Official 2011 Keepers Announcement

The moment that you’ve undoubtedly been pining for is finally here, the announcement of the official SLB Keepers for the 2011 season.

These will be the players on your roster heading into the draft. Changes to your 2011 Keepers between now and the day of the draft are only permitted in the case of a significant injury to one of your selected Keepers.

Levi and Zac/Travis will be selecting their Keepers on draft day in a mini two-man, three-round expansion draft. The selection order for these two will be determined randomly on draft day by a coin toss.

The two will then be given the 13th and 14th spots for draft priority in the overall draft. Whichever one received the first pick in the expansion round will get the 14th priority and whichever one had the second pick in the expansion round will get the 13th priority.

Without any further ado, here are the final 2011 Keepers. See y’all on Saturday!!

Dome Dog
Draft Priority – 12
Troy Tulowitzki – SS – COL
Josh Hamilton – OF – TEX
Justin Verlander – SP – DET

The Commissioner’s Take: No real surprises here. Tulowitzki is a no-brainer here, despite the injury risk. Hamilton is another injury risk, but the Rangers seem committed to him in a corner outfield position rather than CF in an attempt to keep him healthy. Verlander over David Price is a decision some may balk at, but going with the proven track record was probably the right idea in this situation.

The Dominators
Draft Priority – 11
Robinson Cano – 2B – NYY
Ryan Zimmerman – 3B – WAS
Felix Hernandez – SP – SEA

The Commissioner’s Take: These might be my favorite keepers of the bunch. Steven’s got three guys I’m a very big fan and three guys who have been on my roster at some point in recent years. They’re all young and they’re all getting better. Steven is set for years to come with a strong core that figures to be rivaled by few others in the short-term.

Genies in a Bottle
Draft Priority – 10
Hanley Ramirez – SS – FLA
David Wright – 3B – NYM
Jered Weaver – SP – LAA

The Commissioner’s Take: No shock with Hanley, he’s one of the few constants in fantasy baseball. Wright over CarGo was a very tough call—albeit one that probably surprises very few people given my affinity for position scarcity—but one that I feel confident about. The numbers indicate CarGo could be in a sizeable regression with BABIP and home/road splits that are not trending well. He’s a legit talent, but figures to produce nearly the same numbers as Wright, but at a much deeper position. Weaver over Oswalt wasn’t much of a stretch after Weaver’s breakout season.

money grubbers
Draft Priority – 9
Joey Votto – 1B – CIN
Evan Longoria – 3B – TB
Yovani Gallardo – SP – MIL

The Commissioner’s Take: Votto and Longoria shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, as Mike has been very, very vocal about his man-love for both clubbers. They’re both young and they’re both just scratching the surface of what they can do in the bigs. Mike isn’t afraid to play for upside over known value, luckily in this case, he’s getting both in each of these players. Gallardo over Jimenez may surprise a few, but a look at park factors and rotation stability makes an otherwise tough decision a little easier.

cracker jack
Draft Priority – 8
Buster Posey – C/1B – SF
Matt Kemp – OF – LAD
Jon Lester – SP – BOS

The Commissioner’s Take: Interesting pick here as Justin went with Buster Posey—officially the third catcher to serve as a keeper in the last two years—over the likes of borderline keeper-types Adrian Beltre, Brandon Phillips or Jimmy Rollins. Justin was forced to go with the upside potential of Posey following the season-ending injury to Adam Wainwright, so I certainly don’t envy this decision. A solid follow-up to his rookie campaign from Posey and a return to his 2009-form from Kemp will make this seemingly underwhelming set of keepers surprisingly potent. Also Jon Lester is going to win the AL Cy Young. That is all.

j’s team
Draft Priority – 7
Alex Rodriguez – 3B – NYY
Ryan Braun – OF – MIL
Roy Halladay – SP – PHI

The Commissioner’s Take: Much like some of the other guys we’ve already touched on, there was no real surprise here. The only other guy I could have seen Jay hanging onto was Jose Reyes playing in a contract year at age 27, but it’s hard to argue with the production he’s received from Braun and A-Rod over the years. Halladay was a pretty easy slam-dunk choice as well. A very good, but aging set of keepers right here.

S.L. Disappointment
Draft Priority – 6
Ryan Howard – 1B – PHI
Dustin Pedroia – 2B – BOS
Cliff Lee – SP – PHI

The Commissioner’s Take: Another set of keepers with no surprises. I’d actually penciled these three in long before I received Johnny’s patented two phone calls and text at roughly 4:53pm (CST) today. Howard is a power machine, Dusty is coming off an injury-riddled year, but figures to produce like gangbusters atop the Red Sox juggernaut of a lineup. Cliff Lee is, well, Cliff Lee. Solid crew, not the most intimidating, but very consistent.

Draft Priority – 5
Miguel Cabrera – 1B – DET
CC Sabathia – SP – NYY
Cole Hamels – SP – PHI

The Commissioner’s Take: Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally come to the day where someone keeps two pitchers! Granted, if it hadn’t been for the aforementioned injury to Wainwright this would be the second-time in the same year. Nonetheless it was probably the right choice. G-Doggy is now set-up with two aces and one of fantasy baseball’s best sluggers. He’s got an enviable draft position and could make some real noise with this crew.

Radioactive Rush
Draft Priority – 4
Joe Mauer – C – MIN
Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – BOS
Tim Lincecum – SP – SF

The Commissioner’s Take: Grant is now a year-removed from destroying Travis’ dynasty and has a solid set of keepers. He’s got the one of the best catchers in baseball who—if healthy—can post an OBP north of .400 without a problem. He’s got a slugger that I’m predicting to win the AL MVP moving from spacious Petco Park to the cozy confines of Fenway Park and he’s got “The Freak” who will anchor this rotation all year long.

Draft Priority – 3
Albert Pujols – 1B – STL
Prince Fielder – 1B – MIL
Clayton Kershaw – SP – LAD

The Commissioner’s Take: At first glance, you gotta wonder why he’s got two first basemen, then you realize he’ll probably beat everyone in R/HR/RBI/OBP every week and you suddenly get a feel for where his head is at on this one. If nothing else, he’s carrying some serious trade bait. Kershaw is one of the least talked about aces in the game, but figures to do what he does every year…dominate.

38 MPH Heaters
Draft Priority – 2
Ian Kinsler – 2B – TEX
Jason Heyward – OF – ATL
Francisco Liriano – SP – MIN

The Commissioner’s Take: I’m not gonna lie, the Heyward over Matt Holliday pick caught me off-guard. It’s another example of a forward-thinking general manager going with upside over track-record. The scary thing is that all three of these guys are “technically” injury risks and could miss significant time. If/when healthy, they figure to be a very solid, very young group of keepers that could put this team on their backs for much of the year.

Sea Bass v6.0
Draft Priority – 1
Mark Teixeira – 1B – NYY
Kevin Youkilis – 1B – BOS
Tommy Hanson – SP – ATL

The Commissioner’s Take: Craiggers must be wondering why Chase Utley chose this season to finally have a full-on meltdown. After years of powering through nagging injuries, Utley finally looks to be at risk of missing significant time this year and Craiggers had to pass on the shrewdly acquired second-sacker and roll with two first basemen. Youk will gain third base eligibility in a week or so and both figure to produce OBPs near .400 as they each anchor explosive lineups. Hanson is a youngster with ace potential who may finally reach his ceiling this year. Craiggers’ draft priority makes him very, very scary in the early goings.

Keeper Predictions for Expansion Clubs

Last year, I didn’t make any Keeper predictions for the new teams after the official Keepers were announced. At the time it was to avoid swaying the expansion clubs toward any players, but given that we live in an era where sleepers no longer exist and every one of us should be well-aware of every player in the top 400 or so, I’ll go ahead and make some predictions.

I’m basing them off of a randomly chosen (thanks Google!) set of player ranks and I avoided doubling up on two players at the same position, for the sake of realism as I have a hard time imagining any team would want two outfielder keepers (note: although any combination of Matt Holliday, Carl Crawford and Carlos Gonzalez does make for a pretty sexy lineup).

Also for the sake of realism, I flipped a coin to determine which team would get the first pick in the expansion draft—just like we’ll do on draft day—and High Cheese won the coin toss.

High Cheese
Draft Priority – 14
Carlos Gonzalez – OF – COL
Justin Morneau – 1B – MIN
Josh Johnson – SP – FLA

Kato Ball Slappers
Draft Priority – 13
Matt Holliday – OF – STL
Jose Reyes – SS – NYM
Ubaldo Jimenez – SP – COL


3 thoughts on “Official 2011 Keepers Announcement

  1. mike March 20, 2011 / 9:53 am

    i think you are off on the projected keeper picks. just sayin


    • Jeremiah Graves March 20, 2011 / 11:37 am

      Do you ever actually read anything I post or do you just skim it and then start insulting me and telling me I’m wrong?!

      “I’m basing them off of a randomly chosen (thanks Google!) set of player ranks and I avoided doubling up on two players at the same position, for the sake of realism as I have a hard time imagining any team would want two outfielder keepers (note: although any combination of Matt Holliday, Carl Crawford and Carlos Gonzalez does make for a pretty sexy lineup).”

      I took them based off of a random ranking sheet picking the highest rank players.


  2. Steven March 21, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    Don’t make me take you both out back and unintelligently whip you both in drafting Paul Konerko in the first round!!!


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