In life, they say that with age comes wisdom. Well, in fantasy baseball, they say that with age comes a decline in numbers and that it’s time to start looking elsewhere for a younger option with much more upside. While there’s some decent young talent out there at third, there are also plenty of seniors that are still hanging on that you may want to avoid. Just to mention a few…
I touched on Alex Rodriguez a little bit in yesterdays’ Top 5 Targets column, but figured I could wait to elaborate here today. Not that there’s an real need to elaborate. The handwriting has been on the wall for some time now, and those that haven’t seen it must be fantasy ignorant. Obviously Cameron Diaz owns him in real life and not in a fantasy league as over the past 3 seasons we’ve seen a fairly dramatic decline across the board — HR, SB, BA, OBP, SLG and, everyone’s favorite, wOBA. The injuries aren’t going to cease as his body is slowly breaking down from the general wear and tear of 15 full seasons in the majors (ok fine, the steroid use obviously doesn’t help), so while it might not be time this year to fully abandon ship, I’d be much more inclined to target other third base options moving forward.
Melvin No Mora
Will somebody PLEASE convince Texas to trade Michael Young to the Diamondbacks! Looking at our 3B Rankings, Melvin Mora didn’t even make the list, yet he is penciled in as Arizon’a starting third baseman. How is this possible? What’s worse is that the team seems fairly content with this as journeyman Geoff Blum is the only true back-up. Unless the team brings in someone like Young, expect Mora to receive the yeoman’s share of work with Blum spelling him throughout the season. Fantasy-wise, you’ve got to be pretty desperate to even consider Mora as your corner infielder, let alone your third baseman. It’s doesn’t even seem necessary to discuss the slide in numbers because if you’re reading this site, then you’re smart enough to know better on draft day.
While the casual fantasy owner will see Scott Rolen’s .285-20-83 in 2010 as a renaissance year, the astute player will take notice of his splits and know the truth. The days of Rolen shining bright for a full season’s work are far behind him. After hitting .290-17-57 for the first half of the season and already being labeled Comeback Player of the Year, Rolen all but disappeared in the second half. Sure, he hit .277 after the Break, but he managed just 3 HR with 26 RBI and left his owners in a lurch, desperate for even just the tiniest of power surges. His 19.6 K% and .312 wOBA in August showed just how much he was fading and the 19.0 K% and .304 wOBA in Sept/ Oct proved that he was done. I’m expecting more of the same this year, although without as hot a start and perhaps an earlier fade out.
To be honest, when I heard that Chipper Jones was coming back for an 18th season after yet another winter of surgeries, I was in shock. I know that it’s difficult for a player to hang ’em up, but this is almost unreal. Health has long been a huge issue, especially after appearing in just 95 games last season, but even when he played in 143 in 2009, the most since 2003, his numbers took a significant drop across the board. Well, all except his K% which spiked to 18.2%, the worst since 2004. The problem is that he just can’t be trusted to be a viable and productive cog in your fantasy machine anymore. Perhaps as a very late round $1 pickup you can use when he is healthy, but I wouldn’t risk any more than that. Bottom line: He’s done like dinner and the only positive that I can see stemming from Chipper coming back for another year is that Martin Prado should retain his third base eligibility.