Friday, February 26, 2010

Is He A Keeper? - AL West, 2010

Anaheim Angels

No-brainers
  • Bobby Abreu, OF
Keepers
  • Torii Hunter, OF - I always say no at first, then I look at his stats, and have to give it more though. If he can somehow repeat his career-high .299 batting average from last year, he's a top 10 OF.
  • Kendry Morales, 1B - Another year like 2009 and he's a no-brainer, but there's always a chance that he's a one-hit wonder.
  • Jered Weaver, SP - Did he finally start to realize his colossal potential last year, or is he just teasing us before he goes back to a 1.35 WHIP?
Non-keepers
  • Maicer Izturis, 2B/SS(/3B) - If he gets regular playing time, he might play himself into a 2011 keeper list, but with Kendrick, Erick Aybar, and Brandon Wood, he's probably destined for 400-450 at-bats.
  • Scott Kazmir, SP - He only gets a mention because he was lights out for the Angels at the end of last season. If he can recapture some of the old magic, he could be a great find.
  • Howie Kendrick, 2B - He projects out well, but he's had such trouble staying healthy and consistent that I don't think you can't invest a keeper slot in him. He's definitely intriguing, though.
  • Joel Pineiro, SP - I invested a high pick in Pineiro back in 2004. I won't get fooled again. (Cue crazy drums and/or CSI)
  • Juan Rivera, OF - No, but the talent is there to take one more step forward and match stats with Morales.

Oakland Athletics

No-brainers
(none)

Keepers
  • Andrew Bailey, RP - The 2009 AL ROY gives the A's their only keeper-worthy player. And even this one is close; despite his dominant performance, the list of one-and-done closers is long and fraught with disappointment.
Non-keepers
  • Brett Anderson, SP - He's one of the most talked about guys on sleeper and prospect lists among fantasy experts, but you have to think of a keeper list as your first eight picks in a dynasty league. I just couldn't see drafting him that high.
  • Jake Fox, 3B - On another team, he probably doesn't get a mention, but the A's are thin, and I have to talk about someone here. He's an up-and-comer, but probably will have trouble cracking any starting lineups this year.
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B - He's got a good name at least.
  • Ben Sheets, SP - He's not. He's just not.

Seattle Mariners

No-brainers
  • Chone Figgins, 3B
  • Felix Hernandez, SP
  • Cliff Lee, SP
  • Ichiro Suzuki, OF
Keepers
(none)

Non-keepers
  • David Aardsma, RP - Aside from a few outings in the dog days of summer, Aardsma was sensational as a fill-in closer. Plus his name is first alphabetically. Still, he's an unproven closer, so not a keeper.
  • Franklin Gutierrez, OF - His numbers look alright, but I generally use Randy Winn as a cautionary tale in these situations. A slight uptick and he's a keeper, but a slight downtick and he's a drain on your squad.
  • Jose Lopez, 2B/1B - If he can prove his power bump was legit, 25 HR and 96 RBI is extremely good at 2B. Just don't draft him to play him at first. You can do better.
  • Ryan Rowland-Smith, SP - It seems like he can clearly pitch, but a low strikeout rate means he'll never break a keeper list.

Texas Rangers

No-brainers
  • Ian Kinsler, 2B
Keepers
  • Elvis Andrus, SS - You'd like to see him boost his HR or AVG in 2010, but he showed enough speed to at least merit consideration for a keeper spot. And of course, the upside is Jimmy Rollins.
  • Nelson Cruz, OF - Cruz is one of the toughest guys to project for 2010. I've seen him projected at anywhere from 20 HR and 12 steals to 35 HR and 28 steals. If he falls in the middle (say, 28 HR and 20 SB), he's worth carrying.
  • Michael Young, 3B - He posted his highest batting average and HR total since 2005. While he loses SS eligibility this year, he's still a reliable bat and a solid producer across all five categories.
Non-keepers
  • Chris Davis, 1B/3B - We had such high hopes for Davis last year, but he seemed to have trouble finding the ball at the plate, striking out 150 times in just 391 at-bats. He's optimistic about 2010 and so are the Rangers, but optimism won't put a trophy in your case.
  • Neftali Feliz, RP - If we knew that Feliz would be in the rotation, he'd be in the running for a potential keeper slot. But Texas (inexplicably) wants to keep him in the bullpen for now. So play it cool.
  • Frank Francisco, RP - As a first-time closer, he was solid but not spectacular. Well, except for his blown saves; he gave up 15 combined runs in his four blown saves. Ouch.
  • Vladimir Guerrero, DH - Guerrero really couldn't have gone to a better place to put a bow on his career, but I still don't think it'll be enough to bring him all the way back to a keeper list. Draft him, though, if your utility spot is open.
  • Josh Hamilton, OF - He's really just had one huge half of baseball so far. I think you have to look at him early and often come draft time, but I'd be wary of keeping him, after he's shown an ability to be just an average power hitter.
  • Rich Harden, SP - Last year was a rough one for Harden and his owners. He was mostly healthy (though he still missed a few starts), but he was surprisingly not terribly good. He'll likely provide a good K rate and improve on his ERA and WHIP from last year, but you should probably be skeptical enough to ignore him early in the draft.

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