Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finding Keepers: Atlanta Braves: 09/26/2010

What do you do when the highest-ranked player on the Atlanta Braves roster is planning on retiring after the 2010 season? This is the unfortunate case for CL Billy Wagner owners. How does a guy that's converted 35 of 42 saves with a 7-2 record, 1.38 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 13.02 K/9 ratio retire? He's currently the 19th-ranked player on ESPN and the 25th-ranked on Yahoo! while being the overall #1 ranked reliever. It's hard to imagine him truly walking away while being on the top of his game, but all sign point to him being done. As with all keeper selections, you hope this situation is clearer before having to lock in your choices.

If I'm looking for a "no-brainer" keeper selection on the Braves, I'm keeping OF Jason Heyward. The potential NL ROY winner is having a fine season at .281/81/18/71/10 and plenty of room to get better at just 21 years old. Currently ranked 99th on ESPN and Yahoo!, I'd expect Heyward to crack the top 50 in year two. I'd be keeping him and hoping for the average to stay in the .280s but the homers to go north of 25 and the steals to surpass 15.

C Brian McCann may only be ranked 157th on ESPN and 155th on Yahoo!, but he's still the 3rd-best catcher on the board with his .274/61/20/76/5 line. A top-5 player at any position has got to be deserving of a keeper tag.

I'm not sure I'd be using a keeper selection on either SP Tim Hudson or SP Tommy Hanson unless my roster was thin or I was in a league where there wouldn't be much better available in the draft. Hudson is having a dominant season at 16-9 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.15 WHIP but only carries a 5.51 K/9 ratio. Hardly up there with the elite aces. Hanson has the potential to win 15+ games with his 1.18 WHIP, 7.77 K/9 and 3.04 K/BB and may be more worthy than Hudson as a keeper.

Two other players having very nice seasons, 1B/2B/3B Martin Prado (.306/100/15/66/5) and Über-sub 2B/3B/SS/OF Omar Infante (.329/65/8/44/6), would be very risky keeper selections for 2011 unless they were being kept for their roster flexibility.

Are there any other players on the Braves roster you'd be willing to use a keeper selection on for the 2011 season or do you disagree with my assessment of their roster? If so, open up the discussion by leaving me a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Uggla, now a Brave, could certainly be a keeper (he wasn't when you wrote this, obviously). Also, in my 20 team keeper league I'm definitely buying low on Tommy Hanson. I think next year can only be better for him. His ceiling is still extremely high. Conversely, Hudson's peak was probably 2010. Great write up though.