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 2019 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
I like both of these guys quite a bit and might give Suarez a slight edge in the power department. However, Rendon holds a substantial edge for me in the batting average category and that’s the separator here. While Suarez did set a new career high with a .283 average last season, he was a career .258 hitter coming into last year. His strikeout rate – while not exorbitant – has sat in the 23.3-24.7 percent range throughout his career. Meanwhile, Rendon possesses one of the elite batting eyes in the game, having never had a strikeout rate higher than 18.1 percent over a full season and boasting a 13.6 percent strikeout rate and 11.6 percent walk rate over the last two campaigns. His career average (.285) is higher than Suarez’s best single-season average and he’s hit .305 since the beginning of 2017. You can’t go wrong with either of these two at the hot corner, but I like the batting average foundation that Rendon gives me. - Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)
Rendon vs. Suarez is a matchup of two guys who hit the ball as hard as anyone in the league. In that sense, you're sort of splitting hairs; the fact that both are not near the very top of the position speaks to the depth in general, not any sort of knock against either one. I do prefer Suarez, though, for a few reasons. Mainly, he only recently truly tapped into his power potential, and it's worth wondering if there's an even higher level he can achieve than the .283/.366/.526 line and 34 homers he produced in 143 games last year. Also, the 27-year-old plays half his games in a super-favorable home park and is expected to anchor a lineup that should, perhaps surprisingly to some, be better than the Nationals' this season. He's also got a less-checkered injury history than Rendon, which counts when you're breaking ties. I don't think this is a slam dunk in either direction, but forced to choose, I'll dream on Suarez. - Nate Grimm (@Nate_Grimm)