Fantasy Baseball: Jimmy Rollins vs. Jose Reyes

by Nicholas Minnix and Bryce McRae on March 4, 2010 @ 16:00:00 PDT


Jimmy Rollins, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

Nicholas Minnix

Rollins' fantasy baseball player profile

  • Philadelphia Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins
    Keep J-Rollin'
    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.

Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets

Bryce McRae

Reyes' fantasy baseball player profile

  • New York Mets SS Jose Reyes
    High risk, high reward
    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 roto categories.
  • 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 Reyes.

KFFL staff verdict

Analyst Jimmy Rollins Jose Reyes
Nicholas Minnix X  
Tim Heaney X  
Bryce McRae   X
Cory J. Bonini X  
Keith Hernandez   X

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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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