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If Ian Stewart has multiple position eligibility, most importantly 2nd base eligibility, then color me chicken and call me cock-fed in my corn hole.  Skip Pedroia and grab Stewart late, even in shallow leagues.  But with only 12 games played at 2nd base last year, I’m going to assume Stewart’s only eligible at 3rd base for most of you and he probably won’t earn that 2nd eligibility in 2009.  At 3rd base, someone who hit 10 home runs isn’t exactly terrific. (Except for you, Alex Gordon.  I.  Heart.  You.)  Then throw in the fact that Stewart struckout 94 times in just over 300 plate appearances and you might wonder if Ian Stewart’s still too green.  So as Sean Connery might say, is Ee-yon Shtew-art worth drafting in 2009 fantasy baseball?

Doode, read the title of the post.  Am I calling him a sleeper because he’s not worth drafting?  Figure it out, man.  Seriously.  Like that weird guy who lives downstairs from you who always leaves his black Jockey underwear in the washer, Stewart is a swinger.  This much is true.   Stewart’s Ks were atrocious in 2009, but he’s shown that he can improve a K rate.  Every time he’s made a new step up in his professional career, it’s been a steep decline with striking out, but he’s always made the necessary adjustments.  In 2008, he swung at a lot less pitches out of the strike zone than he had in the past, which is a solid sign.  Listen, he’s still going to strikeout.  No doubt about it.  But he might hit 20 home runs and steal 7 bases.  Who’s that sound like?  Ryan Zimmerman?  Yeah, I agree.  Now let’s go over some schmohawks that are being drafted before Stewart, in no particular order because these guys don’t deserve that much respect — Omar Infante, Eric Bruntlett, Russell Branyan, Jose Castillo, Wes Helms (!) and Brandon Inge.  Yuckety yuck yuck.  If you find yourself in a jam at your corner infidel spot, take a chance on Ian Stewart.

  1. Pops says:
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    Any idea where Stewart is projected to land? I picked him up off of waivers mid way through the summer and was quite pleased with his showmanship.

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Pops: I don’t even think he’s being drafted in most ten team leagues (and he should be) or some 12 team leagues. If he is, he’s going very late. Think the 200s overall. People get all caca-cuckoo about Chris Davis and Stewart might be the steal of some drafts.

  3. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Is he worth a $5 keeper slot? I’d have to drop one of my pitchers to do it, not about to drop Ludwick for 5.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: I doubt it, but who are your keepers again?

  5. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: I really like seeing this in print so no prob.

    Halladay-27
    Webb-21
    Hamels-15
    Billingsley-10
    Shields-10
    Lud-5

    I’m thinking Stewart won’t bring much more than 5 in our draft anyway.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Yeah, I’d hold tight on the keepers you have and just get Stewart back. He’ll probably only go for a buck or two anyway.

  7. I think Stewart is unplayable at 3B except for NL leagues so it’s worth waiting to see if he’s 2B eligible in a league before keeping/drafting him.

    His K-rate last year was awful – he had a promising August and then tanked in September (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=28722)….

    Perfect upside guy to take as a late 2B or MI. Probable upside is a Ty Wigginton season – 20-25 HRs with mediocrity in all the other stats. Makes for a good balance if your 2B/SS combo don’t clear 30-35 combined HRs.

  8. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: He was eligible on yahoo at 2b last year, only reason he’s on my team. I think that makes him eligible next year automatically.

  9. ess says:
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    What’s yahoo’s eligibility rules? I think it’s just 5 games. I definetly wouldn’t rely on him as my everyday 2b in mixed from the get, but if you have a decent bench he’s the type you should be filling it with. Id be worried about schmos like Seth Smith and Baker stealing at bats until Atkins gets dealt or Helton goes on the dl– both likely. So yea, great sleeper here.

  10. big o says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: @Grey:
    been spying on this draft that has at least one high-power participant ,
    and , from what i’ve read probably more .

    one player took miggy cab and fielder with his 1st 2 picks.
    another took teixeira and howard with his 1st 2 picks .

    the player that i know to be of high caliber did not enter into the discussion .
    but two others , who i suspect of being very good players , chastised these “dual CI” picks .

    my question is ===> what’s the diff ? i don’t see anything negative about selecting the best available players . what’s the problem with getting 2nd round stats at your CI spot ?

    the format is a standard 5×5 roto .
    and , as far as i know , these guys could all be experts .

    thanking you , in advance , for the explanation .

  11. big o says:
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    please note that the criticism was not aimed at the lack of balance (or lack of SB’s) or anything like that .
    just the CI issue .

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @ess: 5 starts/10 total appearances.

    @big o: I can’t guess why they mocked his mock. I’d have no problem with those two players picks in a vacuum. If they then choose Morneau in the third round then there’s an issue. Or if they passed up Reyes to grab Tex, then there’s a problem. But going on what you’re telling me. It’s fine.

  13. @big o: Eh, I’m not a fan of doubling up on a position in the first two rounds except for maybe 2 OFs. A 1B and a 3B would be fine (assuming Cabrera still has 3B eligibility) but Howard and Teix? I don’t know….I wouldn’t do it for real but might in a mock just to see how it turned out….

  14. Steve says:
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    Don’t have to worry about the Util spot for the rest of the draft I guess… @

  15. big o says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: @Steve:
    i think the strategy here is that you can end-play a guy like stewart and plug him into the 3rd base position , because , @ CI , howard or teixeira will cover the power numbers usually desired in a 3rd baseman , and still leave your utility spot open for another decent bat , without restricting your choices to the pool of available 3rd basemen… like maybe a 6th outfielder.

  16. Garrett says:
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    Yeah in Yahoo Stewart should be eligible at 2nd/MI all year since he made 12 appearances.. I believe that makes him eligible for the entire following season even if he ends up playing zero games at 2nd in 2009

  17. @big o: Perhaps. I’d ‘never say never’ on it but I’d have to be getting great value – e.g., if M-Teix is available in 3rd round and I already chose a 1B – before I doubled up.

  18. Grey, I also did a little number crunching for second basemen in 2009 fantasy leagues and found that not only should you rank Stewart high on your 2B list… but also Jeff Baker.

    Bill James projects both to put up comparable OPS in 2009, making both worth grabbing. Especially if the Rockies do, in fact, go forward with Stewart at Matt Holliday’s replacement in LF while slotting Baker in at 2B.

  19. Ricky Bobby says:
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    Can you give us some projections on Stewart? Are we seriously talking 20 homers?

  20. mike says:
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    It doesn’t look as if Stewart has a full time gig…what am i missing?

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Ricky Bobby: @mike: He’s a big question mark. If he gets in 140 games, then he can hit 20 home runs. He needs an injury (with Helton it wouldn’t be unheard of) or someone to perform extremely poor (with some of their hitters it wouldn’t be a surprise). At the point you need to draft him (very late), he’s a risk worth taking.

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