Showdown: A-Rod vs. ZimmermanSunday, March 04, 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.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Ryan Zimmerman
Obviously, both Rodriguez and Zimmerman are coming off down years, but Rodriguez's rebound potential is the greater of the two. Before 2011, he had finished with 30 homers and 100 RBI in 13 straight seasons. Zimmerman has had one season in which he's reached both of those marks. And while Rodriguez probably doesn't have any additional MVP-type seasons left at age 36, there's no reason he can't get back to 30 homers and 100 RBI easily enough. He still has Yankee Stadium and the excellent Yankee lineup working in his favor, and since the Bombers aren't employing a full-time DH, it'll be easier to keep him healthy by sticking him there once per week. I expect Zimmerman to have a nice season, but if A-Rod plays in 140 games, he'll be the better of the two. – Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot)
With Rodriguez and Zimmerman, we have two third baseman who missed significant time last season due to injury. But otherwise we're talking about two players at very different points in their respective careers. Rodriguez is 36 years old and trending downward, though his .295/.366/.485 batting line and .852 OPS from the first half of last season is evidence that he still has the talent to outproduce most fantasy third baseman. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Zimmerman is in the midst of his prime seasons and batted .306/.361/.460 with an .821 OPS after the All-Star break last season, despite many feeling as though he rushed back from abdominal surgery. Zimmerman had a career-low 33.8 percent fly ball rate in 2011 (37.8 percent career average), but I'm optimistic he'll be more like himself now that he's a year removed from surgery. Rodriguez underwent a blood spinning procedure on his right knee in Germany this winter at the advice of Kobe Byrant, but unless this doctor is a true miracle worker, he can't stop father time. Zimmerman is no iron man, either, but odds are he'll play more games and deliver more value. - D.J. Short (@djshort)
Ramirez vs. Reyes
Pedroia vs. Kinsler
Cabrera vs. Pujols
Posey vs. Santana