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:
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.
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.