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 by Average Draft Position (ADP) and/or Rotoworld’s 2015 season projections 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 2015 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
Health is obviously the biggest factor for both of these guys. Ramirez has played in 371 games the last three years, while Tulowitzki has played in just 264. Take it back five years and the margin narrows a bit, with Ramirez leading 605 games to 529. From a production standpoint, Tulo is the bigger sure thing, at least as long as he plays half of his games in Coors Field. That could yet change, but if he ever does get traded, it seems more likely to be an offseason deal than one taking place at the trade deadline. Ramirez hasn’t been quite as consistent offensively. However, this is his first time in a hitter’s park in Fenway, and he gets the best supporting cast of his life, hitting cleanup with Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz ahead of him and Pablo Sandoval and Mike Napoli behind. So, I have Hanley as a little bit better of a bet to stay healthy and Tulo as a little bit better of a bet in the power department. What it really comes down to is steals: Ramirez still runs a bit, swiping 45 bases the last three years. Tulo, once a 20-steal guy in 2009, is a non-factor there now, having gone 4-for-7 in steals the last three years. That pulls Ramirez ahead in my projections. – Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot)
We know two things about Tulowitzki. The first is that he really has trouble staying healthy, having played fewer than 100 games two out of the last three seasons while averaging just 88 games over that stretch. The second is that, when he is healthy, he’s one of the elite hitters in the game. Tulo sports a ridiculous .323/.408/.566 batting line with 46 homers and 134 RBI over the last two seasons, and he’s topped Ramirez in fantasy value both of those years despite all the missed time. Ramirez hasn’t exactly been a bastion of health himself, averaging just 116 games over the last four seasons. Plus, while he’s certainly displayed the ability to be a fantastic hitter, he hasn’t done so with nearly the level of consistency that Tulowitzki has. I’ve already purchased Ramirez in our Mock Auction, so clearly I don’t have an aversion to owing the Red Sox’ new left fielder. But while the gap here isn’t wide for me, all things being equal, I’d prefer taking the gamble on the guy who’s the better bet at the plate. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)