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Mailbag: Prince vs Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval

Today’s mailbag question comes courtesy of reader JD, who asks:

I am in a 10 team keeper (6) roto league with R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, KO, SB, AVG, and OPS as the offensive categories. Right now I have both Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera as first basemen. Do have any advice on which one I should trade and which one I should keep?

I also have both Evan Longoria and Pablo Sandoval (eligible at 1st as well) at 3rd. Obviously Longoria is better now, and probably will continue to be, but how do you think Sandoval will improve? Could he reach the consistent 30 HR neighborhood this season? Depending on how you see him progressing do you think it would be smart to trade Longoria, or Sandoval? Or maybe keep them both? I can only keep 6, and Sandoval is hovering on the edge right now. The choice is among him, Chris Carpenter, Nick Markakis, Clayton Kershaw, A.J. Burnett, and Jonathan Broxton.

Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder on the same club. Nice work last year, JD. The easiest way to compare these two players is to simply displaying their numbers side-by-side and see what comes out of it.

2009 Stats
Prince – .299/.412/.602, 46 HR, 141 RBI, 35 2B, 163 wRC+
Miggy – .324/.396/.547, 34 HR, 103 RBI, 34 2B, 148 wRC+

2010 Fan Projections
Prince – .290/.396/.583, 43 HR, 135 RBI, 33 2B, 155 wRC+
Miggy – .321/.391/.558, 35 HR, 124 RBI, 37 2B, 148 wRC+

Cabrera is a superior AVG hitter, but big daddy Fielder is a far better HR hitter. It’s a hard decision to make, but I’d keep Fielder over Cabrera. Trading Miggy shouldn’t be difficult, because only one or two other owners will have a better first baseman on their squad. While keeping Prince is better if you want extra power while sacrificing some average, Miggy is a better keeper if your team needs average. Looking at the team you have assembled with the little information I have, I’d keep Prince.

Now, onto part two of JD’s question. Let’s look at what the Fan’s expect from the Kung Fu Panda next season:

2010 Fan Projection
Panda – .325/.387/.556, 26 HR, 111 RBI, 41 2B, 141 wRC+

I’d have to say I agree with the Fans at this point. Projecting 111 RBI is a bit much with the lineup he has around him, but he will likely get 90+ in 2010. Playing San Fran kills his power numbers, but 25 HR is about where he is at this stage of his career.

I would recommend keeping Sandoval around for another year and letting Burnett walk (or trade him). Burnett’s injury problems scare me, as do Carpenter’s. But unlike Carpenter, Burnett isn’t a fantasy Ace anymore when healthy. Assuming you have a CI or UTIL spot, you can play Sandoval, Longoria and Fielder everyday, and that is a solid combination to base your lineup around (along with Markakis).

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