Unread for 6/16
Hey guys, I’m looking to upgrade 3rd base and have an opportunity to get Atkins or Longoria. My gut tells me Longoria is the better guy but it will probably cost the same to get either. What are your thoughts on the two?
Jeff in Cleveland
Both are fine options, although Longoria, at 22 years old, is a much better choice in keeper leagues. He has the ability to become an annual first-round pick, although the rookie’s learning curve might be a little higher this year. He’s batting a low average (.252) but he has already shown his power potential with 15 doubles and 10 long balls, driving in 32 runs in the process. Right now, he is a dead pull hitter (eight of his 10 homers have gone to left field) and, batting fifth, he should get a plethora of RBI opportunities with Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton batting in front of him. Longoria projects as a 35-homer, 110-RBI type with the ability to hit over .300, so, like I stated above, he should be a future first-rounder in most fantasy formats.
Atkins is the better option this year. He is batting .309 with nine homers and 38 RBIs and it is plausible that he can match the 27 home runs and 116 RBIs he has averaged the last two seasons. Now that the Rockies offense is nearly back to full health with Troy Tulowitzki’s imminent return, Colorado should be able to improve its ranking as the 24th highest scoring team in the Majors (as of Saturday, June 14). It’s another way of saying they are the seventh-lowest scoring offense, but either way you put it, the Rockies should start scoring more as they get all their key hitters healthy. As the 4th or 5th hitter in the lineup (depending on the day), Atkins will clearly be a beneficiary of an improved Rockies offense.
So, go with Atkins if you are playing in a single-season league, but if you’re in a keeper league, then plan for the future by acquiring Longoria.