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.
Joe Mauer vs. Buster Posey
Mauer versus Posey all comes down to position to me. I have them producing quite similarly, with Mauer's advantage in average balancing out Posey's homers. Mauer, though, as a full-time first baseman and No. 3 hitter, has a great chance of getting 680-700 plate appearances. Posey, still primarily a catcher, has never had more than 610. Posey also has the greater chance of suffering a catastrophic injury, though, ideally, the new measures to prevent plate collisions will result in fewer major injuries for catchers. Mauer has had his share of physical problems as a catcher, but I think he's about as good of a bet to stay healthy as the typical first baseman at his new position. He's hit at least .319 in five of the last six seasons, and he's coming off one of his better seasons for power (35 doubles, 11 homers in just 445 at-bats). He's my No. 1 "catcher." – Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot)
Moving from catcher to first base should help Mauer eclipse the 150-games-played plateau for the first time in his major league career and as one of baseball’s most complete hitters he will probably again produce a batting average well above .300 and an on-base percentage north of .400. But fantasy baseball is more about counting stats (like home runs, runs scored, RBI) than rate stats (like batting average, slugging percentage, OBP) and Posey has simply filled the box score more than Mauer in recent years. Posey, 26, boasts 39 home runs, 175 RBI and 139 runs scored in 296 games since the beginning of the 2012 season. Mauer, 30, has 21 homers, 132 RBI and 143 runs in 260 games over that same span. Another factor in this debate is that the Giants are a much better team than the Twins, meaning there will be more runs and RBI to go around. The post-concussion concerns you get with Mauer are the final check mark for Posey. – Drew Silva (@drewsilv)