Unreads for 9/4
I am in a standard 4×4 keeper auction league. I have the following potential keepers for next season. I can keep 8. I do not believe that there will be much opportunity to package keepers to move up. So I would like your thoughts as to which of these guys I should keep. I have provided what their value will be for next year. I have broken down the list between hitters and pitchers, although I can take any combination of 8 hitters and pitchers. The only ones I am definitely keeping are Hamilton and Quentin.
Josh Hamilton $10
Chris Young (hitter) $10
Jason Giambi $9
Carlos Quentin $7
Ryan Doumit $7
Alexei Ramirez $7
JD Drew $6
Luke Scott $4
Chris Carpenter $7
Justin Duchscherer $7
Johnny Cueto $5
Andrew Miller $4
I also have Cole Hamels at $21 and AJ Burnett at $18 but I don’t think I will keep either because I don’t think they will go much higher at the auction.
Thanks as always for your seer wisdom and guidance,
Todd D. Brody
You’re correct in securing Hamilton and Quentin. Those are absolute bargain-basement prices for two players who should repeat with 30 homer-100 RBI campaigns next season. I think you can get Chris Young for under $10, especially in a batting average league. He’s had better luck this year, with a .296 BABIP vs. last year’s .257 number, but he’s still hitting only .244. Plus, he has only 10 steals in 15 attempts.
Personally, I wouldn’t take Giambi, but $9 isn’t a bad rate if you’re targeting homers. Doumit is a good target at $7. He’s been productive when healthy, hitting .319 with an .864 OPS, 13 homers and 53 RBI, albeit in only 96 games. He plays a premium position, so don’t underestimate the satisfaction of having a shallow position secured. Speaking of premium positions, Alexei Ramirez is fantastic at $7. Sixteen home runs and 21 doubles is a pleasant surprise for the skinny second baseman who doesn’t seem to weigh as much as his listed weight, at 185 pounds. You’d like to see a better steals rate (he has 10 base swipes in 18 attempts), but, again, he’s a good hitter at a premium position and there is talk he could be moved to shortstop.
Duchscherer is probably seen as a bargain at $7 based on his 2.54 ERA and 0.99 WHIP this season. However, he’s thrown over 127 more innings this year than last. Sorry, but I buy into the “no more than 30 innings increase” theory. I would like Cueto at $5 if your league counted strikeouts – I’m assuming the four pitching categories are W, SV, ERA, WHIP. If strikeouts aren’t one of the cats, then I can’t recommend a pitcher who has a 4.59 ERA at his home ballpark. I really only like Hamilton, Quentin, Doumit and Ramirez at your prices. CY, Giambi and Cueto (if your league counts strikeouts) are possibilities, but you can probably get them next season for about the same price, possibly lower.
I picked up Justin Duchscherer since he’s about to come off the DL and dropped Joba Chamberlain. This is a weekly CBS Sportsline league, no keepers. Does that seem like a good move or do you think Slowey would have been better?
Chris in Tennessee
You definitely could’ve gone either way here, but I would’ve opted for Slowey. Statistically, Duchscherer’s been the better pitcher, but we don’t know how he’ll respond from missing over two weeks due to a strained hip. Slowey is quietly having a very solid season, boasting a 3.70 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Over his last five starts, he’s pitched exceptionally well, going 4-0 while allowing a mere seven runs over 31 innings. I’m not saying Duchscherer won’t help your team, but we’re entering the home stretch of 2008, so I’ll always give the edge to the guy who’s routinely taking the mound every fifth day. There’s just too little time left to wait and hope for production, especially in a weekly league, where committing to a set group of players is vital.