As suggested by you (yes, you!), Iâ€™m long overdue in covering a batch of â€śgoodâ€ť OPS values, as Better Than Ezra would say. To be Frank Francisco with you, Iâ€™m going to hit you with a chair, if by chair I mean knowledge. Iâ€™m not going to restate some players Iâ€™ve recently fawned over, like David Ortiz, Josh Willingham, Corey Hart, Ike Davis, Kevin Youkilis, Todd Frazier, and SAGNOFs. Iâ€™m also going to stay away from players in the first couple rounds (donâ€™t hate the playa, hate their draft position!) because you donâ€™t need me to tell you that Joey Votto and Giancarlo Stanton are awesome, do you? If so, then please seek medical assistance. Anyway, as I mentioned last week, some of the Razzball writers are participating in a mock draft and you can follow the chaos at #RazzballMock (though Sky conveniently posted a recap). Without further delay, here are some of the players Iâ€™m looking forward to drafting in OPS leagues after the first couple rounds:
Yoenis Cespedes â€“ His .280/.360/.500 line will echo Jason Heyward, minus the additional upside. Thatâ€™s meant to be a compliment. You heard it first: heâ€™s going to be the star of the next Moneyball movie, where the Aâ€™s go all in on slugging and instigate bad behaviors for players on other teams. Sure itâ€™s a stretch, but maybe Trout will gain a ton of weight, Ron Washington will mismanage his team, and the rest of the division wonâ€™t be productive. Oh, waitâ€¦
Lance Berkman â€“ The only question is whether he stays healthy, but that gamble is easily worth the late round pick that heâ€™ll cost. Could he post a .900+ OPS in Texas? Yes sir. Iâ€™d conservatively project a .270/.370/.480 line, but heâ€™s been much better than that in the past.
Anthony Rizzo â€“ I love Rizzo almost as much as Bill James does. Almost. I believe in his 30 home run upside and good overall skills. He wonâ€™t hurt you anywhere and I think heâ€™ll have a .280/.350/.500 season as long as he doesnâ€™t get Valley Fever.
Mike Napoli â€“ Sure, he may hurt your batting average and get injured in the process, but Iâ€™m willing to take a chance on him considering his draft position. Will he repeat his 2011 season? Not unless they remove the Green Monster (not Jeffrey Loria, the other one) for him. Iâ€™m counting on a bounceback, with at least a .240/.350/.500 line.
Carlos Quentin â€“ Speaking of injuries, Quentin had something of a renaissance during the limited time he remained healthy on the Padres, with a .877 OPS. I expect some regression, although the fences coming in at Petco could balance it out. A .250/.350/.490 line should be attainable when healthy. Seems like heâ€™s more of an afterthought in drafts tooâ€¦
Aramis Ramirez â€“ He seems to be drinking from the same water as Adrian Beltre and Marco Rubio, which keeps him youthful and unprepared. By unprepared, I mean that he doesnâ€™t care at all about the first month or two of the season (the splits and his casual indifference back this up), but after that heâ€™s fantastic. Whether that means you should draft him or try to trade for him a month into the season is up to you, but his overall .290/.360/.500 line is exceptional for a third baseman.
Paul Konerko â€“ Speaking of ageless wonders, Konerko finally displayed some vulnerability. He opened up about it and said that he read far too much Jane Austen last season. Now, heâ€™s not getting any younger (or is he?), but I donâ€™t expect much drop off from last seasonâ€™s .298/.371/.486 numbers.
Ben Zobrist â€“ Iâ€™ve seen him go all over the place in mock drafts, from extremely early to the middle rounds. That obviously makes a difference in his value. Heâ€™s a top tier middle infielder in OPS leagues and I expect him to remain consistent, with a .270/.360/.470 line.
Chase Utley â€“ He is another one of those productive when healthy players. I donâ€™t expect any worse than the .256/.365/.429 line he posted last year. Heâ€™s even got some slugging upside and is worth considering in the middle rounds of drafts.
Who is your OPS boyfriend this year?