Oftentimes 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.
Additional Outfield Showdowns you can find in the 2012 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide include Josh Hamilton vs. Giancarlo Stanton, B.J. Upton vs. Nelson Cruz, Jay Bruce vs. Carl Crawford, Ichiro Suzuki vs. Adam Jones, Lance Berkman vs. Jayson Werth and Colby Rasmus vs. Jose Tabata.
Carlos Gonzalez vs. Jacoby Ellsbury
CarGo was one of the best fantasy players on the planet in 2010 in a breakout season for the talented young outfielder. That his still-terrific showing in 2011 was considered a disappointment shows you what kind of upside the guy has. He still slugged 26 homers and stole 20 bases last year despite over 100 fewer at-bats than he had the previous year, and he also fell just short of the .300 mark. By all accounts, he’s arrived at spring training in fantastic shape and looking to return to MVP-worthy numbers in 2012. If you think Ellsbury’s power breakout in 2011 was totally legit, then he’s probably the wiser choice, as he offers more from a stolen base perspective. But, given that he more than tripled his previous career high in longballs, I’m inclined to believe a fairly significant drop in his home run output is coming. CarGo I think is the safer fantasy option, and he has as much upside as any hitter in the game. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)
There’s soothing concerns about your future, and then there’s what Jacoby Ellsbury did in 2011. Limited to 18 games in 2010 by a mysterious, recurring rib injury, Ellsbury not only answered any questions about his game last season, he redefined his career and established himself as one of the pre-eminent talents in all of baseball. Although he stole “just” 39 bases after swiping 70 in 2009, he shattered the mold everywhere else, setting new career highs in (take a deep breath): batting average (.321), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.552), doubles (46), home runs (32) and RBI (102). Along the way, he led Major League Baseball in plate appearances (732) and total bases (364). A 2011 flyball rate that was only slightly better than his career average suggests Ellsbury’s power surge was more the result of good fortune than anything else, but that shouldn’t dampen your outlook on one of baseball’s most exciting fantasy players. Leading off one of the game’s most dangerous lineups, Ellsbury will be at worst a No. 1 outfielder this season, and at best the year’s top fantasy player. – Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat)
A-Rod vs. Zimmerman
Ramirez vs. Reyes
Pedroia vs. Kinsler
Cabrera vs. Pujols
Posey vs. Santana