Friday, September 04, 2009

Advice on 2010 Keepers

posted by Unknown
I recently received the following e-mail request for advice...

Jon- I am a long time reader of your site, and I need some advice.

I know it's early, but I'm in second to last place in my 13 team 5x5 Roto league, and I am thinking about keepers for 2010. We get to keep 6 players. I made some trades lately to bolster my potentials, but I'm still unsure what to do.

Here is my list of potential keepers:

Rivera, Mariano RP NYY
Suzuki, Ichiro RF SEA
Sizemore, Grady CF CLE
Votto, Joey 1B CIN
Choo, Shin-Soo RF CLE
McLouth, Nate CF ATL
Quentin, Carlos LF CHW
Morgan, Nyjer LF WAS
Webb, Brandon SP ARI
DeRosa, Mark 3B/OF STL
Branyan, Russell 1B SEA
Gonzalez, Carlos OF COL

First of all, I know I have too many outfielders. But my biggest two questions are Carlos Quentin and Nyger Morgan. Are they worth keeping over Choo and McLouth? And What about Webb? I'll need a lights out SP next year, but he's a big question mark.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks a lot-

Hey Bill,

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it.

You have plenty of good candidates. It's hard to believe that you finished so low with so many quality players on your roster. I'm guessing your pitching was a problem? Anyway...which six to keep?

The No Brainers
Joey Votto - If he can get past his injury and mental problems he should one of the best.
Ichiro Suzuki - I think he has another high average/high steals season left in him.
Nyjer Morgan - He should recover just fine from the broken finger and hopefully follow up his great debut with a 50 steal season.

Hard to Throw Back
Mariano Rivera - Although he is getting older and the nagging little injuries are popping up more frequently, until he isn't a top three closer I still want him.
Shin-Soo Choo - He has had a fantastic season. The only reason he isn't a no brainer is because he has been very injury prone and this is his first real successful season.
Nate McClouth - He is pretty good when healthy but he is not great and health has been a frequent obstacle. Still, when a player is a 25/20 threat you give him all kinds of chances.
Carlos Quentin - He has serious problems with his heel. Almost exactly the same that ruined a few years of Mark McGwire's career. But he can seriously hit when he's right.
Russell Branyan - The batting average isn't pretty but when a player can approach 40 homers while taking a ton of walks and hitting .250-.260 you love when you can pair him up with guys like Ichiro and Votto who's high averages will more than compensate.
Carlos Gonzalez - He has amazing potential. he could be another 30/30 type of guy. I have trouble believing that will be in 2010 though. But people drool over his tools.

Injured or in Recovery
Grady Sizemore - He's been playing with a bad elbow all season and will require elbow surgery at the end of the year. That makes him very tough to keep but as a first round pick when healthy you can make the case.
Brandon Webb - He was a brilliant starter for his entire career until now. I would not keep him as a pitcher coming off major surgery who is also a free agent.

The Rest

Mark DeRosa - He's a solid player that qualifies all over the field in some leagues. I believe he'll become a free agent but the cardinals should attempt to re-sign him.

I would keep these players:

1B Joey Votto
CR Russell Branyan ( Due to a combination of readers making some excellent points (that I was nuts! see the comments) and retracing my thoughts I may change my mind about this. I was approaching this incorrectly. I was thinking as if this was an auction league and Branyan was an under value keeper. But in a straight draft league you want to keep the players you project to have the highest value. However, I'm still not sure that is Sizemore, due to the significant injury risk. It is still very early and we don't have enough information to pick Sizemore with confidence. I might choose Mariano Rivera or even Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez is going to be a highly sought after commodity in fantasy leagues this year.)
OF Ichiro Suzuki
OF Shin-Soo Choo
OF Nyjer Morgan
OF Carlos Quentin

Then I would be shopping the rest of the guys on this list in hopes of upgrading a keeper or two. This list obviously leaves you very outfield heavy but that isn't the end of the world. You can trade one or even two of those guys with the other players on your roster to teams with fewer keepers. Try to get guys who are obvious first round picks like Pujols, Utley, Hanley and so forth.

Good luck! Let me know if I can help any further.

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Blogger Senior Editor said...

Nice read, Jon, as always. Quentin gettin mad love from you over my bot McLouth, huh? Just in case your readers are in deep keeper leagues, we are running down our Top 25 MLB Fantasy Prospects for 2010 over at


Monday, September 7, 2009 at 9:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Heidi's Tom said...

While I am not a huge sizemore fan he would no doubt be the first player drafted if you cut him. Branyan is a slouch who has had one decent year, is old(35 at start of next year, an extensive injury history(try an average of 77 games per year last 3 years, oh and he is hurt now) and plays a loaded position for a bad team. Keep sizemore and try not to laugh as Branyan doesn't get drafted for 7-10 rounds if at all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 5:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jon Williams said...

I won't argue with you over Sizemore as a worthy keeper. He definitely is worthy of keeping (even with the significant injury risk) and if you kept him instead of Branyan that would definitely be the more generally accepted decision. Where you go wrong is in your evaluation of Branyan. His avg of 77 games per year is based on seasons where he had zero expectations for full time at-bats. That changed this season. He had a few nagging injuries but has more than delivered in his first real opportunity to play everyday. Also, with Sizemore's injury and impending surgery and recovery period, who is to say he won't fall to Bill with HIS first pick?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 6:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik said...

Branyan over Sizemore/Rivera? You're absolutely crazy. Okay Sziemore might fall to Bill with his first pick but Branyan would fall to Bill with his seventh or so pick. When picking keepers you want to keep the most talent and then the players with the most potential. Sizemore is probably a second round talent next year while Branyan is at most a seventh round talent. Why keep Branyan when there is about a five round difference in when they are available.

Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 11:32:00 PM EDT  

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