Showdown: Cabrera vs. PujolsSaturday, February 25, 2012
Often times in the middle 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 2012 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 2012 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Albert Pujols
Purely as hitters, Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols are pretty damn close. Pujols has generally been better, but is also three years older and switching leagues. During the past three seasons, Cabrera has hit .332 with 102 homers, 334 RBI, and a 1.005 OPS in 471 games, while Pujols has hit .313 with 126 homers, 352 RBI, and a 1.007 OPS in 466 games. However, even if you think Pujols will continue to be slightly better at the plate, the fact that Cabrera is moving across the diamond to make room for Prince Fielder significantly changes his value. Once he gets third base eligibility, the scale shifts heavily in Cabrera’s favor, as his bat would suddenly be even more amazing when compared to the other guys at a position where the average production is well below first base. Pujols might still be the better hitter, but Cabrera is the more valuable fantasy asset. – Aaron Gleeman (@aarongleeman)
Pujols had the worst offensive output of his career in 2011, but some of that can be attributed to the forearm fracture that he suffered on a play at first base in June and the rest can be blamed on a poor month of April. Albert has admitted that his lack of success in long-term negotiations with the Cardinals last spring threw him off mentally to begin the year. To me, he’s still the best hitter in baseball by a longshot. And he performs at his highest level when there are people doubting him. Pujols is unlikely to maintain elite numbers over the entirety of his new 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels. But he should be the same old Albert for at least 2012. And that makes him the best first baseman on the board in drafts this spring. – Drew Silva (@drewsilv)
Buster Posey vs. Carlos Santana