In another edition of the mailbag, it’s time to answer a question from reader John R.:
I play in a 10×10 rotisserie league (all raw numbers, no averages), and have finished second for the past two years. I’ve been ok on picking keepers (drafting is another story), but this year it is down to three per team. I’m inclined to keep Braun and Kinsler as 1-2. My options for third are Votto, Granderson, or Gordon Beckham.
The three factors most affecting my thinking: 1. Kinsler hitting fifth; 2. Granderson hitting to left in New Yankee Stadium (and possibly losing ABs against LHP); 3. Beckham’s potential as a sophomore and positional flexibility.
I’d like to do the right thing this year, and any help would be greatly appreciated.
First off, can we all agree that keeping Braun and Kinsler is a certainty at this point? Yes? Good, let us move on.
Joey Votto‘s numbers from last season are fabulous, but people often forget that he missed time with a stress related issue and could have put up even bigger numbers. He still hit 25 homers with a .322 batting average, adding in 84 RBI and 82 runs as well. However, a .373 BABIP is not going to happen again. Still, his average should sit above .300 in 2010, and combining that with his home run rate makes him a great first baseman.
Curtis Granderson in New Yankee Stadium is a scary thought. Plus, the lineup around him is fantastic, and should allow him to score and drive in runs at a level we’ve never seen. Granderson’s .249 batting average from 2009 is not cutting it, but neither is a .276 BABIP. He may not hit 30 homers again, but a conservative projection of 25 jacks and 20 steals with good runs and RBI numbers works for me, any day of the week.
It’s hard to know what to do with Beckham. First, he only came to the plate 430 times in the bigs last season. Second, he only had 59 minor league games under his belt, so we cannot go off of those numbers, either. Beckham’s .270 average from last season seems low, and is likely to rise due to a slightly low BABIP. Beckham did flash good power in college, so we can assume his 14 homers are also legit. He hasn’t been a huge base stealing threat in his career, but 10 steals is not out of the question at all. In the end, a quick prediction of a .280 average with 18 homers and 10 steals accounts for a good season to come.
But, which of the aforementioned three would you rather keep? I’m probably going with Joey Votto or Gordon Beckham, with Votto winning my heart in the end. Votto’s power production and high average will make him a highly covetable first baseman, of which the likes are hard to draft. Combining his numbers with Braun and Kinsler make your offense an immediate force to contend with.
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