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  1. Drew-thanks for the mention. We are doing an early mock draft with myself and Ian Youhanna alternating picks. I took alot of heat for taking Kemp second in the mock ahead of Albert, and after Hanley.

    Comment by Ray — November 17, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

  2. I don’t think there is any justification taking Kemp ahead of Albert…
    Pujols is the model of greatness and consistency.
    There are two major theories out there when you draft in the 1st rd: one says go for consistent contributor, one says go for the best available player, both theories tell you to get Pujols.

    Comment by Kampfer — November 18, 2009 @ 12:30 am

  3. Thanks for linking my piece at FBJ. Truly an honor to be mentioned on FanGraphs.

    Comment by Andrew — November 18, 2009 @ 1:44 am

  4. Kampfer-I liked Kemp’s 30-30 potential over Pujols, plus Kemp is moving up in the LAD lineup in 2010, so the RBI’s should increase as well. Not that taking Pujols there, or first, is wrong….not saying that.
    There has to be a time where pitchers just don’t pitch to Pujols loike they did Bonds a few years ago and AGonz in 2009. Why pitch to him when you can pitch to Ludwick instead? LA pitched around Pujols in the NLDS.

    Comment by Ray — November 18, 2009 @ 9:13 am

  5. The Top 4 are Pujols, Hanley, ARod and Utley with the 1st two and 2nd two flip flopping based on preference. After that, you have 3 OF – Braun, Kemp and Justin Upton – 1B – Teixeira and Fielder- along with Joe Mauer and Tim Lincecum.

    Reaching for Kemp at #2 or Braun at #6 is a clear choice to me.

    Comment by Fantasy Alpha — November 18, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  6. Braun is a reach?? I can see Kemp.

    Comment by Ray — November 18, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  7. Does taking Braun at #6 require much justification? It’s too early for me to finalize my rankings, but that seems like a very reasonable choice to me.

    Comment by Dan — November 18, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  8. Kemp has done most of his damage vs lefties thus far in his career, I’d be pretty tempted to take Justin Upton over either of them considering his #s at such a YOUNG age, pretty impressive.

    Comment by Matt B. — November 18, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

  9. I have no problem with Kemp taken so early. Sometimes you have to draft for the future, and Kemp seems to have much more upside than downside. Granted, Pujols is a lock for quality production but Kemp put up 26/34/97/101/.297…mostly from the bottom half of the lineup. 60% of his at bats came in 6-9 spots. He has alley-to-alley power, which plays pretty well in LA.

    The only flags I see in his peripherals are the K% and his contact rates. Personally, I’d rank him behind Pujols and Braun…but that’s just because I have a thing for first-rounders being proven at the elite level.

    Comment by jimbo — November 18, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  10. I just prefer to shore up middle infield in the early rounds because those positions are so shallow. Unless you’re playing in a 5-OF league, I really don’t think OF is a scare position at all. Taking an outfielder on the projection that he will reach 30-30, which he has never done, just seems unjustifiable to me, especially when you can have a year in year out 30+/15+ second baseman in Chase Utley. There’s no way you can convince anyone that 2B is deeper than OF.

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

  11. *scarce, not scare.

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

  12. Compare these 2009 batting lines:
    32 HR/114 R/115 RBI/20 SB/.320 AVG

    26 HR/97 R/101 RBI/34 SB/.297 AVG

    31 HR/112 R/93 RBI/23 SB/.282 AVG

    The first is Ryan Braun, the second is Matt Kemp, and the third is Chase Utley. Why are 2 outfielders who have comparable lines to a second baseman being talked about in the first 2-6 picks while Utley is not in the conversation? Is it the youth/upside craze?

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

  13. I am assuming we are talking about 1 year leagues here….

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

  14. Assuming 5-OF league.
    There were 9 second baseman that hit 20+ HRs in 2009, 4 of those hit 30+, including Hill who hit 36. Hill had more RBIs and a better AVG. Now I know Hill never hit 30, let alone 20 HRs in a season.
    Kinsler hit as many HRs and stole more bases, and his Avg was lower due to a very low BABIP of .245, well below his career avg BABIP.
    Kemp is on the cusp of 30-30…..I am confident he can reach that in 2010. Kinsler was the only 30-30 guy in 2009.

    Comment by Ray — November 18, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

  15. Utley was picked 4th in the Fake Teams mock. Why is upside a craze?? Has Kemp peaked at the young age of 25??

    Comment by Ray — November 18, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  16. My second post was directed at Fantasy Alpha.

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

  17. I guess I should have hit the “respond” button.

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

  18. Just before I keep arguing, I am not saying I am right, I am just making an argument….all in good fun.

    Maybe 9 second basemen hit 20+ homeruns, but homeruns are not the only stat in 5×5.

    These are the other 9 second basemen who hit 20+ lined up against Utley (numbers are in comparison to Utley’s line):

    Runs:
    Kinsler (-11)
    Phillips (-34)
    Uggla (-28)
    Cano (-9)
    DeRosa (-34)
    J Lopez (-43)
    Stewart (-38)
    Hill (-9)
    Zobrist (-21)

    Homeruns:
    Kinsler (0)
    Phillips (-11)
    Uggla (0)
    Cano (-6)
    DeRosa (-8)
    Lopez (-6)
    Stewart (-6)
    Hill (+5)
    Zobrist (+4)

    RBI:
    Kinsler (-7)
    Phillips (+5)
    Uggla (-3)
    Cano (-8)
    DeRosa (-15)
    Lopez (+3)
    Stewart (-23)
    Hill (+13)
    Zobrist (-2)

    SB:
    Kinsler (+8)
    Phillips: (+2)
    Uggla (-21)
    Cano (-18)
    DeRosa (-20)
    Lopez (-20)
    Stewart (-16)
    Hill (-17)
    Zobrist (-6)

    AVG:
    Kinsler (-.029)
    Phillips (-.006)
    Uggla (-.039
    Cano (+.038)
    DeRosa (-.032)
    Lopez (-.010)
    Stewart (-.055)
    Hill (+.004)
    Zobrist (+.015)

    As you can see, there is no player who came close to Utley and any more than 4 of 5 categories. Many players who outperformed him are due for some regression, while his production should remain constant (and his average might even go up a little). The only player who has a chance at matching Utley is Kinsler. That leaves 2 people capable of 30-20 with good production in other categories at 2B in 2010, with Zobrist close on the second tier. There is practically no upside at the position for numbers of that caliber. For Outfielders you have Kemp, Justin Upton, Grady Sizemore, Ryan Braun, Curtis Granderson, Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, Jayson Werth, Carlos Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, and Jay Bruce all capable of producing significantly in all 5 categories, and then on top of that you have a class of world-class speedsters, as well as a bunch of other players who contribute greatly in 3 or 4 categories. If you wait on an Utley or a Kinsler and draft a Kemp instead, you could wind up with a guy like Cano or Lopez in a bad BABIP year or praying that Ian Stewart will bring his average up, whereas you could easily get Utley or Kinsler in the first round and still have any number of outfielders capable of well out-producing the second tier of 2B’s. With 5 outfielders outfielders obviously have to be picked early and often, but I think forgoing Utley for an outfielder is a mistake, because you are passing up on being guaranteed, barring injury, to be best or 2nd best in your league at 2B.

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

  19. I guess I should have seen the fact that Utley was in his post. Just ignore this:

    “The first is Ryan Braun, the second is Matt Kemp, and the third is Chase Utley. Why are 2 outfielders who have comparable lines to a second baseman being talked about in the first 2-6 picks while Utley is not in the conversation? Is it the youth/upside craze?”

    Comment by R M — November 18, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

  20. The reason you’ve taken heat for that is because it is completely insane. Completely. totally. off the f-ing rocker. NUTS. No offense, because you’ve got balls and I respect that. But I think you’re crazy.

    Option A is an inner circle hall of famer, probably the best right handed hitter ever, will probably out-hit ever single major league baseball player next season and to boot will lead probably his position in stolen bases.

    Option B is compares favorably with the other best players at his position. He’s a 30-30 guy who might hit .300, which is great.

    Comment by Freshhops — November 19, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

  21. lol @ kemp #2 and OF positional scarcity

    Comment by MDS — November 19, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  22. RM-I have done the same analysis for the OFers that you mentioned, and then some, and here are the results vs Kemp in 2009:

    The following 5×5 category OFers hit more HRs than Kemp: Werth, Braun, Granderson, Zobrist, Bay and Cruz. The biggest difference-Werth hit 10 more HRs than Kemp.
    The following 5×5 category OFers scored more runs than Kemp: Werth, Bay, Braun and Damon.The biggest difference- Braun scored 16 more runs than Kemp.
    The following 5×5 category OFers had more RBI: Bay, Braun and Holliday. The biggest difference-Bay had 18 more RBI than Kemp.
    The following 5×5 category OFers had more SBs than Kemp: None, in fact no one was within 13 SBs from Kemp
    The following 5×5 category OFers hit for a higher AVG than Kemp: Braun, Upton, Holliday, Choo and Hunter. The biggest difference-Braun hit .320 to Kemp’s .297 for a .023 diff.

    I see Kemp closing the gap in the power and runs categories in 2010 batting in the middle of the LAD lineup, rather than 6th-8th like he did in 2009.

    Comment by Ray — November 22, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

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