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Now this is a position I am bearish on to a point for 2012.  On the one hand, there aren’t many SS I really want to draft.  I like Troy TulowitzkiJose Reyes and Starlin Castro and that’s really it.  The thing is, after those three, I don’t feel like I have a leg up on the competition for 2012 if I draft any of them.  What’s the difference between Elvis Andrus and Dee Gordon when we look at expectations for this year?  How about comparing Asdrubal Cabrera to Erik Aybar?  My perfect team has either Castro or Tulo on it, with the high likelihood that its Starlin on my team.  I’d balance him out by going for power from my next SS, take J.J. Hardy in the 11th or 12th.  But really, your team is not going to be strong or weak based upon what your SS does this year.  If I miss out on those top 3, I’d even talk myself into waiting for the Escobars, Yunel and Alcides, while bulking up elsewhere.  ‘Waiting for the Escobars’…sounds like a movie title.

I’ll Avoid:

Hanley Ramirez – I traded him away in 2011 for Tulo in a keeper league and have no regrets.  I do think 2011 was an aberration for Hanley but the trendline is there.  His power is in decline and you add to that a position change with a hurt shoulder, I don’t know if we can expect 20/25 from him this year.  It’s his power that separates him from Jose Reyes in the rankings.  If he hits .290 and goes 15/25, is he really worth more than Reyes’ .290 with 10/40?  Unless your league scores extra points for lack of hustle, the answer is no.

Asdrubal Cabrera – It pains me to say this seeing as he’s a keeper for me this year but his 2011 was so far out of line with his career arc to date, the ADP has high expectations already baked into the cake.  15/15 with a .280 average is nice, but what’s wrong with Jimmy Rollins‘ .265 15/25 a round later?  Of course, we know I’m not drafting either guy but you get the point.  If Asdrubal repeats his 2011 and doesn’t tire down the stretch like he did last year – he hadn’t played a full season since 2009 – then you’re getting him at his market value.  I’d just rather not find out if he can match his asking price.

I’ll Go For:

Zack Cozart - Bill James projects him for 13/16 and a .250-ish average in 130 games and he’s going after the 20th round.  Tell me why I’m targeting middle-tier SS again that go before the 10th round?  I’m still trying to figure that one out.  I’ll take him as my secondary SS (sorry for that, lispers) and be fine with it.

Ruben Tejada - Now I almost went with Alcides Escobar because he should steal you 25 to 30 bags and hit .275.  He seemed to really figure it out after June of last year, stealing 21 of his 26 bags.  Hrm, two sentences in and I’ve already talked more about the guy I almost went with and maybe I should’ve.  However, I want to highlight what Ruben Tejada did in 376 plate appearances last year: .284 average with a .360 OBP.  ‘Yeah and what else did he do?’ you ask.  Well, truth be told absolutely nothing.  However, he’ll be dual eligible in yahoo leagues and is going virtually undrafted even in larger leagues with an ADP of 402.  Plus, he’s only going to be 22 this year.  Call this one more a shot in the dark over hard evidence but I like hitters who have a good batting eye and feel like the rest can sort itself out.  Maybe he turns into Marco Scutaro.  Maybe he turns into Yunel Escobar.  Or maybe he turns into Kate Upton.  Or maybe…mmmm…Kate Upton…

Situation to Monitor: New York Yankees

Let’s take a look at the age of that infield, shall we?  Robinson Cano is 29 so he’s fine.  Mark Teixiera is 32 in April so still, we’re in the range of youngish.  Derek Jeter is 37…kids, he didn’t just decide to go with the bald look cuz it was cool.  Then you’ve got Alex Rodriguez at 36, he of the 124.5 games played average since 2008.  Even if these two manage to hold up over the course of the year, their backup Eduardo Nunez is going to be resting those gams quite a lot to make sure their playoff run doesn’t have to start with a visit to the retirement home for their lineup.  There’s a good chance with the age of the Yankees we see either A-Rod or Jeter come close to full time DH duties or combine there enough to get Eduardo a large total of ABs this year.  Considering he stole 22 bases in just over 300 ABs last year, you could hamstring strain yourself into 30 SBs from someone who might go largely undrafted.  To quote Kiefer Sutherland in his Bank of America ads: nice, remarkably nice.

27 Responses

  1. Plasmaj says:
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    there is a movie called “escobar season has returned” . Could do a sequel.
    I’ve been grabbing Yunel at the end of a few drafts.
    But I take Andrus when I can get him in the 5th round or later (which I have a few times). I see him getting .290/10/40 this year and outscoring Reyes

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Plasmaj, ha!

      I see no difference between Yunel and Jeter this year so he’s a good end of draft play in my book. The HRs and average are a little high for my projections on Andrus but I do know he’ll hit 5 more HRs than Dee Gordon…5 to 0 that is :)

  2. The Gig says:
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    Again – nice article. I just drafted Tejada for the same reasons you articulated – I just have a feeling he is going to be worth something this year. I actually think that Rollins is being a bit underdrafted this year. I paired him with Tejada. I can’t speak for ADP (I only play auction leagues) but in the auctions I’ve been in, Rollins is going for only slightly more than Cozart. Underhype vs, catchy new guy.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @The Gig, Thanks! Yeah, I like guys who display plate discipline at a young age. The rest can show up over time. With where he’s going in drafts, it doesn’t hurt to take a flier on him.

      Gotta go where the value is. Cozart should be a late play, not a big spend. Rollins injury history/age scares people off coupled with a decline in supporting cast but he’s still useful.

  3. The Gig says:
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    Yep, agreed – I think the 15/25 you are talking about with Rollins is Cozart’s upside.

  4. Oregon Nut Cups: An on-topic deep league SS question for you.

    What about Ian Desmond in a 16-team roto league? He seems to be my lowest-ranked starter, and I don’t have backup SS. How much of a weak link is he?

    Tejada and Nunez, mentioned above, are on waivers. As is Furcal, Scutaro, and Tyler Greene. I assume you wouldn’t advise me to drop Desmond for any of them. But is it worth picking one of the above up as a backup if/when I have some roster space? Tejada and Nunez have the added advantage of multi-position eligibility.

    Or is the Desmond problem serious enough that I should package him with someone else for an upgrade at SS?

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Enrique, I’d try a trade but wouldn’t drop Desmond outright. 10/25 potential there. Keep tabs on the others, though. Not high on Furcal at all this year.

  5. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Good article.

    I was very happy to get Erick Aybar in the 15th-ish round (one SS league, no MI), long after guys like JJ Hardy and Jhonny Pherhalhta were gone. I’d be very happy to get a repeat of last year’s .275-10-60-30 line, and I think batting leadoff in front of Pujols makes 100 runs very likely. That’s more Jeter than Jeter!

    In fact, none of the top SS seemed worth the opportunity-cost of a first-three-rounds pick to me. SS is always a spot where I try to get late-round value.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Baron Von Vulturewins, Thanks!

      Yeah, in a one SS league, waiting is the best strategy unless someone falls to you from the top tier. I like Aybar this year for the runs potential and for the cost he’s going at for sure.

  6. Rennan says:
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    Question: what’s it about starlin c. that most ppl are so attracted to?
    The dude will give u 10 bombs, steal 20 bags and hit .300. He is YunelEsc (ha! Get it?) minus 10 bags. Can someone explain that to me?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      He looks like a young Jeter. Yunel looks like an old sock.

      • Rennan says:
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        @Grey, What’s funny is that actually makes sense.

        Based on looks, shouldn’t Pedroia be drafted much later given his current ADP? I’m a Sawx fan, but gee, not only is the dude ugly but he doesn’t look like he could pull one over the fence if it were 100ft from home.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Rennan, Ha, nice one!

      Depends on what side of the upside bandwagon you’re on. He’s 22 and 10/20 .300 is his floor, not his ceiling on this side. I think there’s room for more power given the home ballpark. If he goes .300 with 15~17 HRs and closer to 25 SB, that’s a very useful SS to have whom I feel gives a bit more consistency than guys later in the draft. Again, I’m not a homer for him but I do lean in the upside of things.

      • Rennan says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, Fair enough. I’ve never been one to bet on upside though.

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @Rennan, Understandable. Considering the floor, though, I don’t have major concerns with him. We aren’t talking Chris Davis circa 2010 here :)

          • Rennan says:
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            @Oregon Nut Cups, Alright, we will call it a hedged bet

            • Oregon Nut Cups

              Oregon Nut Cups says:
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              @Rennan, hehe sounds good :)

  7. Jay29 says:
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    So I ended up with a pretty weak middle infield with J.Weeks at 2B, Jeter at SS, and Altuve at MI. Who do you think is the best waiver wire option to use as a fill-in and/or safety valve? I could use steals but I’m mostly looking for the best value.

    Eduardo Nuñez
    Marco Scutaro
    Gordon Beckham

    Also what do you think of Stephen Lombardozzi as a potential 2B/OF utility man? Do you think the Nats find him ABs?

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Jay29, Lombardozzi seems like an empty average guy at best who may chip in with 10′ish steals. Would rather grab Nunez given the aging players in front of him in the lineup (A-Rod & Jeter).

      See if Jeter’s name value has any worth in the trade market. If you can move him and Weeks or Altuve for an overall upgrade at MI, I’d replace the roster spot with Scutaro at this time; should score plenty of runs near the top of the Rockies lineup. Have no idea at this point what we get out of Beckham, though I do like the risk/reward potential of him this year.

      • Jay29 says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, Thanks. I hadn’t thought of trading Jeter, mostly because I only got him for $4 so I think my league is pretty wise to his declining numbers. But maybe some guys already had their MI filled and couldn’t bid, so I’ll sniff around.

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @Jay29, NP and GL!

  8. big cat says:
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    I have tulo rollins and hanley ramirez. no doubt im keeping tulo, im debating on using hanley as my utility and keeping rollins as a back up or trading one of the two away. what is the best move

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @big cat, I’d look to trade Rollins for an area where your team needs help in and keep Tulo/HanRam. Don’t know the size of your league but 2 of your SS are in the elite tier and you’ve nabbed one from the tier right after it. I’d assume he’d help fill the holes that having three SS on your team would normally create.

  9. Eric says:
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    Got Peralta and Alexei Ramirez. Which one do you guys think will have the better year thinking about trading one of them

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Eric, That’s a needs thing. Peralta is going to have more RBI opportunities while Alexei is going to steal you more bags. If we’re talking about value, Peralta’s presence in that lineup might gather more takers than Ramirez’s less than sexy line.

  10. big cat says:
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    also i have joe Mauer and Yadier Molina, who should i start for opening day

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @big cat, Personally I’d try moving one or the other. You’ll probably get more trade value out of Mauer so I’d be inclined to move him. Mauer was the bigger pricetag, I’d start him. I’m in a two catcher league and sometimes I don’t even have two catchers, if you get my drift :)

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