Shuffle Up: Justin Morneau, part-time power

You should know the rules by now, but we'll offer a quick review. Today's assignment is to rank all the corner-eligible players going forward, 5x5 value for rotisserie leagues. What's happened to this point is an audition, not a stat mandate. Anyone in the minors or on the DL is not eligible for a rank; too much variance with the Optimism Parade.

Don't worry about the prices in a vacuum, just use them as tools to compare the players. And when multiple players are at the same price, they're considered even.

I welcome your intelligent disagreement at all times, but you need to back your angles up with facts. No brief rants, amigos. You're better than that. Further the conversation. And remember the golden rule of roto: a player doens't get a 10-20 percent spike in value simply because he's on your roster. They produce in spite of you, not because of you.

The 1.0 phase of any shuffle is the pre-ranks; I put them out, let them settle, have a burrito. I'll return later tonight with comments and a few changes here and there. Win the debate, you might win the rank.

I took all the catchers out, they have their own day in the sun. Ready to figure it all out? Make the jump and do some comparison shopping.

$31 Miguel Cabrera
$30 Jose Bautista
$29 Joey Votto
$27 Adrian Beltre
$27 David Wright
$26 Mark Trumbo
$25 Albert Pujols
$25 David Ortiz
$25 Edwin Encarnacion
$24 Prince Fielder

Floor is so important with premium picks, which is why Miguel Cabrera has to be at the top. … David Ortiz finally has the 1B tag, so he's no longer locking up our utility spots. … Edwin Encarnacion is tied to a dynamite offense and he's quietly swiped nine bags in 11 attempts. Even if the average regresses, this looks like a fairly safe place to park your investment.

$22 Mark Teixeira
$22 Paul Konerko
$21 Brett Lawrie
$21 Hanley Ramirez
$20 Pablo Sandoval
$19 Billy Butler
$19 Anthony Rizzo
$18 Aramis Ramirez
$18 Allen Craig
$17 Adrian Gonzalez
$17 Alex Rodriguez
$17 Michael Cuddyer
$17 David Freese
$17 Nick Swisher
$17 Mike Moustakas
$16 Martin Prado
$16 Adam Dunn
$16 Trevor Plouffe
$16 Paul Goldschmidt

Brett Lawrie has been in the leadoff slot for 31 games, shaping up this way: .305, 27 runs, four homers, 12 RBIs, three bags (in seven attempts). And very quietly, the Jays are third in the majors in runs scored. … Anthony Rizzo shortened his swing in the minors, stopped trying to pull everything, and improved against left-handed pitching. He's here to stay. … Lineup and ballpark environment keep Alex Rodriguez and Michael Cuddyer this high, though neither player has done much with the bat. … I took a lot of guff for the Adam Dunn $16 tag in the last outfield shuffle (he qualifies there too, obviously). I'm not going to debate this one, gamers. Either you see the risks here or you don't. Dunn hasn't gone out of his way to debate the rank: he's .132/.303/.264 since we had that filibuster, with two home runs in 15 games.

The Allen Craig bit has been played, too. Hey, I like him a lot, too. It's not like an $18 tag is a slap in the face. But he doesn't run, he's injury prone, and he doesn't have a clear roster position when Lance Berkman comes back. If and when these issues are smoothed over, sure, I'll push him into the $20s. And heck, Craig is only hitting .258 in the last month. Someone's getting him out.

$15 Michael Morse
$15 Eric Hosmer
$15 Freddie Freeman
$15 Ike Davis
$15 Ryan Zimmerman
$14 Ryan Howard
$14 Corey Hart
$14 Logan Morrison
$14 Tyler Colvin
$14 Pedro Alvarez
$14 Justin Morneau
$13 Will Middlebrooks
$12 Carlos Lee
$12 Michael Young
$12 Garrett Jones
$11 Howie Kendrick
$11 Mike Aviles
$11 Jed Lowrie
$11 Casey McGehee

In a perfect world we'd all have a part-time caddy for Justin Morneau, and I'm not talking about Fluff Cowan or Stevie Williams. There are some extreme splits at work here. Morneau is a masher against righties (.960 OPS, nine homers) and on the road (.856 OPS, nine homers), but it all falls apart against lefties (.124/.160/.202, two homers) and at Target Field (.221/.289/.352, two homers). At minimum, you need to make sure he's not playing against left-handed starters. And if he pushes his overall average over .260 at some point, maybe you can find someone to buy into his complete package of stats — washing yourself of the headache entirely.

Carlos Lee can still make contact, but the power left the building a while ago. His best selling point for the Marlins: he's a lot better than Gaby Sanchez. Lee will probably have respectabble run-production numbers because he'll get a decent batting slot in Miami … If you missed the Week of Tyler Colvin, please click through. I can't see how a hobbling Helton is going to block Colvin's playing time in the second half. And I wouldn't be surprised if his rank continued to rise in the second half.

Garrett Jones is one of those players who is more valuable in roto than in real life, especially if you can platoon him on your fake teams (similar to the Morneau case). Jones has a .272/.293/.528 slash against right-handed pitching, and although the OBP is downright ugly, that's not really a concern in 5x5 leagues. Worry about the categories that count — the average is fine, the pop is handy. … I know Ryan Zimmerman has been sizzling since he had the miracle cortisone, but I'm still glad I don't own him — and I still have no clue where to rank him. No one does.

$10 Kevin Youkilis
$10 Adam LaRoche
$10 Kendrys Morales
$10 Chase Headley
$10 Jim Thome*
$9 Kyle Seager
$9 Chris Davis
$9 Adam Lind
$8 Lucas Duda
$8 Chipper Jones
$8 Brandon Belt
$7 Daniel Murphy
$7 Brandon Moss
$7 Todd Frazier
$6 Bryan LaHair
$6 Jenna von Oÿ
$5 Carlos Pena
$5 Mark Reynolds
$4 Travis Hafner*

I'm hoping to be at Fenway Park next Monday, ostensibly to let Kevin Youkilis know that he's let all of us down. Okay, I'll keep that to myself. I'm there to enjoy the park and overpay for concessions. The injury risk of Fred G. Sanford keeps him at a modest price, though his value did improve simply from getting out of a toxic personal situation. … I've put Jim Thome and Travis Hafner into this mix, although neither has a position in the Yahoo! game. I still think Thome has a chance to knock 12-14 homers in the second half. …I was going to give Todd Frazier the six-dollar tag, then I kicked him up a buck because of the Sinatra walk-up music.

$3 Yonder Alonso
$3 Casey Kotchman
$2 Ryan Roberts
$2 Chris Johnson
$2 Wilson Betemit
$2 John Mayberry
$2 Jerry Hairston Jr.
$2 Jordan Pacheco
$2 Tyler Moore
$2 Chris Carter
$1 Ty Wigginton
$1 Luke Scott
$1 Chris Nelson
$1 Brandon Inge
$1 Alberto Callaspo
$1 Juan Rivera
$1 Jeff Keppinger
$0 Todd Helton
$0 Sean Rodriguez
$0 Placido Polanco
$0 Scott Rolen
$0 Jose Lopez
-$1 James Loney
-$2 Justin Smoak

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