I need your help. I need to keep 5 from last years team. Which 5 should I keep?
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Thanks for all your help, Phil
Thanks for the question. You are faced with the same dilemma of most keeper-league managers heading into a new season. What should you expect from your players in 2010 and should you sacrifice stats for youth in the coming year?
I think three of your keepers are quite apparent from the get-go. Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, and Joey Votto should all be kept from the start.
Jose Reyes is coming off a lost season due to injury but is still one of the top shortstops in the game. Since shortstop is such a thin position you need to keep your good SS so you don't give the other managers in your league an advantage during your draft. Generally, you want to keep players that will give you a bigger advantage over your league-mates.
Grady Sizemore gives you the same as Reyes in the outfield position. He is a 30/30 threat when healthy and gives you a big advantage over your counterparts.
As for Joey Votto, he is still relatively young and had an amazing year in 2009 even though he didn't play the whole season. First base is pretty deep this season so it isn't necessary to keep a 1B but Votto offers some serious stats. I wouldn't be surprised to see him near 30 home runs and stay around .300 avg.
Now comes the fun part. Should you keep old guys over the newbies?
Alfonso Soriano should not be kept. He is declining in all aspects of the game so let someone else pick him up. Garrett Jones had an impressive rookie campaign but you already have a top-notch 1B and don't buy into the hype of a 40 HR season.
Jayson Werth is an interesting story. He had a career year in 2009 and saw his asking price rise sharply in this year's mock drafts. I would suggest keeping Werth at this point. You would have a killer outfield with Werth and Sizemore but you could also trade Werth if you are scared of his age and want to capitalize on his value.
As for your last keeper, I would suggest holding onto Matt Wieters. He is a young, talented catcher who will see increased playing time in 2010. He should bat near .300 with increased production all-around. Compared to other catchers in 2010, Wieters is near the top, especially in keeper leagues. He will offer significant returns over other catchers available in your league.
Now for my (probably unpopular) decision. First off, drop Jake Peavy and Rich Harden. Peavy will be playing in the American League next season and will no longer be in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Yes, he is a great pitcher, but your other keepers offer significant returns over your competitors. As for Harden, he's an injury risk every season and probably won't pitch more than 27 starts. He's good when he's healthy...but he's never healthy.
I suggest you drop Stephen Strasburg. It will be an unpopular decision but I think you must do it if you want to win next season. The kid has electric stuff but he hasn't pitched in the major leagues yet. If you are really in love with him, drop him and redraft him. But I think the best advantage to dropping Strasburg will be gained from someone else overpaying for him in your draft.
Keep: Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore, Joey Votto, Jayson Werth, Matt Wieters
Drop: Garrett Jones, Alfonso Soriano, Jake Peavy, Rich Harden, Stephen Strasburg