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 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 2018 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
Carlos Correa vs. Francisco Lindor
Oh, boy. It doesn’t get much tougher than this, which mostly means that you are splitting hairs between these guys and will probably be in great shape no matter who you draft. However, I’m going with Correa because I still think we haven’t seen his ceiling as a fantasy performer. This is partially a gut feeling, but it’s one that I think will resonate with fantasy owners. Correa took a step forward offensively last year, but a torn thumb ligament cost him about six weeks and robbed him what could have been a monster season. His drop-off in speed could have been related to him batting third and fourth in a loaded Astros lineup, but it’s not like we should complain about that. He’s in an awesome situation. As for Lindor, he surprised just about everyone with his power spike last season. It was driven by a huge uptick in his fly ball rate, but it still feels like a lot to ask him to hit 33 homers again. Lindor will probably have the edge in steals and runs scored, but I see them as a potential wash in batting average, so this ultimately comes down to what I think Correa could do as a run producer if he stays healthy for a full season. 2018 could be special. - D.J. Short (@djshort)
I try not to make it a habit of arguing against a player as superb as Correa, a guy who any fantasy owner should be thrilled to have in 2018. But, we’re talking about two elite shortstops here and I slightly prefer Lindor. It’s mainly because Lindor looks like a much better bet in the category that’s most difficult to find these days -- stolen bases. The 24-year-old fell back to 15 steals in 2017 after swiping 19 bags in 2016, but he’s a pretty good bet to return to around 20 thefts in 2018 with his on-base percentage likely to rise, creating more opportunities. His OBP should go up because Lindor is not going to hit .273 again, as he was terribly unlucky last year with a .275 BABIP after he posted BABIPs of .348 in 2015 and .324 in 2016. Correa might be a better bet in the power categories since he’s in a superior lineup and Lindor’s flyball rate spike from last season could come down a bit. But, it’s Lindor by a hair for me here since he offers across-the-board production. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)