Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here're Some Keepers - The Dinos

The Dinos finished fifth last year, but I think they’ll have one of the strongest groups of keepers heading into the draft, and I think they will definitely be in playoff contention in 2009.  Here’s the roster. 

The Dinos

Bobby Abreu (LAA - OF)     

Carlos Beltrán (NYM - OF)   

Miguel Cabrera (Det - 1B,3B)           

Robinson Canó (NYY - 2B)  

J.D. Drew (Bos - OF)

Jacoby Ellsbury (Bos - OF)    

Chase Headley (SD - 3B,OF)

Adam LaRoche (Pit - 1B)      

Adam Lind (Tor - OF)           

Melvin Mora (Bal - 3B)         

Albert Pujols (StL - 1B)         

Iván Rodríguez (NYY - C)    

Miguel Tejada (Hou - SS)      

Jim Thome (CWS - Util)        

Chase Utley (Phi - 2B)           

Gavin Floyd (CWS - SP,RP) 

Armando Galarraga (Det - SP)          

Jim Johnson (Bal - RP)          

Cliff Lee (Cle - SP)    

Tim Lincecum (SF - SP)        

Brett Myers (Phi - SP,RP)     

Troy Percival (TB - RP)         

Andy Pettitte (NYY - SP)     

Ben Sheets (Mil - SP)

Tim Wakefield (Bos - SP)      

Brad Ziegler (Oak - RP)        

There are quite a few fantasy studs on this team.  Let’s run down a list of the no-brainers: Albert Pujols won his second MVP award last year, and he is a top-three fantasy player.  He should be completely healthy after his October surgery, so he’s definitely in.  Tim Lincecum announced his arrival as one of the elite young pitchers in the game by winning the NL Cy Young award winner last year.  He did pitch a very high number of innings last year, but most people seem to think that his unusual pitching motion keeps him from putting stress on his arm.  I definitely think he has another good year in him.  Miguel Cabrera is another no-brainer; he set career highs in HR and RBI, though his OPS was his first under .900 since 2004.  He’ll be 26 in April and is completely capable of repeating these numbers. 

Carlos Beltran is also a no-brainer, but I felt it was time to start a new paragraph.  He hits for power, runs, and plays in a strong lineup.  He is getting older, but he should have another 25/20 year in him.

Chase Utley is coming off of hip surgery, and early reports had him out for all of April.  Utley has said that he thinks he could be ready by Opening Day.  Even if he misses most of April, Utley is still the best second baseman in baseball when healthy.  He’s going to be around 30 HR, .300 BA, 100 RBI, and at least 10 SB.  Keep without fear.

Jacoby Ellsbury took a big step forward in his first full-season, stealing 50 bases and scoring 98 runs.  A third of those steals came in the month of May, but he is definitely capable of stealing 50 bases again this year.  He had a couple of bad months in June and July, but the rest of the season he hit .298.  He think he belongs on this team as a keeper because of his ability to score and steal bases.

I think for this last spot, we have to pass over the 2008 Cy Young winner, a slugger who hit 34 HR last year, and two touted outfield prospects to take Bobby Abreu.  Abreu is getting older and will probably have trouble getting to 20/20 this year, but he does chip in a solid combination of batting average, power and speed.  His value will depend mainly on where he hits, but the Angels scored only 24 Runs less than the Yankees last year, so Abreu will get his opportunity to produce RBI and Runs. 

I think Abreu is a safer option for the last keeper spot than these players: Cliff Lee had an incredible season last year, but he has never been this good before and I’m inclined to bet against a 30-year-old repeating an elite year with no prior track record of greatness.  He could be good again, but I think Abreu is a better option here.  Abreu will go in the first round of our draft; Lee won’t.  Jim Thome is solid value for people looking for HR and RBI, but his slugging percentages have been trending downward, as has his batting average.  Pick him up in the middle of the draft where you can get the most value out of him.  Adam Lind and Chase Headley both have had success in the minors; while I like Lind better this year than Headley, I don’t think either one of them will be productive enough this year to warrant a keeper pick on.  I think Lind deserves some consideration for next year, but try to get him in the draft instead.

I’m always appreciative of feedback.


Jonathan B said...

love the beltran comment. actually the main guy i was considering along with abreu for that last spot was cano.

Ben Westrup said...

I think Cano will be better this year than last, but I figured that Abreu would be better value. He's more consistent. Plus, you already have Chase Utley at second base. I think Cano will be available to you in the draft if you want him.

Ben P said...

I always wonder why this team doesn't win every year.

Ben Westrup said...

Probably because med school takes up so much of his time. Jonathan, you should drop out and focus on fantasy baseball.

Jonathan B said...

I look forward to Ben P complementing my team each year! but refusing to trade with me