Thursday, February 12, 2009

Even More Keepers - Butt Admirals

Time to take a look at possible keepers for the Butt Admirals.  The Admirals finished in 10th place last year, so let's see how good their chances look heading into the draft.  For those wondering what I'm talking about, check out some of the previous keepers posts to find out.  Here's the roster.

Butt Admirals

Carlos Delgado (NYM - 1B) 

Edwin Encarnacion (Cin - 3B)          

Prince Fielder (Mil - 1B)        

Kosuke Fukudome (ChC - OF)         

Vladimir Guerrero (LAA - OF)         

J.J. Hardy (Mil - SS)  

Nate McLouth (Pit - OF)       

Dustin Pedroia (Bos - 2B)     

Kelly Shoppach (Cle - C)       

Grady Sizemore (Cle - OF)    

Fernando Tatis (NYM - CI,OF)        

Willy Taveras (Cin - OF)       

Marcus Thames (Det - 1B,OF)          

Ryan Theriot (ChC - 2B,SS)  

Joey Votto (Cin - 1B,OF)      

Rickie Weeks (Mil - 2B)        

Scott Baker (Min - SP)          

Josh Beckett (Bos - SP)         

Jorge Campillo (Atl - SP,RP) 

Dan Haren (Ari - SP) 

Bobby Jenks (CWS - RP)      

Ubaldo Jimenez (Col - SP)    

Scott Olsen (Was - SP)          

Mike Pelfrey (NYM - SP)      

Joakim Soria (KC - RP)    


The obvious picks are Prince Fielder, Grady Sizemore, and Dustin Pedroia.  Sizemore is a legit first-rounder entering his prime who has averaged 26 HR, 28 SB, and 116 Runs over the last four years.  He does tend to strikeout often, hurting his batting average, but his upside for 2009 is a consecutive 30/30 season.  Fielder will mash; I don’t think he’ll hit 50 HR this year, but I think 40 are definitely in reach.  Pedroia, the reigning AL MVP, will be overrated in drafts this year, but he does have value at a shallow position.  Pedroia will always hit for average, but I’m not sure that he’ll repeat his 17 HR from last year.  I’m thinking a more conservative estimate might be 15 HR, 18 SB, with a batting average around .320.  The Admirals will be happy with anything more than that.

3 spots down, 4 to go.  I think that Joey Votto has to be a keeper on this team.  He had a strong minor-league career, he raked in his first pro season, and he’s only 25.  He may regress this year, but the Admirals should keep him with an eye towards the next six years.

If you’ve read my previous posts, then you know how I feel about pitchers.  Nevertheless, Dan Haren was a top-ten starter last year, and he has the talent to repeat.  Some encouraging signs to note: Haren was able to cut down on his walks and raise his strikeouts last year, leading to a ridiculous 5.15 K/BB ratio.  Even if he regresses a bit, Haren will still be an elite pitcher.

I liked Nate McLouth a lot going into 2008, but I like him less for this year.  Funny the difference a year makes.  McLouth still provides good value, but I think last year’s numbers represent a ceiling for him.  McLouth had some inconsistent months last year, and I think that will continue to be the case for him.  I say bank on another 20/20 season with serviceable batting average, and be thankful for anything else he gives you. 

For the last spot, I’m going to dismiss the rest of the pitchers.  Joakim Soria is an elite closer who tends to be underrated because of his team, but while I don’t like to keep pitchers, I never like to keep closers.  Even elite closers can turn into pumpkins, so it’s better to go with a bit safer pick.  Josh Beckett has a lot of talent, but he does tend to spend some time on the DL each year.  When he’s healthy, he can be a top-ten pitcher, but it’s better to stay away from pitchers with an extensive injury history if possible.  J.J. Hardy has shown good pop at shortstop the past two years, but it’s his streakiness that concerns me.  Last year he had three months where he was bad to average, and three months where he was very good.  In mock drafts, I’ve been seeing him go in the middle rounds to fill the MI roster spot; he could put a very good year together this year, but it might be better to wait and pick him up in the draft.

I can see an argument for keeping Hardy, but I’m going the opposite direction and recommending that the Admirals keep a player with a lot of miles on him but who should have one more good year left.  That’s right, I’m going with Vladimir Guerrero.  Vlad is not the five-tool, 40/40 threat (or even the 30/15 threat) he once was, but I think he’s got one more top-20 outfield season in him.  What gives me hope is that with the Bobby Abreu signing, the Angels have more outfielders than they know what to do with, enabling them to give Guerrero a lot of starts at DH.  Hopefully limiting his time in the field will limit the amount of time he spends on the DL this year.  If he can get 550-600 at bats, then put him down for another 30 HR season.

Once again, feel free to let me know how smart or dumb I am in the comments.


John Rogstad said...

of course you would keep guerrero...

Ben Westrup said...

But I think you could make the case that Hardy is more valuable than Guerrero in a keeper league. I'm acknowledging that such a case does exist, I just don't subscribe to it.

John Rogstad said...

your a bitch ben

Ben Westrup said...