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Showdown: Andrus vs. Crawford

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Often 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 2016 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 2016 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.

 

 

Elvis Andrus vs. Brandon Crawford

 

Andrus

 

Quick, guess who finished last season as the No. 3 ranked fantasy shortstop behind Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Correa. Troy Tulowitzki? Nope. Francisco Lindor? Guess again. It couldn't be Andrus, could it? Indeed it could. Andrus saw his average and runs total drop again in 2015 and had a three-year low in stolen bases, but he made up for it with a career high in home runs and an RBI total that was tied for his second best. Crawford, meanwhile, had a breakout season in the power department, but Andrus bested him in average and runs and easily outdistanced him in steals, giving him the higher fantasy value. The Giants shortstop has grown as a hitter, but some regression in his home run and RBI totals is likely for a guy who hits a lot of ground balls and who plays in the toughest park in the majors for left-handed power. You're probably going to be underwhelmed if you look at Andrus' career stats, but he never gets hurt (he's averaged 153 games played in his seven seasons), allowing him to quietly compile numbers that will help your fantasy squad. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)

 

Crawford

 

I get the hesitation to believe in Crawford’s breakout. Mostly known for his excellent defense at shortstop, the 29-year-old established new career-highs with 21 home runs and 84 RBI last season. He had never hit more than 10 home runs in a season before, so this feels like an obvious regression situation. While I’d feel better forecasting another 20-homer season if he hit the ball in the air more often and played in a hitter-friendly home park, keep in mind that he was ninth in the majors last season in average fly ball distance. It’s hard to discount that. He also made some encouraging strides against right-handed pitching. Even if Crawford settles somewhere around 15 home runs in 2016, he has a chance to be one of the top fantasy shortstops. Speaking of hitting the ball in the air more often, that’s what we saw from Andrus last season, but the difference here is that it resulted in just seven home runs and another decrease in his batting average and on-base percentage. Andrus has reached 21 stolen bases in each of his seven seasons in the majors, but it’s hard to see much upside otherwise, especially since he no longer hits near the top of the Rangers’ lineup. I’ll go with the guy who has some momentum coming into 2016. - D.J. Short (@djshort)

 

PREVIOUS SHOWDOWNS:

Perez vs. Mesoraco

Abreu vs. Rizzo

Dozier vs. Rendon






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