Friday, February 26, 2010

Is He A Keeper? - AL East, 2010

Baltimore Orioles

No-brainers
  • Brian Roberts, 2B
Keepers
  • Nick Markakis, OF - Looks like he's going to get 100 runs and 100 RBI every year, with a high average and power and speed. Keeper.
  • Matt Wieters, C - The potential is elite level, and he had a sizzling September.
Non-keepers
  • Mike Gonzalez, RP - He was a matchup guy in Atlanta, and I don't expect him to be able to translate 2.40 and 1.20 to the AL East when he's facing equal amounts righties and lefties. Could be a candidate for biggest disappointment in fantasy baseball.
  • Adam Jones, OF - He's got no-brainer potential, but that's all it is right now. Plus his second half was just horrible. I still like him long-term, though.
  • Brian Matusz, SP - Not yet, but keep an eye on him. He could be one of several Orioles starting pitchers to become keepers sooner than you think.
  • Nolan Reimold, OF - I think he's going to be an exciting player, but the depth charts I'm looking at have Felix Pie above him. You can't keep a guy who might not play every day.
  • Miguel Tejada, SS - Not a keeper, but he'll be 3B/SS eligible a couple weeks in, and if he can hit .310 and produce runs again, he'll be valuable for some team.

Boston Red Sox

No-brainers
  • Jacoby Ellsbury, OF
  • Jon Lester, SP
  • Victor Martinez, C/1B
  • Jonathan Papelbon, RP
  • Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  • Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B
Keepers
  • Josh Beckett, SP - Rebounded after a horrid April to put together a nice season. You have to wonder, though, if he'll ever be as dominant in the regular season as he's been in the postseason.
  • John Lackey, SP - He's missed several starts each of the past two seasons, but if he can stay healthy, he should be very productive.
Non-keepers
  • Clay Buchholz, SP - Hasn't been able to put together a whole season of productivity since his no-hitter as a rookie in 2007. But he finished strong last year, so keep an eye on him all the same.
  • J.D. Drew, OF - Only Red Sox fans need to be told he's not a keeper, but in case there are any of you out there...he's not a keeper.
  • David Ortiz, 1B - He's dropped off a lot, and become virtually useless against left-handed pitching. I smell a platoon.
  • Marco Scutaro, SS - He set career highs in R, AVG, HR, and SB in 2009. Uncle Andy Behrens says to never pay for a career year.

New York Yankees

No-brainers
  • Derek Jeter, SS
  • Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  • CC Sabathia, SP
  • Mark Teixeira, 1B
Keepers
  • Robinson Cano, 2B - He's kind of up-and-down from year to year, but in a stacked lineup, a guy who can hit .340 is almost always going to be a keeper.
  • Curtis Granderson, OF - An uptick of the batting average and he's right back to no-brainer status, but even if he only hits .255, he's a keeper.
  • Mariano Rivera, RP - He's 40 years old, but I can't bring myself to say that I actually think he'll be a disappointment. He's like Hoffman except I trust him more.
Non-keepers
  • A.J. Burnett, SP - While his strikeouts are always good, he's otherwise unreliable.
  • Joba Chamberlain, SP - He's just not an exceptional starting pitcher. Toss him back in the bullpen and he's at least interesting, but in the rotation, I'm just not willing to take a chance on him again.
  • Phil Hughes, SP - Hughes, like Chamberlain, was a disappointing starter but an exceptional reliever. Someday, one of them might pan out, but in the meantime, only take them with mid-round fliers.
  • Jorge Posada, C - He might go .300-20-90 this year. But he will turn 39 this year. Too risky.
  • Javier Vazquez, SP - I really don't know what to think of Vazquez. He was blisteringly good last year, but his career numbers, specifically those playing for the Yankees, make me nervous. Risk/reward.

Tampa Bay Rays

No-brainers
  • Carl Crawford, OF
  • Evan Longoria, 3B
Keepers
  • B.J. Upton, OF - He's still got plenty of upside (he's only 25), but I feel like people are still paying for his crazy run in the 2008 playoffs. As long as you only expect 40 steals and 15 HR, you won't be disappointed.
  • Jason Bartlett, SS - Finally came into his own last year, proving his trade (along with Matt Garza) for Delmon Young to be a really foolish move by the Twins.
  • Rafael Soriano, RP - He's got elite talent, and as a full-time closer, he should be able to double his 43 career saves this season.
  • Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF - Position flexibility aside, he's got pop at second base. As long as he can hold steady at .300, he'll be a keeper for years to come.
Non-keepers
  • Wade Davis, SP - I'm always wary of keeping an unproven pitcher, mostly because I'm wary of keeping pitchers altogether. Davis has the pedigree to be great, but he hasn't done enough to warrant being kept.
  • Matt Garza, SP - It's very close, and he should probably be among the first players drafted after keeper lists are turned in. He's going to make some fantasy owner very happy someday.
  • Carlos Pena, 1B - The power is there, but so is a steadily declining batting average. If your league uses OBP instead of AVG, then Pena is fine, but not many leagues do. His negative impact on batting average is just too severe.
  • James Shields, SP - He's good, just not good enough. He also seemed a lot more hittable last year.

Toronto Blue Jays

No-brainers
  • Aaron Hill, 2B
Keepers
  • Adam Lind, OF - It took him a while to hit his stride, but he was always supposed to be a big time hitter. And getting 114 RBI in Toronto is pretty impressive.
Non-keepers
  • Vernon Wells, OF - Perhaps the worst active contract in baseball. His only competition? Barry Zito.

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