Mailbag: Keeping Morales, Ethier, Hanson or Hamels?

Reader G. Azama submitted this question to me directly, but it’s a mailbag question nonetheless:

I’m in a 14 Team mixed keeper league. We get to keep any 7 players and as far as I know, there’s no limitation on how many years we get to keep the players.

Positions are C,C,1B,2B,3B,SS,CI,MI, 5 OF, bunch of pitchers and long bench.

Stats are the basic 5×5 plus OPS and Holds. Because of the holds, Closers are hard to come by, in fact very hard to come by if you don’t draft them.

I had a pretty good team and got nip at the end and came in second. My potential keepers are Chase Utley, Tim Lincecum, Joey Votto, Kung-Fu Panda, Kendry Morales, Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier, Tommy Hanson, Cole Hamels.

Straight up keepers. Draft position from last year is not a factor.the draft will be done in the reverse order of the finish in every round. In other words, I will be drafting thirteenth on every round, since I came in second last year.

I’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out what makes sense. As you can see I’ve got quite a few good young players! Hard decision. I think the top 4 are keepers for sure. It’s after that that I have a hard time deciding.

I completely agree that Timmy, Utley, Votto and Pablo Sandoval are instant keepers in this case. I also think that you need to keep Broxton to at least have one closer on your roster. That leaves us with Kendry, Ethier, Hanson and Hamels to fill two spots.

Kendry provided owners with more power than they could have ever hoped for, with a fantastic average to boot. For the most part, his 34 homers came out of no where, but he did have a brief history of power in Triple-A during the 2008 season, hitting 15 homers in 340 plate appearances. However, a .335 BABIP is likely to drop bringing his average down below the .300 mark. Also, Kendry doesn’t draw many walks so his value drops in OBP leagues, but an OPS league keeps his value high.

Ethier’s power last year was also a pleasant surprise, but his .272 average was a disappointment. He isn’t likely to hit 31 homers again, but 25 homers is not out of the question. Unlike Kendry, Ethier draws a walk and can keep his OPS high even when he is in a “slump”. His average should rise back to around .285, and a solid lineup around him means good production all around.

David Golebiewski already did quite the workup on Hanson in December, so I’m not going to step on his work and repeat what he said. Cole Hamels had a career year in 2008, and then posted career worst fantasy numbers in 2009. However, his FIP was exactly the same in both years, coming in at 3.72. Will the real Cole Hamels please stand up? 2010 is likely to be an average of 2008 and 2009, with his ERA coming in around 3.70 with good wins, strikeouts and WHIP.

I really like Kendry, but with Votto and Kung-Fu Panda already on the roster he is expendable. In a league with five outfielders, I’m keeping Either, that much I’m sure about. Now we are down to Hanson and Hamels for one last spot. Because there is no limit on how long you can keep players, I’m keeping Hanson.

To recap, I’m keeping Timmy, Utley, Votto, Panda, Broxton, Ethier and Hanson.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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Tom B
Tom B

How do keeper leagues with no “value” work?

Lucid Judas
Lucid Judas

No salaray cap dollar amount or draft pick sacrifice.