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On the Greek isle of Fantasia Baseballikis they have a proverb, “Never give up on a fantasy baseball player until he reaches full maturity and never spit in a woman’s face unless her mustache is on fire.” Let’s tackle the first half first, shall we? In 2008, Marakakis went 106/20/87/.306/10. These numbers won’t necessarily blow you away, until you realize in 2009 Markakis will only be 25 years old. Yes, he’s still ascending the escalator of Fantasy Baseball Worth. Hopefully he won’t get off until he reaches 2nd round value. His splits are promising. Against lefties, he hit .297, .310 vs. righties, .282/.330 Home/Away splits, almost even on Day/Night splits and .301 Pre-All-Star break and .313 Post. His 2nd half steals are a concern, as he stole only one base as opposed to nine steals in the first half. Maybe he only steals five next year, or maybe he steals 15. (Any player whose game is not steals can’t be relied on to ever steal more than 15.) The aspect of Markakis’s game that really needs to step up is his power. As of right now, I’d hope for 30 home runs, but wouldn’t expect more than 25 in 2009. So why am I suggesting you keep Markakis for 2009? His power is still developing and his walks are up. Throw in a five tools skill set and you have the makings of a great one. I am Sparkakis! As for the 2nd half of that aforementioned Greek proverb, it’s a good rule of thumb, but make sure you’re not spitting Ouza. Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball keepers to keep and not keep for next season:

KEEP

Alexei Ramirez – He’s a premenopausal Alfonso Soriano.

Hunter Pence – The dealer’s showing 25 HRs, 10 steals and a .275 average. That’s a push.

DON’T KEEP

Ryan Doumit – Doumit ranked #4 on the top 20 catcher list for 2008. You know what? He could come in number one next year, I still don’t think you should keep him. He’s not going to be overvalued at the drafts so you can get him back if you want and he’s injury-prone. Reggie Roby his ass.

David DeJesus – If he stays healthy, he could be Yunel Escobar. I’ll take one small bleh with a side order of bleh-bleh.

  1. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: You’re probably going to post on this in your 2009 projections, but what is your gut telling you (“Hi Grey, this is your gut calling to tell you…”) about Ryan Ludwick in 2009? I’m reluctant to bank on him hitting more than .270/20/80 or so, which is yawnstipating. Are fantasy wonks going to stand behind this guy or do y’all think he’s a one-year wonder?

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: I’ll wonk you. Everything broke right for Ludwick last year. Could it all break right again? I suppose, but he’s more likely a .265/25/90 hitter. His BABIP last year is a flat-out concern and he shouldn’t be expected to maintain a .300 average ever again. He is a .260 hitter. All of this could translate into “Hey, Ludwick is awesome, he just hit 6 home runs in April, he’s totally going to hit 40 this year… Whoa, why is he hitting .133 in May with one home run?” The wild card in this equation is Pujols. Ludwick seemed to really benefit from the big man. A healthy Pujols could mean a top 30 outfielder. An unhealthy Pujols and Ludwick’s on waivers.

  3. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Agreed. Pujols opened things up (!) for a lot of men behind him, especially Ludwick. I’m probably going to stay away from Lud next year and go after some buy-low guys who’ve been good in the past but struggled last year (e.g., Rios, and maybe even Eric Byrnes, though I won’t go after Byrnesy until the very, very late rounds). It’s that zig/zag zen philosophy you teach.

  4. sneauxman says:
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    12 team H2H league (extra cats: OPS and QS), I can keep 5 up to 3 years. I’ve already had the first 5 of these for 2 years so I’d only have one year left, the others I could have for 09 and 10, who do you keep?
    Berkman
    Magglio
    Miguel Cabrera
    Holliday
    Brian Roberts

    Markakis
    Dunn
    Cliff Lee
    Joba

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Yeah, Rios is someone I’d target, not Byrnes though, unless real late.

    @sneauxman: Holliday, Miggy, Berkman, Markakis and Joba.

  6. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Is it just me or is JD Drew such a pussy he could be classified as an honorary Cuddle Boy?

    You should add his name to the list, “Relievers who are good with holds, yada yada yada……….AND JD DREW”

  7. BigFatHippo says:
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    Go Rays

    Cliff Floyd just joined the party, better hide the women and children first.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Update me. I just got home. What happened?

  9. BSA says:
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    @Grey: Nothing happened but 5+ hours of long ball. Each one you say, “Holy shit another homerun!” Then Tito forgot to tell the bullpen to dust the cobwebs and get out the bullpen cart for Timlin.” When pitchers have lost it but had nice swansongs why can’t someone tell them to sit down?”

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Yeah, ended up seeing the highlights and the last hour of the game. Kids, Fernando Perez is fast.

  11. Tony B. says:
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    Grey:

    In my league, I’m keeping Lincecum (round 6) and Billingsley (round 11). We can keep 6 players and those are the 2 pitchers I want to keep.

    Now I have to look at 4 position players…

    As of now I’m keeping:

    Longoria (round 21)
    Holliday (round 3)
    Sizemore (round 2)

    Who should go in my 4th slot?

    Alexei Ramirez (round 23)
    Joey Votto (round 22)
    Alex Rios (round 10)

    I’m thinking Alexei as he’ll have SS-2B eligibility in my league next year…

    Your input?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony B.: I agree with Alexei as long as this isn’t a ten team league. If it’s a ten team league, I wouldn’t keep Billingsley and I would keep Rios and Ramirez.

  13. Tony B. says:
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    It’s a 12 team league and you’re only allowed to keep a max of 4 offensive players. So you can go 4 off and 2 pitcher, or 4 pitcher and 2 off, or 3 and 3.

  14. BSA says:
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    Phillies coming back tonight so Manny and Joe get to get on the soapox and tell the Tale of Two Cities comeback from being down 3-0?

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony B.: Oh, gotcha. Then, yeah, Alexei’s who you want.

    @BSA: Looks like it’s the Dodgers’ night tonight.

  16. BSA says:
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    @Grey: Damn i would have wanted to hear that story – it had such a nice ending.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Manny returning to Boston will have a nice story already, don’t you worry.

  18. BSA says:
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    Francona throws Tim Petrol Timlin there won’t be a story aside from the bad hair day Rays writing a new Fable.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BSA: Not looking good already today.

    *****TAKE FOLLOWUPS TO THE NEWEST POST.

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