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need some 2B/SS keeper help


ssmarsh

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10 team, AL only, $260 auction draft, 7 man max keeper league. As of right now, here are my 7 keepers with their 2008 salary:

OF A. Rios - $13

1B R. Garko - $1

2B M. Ellis - $1

SP K. Escobar - $6

SP J. Lester - $1

SP F. Liriano - $4

SP Z. Greinke - $3

I don't have to send in my keepers until early April, but I've been going over my league rosters and what I've found has made me wonder if keeping another middle infielder would be the way to go. Based on current salaries and contracts, I predict that a lot of 2B and SS will be kept, leaving the already shallow draft pool even shallower. Among those I think will be kept are: J. Vidro, R. Cano, P. Polanco, B. Roberts, A. Hill, I. Kinsler, D. Pedroia, J. Lopez, D. Jeter, O. Cabrera, J. Peralta, C. Guillen.

I'll have tons of money to spend on draft day but I don't want to end up blowing more of it than I should to pick up a mediocre SS and MI just to fill the slots. I have SS Y. Betancourt at $1 as a potential keeper, so I have the following questions:

1. I know he's not a big power guy, but will he put up better overall numbers this year than last year?

2. If I were to keep Betancourt, which of the 7 listed above would you not keep and why?

All comments appreciated.

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Is it 5x5 or 4x4? If it's 4x4, then *for sure* drop Lester - he has WHIP/ERA issues, and wins are always unpredictable, even on a great Boston team.

If it's 5x5, I'd still keep Betancourt & drop Lester, the margin is less - it's just that you'll only be left with Michael Young, Jason Bartlett & J. Lugo as a SS you *need* to acquire, so the price will be steep.

Plus, you're already speculating on young SP's with Liriano & Greinke (although those are great salaries, I'd do likewise), I'd fill your roster with a Kazmir/Lackey (K-stud who won't go for $40 like Johan will) and a solid 5th starter to make it a killer staff - getting a starting SS & 2B for $2 in AL-only will allow you to fill your team, and there's a lot more SP depth than MI depth.

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I think I would drop Lester but what about possible 2b/SS Options like Yunel Escobar, Stephen Drew, Ryan Theriot, or Khalil Greene. I think all these are better options the Betancourt. Maybe you should hold onto Lester.

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I think I would drop Lester but what about possible 2b/SS Options like Yunel Escobar, Stephen Drew, Ryan Theriot, or Khalil Greene. I think all these are better options the Betancourt. Maybe you should hold onto Lester.

WOW i'm dumb....didn't see the AL only league aspect...sorry.

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Thanks for the replies, guys. Here's a little more info.

Is it 5x5 or 4x4? If it's 4x4, then *for sure* drop Lester - he has WHIP/ERA issues, and wins are always unpredictable, even on a great Boston team.
It's sort of 5x5. Here are our categories:

average, runs, HR, RBI, 2xSB+BB

wins, ERA, K-BB, IP-H, saves-blown saves+holds/2

Here's why I'm high on Lester this season and am reluctant to throw him back on draft day:

1. Lester may have an ERA in the 4.50 range, but I expect that to go down as he gains more MLB experience. He was much lower in the minors last season.

2. He hovers around zero or slightly positive in IP-H, which is not common among AL starting pitchers.

3. At $1, he's a super bargain. If he does decently in 2008, I can keep him for $1 (or $6) in 2009.

Betancourt has 2 full seasons in the majors now so expecting something like .285, 10 HR, 65 RBI, 70 R, 7 SB, 15 BB isn't out of the question. He's a young player and I like him, but right now he's only a 2 or 3 category player who doesn't really hit for power and is a super free swinger (15 BB in 536 AB last year). Position scarcity aside, I know he'd got for well more than a buck on draft day, but so would Lester, even if he's a Twin.

I'd fill your roster with a Kazmir/Lackey (K-stud who won't go for $40 like Johan will) and a solid 5th starter to make it a killer staff - getting a starting SS & 2B for $2 in AL-only will allow you to fill your team, and there's a lot more SP depth than MI depth.

I have a lot of money to spend on draft day so getting two A tier pitchers shouldn't be a problem. If I want to take that route, and I likely will, then one of the SP keepers listed above will likely get bumped for Betancourt. I'll likely wait until spring training ends to make a final decision, but I'd love more opinions if there out there!

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Thanks for the advice. If I did keep Betancourt, it would be either Lester or Greinke who get the boot, but I can't decide which one it would be.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

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Still looking for thoughts on Y. Betancourt if anyone has them. Thanks.

I agree on being high on Lester, but as you pointed out in your earlier reply, the problem is that you already have 3 much *better* SP's in Escobar/Liriano/Greinke IMO (talent-wise, Greinke is well past Lester). I don't like committing to a SP over a position player, and you already pointed out how shallow your SS pool is going to be.

Put it another way - you probably are going to go with 5 SP's, maybe 6 max - keeping 4 takes a lot of maneuvering away, and it forces you to spend on a shallow MI pool - I *know* you're more likely to find more value in the SP pool than the MI pool, so I'd fill my MI with a very serviceable Betancourt (much higher value in AL-only), and keep my team more flexible and balanced for the draft.

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Continued thanks for the replies, guys!

Put it another way - you probably are going to go with 5 SP's, maybe 6 max - keeping 4 takes a lot of maneuvering away, and it forces you to spend on a shallow MI pool - I *know* you're more likely to find more value in the SP pool than the MI pool, so I'd fill my MI with a very serviceable Betancourt (much higher value in AL-only), and keep my team more flexible and balanced for the draft.

That's the way I'm leaning today. Of course, with a little less than 3 months until my keeper list is due (March 31st), I have time to wait and see what happens in spring training, etc. to make a final decision.

Since people are still commenting, does anyone have any impressions of Betancourt they'd like to share? I've been researching him lately and like what I see, but I'd like other people's thoughts. His total inability to take a walk makes me hesitant...

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What's your FULL roster, please.

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I know I should have probably posted it, but I think it's actually irrelevant at this point. Last year I dumped all my high priced players for cheap keepers and I consider the 8 I have listed in this thread to be the best of my potential keepers. I don't anticipate doing any additional trading before the season starts since I'm already loaded with good cheap keepers. I expect my draft is going to be SP and OF rich this year based on other team salaries and expiring contracts.

However, since you asked, some of the other players I have which might be considered cheap keepers are:

C K. Shoppach - $1 (part timer)

SS J. Bartlett - $5 (some speed, but no power - now in TB)

1B K. Youkilis - $4 (I like him, but he's at a point where I'd have to make him $9 to keep him)

DH J. Gomes - $3 (is he even a full time player?)

OF K. Lofton - $1 (with all the youth I have, there's no reason to keep this 57 year old)

3B A. Marte - $1 (still in the minors...hasn't really panned out)

SP K. Rogers - $1 (see Kenny Lofton)

The rest of my roster consists of $0 players (which can't be kept) or middle of the road players at $10 or above (which will not be kept by me). Even if I swap Betancourt for Lester, I still walk in to draft day with $231 to spend and 16 players to buy.

I'd still love to hear people's opinions on Betancourt and how much potential to improve he may still have left.

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Still looking for thoughts on Y. Betancourt if anyone has them. Thanks.

Betancourt projections:

HR 9 Runs 67 RBI 59 SB 8 BA.286

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Betancourt projections: HR 9 Runs 67 RBI 59 SB 8 BA.286

That's what I thought for 2008 (see one of my posts above). He'll be 26 at the end of the month so he should be entering his physical prime. As I look to 2009 and beyond, I could end up keeping him through the 2011 season if I wanted to, I was wondering if he has any more power potential than just 10 or so per year?

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Bye-bye Ellis. That line-up is going to be a black-hole.

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Bye-bye Ellis. That line-up is going to be a black-hole.

In a mixed league, for sure - but in AL-only, with the guys that are likely to be kept according to ssmarsh, that only leaves the following 2B's:

TB 2B - likely Iwamura

Minny 2B - ?, maybe Casilla or (ugh) Punto

ChiSox 2B - ?, maybe Danny Richar

A. Cabrera (CLE)

Grudzelanak (KC)

Kendrick (ANA)

When I look at that lineup of 2B's left, well I'd rather keep Ellis at $1, hands down. Both Cabrera and Kendrick are gonna cost $, so I'd rather have Ellis @ $1 and get my studs in other positions.

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Bye-bye Ellis. That line-up is going to be a black-hole.
I know it's my team, but I disagree. Rios and Garko are good for 25 and 20+ HR each and if Ellis and Betancourt can give me 10 or more each I'll be happy. I have 4 OF spots, DH, CO and 3B to spend my moolah on to buy big boppers.
When I look at that lineup of 2B's left, well I'd rather keep Ellis at $1, hands down. Both Cabrera and Kendrick are gonna cost $, so I'd rather have Ellis @ $1 and get my studs in other positions.

Exactly. I didn't list Iwamura because he'll likely be kept as a 3B, taking him off the available list. Ellis is being undervalued right now, which is fine for me. His .276, 19 HR, 76 RBI, 84 Runs line from last year is pretty nice for a buck and is likely the best of any 2B that will be available. I know Oakland isn't going to be very good this year, but he's an everyday player at a position which will be quite scarce come my draft.

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I would go for Cabrera, I don't think you'll really have to hugely overspend on him.

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I would go for Cabrera, I don't think you'll really have to hugely overspend on him.

Is he projected to be Cleveland's starting 2B this year with recently acquired Jamey Carroll as the backup? Does Barfield even have a shot at winning the job back in spring training?

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I would go for Kendrick and Asdrubal Cabrera

As a point of reference, Kendrick went for $18 in my league last year. Now I don't expect him to go for that again this year, but he won't go for $1 either (like Ellis).

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See, I'd rather have Cabrera too, but the fact remains he'll be the 2nd best 2B available - that alone makes him likely to get $8-10, and in an AL-only league, it could even bloodier. As for Kendrick, being the best 2B available, he *might* go over $15 again, and definitely if there are multiple owners needing to fill 2B spots. That's the way it would go down in my league, in any case (10 team AL-only). As an example, there were only 2 starting 1B's and no 3B's left for 4 teams to fill their last CI positions (and nope, no one saw Pena coming, LOL) - Ryan Shealy went for $17 last year (ack) and Kotchman, even with the specter of competition and no guarantee, still went for the max bid left ($6) when their names were brought up. I suspect the same would happen with Kendrick & Cabrera in the scenario ssmarsh describes.

Assuming the above, give me Ellis and his $1 salary - he'll outperform it by a wider margin than the $10 for Cabrera or $15+ for Kendrick are likely to go for. I don't even *pretend* to believe Ellis will outperform those 2, but the salary margin is enough to tilt Ellis in his favor - I can save the $ and get better #'s elsewhere on my team.

P.S. - I think bloodface wasn't referring to your lineup, ssmarsh, when he was referring to the black hole lineup, but the A's lineup. Thought I'd clarify.

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Assuming the above, give me Ellis and his $1 salary - he'll outperform it by a wider margin than the $10 for Cabrera or $15+ for Kendrick are likely to go for. I don't even *pretend* to believe Ellis will outperform those 2, but the salary margin is enough to tilt Ellis in his favor - I can save the $ and get better #'s elsewhere on my team.
That's my thinking as well. Glad to see someone else agree.
P.S. - I think bloodface wasn't referring to your lineup, ssmarsh, when he was referring to the black hole lineup, but the A's lineup. Thought I'd clarify.

Gotcha. My bad on a quick read through. Oakland's lineup is going to be pretty weak, but I still think Ellis will return way more than $1 numbers as an everyday 2B.

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