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 Tulowitzki, Jose 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.
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.