Multiple Positions, always useful.
So here we go, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to talk late valuable options you want and want to avoid like the kid with braces eating tuna salad. Look at your team. Now look at me. Now back to your team. Now back to me. Who are your stars? Who are your next-to-sure things? Injury risks, sleepers, post-hype prospects, year 27 breakouts, etc etc blah blah blah. But think of the winning team in most leagues and I’d fancy a bet that there is a guy on that team that proved more valuable than any of these other picks. The Swiss Army Knife player. Multiple positions (and usually helpful ones), jack-of-all trades types who perform consistently and offer not just a back-up plan, but a strategic long-running game plan. I had Chone Figgins one year when my 3B went down. For 3 weeks, that fast lil’ bugger carried me as he went on a tear from his usual consistency. There are many players that emerge as seasons progress, as teams change. Sometimes its hard to keep up with who’s playing where. Let us help clarify things (and for an explanation of why ducks are good, watch this episode please)
DUCK: Martin Prado (ADP: 208.47)
What can you say, the guy can hit (38 Doubles is something that tickles my fancy), has great ratios (59:36 K:BB ratio) and has a spot in a what looks to be a fairly good Atlanta lineup. He is eligible at 1B, 2B and 3B in most leagues. Here’s a guy you can take in the late teens who can provide both his own pop, and some runs to boot. I like guys like Prado, because he doesn’t kill you, but not in a Placido Polanco way….
Prado has the pop to remain relevant, regardless of where you slide him in (and those 3 position guys.) His BB/K ratio is great, so sticking him never seems to hurt you. I argue he is more valuable in many ways to a team than a ‘backup’ at the position, say for example James Loney as a 1B (ADP 179.20) almost 30 picks higher in some cases. I just mean to emphasize the value of a player like Prado, strategically, so draft accordingly.
DUCK: Mark Teahen. Yup, him. (ADP: 313.25)
Maybe its some long seeded man-crush of yesteryear (circa 2006), I can’t really explain it. I know the experts point his low flyball rate etc etc, but I think Teahen has a nice stroke and 3 position eligibility (1B, 3B, OF as a primary 3B) in a notorious hitters ballpark (where balls fly out especially in the summer, which is when Teahen has been good, when he’s been good). Maybe I read too much into this, but I see Teahen as an interesting snag in the late round to keep around on your bench. Or you could just be cursing me out in a few weeks as Ozzie Guillen chews him out. But I maintain stubbornly that Teahen is a good baseball player.
DUCK: Skip Schumaker (ADP: 333.83)
Shoe has a great baseball name. Just straight out of a video game or Matt Christopher novel. He also has a great spot in a good lineup (previously mentioned here) to score you a ton of cheap runs. After working his butt off to play 2B, we reap the benefits of his 2B/OF positioning dream for a handy tool player. Your overpriced 2B stud goes down (Kinsler’s a real jerk)? Got a stopgap. OF has a day off? Grab Shoe off the pine for a few runs (projected 2010 runs: 80. With 30 doubles and minimal K’s, according to CBS, and a hollow.300-ish BA, according to anyone who watches baseball). As a late round lunchbox in a deep league? I’ll take the shoe that fits… is what I would have said if this blog was totally lame. Skip’s under the Pujols blessing, with Ludwick, and patron saint Yadier, so I say, take the security of Pujols providing for the collection of useful players on the team (Felipe Lopez, the aforementioned Molina, Colby Rasmus all come to mind). They all have the benefit of being in the presence of greatness. Yes I worship at the Alter of the Big Red Goatee.
DUCK: Garrett Jones (ADP 188.61)
As a post-hype prospect, Jones came exploding onto the scene in the fantasy world last year as he lit up PNC Park with 21 home runs in just 82 games. Slated to hit third in the Pirates lineup, in between Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Doumit he will have ample opportunity to continue his power surge and RBI opportunities. Obviously I am not saying Jones will crush 40 home runs (like his 2009 pace) but I think he is a legit candidate to hit 30. Grabbing Jones and stashing him as a 3rd or 4th outfielder could prove a worthy late round acquisition.
GOOSE: Mark DeRosa (ADP 167.4)
As much of a Swiss Army Knife as Mark DeRosa is, he has really only put together one great season in his career…and he is now 35. That season was in Texas, a notorious bandbox. Fortunately for DeRosa, he parlayed that big season into a hefty contract from the Cubs, and, in his defense put together a few pretty good seasons in the Windy City. However, his days playing in bandboxes and stacked lineups are definitely over. San Francisco gives DeRosa the opportunity to play a multitude of different positions but the key is that he is NOT projected to start for the Giants. With Freddy Sanchez and Kung-Fu Panda deeply entrenched at 2nd and 3rd base, respectively, DeRosa is going to need to find at bats in the outfield. Any way you look at it, there is no justification for drafting a player not projected to start unless he is a prospect expected to be called up (Matt Wieters, Stephen Strasburg, etc.). Stay away from Mark DeRosa.