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.
Chapman heading into 2018 has the same feeling to me that Craig Kimbrel did heading into the 2017 season. Elite stuff, terrific resume, but one outlier year (being the most recent) to bring down the public opinion. Chapman is still an absolutely dominant force in the ninth inning and he's still set to close out games for perhaps the best team in the American League. The 30-year-old southpaw still puts up monster strikeout numbers and is virtually unhittable when he's locating properly. I don't see any reason why he should be falling out of the elite closers and he should still be drafted as the third or fourth guy off the board. Iglesias, like Chapman, is a dynamic talent in the ninth inning. Sure, he doesn't have the track record to lean on, but he has been every bit as good when given an opportunity in the ninth inning. Where Chapman gets the nod for me is in the elevated strikeout rate and the fact that he'll close out games for a team that should win around 100 games, while Iglesias is slamming the door for a club that may only win 70. – Dave Shovein (@DaveShovein)
After last year’s early shoulder troubles and the August struggles that cost him his spot for a time, Chapman seems pretty risky to me. He’s the top-10 closer most likely to spend time on the disabled list, and while I do believe he’ll be just fine when he’s on the mound, it’s worth noting that the Yankees have the best set of closer alternatives in the business. Iglesias isn’t perfectly safe himself, but he hasn’t had any additional arm problems since the Reds decided to put him in the bullpen. He did fine holding up under a 76-inning workload last year, and the Reds probably won’t ask quite as much of him this year, given that they used him as more of a traditional closer as last year went along. That will allow him to add a few more saves, too. – Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot)