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.
Give me Springer over practically anyone. He’s my No. 5 outfielder this year, and it’s not hard to envision him finishing the year in the top three. In 683 major league at-bats to date, he’s hit 36 homers and stolen 21 bases. Sure, that’s a bit more than one full season’s worth of games, but as the Astros’ likely No. 2 hitter in between Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, he’s in position to get nearly that many at-bats in 2016 alone if he can stay completely healthy. Even if he does miss some time (and my projection calls on him to miss 15 games or so), he’d still have time to hit 30 homers and approach the century mark in both runs and RBI. There simply aren’t many more favorable situations in baseball than hitting second for the Astros right now. Springer shouldn’t be much of a liability in batting average, either. He went from striking out in 33 percent of his plate appearances as a rookie to 24 percent last year, raising his average from .231 to .276 in the process. I don’t expect him to improve on that this year, but he can be a big asset in four categories and not hurt teams in the other one. – Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot)
Springer is a tantalizing talent with the ability to rack up counting stats in bunches. He possesses that rare combination of power and speed that fantasy owners are always hunting for, and he bats in the heart of a very good lineup. He's also in the thick of the typical baseball prime age-wise, having turned 26 years old last September. But you know what? All of those same things can be said about Marte. The 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic racked up 19 home runs, 81 RBI, 30 stolen bases, and 84 runs scored in 153 games last season for the Pirates, ranking near the very top tier of fantasy outfielders. Compare that to Springer's 16 homers, 41 RBI, 16 steals, and 59 runs in 102 games (he did miss nearly two months with a fractured right wrist). Marte has done this now for three years at the major league level, while Springer is basically just beginning his big league career. And there is probably still some upside for Marte to tap into. Of course you could say the same about Springer. I like both players a whole lot in 2016, but give me the more proven commodity. – Drew Silva (@drewsilv)