Preseason: Michael Young vs Aramis Ramirez
Today we look at a pair of third baseman valued very similarly heading into draft day. According to the most recent ADP data released by the NFBC, Young is currently the 62nd player off the board, while Ramirez is 63rd. Which of these players would you rather have?
The case for Michael Young
Entering his age 35 season, Young has been a very steady and consistent performer over the course of his career. The major advantage that you get when drafting Young is his plus batting average. He’s a career .304 hitter and should be right in that range again in 2012.
Young hits in one of the best offenses in the league in a tremendous hitters park. His power has fluctuated in recent years, but he should be able to deliver 10-15 HR as his floor. Moving down in the lineup may decrease his RBI opportunities in 2012.
Michael Young will never be confused for a speed demon, but does at least offer something in the stolen base department. He swiped 6 bags last year in 8 chances and has averaged 8 SB per season since 2002. He has also remained remarkably healthy, averaging 156 games played per season over that 10 year span.
Young also posted the lowest strikeout rate of his career in 2011 (11.3%). He hit fewer fly balls (26.5%) and had a lower HR/FB% (7.4%) than his career averages, so perhaps there is some potential rebound in the power department.
He isn’t the sexiest name on the draft board and won’t wow you with his potential, but at the end of the season he’ll be sitting with a line of .307 / 85 R / 13 HR / 90 RBI / 7 SB.
Considering the scarcity of the third base position, consider the steady production of Young a bargain in the 5th round of 15 team leagues.
The case for Aramis Ramirez
Entering his age 34 season, Ramirez is moving to Milwaukee. He will slot into the cleanup spot in the lineup behind Ryan Braun, which could increase his RBI opportunities.
The switch from playing his home games at Miller Park as opposed to Wrigley appears to be a slight negative for right handed power.
He won’t hit for as high as an average as Michael Young, but Ramirez will provide more in the power department. He’s averaged 28 HR and 96 RBI over the last 11 seasons. I’d say he’s a good bet for 25+ HR and 100 RBI, provided he can stay healthy in 2012.
Ramirez won’t contribute anything in the stolen base category, consider yourself fortunate if he even chips in one or two steals. He also doesn’t score runs at the same rate as Young. He’s never topped 99 runs scored in any season.
He also comes with more injury risk than Young, averaging only 131 games over the last 7 seasons. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see that Ramirez posted the 2nd lowest K% (11%) of his career in 2011.
Provided he can avoid the DL for an extended period of time, you can expect Ramirez to finish around .285 / 82 R / 28 HR / 100 RBI / 1 SB.
Depending on how your team is structured, either of these players could be considerations for you in the 5th round. Young offers more proven and consistent production and will help to anchor your average while not hurting you in any category. Ramirez will provide you with more power, but his health and average are more volatile. You’re on the clock in Round 5, which of these players interests you, and why?