You should know that my favorite book/movie is Moneyball, and I am a huge fan of anything Billy Beane. So, of course, I dig sabermetrics and therefore have a man crush on Kevin Youkilis.
I am just waiting for the catch phrases, “You down with OBP?!” or maybe “chicks dig the base on balls…”. Then again, maybe there is a reason I am not in marketing. But I certainly share the same affection for guys like Youkilis, Nick Swisher and Carlos Beltran (the new David Justice).
Fortunately for me, most of my leagues count BBs for hitters or even OBP. So guys like Youkilis, Swisher and Beltran are super valuable.
However, don’t over look Youk in your traditional 5×5 leagues. He has had a couple injury plagued seasons, 2 seasons ago a bit more freakish than last. So he could be a steal around $12-$15 or in Round 9, if he stays healthy. He is a patient, great hitter in a hitter friendly park, surrounded by a great line-up.
Let’s look at Youk’s projections: 516-86-29-99-3-.287
I have seen Youk projected at far less at bats on other sites and I think this is going to go a long way in making people weary of drafting him. But for those of you reading this, you are gonna know that a healthy Youkilis is a work horse. He plays every inning if he can, so really I’d even say that our projections could be low.
I am not in the business of predicting injuries, so for me I would expect a floor of 525-85-25-95-1-.285.
I always like to think about what a player’s floor – baseline numbers – would be for my year end goals, but maybe that is just me.
With a reasonable baseline in place I can think about what I am expecting from Youk, barring injury. With that in mind, Youk very much could exceed projections in a healthy season. He is a guy that I absolutely think can push .300 and if he stays in the 4th spot in this line up then I think 110+ RBIs is a lock! What may push him back to 5th would be Carl Crawford , regaining his confidence and forcing himself into the 2 spot, moving everyone else back a slot.
The back end of this line-up is not as impressive as the top, but man is that top impressive! We’ll have to watch if some of these potential position battles get hammered out in spring training or if they settle in to platoons for the whole season. However, for this article I am gonna go with my gut:
Now I have seen many projected line-ups with Crawford in the 2 hole automatically, but Dixon and I agree that Crawford might have to really earn that spot after his last season. However it really isn’t up to us, so monitor this line-up during spring training and maybe you can be ahead of the rest of your league come draft time.
This year is the deepest season at 3B since I have started playing. That is why you can take Youk low whereas in years past he has been a top 5 option, and you’d be taking him in the 3-5 round range or paying upwards of $20 easily.
Even if Youk does go down with an injury you can take a multi-position eligible guy like Ryan Roberts, Martin Prado or Emilio Bonifacio – who are GREAT bench options – and slide them in if he gets hurt. Even if you don’t get one of those guys there are some guys that should be floating on the wire like Casey McGehee, Danny Valencia or Placido Polanco.
So my advice: grab Youk and get yourself a steal this season!