Borrowing this from my friend and fantasy competitor Matthew Berry of ESPN:
Player A seems to be in a freefall. Never having lived up to his promise, his batting average has declined for three straight seasons, below .250 for the past two. Since 2008, his hits have decreased, his strikeouts have increased and, last season, he had a career high in fly ball percentage and a career low in ground ball percentage. Which would be fine, except this guy is a speedster. His one asset is speed, yet he’s been flat in that category for three years now. He started last season on the DL, he’s already had major shoulder surgery and, with 23 caught-stealings to his name the past two seasons, you have an injury-prone free swinger who might be losing a step.
Player B is one of those rare power-speed combos. He’s always been fast; in fact, over the past three years, he’s been top 10 in total steals in major league baseball. Now, the power we all thought was there has started to show up. He almost doubled his home run total from ’09 to ’10 and, in fact, the number has gone up every year since 2008. His walk rate, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, isolated power and speed score (per FanGraphs) all increased from ’09 to ’10. Even better? Last year’s .304 BABIP was 30 points short of his career average, so some positive regression to his mean should result in an even higher average to go along with the power, the speed and the 90 runs scored for our multi-category stud.
Which player would you choose? Tough choice? It doesn’t have to be because they’re both the same player — B.J. Upton.
Follow that link to read more of Berry’s piece and 100 interesting baseball statistical facts as he and I head up to New York City this weekend to participate in the Fight Club of fantasy baseball drafts – ToutWars. You will have to excuse my absence these next three days as the trip up there leaves very little time to do anything else.