Friday, February 26, 2010

Is He A Keeper? - AL Central, 2010

Chicago White Sox

No-brainers
(none)

Keepers
  • Gordon Beckham, 3B - He'll be a second baseman before too long, and his numbers project out to a top five 2B option.
  • Jake Peavy, SP - He was quietly very good in his three starts for Chicago last year. The talent is all there to be a great pitcher again.
  • Alexei Ramirez, SS - I see more of 2008 in his future than 2009, which means he's a power/speed guy with a .290+ batting average. At shortstop, I'll take that.
Non-keepers
  • Mark Buehrle, SP - He's good, just not good enough. Go draft him as your third or fourth starter, though, and you'll be pleased.
  • John Danks, SP - He wasn't a keeper last year, and he took a small step backwards in 2009. So, again, not a keeper.
  • Bobby Jenks, RP - No no no no no.
  • Paul Konerko, 1B - Too much of a wild card, but he'll definitely give you some pop. He'll also definitely suck in May (career in May: .231 average, .713 OPS).
  • Juan Pierre, OF - He'll have an opportunity to play every day, but he'd have to completely recapture his highest career performances to be keeper-worthy, because he's got no power at all.
  • Carlos Quentin, OF - The power was still there, but his average took a nosedive. I expect a marginal turnaround, but his best comparison is probably Pat Burrell.
  • Alex Rios, OF - His 2009 seems like it could be a blip, but he was so bad in his brief time in Chicago that you can't justify keeping him.

Cleveland Indians

No-brainers
(none)

Keepers
  • Shin-Soo Choo, OF - Choo had a nice little season that nobody noticed. He could be a guy who regresses and makes everyone regret keeping/drafting him (see Corey Hart), but he could be a nice power/speed guy who anchors your outfield.
  • Grady Sizemore, OF - Here's hoping that his subpar 2009 was a result of injury and happenstance, and that he's back and better than ever in 2010. He's still just 27, so it's not crazy to think he can get better.
Non-keepers
  • Russell Branyan, 1B - You can't. You just can't.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera, SS/2B - He's a nice player who can give you depth at both middle infield spots, but doesn't do enough for you in power or speed to warrant keeping him.
  • Travis Hafner, 1B - He quietly bounced back a little bit from his horrid 2008. Not enough to keep him, but enough to keep an eye on him.

Detroit Tigers

No-brainers
  • Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Keepers
  • Johnny Damon, OF - I guess? He's a prime candidate for a drop-off, as he hit 17 of his 24 HR at Yankee Stadium last year. But occasionally that doesn't matter, and it's not like Detroit has a bad lineup.
  • Jose Valverde, RP - Valverde was a tough guy to evaluate for a while, and I still have trouble trusting him, but apparently he's good. He'll have more save opportunities and a bigger park to work with in Detroit.
  • Justin Verlander, SP - He's been inconsistent over his career, but last year he was consistently dominant. He should be good again, we hope.
Non-keepers
  • Brandon Inge, 3B - Check this out: .268, 21 HR, 58 RBI before the All-Star break, .186, 6 HR, 26 RBI afterward. He's also not catcher-eligible anymore. Thus ends the Inge fantasy baseball experiment.
  • Magglio Ordonez, OF - His power seems to have dissipated almost completely, so you can't keep him. He's alright for outfield depth, though.
  • Rick Porcello, SP - He had a nice rookie season, and could develop into a #3 fantasy starter. But he'll probably never strike out enough guys to merit being kept.
  • Max Scherzer, SP - Sort of like Porcello, except that Scherzer already does strike out enough guys. He just needs to pitch better.

Kansas City Royals

No-brainers
  • Zack Greinke, SP
Keepers
  • Billy Butler, 1B - Had a great second half, and he's got the hitting pedigree to expect even more going forward. But you may see him as a UT-only player in the future; he's just ghastly in the field.
  • Joakim Soria, RP - He's getting to be one of the most productive and reliable closers out there. Just think what he'd do for a team that won more than 75 games, like, ever.
Non-keepers
  • Scott Podsednik, OF - No, but the fact that he's being mentioned again as a potential keeper is a sign of how far back he's come. Congrats, Scottie.

Minnesota Twins

No-brainers
  • Joe Mauer, C
Keepers
  • Justin Morneau, 1B - It'd be nice if he could partner a .300 with 30+ HR like he did in his MVP 2006 season, but he's a keeper regardless.
  • Joe Nathan, RP - One of the best closers in baseball, year in and year out. He's 35, though, so his window may be closing.
Non-keepers
  • Scott Baker, SP - He's already 28, so it's probably too late to expect a big step forward. He's useful, but not particularly valuable.
  • Michael Cuddyer, OF/1B - His production has been unreliable, and he'll probably never hit .300, but he should probably be a starter in any league as long as he's healthy.
  • J.J. Hardy, SS - He wasn't a keeper off of back-to-back 24+ HR, 74+ RBI seasons. A season of 11 HR and 47 RBI (with a .229 average) isn't going to boost his value.
  • Jim Thome, DH - Not a keeper, but I love the move for Minnesota. Give Thome a chance to beat up on his old teams.
  • Delmon Young, OF - Yuck. He was a 10-10 guy who stopped stealing bases. Go find your .284 average somewhere else.

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