disappointment this year. Tons of raw talent, which makes you at least stop and think before sending his services back.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2010 Keepers: 2B

Remember when this position used to be Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler and everyone else?

Those days are over.

Sure, Utley still is proably the king of second, but the gap is getting very, very thin with the emergence of Aaron Hill and Ben Zobrist.

So let's get down to brass tax.

Definite Keepers (based on 6 keepers in 10-team league):

Chase Utley

Ian Kinsler

Aaron Hill

Ben Zobrist

Definitely Maybe

Chone Figgins

Robinson Cano

Brian Roberts

Brandon Phillips

Only in deeper leagues

Jose Lopez

Dan Uggla

Chris Coughlan

Ian Stewart

If there's anything to take away from this year, it's that the second base position is deeper than ever. Ideally, you grab one of the top 8, as there's a bit of a dropoff after Phillips, but even then, an improving Lopez or power-heavy Uggla isn't exactly a door-prize juicer. The real question is do you believe the hype with Hill and Zobrist? Hill has been primed for a breakout, but 36 HR? That's borderline ridiculous. But still, the runs, RBIs with a modest average is hard to ignore. And Zobrist, coming out of nowhere with a 27/17 season, has earned a spot as an everyday player in Tampa, so much so that there's rumors of the Rays dealing the disappointing B. J. Upton this offseason. Figgins, Cano, Phillips and Roberts all had nice rebounding seasons, but let the rest of your roster determine whether or not to bring back their services. Remember, in terms of depth, second base is the new first base

Monday, October 5, 2009

2010 Keepers: 1B

With your season officially in the rear-view mirror and the MLB playoffs to look forward to, there's only one thing left to discuss:

How did this year's fantasy season go so bad...

No. It doesn't do any good to wallow in the past. Time to look forward. 

Time to take an early look at next year, specifically those in keeper leagues.

Let's start at 1B and work our way around the diamond.

Definite Keepers (10 team, 6 keeper league):

Albert Pujols

Prince Fielder

Ryan Howard

Mark Teixeira

Miguel Cabrera

Adrian Gonzalez

Kevin Youkilis

Victor Martinez

Kendry Morales


Derek Lee

Carlos Pena

Adam Dunn

Pablo Sandoval

Joey Votto

Michael Cuddyer

Only in deep leagues

Lance Berkman

Billy Butler

Jose Lopez

Commentary: Morales a keeper?  Really, the only difference between him and Cabrera this year was 20 batting average points. Sure, Morales has only one full year of a track record, but he's still relatively young (26) and hits in a top 5 lineup. He'll be gone by the third round next year. Derek Lee not a lock? You have to look at his past 3 years and even with 35 HR this season, he's only averaging 25 a season. Plus he just turned 34. Adam Dunn's .267 average is a bonus, but he probably won't repeat that, knocking him down a notch. Same with Carlos Pena (.227), who tied for the AL home run lead (39)  despite missing the final month. Both those guys drag your average down too much to be considered locks.  And what happened to Lance Berkman? He'll be 34 this offseason and not only does the HRs trend downward, but he quit running (7 SB compared to 18 in 2008). This position will be way too deep in '10. Billy Butler, the man who hits everything, is showing real signs of life, but I'd like to see him take just one more step. And Mark Reynolds? Well, he won't qualify at 1B, or else the answer would be without hesitation, yes.