All of the writing for this article was done by Adam Henning.
With the deadline to confirm keepers and SLB Draft ’12 just weeks away, I thought I would assemble a piece. A piece that dissects who I think each manager WILL keep, who I think each manager SHOULD keep, and finally keeper power rankings. I have based the rankings on my opinion of the ability of potential players, the positions of the potential players, and future potential.
Please remember this is my opinion and I didn’t use any form of measurement. The main purpose of this piece started off as me just trying to figure out who would be taken as keepers and who would be available in the draft for my own personal use but then spiraled into a ranking piece. I believe Steven did a similar post last year based on yahoo rank. I will leave him the opportunity to do that post again.
Rankings in a descending order from worst to best with 14 being the worst and 1 being best.
Without further ado…
14. 38 MPH Heaters
Who I think Morgan will keep: Jason Heyward (OF), Ian Kinsler (2B), Francisco Liriano (SP)
Who I think Morgan should keep: Jason Heyward (OF), Ian Kinsler (2B,) Dan Haren (SP)
Reason for the ranking: I think Morgan has the weakest of all the keepers because not one of his keepers is elite at his respected position. Heyward has a bright future but needs to bounce back after an injury plagued year. It is not really all that hard to figure out who the potential keepers are on this team. He traded for Dan Haren last year in hopes to bolster the strength of his keepers. It is no secret that Morgan has a nice big man crush on Liriano. Take the man-crush and combine it with the fact that Liriano has looked good this spring and it will potentially result in Morgan overlooking Haren. Liriano’s velocity is up and from the looks of it he has started to find control of his slider. Either way, Haren is a more consistent pitcher and Oh not to mention is on a REALLY good Angels team.
13. High Cheese
Who I think Levi will keep: Josh Hamilton (OF), Giancarlo Stanton (OF), Neftali Feliz (SP)
Who I think Levi should keep: Giancarlo Stanton (OF), Jimmy Rollins (SS), Cole Hamels (SP)
Honorable Mentions: Josh Johnson, Joe Mauer, Freddie Freeman
Reason for the ranking: Levi proved in his first year that a.) He can assemble a competitive roster and b.) He can assemble a competitive roster full of Braves. Levi is a big homer-it is pretty obvious the man loves some Atlanta Braves players. Levi has assembled a decent crop of players in his first year and has some options to build around going into his second. Stanton is already a homerun hitting machine and is still only 22. He already has 56 HR’s in his young career – I wish I could say that. The Marlins have a reason to be excited this year – they have moved to a new city, have a new logo, new stadium, new payroll and brought in some new talent which could all add up to a very exciting team in Miami this year. SS is the one of the more shallow positions so to lock it up with a veteran like Rollins would provide a sturdy foundation for team High Cheese –plus I think Levi could get Hamilton in the first few rounds or an OF with similar abilities. Feliz is moving to the starting rotation and could find some success. News flash – the Rangers are pretty awesome. Levi’s keepers are very young and aren’t quite at the elite status yet.
*Why the frick is Mike Stanton now being called Giancarlo!!!
12. Radioactive Rush
Who I think Grant will keep: Adrian Gonzalez (1B), Carl Crawford (OF), Ubaldo Jimenez (SP)
Who I think Grant should keep: Adrian Gonzalez (1B), Carl Crawford (OF), Tim Lincecum (SP)
Honorable mentions: Drew Storen (RP) – I wouldn’t be shocked to see Grant chose Storen over Jimenez.
Reason for the ranking: Grant is ranked here because of Carl Crawford’s recent health scares and Ubaldo’s inconsistency, also for trading Tim Lincecum. Grant should have NEVER traded Tim Lincecum – end of story. Gonzo is a stud and will be a staple at 1B in his 2nd year with the Red Sox. I think Crawford could bounce back after a rough year if he can stay healthy. He looked as if he was trying too hard last year and changed his stance and swing a bit from his Tampa days. We will see what Ubaldo can do in his first full year in the American League.
11. J’s Team
Who I think Jay will keep: Ryan Braun (OF), Evan Longoria (3B), Michael Pineda (SP)
Who I think Jay should keep: Ryan Braun (OF), Evan Longoria (3B), Michael Pineda (SP)
Honor Mentions: Brandon Morrow, Alex Rodriguez
Reason for the ranking: I think we all are aware of the Ryan Braun scandal this offseason. I am not going to get into whether or not I think he cheated or not but his performance will be under a microscope this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if his numbers dip due to stress from media or the possibility that he got off of the supposed substance that triggered the “faulty” test. Either way it will be hard for Braun to put up numbers of the past. I think Longoria is on the up-swing still and Pineda is a young phenom.
10. Cracker Jack
Who I think Justin will keep: Matt Kemp (OF), Dustin Pedroia (2B), Chris Carpenter (SP)
Who I think Justin should keep: Matt Kemp (OF), Dustin Pedroia (2B), Chris Carpenter (SP)
Honorable Mention: Ian Kennedy
Reason for the ranking: Matt Kemp had a pretty good an awesome season last year – I don’t think he can do it again. I could see Kemp being fueled to claim NL MVP over Ryan Braun this year but it would be quite the feat if he could match last year’s stats. Dustin Pedroia is one of the better 2nd basemen who can hit for power and average. Chris Carpenter is aging and has had some neck issues this spring but he does play for the returning World Series Champs that added Adam Wainright back to the arsenal so winning games shouldn’t be a problem.
9. Sea Bass
Who I think Craiggers will keep: Mark Teixeira (1B), Kevin Youkilis (3B/1B), Tommy Hanson (SP)
Who I think Craiggers should keep: Mark Teixeira (1B), Kevin Youkilis (3B/1B), Ervin Santana (SP)
Honorable Mention: Ervin Santana
Reason for the ranking: There aren’t many different scenarios to consider here due to the four players mentioned above are clearly the best players on this team. I think Santana is going to have a better year than Hanson but Craig has kept Hanson in the past so this one is a toss-up. Simply this ranking comes down to the fact that I dislike Mark Teixeira – period. Also reports from Yankees spring training have said that Teixeira is tinkering with his swing. Why would a guy with his past success tinker with his swing? This could spell doom for Teixeira and unfortunately for team Sea bass.
8. Money Grubbers
Who I think Mike will keep: Joey Votto (1B), Andrew McCutchen (OF), Roy Halladay (SP)
Who I think Mike should keep: Joey Votto (1B), Dee Gordon (SS), Roy Halladay (SP)
Reason for the ranking: 2/3 of Mike’s keepers are superior but the final 1/3 is inferior compared to others in the league. Joey Votto is a stud, Roy Halladay is a stud, but the third keeper is questionable. Halladay’s age is of concern too because you have to figure he is going to slow down sometime right?! Time will tell if it’s this year but as of right now he is still one of the best pitchers in the game.
7. The Dominators
Who I think Steven will keep: Robinson Cano (2B), Ryan Zimmerman (3B), Felix Hernandez (SP)
Who I think Steven should keep: Robinson Cano (2B), Ryan Zimmerman (3B), Felix Hernandez (SP)
Honorable Mention: Zack Greinke, Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Reason for the ranking: I am not a big fan of Ryan Zimmerman – and he just got paid. Cano is really good and Felix Hernandez is as well. Just like team Money Grubbers I think The Dominators have two realllllly good keepers but the third one is lacking. Even though Nishioka was optioned to AAA this week, you can never count him out from Steven. How did that pick go for you again Steven?
6. Captain Jack
Who I think Travis will keep: Curtis Granderson (OF), Bryce Harper (OF), Tim Lincecum
Who I think Travis should keep: Curtis Granderson (OF), Stephen Strasburg (SP), Tim Lincecum (SP)
Honorable Mention: Asdrubal Cabrera
Reason for the ranking: Grant. Travis might be the most unpredictable person in the league so who the eff knows who he is going to keep. I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps Bryce Harper even though he was optioned to AAA yesterday. Travis probably won’t be aware of this come draft day. Travis has a great batch a players – Granderson and Lincecum are top tier players. Strasburg can be a top tier player but health concerns surround him. Don’t rule out a decision that raises your eyebrows come decision time.
5. Genies in a Bottle
Who I think Jeremiah will keep: Hanley Ramirez (SS), Jacoby Ellsbury (OF), Jered Weaver (SP)
Who I think Jeremiah should keep: Hanley Ramirez (SS), Jacoby Ellsbury (OF), Jered Weaver (SP)
Honorable Mentions: Jay Bruce, Mike Moustakas, Adam Wainright
Reason for the ranking: Can Han-Ram rebound after a craptastic season? Can Jacoby stay healthy and continue to be a menace at the plate & base paths? Too many questions surround the potential keepers of team Genies for them to be placed any higher. Jeremiah is the best drafter so I am not concerned with his team as a whole but strictly looking at his keepers they aren’t the best.
4. SL Disappointment
Who I think John will keep: Jose Bautista (OF), Cliff Lee (SP), Jon Lester (SP)
Who I think John should keep: Jose Bautista (OF), Cliff Lee (SP), Jon Lester (SP)
Honorable Mention: Matt Holliday
Reason for the ranking: Johnny was the one that took the risk by drafting Bautista after his offensive explosion in 2010 and it didn’t hurt him. It looks like Bautista is the real deal. Lee and Lester are top tier pitchers. Both have are flamethrowers who can record strikeouts at a high clip while keeping the ERA low. All of Johnny’s keepers are top tier players with proven success. Reason why he isn’t higher is that he has two SP as keepers.
3. Dome Dog
Who Dome Dog is thinking about keeping: Carlos Gonzalez (OF), Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Justin Verlander (SP)
Who Dome Dog should keep: Justin Upton (OF), Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Justin Verlander (SP)
Honorable Mentions: Michael Morse
Reason for the ranking: I think Dome Dog has one of the better players at SS, a choice at keeping one of two top OFs and not to mention Justin Verlander. The only knock is that Cargo and Upton are OFs and OFs are a dime-a-dozen. I like that Tulo and Cargo are going to be somewhat protected by the addition of Michael Cuddyer. I do have a big ole crush on Tulo and the Rockies would be my 3rd favorite team behind the Twinkies and D’backs if it wasn’t for some bitch ex-girlfriend. No hard feelings.
Who I think G-Doggy will keep: Miguel Cabrera (1B, 3B), Jose Reyes (SS) CC Sabathia (SP)
Who I think G-Doggy should keep: Miguel Cabrera (1B, 3B), Jose Reyes (SS) CC Sabathia (SP)
Honorable Mention: Jamey Carroll
Reason for the ranking: His keepers are freaking good. All three players are considered top tier elite players. I think every manager would kill to have one of these players on their team. It will be interesting to see if Cabrera’s defensive move to 3rd will affect his offense. Reyes just had a payday so it might cause his numbers to dip due to him being relaxed and rest assured his bank account is full of 0s and commas. CC Sabathia is a fat ass but he can pitch. You can never rule out Jamey Carroll when it comes to Jesse. Cabrera can hit and drink, Reyes can hit and fly, lastly CC can pitch and eat. All three are really good at baseball.
Who I KNOW Collin will keep: Albert Pujols (1B), Prince Fielder (1B), Clayton Kershaw (SP)
Who I think Collin should keep: Lew Ford (OF), Jason Tyner (OF), Joe Mays (SP)
Reason for the ranking: I think hands down Collin has the best group of keepers – period. He should be so nice and select the keepers I have picked out for him so we can all have a shot at them. I think Tyner and Ford have strong potential at the Comeback Player of the Year Award.