Fantasy Baseball Duel: Shortstops

Feb 23, 2011

By Alex Mazalatis
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Time to take away all the bias, all the perception and present the stats. There are many factors to include when deciding between two players, but this article is designed to get you to think outside the box.
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2010 Totals:
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Player A
.315 BA, 89 runs, 27 HRs, 95 RBI,11 SBs, 267 total bases, .949 OPS
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Player B
.300 BA, 92 runs, 21 HRs, 76 RBI, 32 SBs, 258 total bases, .853 OPS
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2009 Totals:
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Player A
.297 BA, 101 runs, 32 HRs, 92 RBI,20 SBs, 300 total bases, .930 OPS
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Player B
.342 BA, 101 runs, 24 HR, 106 RBI, 27 SBs, 313 total bases, .954 OPS
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Player A has combined for 59 home runs the past two seasons, compared with Player B having 45. Player B has the advantage with regards to speed, netting 41 stolen bases compared to 18. If I were to give you the choice of who to select, I’m assuming the majority would select Player A.
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Player A is Troy Tulowitkzki and Player B is Hanley Ramirez.
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Key factors to consider:
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In 2010, Tulo hit .339 with 15 HRs at home and .291 with 12 HRs away. Since the 2009 ASB, Tulo has hit .323 with 43 home runs. Hanley has a career average of .313 and 26 HRs. Hanley has only missed 52 games in the past five seasons.
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This is a classic case of risk reward. Hanley has been the prime example of consistency since he was traded from Boston. On the other hand, Tulo has proven his worth, but can he stay on the field? In only 122 games last year Tulo was able to put up very comparable numbers to his impressive 2009 151 game season. Add 30 games for Tulo last year and what would his numbers have looked like?
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Is the risk worth the reward? Where are you selecting him in your draft? How much is he going for? Shortstop is a very scarce position, and being able to lock one of these guys into your lineup is always a good thing. However, there are too many question marks for me to select Tulo over Hanley.
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Tulo has averaged 125 games played in the past three years. In the early rounds, it is always safer to select players who has been consistent, and selecting Hanley over Tulo is still the best bet. Hanley is one season removed from his 24/104/.342 campaign and 15 of Tulo’s 27 home runs were in the one month. I still consider Tulo a first rounder, and would be happy to have him on my team, but selecting him higher or purchasing him for more than Hanley is simply the wrong move.
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Alex Mazalatis of NY, NY has been a fantasy sports enthusiast since 2000. Through the years he was won money, lost money, obtained 3 nicknames, talked lots of trash and wasted an inordinate amount of time deciding who to add and who to drop. Most importantly, he hasn’t found an argument he could lose. He can be reached at amazalatis@gmail.com.
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