Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More and More Keepers - Val Kilmer's A**hole

Let’s take a look at the next team in our league, Val Kilmer’s A**hole, now known as Order of the Phoenix (Mark likes to change his team names a lot).  They have a good mix of talent, but a couple of these fantasy studs are starting to see the far side of their careers.  Let’s look at the roster.

Val Kilmer's A**hole

Lance Berkman (Hou - 1B,OF)         

Michael Cuddyer (Min - OF) 

David DeJesús (KC - OF)     

Mark Ellis (Oak - 2B)

Jason Giambi (Oak - 1B)       

Troy Glaus (StL - 3B)

Josh Hamilton (Tex - OF)      

Jeremy Hermida (Fla - OF)    

Mike Napoli (LAA - C)         

David Ortiz (Bos - 1B)          

José Reyes (NYM - SS)         

Scott Rolen (Tor - 3B)           

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Tex - C,1B)   

Freddy Sánchez (Pit - 2B)     

Vernon Wells (Tor - OF)        

Joe Blanton (Phi - SP)

A.J. Burnett (NYY - SP)       

Matt Cain (SF - SP)   

Ryan Dempster (ChC - SP,RP)         

Jeff Francis (Col - SP)           

J.P. Howell (TB - SP,RP)      

Scott Kazmir (TB - SP)          

Jonathan Papelbon (Bos - RP)           

B.J. Ryan (Tor - RP)  

Huston Street (Col - RP)       

Justin Verlander (Det - SP)    

The no-brainer picks here are Jose Reyes, Lance Berkman, and Josh Hamilton.  These guys are studs, and all three usually go in the first two or three rounds of a draft.  Reyes is one of the top-five players in fantasy baseball because of his success on the base paths; he’s averaged 64 SB along with 113 Runs the past four years.  Reyes will even give you double-digit HR for good measure, with some possible room for growth as he matures into his prime.  Even with a possible lineup move out of the leadoff spot, Reyes is the type of young star you can build a team around.

Though he’s not young anymore, Berkman is another type of star that you love to have on your team.  He shows consistent power, a career BA of .302, and he’ll even steal a base or two (though I don’t think anyone of us expect a repeat performance of his career-high 18 SB last year).

Josh Hamilton has had a superb season and a half in the big leagues now, and I think it’s all right to expect him to continue to rake this year as well.  He carries a little more risk than the other two players I’ve talked about, but he could have just as much talent. 

If these three players are no-brainers, let’s call the next two players Guys-you’d-want-but-have-to-take-a-second-to-think-about.  They are David Ortiz and Vernon Wells, and the reason that you’d want them is because of what they’ve been able to produce, and the reason you’d think for a second about taking them is that they are probably not those players any more.  Ortiz missed time last year with a wrist injury, and though it seems to be fully healed, can we expect him to be the Big Papi of old?  I think Ortiz will be fine next year, with an OPS around .900, though I do think he will miss having Manny Ramirez in the lineup.  Wells also missed time last year and the year before due to injury, though he did hit well in 2008 when he played.  I don’t think we can expect Wells to run like he did in 2007 and 2006, but I think he can be a top-25 OF if he stays healthy.  

Let’s hear the familiar refrain: “I don’t like to keep pitchers.”  But looking at the players we have left, there’s not much keeping me from doing that.  Jonathan Papelbon was a top-five closer last year, and there’s little reason to think he won’t repeat that.  He lowered his walks drastically while setting a career-high in innings pitched, and he struck out 10 batters per nine innings.  Papelbon is good value here.

I’m not big on this last player, but who else could we keep?  Jason Giambi, Scott Rolen, and Troy Glaus are all former stars, but they’re all old and dealing with injuries.  Mike Napoli is a catcher I like for this year, but only because he’s being underrated in the drafts.  A.J. Burnett is talented but inconsistent.  So let’s go with Scott Kazmir, who is also inconsistent and misses a few starts each year, but has more talent than Burnett.  Kazmir will most likely miss a few starts this year, but he gives you an elite K/9 and he plays for a good offense.  Just be wary of a late season collapse like last year’s.

So how’d I do?  Let me know what you think in the comments.


John Rogstad said...

Your so dumb ben, this roster is filled with keepers. Papi will be a huge producer now that he is healthy and keeping Burnett and Kazmir instead of Wells would make way more sense...Learn 2 play noob

Ben Westrup said...

This sounds more like Mark than Rogstad, but whatever. I'd just rather keep an OF with an injury history than a pitcher with an injury history. You expect solid consistency from your keepers (or upside from young prospects) and Burnett just doesn't show that consistency to me.

Anonymous said...

I feel like Rogstad can probably spell his own first name, mark. You are a tard.


Ben Westrup said...

I'll right, forget what I said about keeping Wells, because his hamstring is already hurt again. He might be fine by Opening Day, but why risk the aggravation? Mark, looks like you get the man you wanted, AJ Burnett.

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