Rollins' fantasy baseball
First word: health. Rollins missed time with a mismanaged ankle injury in
2008, but other than that, he's a rock. Jose Reyes
had seemed to put the "injury-prone" label he earned in 2003 and 2004 behind
him. Last year, it started with a calf problem and snowballed.
- Second word, related to first: legs. Reyes' torn right hamstring tendon,
a setback that occurred about three weeks after the calf problem, eventually
required surgery. Reyes can do many things, but his value is derived from
speed. He's healthy now, but injuries he sustains always linger. Rollins invites
no such risk in the first three rounds.
- Reyes has a distinct advantage in stolen bases, with a nod to batting average,
but he didn't run as frequently in 2008 as he did in 2007, and he wasn't as
active before he was hurt last season. After such injuries, he might be cautious,
hesitant and not encouraged to run often. That would narrow the gap between
the two in said department.
- As for Rollins, he may be on the downswing, but last year's final line was
a fluke. He wasn't comfortable at the dish, particularly before the break,
when he posted a terrible hit rate. He evened things up: From July 1 on, he
hit .285, slugged .505, hit 15 dingers and stole 21 bases. He reaffirmed his
20-homer power, too.
- J-Roll has set the personal goal bar high. Even a mild rebound in BABIP
and patience will put him on base enough times to give him a chance
to swipe 50 bases. The ballpark, the security of a top-three offense with
few health concerns.... Unlike it is for Reyes, this is a lock: Rollins has
plenty of help.
Closing argument: Reyes' upside is greater than J-Roll's, but in the first
five rounds, you can't devalue safety and security. Even in a down year, Rollins
was more than helpful in four of five categories. Consider that his floor. Consider
Reyes' floor - Sub-Basement, Level 7 - and the choice is clear.
Reyes' fantasy baseball
Speed, speed, speed. Yes, Rollins is fast, but Reyes can almost single-handedly
win you stolen bases. And he won't kill your hopes in the other traditional
High risk, high reward
- Perhaps that was putting it mildly. A high batting eye and contact rate
suggest he'll keep hitting somewhere between .280 to .300. His power has been
erratic, but he has demonstrated it; 15-plus homers is possible.
- Concerned about Reyes' injury-hit 2009 campaign? In the four years previous
to last, he averaged 678 at-bats per season. The 26-year-old is not at the
age where he will be breaking down regularly. His year on the sidelines might
have taught him how to better take care of himself. He's reportedly healthy
so far this spring.
- Wait ... he'll only turn 27 in June? Indeed. Rollins, on the other hand,
will turn 32 this year. There's still plenty of reason to believe Reyes' best
is yet to come. Rollins has shown some definite signs of aging.
- Expanding on that last point: Rollins' hit rate declined for the second
straight year. His HR/FB climbed back up a bit ... but it had been on a two-year
decline previously. He's slowing down gradually. You can't fight age. What
if last year's dismal first half was a sign of things to come?
Closing argument: Between Reyes and Rollins, the former is definitely
riskier. If this was the first round, no doubt, you go safe. At the end of the
second round? When you've likely secured an Albert
Pujols or Alex Rodriguez? Take the chance on
KFFL staff verdict
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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