Often times in the midst of your draft, you’ll find yourself deciding between a couple players at the same position. With Player Showdowns, we take two players who are closely ranked by Average Draft Position (ADP) and/or Rotoworld’s 2013 season projections and have writers take a side and debate who should be selected first. Whose side will you be on?
We’ll offer up one Showdown per position (catcher, first base, second base, shortstop, third base, outfield, starter and reliever) here, and you can get dozens more by purchasing the 2013 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
With Ramirez and Reyes, we have a battle of former teammates. Ramirez is coming off an uneven season in which he batted .257/.322/.437 with 24 home runs, 92 RBI, 24 stolen bases and a .759 OPS between the Marlins and Dodgers. Meanwhile, Reyes was excellent after getting off to a slow start last year, hitting .287/.347/.433 with 11 home runs, 57 RBI, 40 stolen bases and a .780 OPS. Unfortunately he only finished with 86 runs scored, but that was mostly due to the lousy supporting cast around him in Miami. Things should be better now that he'll sit atop a talented lineup in Toronto, but I'm a bit worried about how his hamstrings will hold up on the artificial turf at Rogers Centre. Ramirez's strikeout rate has increased in each of the last two seasons, so maybe he won't be a .300 hitter again, but he still offers 20-20 potential out of the shortstop position. He's also likely to drive in more runs, as Reyes has never topped 81 RBI in a season. And that was back in 2006. The Dodgers may eventually move Ramirez back to third base where he likely belongs, but he's my No. 2 fantasy shortstop this season behind Troy Tulowitzki. - D.J. Short (@djshort)
On the surface, here are two very frustrating players. Reyes? He’s always hurt. Hanley? He’s always off in his own world. Who can you trust to stay healthy, and be consistent? The answer may not be as complicated as you think. Since Ramirez won the National League batting title with a .342 average in 2009, he’s hit just .269/.346/.438 with a 111 OPS+. Compare that to a .301/.350/.450 slash (and 118 OPS+) for Reyes. Based on those averages alone, of course you’d rather have Reyes. But certainly his numbers were compiled over a much smaller sample size because of his propensity for injury, right? Wrong. Reyes has actually averaged more games than Ramirez over the past three seasons, suiting up an average of 140 times to Ramirez’s 130. In addition to every triple slash number, Reyes has Hanley soundly beaten in every standard fantasy category except home runs and RBI (for the record, Reyes has 30 more extra-base hits than Ramirez since 2010). He’s scored more runs (270 to 226) and stolen far more bases (109 to 73). Throw in the fact that he’ll now be batting atop one of the league’s most dangerous lineups in perhaps its most hitter-friendly division, and you have a player who looks far more reliable and productive than his former teammate. – Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat)