Ask Rotoman: Gyorko or Rendon in Dynasty Strat?

Dear Rotoman:

I play in a Strat-o-matic league with Dynasty rules. I can draft Jedd Gyorko or Anthony Rendon next, and keep him forever. Who would you take?

“Seconds to Choose”

SD_Padres_Jedd_GyorkoDear Seconds:

My fast answer is Gyorko. He’s coming into his prime, should have more value this year and next, and has no playing time issues. Rendon filled in admirably when called on last year, but he’s not guaranteed playing time this year. This, the short term instant answer has to be Gyorko.

But you’re also asking about these two player’s careers. Which of them will have more value?

Gyorko demonstrated last year, at age 25, that he’s already a major league hitter, hitting for power in Petco, his offense-suppressing home field. His second half, after he returned from a groin injury in June, was not nearly as strong as the first half, but let’s chalk that up to growing pains. He makes enough contact that his batting average should be a little better than last year’s .249. And he’s a legitimate power threat at second base at a young age.

Rendon was called up last year when Danny Espinosa was sent down with a bad wrist and a horrible swing. Rendon is a little less than two years younger than Gyorko, and he was generally considered the better prospect before last season, and then had roughly an equivalent season (better BA and OBP, somewhat less power) at a younger age.

Curiously, both played second base last year, though both are considered better third basemen (dubious range, strong arms) going forward. And neither has a big defensive advantage, which matters more in Strat than most games.

The roster question you have to settle is how much NOW do you want to give up for a possibly somewhat better TOMORROW?

When it comes to career values, give something of an edge to Rendon. But this year and maybe next, you have to give an edge to Gyorko. Fangraphs various predictors  (Steamer and Oliver, but not the Fans) give Gyorko a WAR edge this year of 3.4 to 2.9.

Oliver, which makes five-year projections has Gyorko winning each of those years, though shows the margin falling by 2019. I have no idea how meaningful that is, but it does give you an idea of the possibilities.

For my part, in the Guide I have Gyorko priced at $15 this year, Rendon at $9. The big difference is expected playing time.

Since neither of these guys is likely to be a huge star, I think I’d take Gyorko now. Consider it better the bird in the hand, than counting on chickens before they hatch.