Often times 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.
We're talking about a case of two extremes here, with somebody who barely played last season compared to someone who had the most starts (including the postseason) by a catcher in history. I realize I'm taking a leap of faith with Wieters. The 28-year-old got off to a promising start with the bat last season before going down with an elbow injury in early May and eventually undergoing Tommy John surgery in June. Position players usually don't take as long to come back from the procedure as pitchers, but obviously catchers belong in a different category. Last we heard, Wieters was still in the process of ramping up his throwing program, but the Orioles are hopeful that he'll be ready for Opening Day. Fortunately, most fantasy owners have time to see how this situation shakes out. Wieters might have a lighter load behind the plate in the early going with some time at DH mixed in, but those at-bats all count for fantasy. My choice is mostly based on Wieters' power potential and the extra motivation of his walk year. His price tag should also be a little cheaper on draft day. However, some concern over Perez's massive workload from 2014 (and how he struggled down the stretch and into the postseason) was another factor that pushed me in this direction. Hopefully the Royals give him some rest this year. - D.J. Short (@djshort)
Wieters vs. Perez is a pretty close contest, especially if you look at their stats since Perez came into the league in 2011. Both have nearly identical on-base percentages (.316 for Wieters; .315 for Perez) and slugging percentages (.438 to .433) but Wieters has hit for more power (.186 ISO to .148) while Perez has hit for a higher average (.285 to .252). Because they’re so similar, one can typically use one of several tie-breakers to make a decision, such as Wieters’ 72 home runs to Perez’s 44, which certainly provide more fantasy value. One could also look at the players’ respective lineups. Perez isn’t likely to have as many RBI opportunities as Wieters considering the players hitting ahead of him are less skilled in the on-base department, particularly Alcides Escobar and Kendrys Morales. However, Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery in May last season. While he’s expected to be ready for Opening Day, the Orioles aren’t going to lean on him very heavily in the spring. Given how little we know about how injuries still, it’s difficult to confidently make a projection for Wieters. Will a light spring help or hurt him? This is simply my personal preference, but I prefer a conservative style in fantasy baseball. I do not like banking on players who have undergone serious surgeries to immediately return to previous form. The risk – of recurring injury, of declining production – doesn’t seem to be worth the reward of a few extra home runs or a few extra RBI. The early returns seem to indicate this mindset, as Perez is being taken 122nd overall on average while Wieters is taken 170th on average. – Bill Baer (@Baer_Bill)