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.
Well, Kinsler has the early leg up here since he’s actually employed by an MLB team. We can’t say the same for Nunez, though I suspect that won’t be the case for much longer. Something has to give sooner or later, right? So I’m making some assumptions here, not only that Nunez will latch on with a team soon, but that he’ll have a regular role. If things happen as they should, I can’t see how Nunez doesn’t deserve the edge in fantasy leagues. While he’ll never be a very patient hitter, Nunez actually cut down on his strikeouts last season and has established himself as a strong contributor in the batting average department. He’s stolen 64 bases over the past two seasons despite missing a large chunk of last season due to injury. Only six players have stolen more bases in that time. Nunez has reached double-digit homers over the past two seasons, so he’s a useful across-the-board contributor at this point. And just as a nice bonus, he’s multi-position eligible in most leagues. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 35-year-old Kinsler rebound with the Angels — it’s unlikely he’ll have a .244 BABIP again — but the younger Nunez is the superior all-around option. - D.J. Short (@djshort)
One of the reasons I go with Kinsler over Nunez is I'm exactly sure what I'm (probably) going to get from him in 2018. I know he's going to hit at or near the top of the Angels lineup, and I know he's going to steal 15-to-20 bases, hit 15-to-20 homers and have a chance to get knocked in a lot by the best player in baseball and an improved Los Angeles lineup. Yes, he struggled last year and he'll turn 36, but I'll bet on the average going up and the power remaining the same for the Halos. Nunez is certainly a nice player because of the steals and is more likely to hit for average, but he doesn't provide the power, and at this point we don't know where he'll hit, or even where he's going to play. If Nunez signs with a team that guarantees him 500 plate appearances and the chance to score runs at the top of the lineup, I'd call this close. For now, I prefer the safety of Kinsler. – Christopher Crawford (@Crawford_MILB)