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 2016 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 2016 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
In opting for Perez over Mesoraco here, I’m ultimately choosing security. Perez has his faults, sure. He is one of the most impatient hitters in baseball and also can’t run a lick. However, he’s about as bankable as they come at the catcher position, having averaged 143 games played, 17 homers and 73 RBI while hitting .270 over the last three seasons. I will concede that Mesoraco’s ceiling is higher. We don’t have to travel back too far (2014) to see that that’s the case. I’m very leery about investing too much in him in 2016, though. The Reds catcher was limited to just 23 games last season due to a nagging hip injury and eventually underwent surgery last June. Mesoraco’s rehab has reportedly gone swimmingly and he expects to be ready to go for Opening Day. That’s all well and good, but how much can you really trust any player coming back from major hip surgery, let alone a guy who squats for a living? At the end of the day, the downside with Mesoraco is just too much to overcome what upside he might have over Perez. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)
There's so much to like about Salvy Perez as a real-world baseball player that it feels somewhat wrong to craft any sort of argument against him. He's a terrific defender, he provides a massive, steady target for the entire Royals pitching staff, and he is now a World Series champion. But the sacrifices he makes behind the plate are going to haunt him in the long run, and we've probably already seen some of that in the way his OPS+ has fallen year-over-year since he debuted in 2011. The power numbers have improved, but Perez isn't ever going to be a 30-homer guy. Mesoraco, on the other hand, carried 30-homer projections into 2015 and probably would have reached that plateau if not for a nagging hip injury that eventually required surgery. Mesoraco will carry a clean bill of health into the 2016 season and I like him to bounce back in a big way with the help of Great American Ball Park, one of the most slugger-friendly home hitting environments in the majors. Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium is on the other end of that spectrum. If I'm building a real baseball team, I want Perez. For fantasy, give me Mez. – Drew Silva (@drewsilv)