Dear RotoRob: Who Should I Keep?
Sure, having a signed Kelly Shoppach card is sweet, but we wouldn’t want him on our team in a eight-keeper league.
I have read what you’ve written in the Fantasy Baseball Guide (the Peter Kreutzer one) over the past few years, and also have read your site. I have two questions concerning keepers.
I play in a 5×5 Standard Roto League on Yahoo! We have 30-man rosters (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 5x OF, 2x UTIL — can be from any position — 9x P, and nine bench spots). We keep eight players every season.
My roster for the last year:
C: Kelly Shoppach
1B: Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Delgado
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Brian Roberts
3B: Garrett Atkins
SS: Jhonny Peralta, Troy Tulowitzki (Worst keeper decision that I ever made!)
OF: Jay Bruce, Pat Burrell, Jermaine Dye, Brad Hawpe, Lastings Milledge, Carlos Quentin, Ichiro Suzuki, Shane Victorino
SP: Dave Bush, Matt Garza, Randy Johnson, Jair Jurrjens, Jesse Litsch, Kyle Lohse, Jason Marquis, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Brandon Webb
RP: Joba Chamberlain, Joe Nathan, B.J. Ryan, Joakim Soria, Brad Ziegler
My two questions:
1. I have heard a lot of hype for Victorino so far. I love him, but I don’t know if he is worth keeping, especially considering the glut of outfielders on this team. Is he worth it?
2. Outside of Webb, are there any starting pitchers worth keeping?
I hope you get back to me, but if you don’t I understand…I’m sure you get hundreds of e-mails like this every day!
Thanks a lot,
Well hundreds of e-mails is a bit of a stretch, but we’re always willing to help faithful readers.
The fact that you can’t wheel and deal before you declare who you are protecting does cause this analysis to be a bit of a challenge. You simply have too many solid players (and my hats off to you for acquiring them) for the number of protection slots in your league.
I’m a huge proponent of building in a solid core of speed into my fantasy squads, and in particular in a league format such as yours where (I’m assuming) you have a total of 12 teams x eight = 96 keepers. If you don’t protect the speed my guess is it simply won’t be there come draft day. You really don’t want to be chasing the Juan Pierres of the world if at all avoidable. I’ll list the no-brainers first, and then try to pare this one down to a final eight.
1. Youkilis, 1B (1B/3B eligibility is a big plus)
2. Pedroia 2B
3. Quentin OF
4. Webb SP
5. Nathan RP
All five of these guys are must keepers, in my opinion. They all represent top tier production at their respective positions. I’ve found this year that both middle-infield and first base tend to be top heavy and shorten themselves very quickly and Youk becomes a must keep as a result. As mentioned, the multi-position eligibility is also a nice bonus. Now the fun part…the other guys that should be considered: Roberts, Hawpe, Suzuki, Victorino, Matsuzaka and Soria.
Dice-K – The WBC participation and the high walks concern me and the pool of starting pitching is rather deep this year, allowing you to get away by keeping just one SP. Just looking at your cuts alone leads me to believe the middle tier of SP in your league should allow you solid options.
Soria – I love the guy, but not at the expense of the offense you’d have to cut to keep him. Closers traditionally have a 25 per cent turnover, and between your draft and the waiver wire you should be able to find saves to add to the 40 or so Nathan gives you.
Hawpe – Another guy I love, but with Quentin and Youk, you already have a decent power base and to keep him you have to be looking at cutting the stolen bases, which are probably not going to be available in your draft. Power will be available in your draft way before speed is my guess. Take the lesser of two evils and keep whatever is going to be easier to replace later on.
That then leaves you with Ichiro, Roberts, and Victorino as your last three keepers. Combined, they represent 100+ stolen bases, an excellent BA, and a slew of runs scored. By keeping Roberts, it also forces someone to be a tad thin at the 2B slot, and that’s a good thing as finding a replacement there would be tough. Someone in your league is going to have to start a 2B that is not going to be an asset. I also think that Victorino has the potential to hit 15-18 homers, which is sweet. Add in Pedroia and it gives you a pretty good shot at a top four finish or better in stolen bases. Let your league mates chase the Juan Pierre types.
You certainly have some tough choices to make and I wish you well with them. My approach, and I believe it’s a solid one, is to identify both quality players, and players with skill sets that will be a challenge to acquire on draft day. You have a slew of other players that in most leagues would be considered keepers such as Burrell, Bruce, Dye, Ryan, Peralta, Garza, Delgado, and Atkins. I’d be strongly lobbying to increase the keepers to about 20 if I owned your team!
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