To sumbitt your own question to the GNUrustaff, please email the GNUru at
or fill out the Ask the GNUru Form. Submitted questions may appear on the GNUru Fantasy Baseball's GNUru Mailbag.
Please Help! I can protect one pitcher: Kazmir, Papelbon, or Jered Weaver?
While the GNUru has little sympathy for your little keeper problem, the GNUru will attempt to guide you in your upcoming decision. Before attempting the clarify the situation, let's first take a look at the numbers of the three young potential fantasy aces.
As one can easily see, these youngsters have put together impressive resumes and warrant serious keeper consideration. While all three have tremendous fantasy appeal, they all have their flaws, albeit minor ones. Take Scott Kazmir for example. Although Kaz has a great arm and has shown he can pitch with the best in baseball, he has yet to prove he can hold up and throw 200+ innings a year. On top of that, he pitches for a team destined to remain in the basement. Kazmir's margin for error is considerably reduced when you factor in that wins will be difficult to come by. So in order for him to live up to his potential he needs to dominate in all other categories.
Jered Weaver is also not without flaws. His 2006 season, though brief, was about as dominant as could be imagined. His numbers remind the GNUru of Dwight Gooden's rookie season and more recently Mark Prior. While Doc Gooden's dominance lasted nearly a decade, we all no what happened to Mark Prior. There is an inherent risk when heavily investing in such young talent.
For Jonathan Papelbon, the flaws are more apparent. After a dominanting season as Boston's closer, he will be moving to the starting rotation. Although he has been a starter in the minor leagues most of his career, he has a total of 3 major league starts. To top all of that off, his late season arm troubles that forced him into the rotation are cause for concern.
So what's to make of all this mess? Despite the issues mentioned above, all 3 make nice fantasy pitchers. The key is picking out not necessarily who will have the best year, but who has the most value prior to the 2007 fantasy baseball season. If handled properly, the players dropped can always be regained come draft time. Addtionally, the player kept can always turn into trade bait. IN this case, the player with the most value heading into 2007 is Jered Weaver. Weaver's numbers across the board are downright silly. Just take a gander at his OPS (the GNUru's fantasy pitching stat)- His .625 OPS is bettered only by all-world Johan Santana (.618)!! The GNUru also likes Kazmir and Papelbon but feels you have a better shot at getting them back in the draft. While the GNUru feels Kazmir is being slightly overrated by a few, Papelbon could turn into a real bargain for you. His stock has dropped significantly since his "demotion" to the starting rotation and that can turn into fantasy gold for you. Paps has great stuff and will make the adjustment easily. The GNUru actually thinks Papelbon will outperform both Weaver and Kaz but the key to fantasy success is getting the most production at each level of investment.