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.
I’m probably not going to end up with either of these guys in any of my leagues, but I have enough faith in Wainwright’s elbow to give him a slight edge over Greinke. Certainly, Wainwright’s track record in spotless, with three straight seasons of 32 starts since he returned from Tommy John surgery. His strikeout rate fell off last year, but his velocity was fine. It’s just so hard to homer against him, and because he works so deep into games, he always gives himself a chance to win. I wouldn’t count on him being quite as good as last year, and maybe he’ll start coming out of some games earlier as an accommodation to the elbow. I don’t think he’s a top-five fantasy starter this year, but I still put him in the top 10. – Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot)
The debate between Greinke and Wainwright has many checkmarks in Greinke's favor. In the real game, Wainwright gets points for being a bulldog; he's thrown at least 198 2/3 innings in five of the last six seasons, save only for the year he lost to Tommy John surgery. But save for leagues that count complete games or Gutsy Performances, a lot of that stuff is just what makes Wainwright a great pitcher. In our game, the fact that Greinke strikes out hitters at a higher rate, is younger, didn't have offseason elbow surgery and is pitching for a contract makes him a better choice. The last point is especially interesting -- Grienke has the ability to opt out of his contract after this season. After watching Max Scherzer secure a deal with an AAV of $30 million this winter, the 31-year-old Greinke will surely be pitching for a bigger payday as well. It's important to note that the differences are minor; both pitchers are next to elite, and neither would be a bad choice on draft day. It's just that, for a few reasons, Grienke is the better one. – Nathan Grimm (@Nate_Grimm)