ASK ROTOMAN: Take 2? Ellsbury, Kipnis, Choo or Justin Upton


I need help choosing my keepers. 5 keepers are allowed and my choices are:

The no brainers: Miggy, Goldschmidt and Adam Jones.

Take two: Ellsbury, Kipnis, Choo, Justin Upton.

My best pitchers are Lee and Chapman who I don’t think are worth a keeper spot.

“Hitting the Spot”

Dear Hitting:

In 5×5 I’ll agree that Chapman isn’t a keeper, but I’m not sure about Cliff Lee. Still, you know your league so if you think he’s not a good keep we’ll leave it at that.

I agree with the three obvious picks, though I’m not sure I’d count Jones as that much more a sure thing in the outfield as Ellsbury or Upton. There is a lot of love out there for Jones this year, given his solid seasons the last two years, and the fact that he is coming into his prime. Of course, he is also a swinging machine who has shown remarkable consistency the last few years, but his lack of walks and less than elite contact skills are going to catch up with him at some point. He’s perceived as money in the bank, but as his price goes up the weaknesses in his game become exposed. In any case, it’s hard to see him getting better at this point, which limits his value unless he’s a keeper.

Which means good for you.

Still, in my book he’s a $30 player this year. For the others I have Ellsbury at $29, Kipnis at $27, Upton at $26 and Choo at $24. The fact is that any of these guys is capable of putting up a $30+ season, so you’re looking at other factors when making your choice.

I like Ellsbury’s speed and he isn’t without power. He’s only 31 and though there is a history of injuries, there is also a history of recovery from injuries. I think he’s the clear choice this year.

Jason Kipnis is the other. You can argue whether he’s better than Upton and Choo, you might convince me that they have more upside, but given his speed, power and age—plus the fact that he’s a second baseman—he earns the edge in my book.

Does he earn the edge over Cliff Lee? Last year Kipnis earned $29, while Lee earned $34. The infielder turns 27 this year, while Lee is hitting 35. That is a reason to take the offense. Another is because you have better alternatives for No. 1 starting pitcher, and you don’t want to get locked into Lee. That’s a good reason, too.

But if you’re looking at straight ahead player value for the coming season, I think I would give the edge to Lee.

Pitching in,