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 2014 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 2014 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
Davis was undoubtedly one of the best values of 2013. But with the notoriety that comes with mashing 53 home runs and driving in 138 runs also comes a decrease in value. At his current ADP of 7.2, Davis would have to recreate his 2013 season to justify the price tag. To say that's improbable is an understatement: in the past 10 years, only Barry Bonds in 2004 hit more fly balls among players with a home run to fly ball ratio of 29% or above. In simpler terms, Davis hit a lot of fly balls and an inordinate number of them landed in the bleachers. With some normalization, more of those fly balls will become outs in 2014, meaning Davis' batting average -- even with his monster first half, Davis only finished with a .286 average last season -- and power numbers will suffer. Where Davis is a question mark, Votto is the picture of stability, an important quality when drafting in the early rounds. You can count on the 30-year-old for 20-plus home runs, 100 runs and a .300 average annually, and he'll even throw in a few stolen bases for good measure. Votto won't touch Davis' home run totals, but his game is more well-rounded; Votto aims to produce runs in all forms as an offensive player. Fortunately for you, all runs are created equal. Take the sure thing. – Nathan Grimm (@Nate_Grimm)
Votto has registered a ridiculous .450 on-base percentage in 1,201 plate appearances since the beginning of the 2012 season and probably has the best hitting approach of any one player in Major League Baseball. A patient demeanor is the smartest kind of demeanor in this sport, and his impact is celebrated by baseball’s more advanced batting statistics. But the large majority of fantasy leagues keep it simple when it comes to selecting scoring categories and Davis does simple stats better than just about anyone. Take the 2013 season as a prime example. Votto led the majors in plate appearances with 726 and drew the most walks (135) of any big league hitter, but it was Davis who finished at the top of the leaderboard for both home runs (53) and RBI (138). Votto, despite stepping to the plate more than anyone else, totaled just 24 home runs and 73 RBI. You’re not looking for walks on draft day. You’re looking for tangible power numbers. – Drew Silva (@drewsilv)