Thursday, April 24, 2008

Playometer: B.J. Upton versus Phillips and Cano

Heating Up

We told you to take B.J. Upton over Brandon Phillips. Well, at least I did, as my intrepid blog-mate Bob shocked me by selecting Brandon Phillips instead of B.J. Upton in the fantasy bloggers league (see how shocked I am here). Then again, I thought Jamie Walker would end up as the closer in Baltimore and Hanley might not be over his shoulder surgery, so there you go.

Well, Upton is going off. He's currently the 22nd ranked player and only climbing. He's four or five years younger than Phillips, and basically has turned into Alfonso Soriano, back when Soriano had second base eligibility and wasn't hurting himself with asinine Gramatica-esque stunts. A .320 average, four stolen bases, two homers, and 16ish runs and RBI totals make me wish I'd taken Upton instead of Crawford. I knew it was a bad decision, but I did it anyway. Crap.

Cooling Off

Brandon Phillips actually scared me a bit pre-draft, and I didn't think he was worth more than a third-round pick. I just didn't see him equaling what appeared to be a career year. You know what, if I'm a Phillips owner, I'm very worried. In the few Phillips at-bats I've watched, he's seen nothing but breaking balls and fastballs away, and he doesn't look like he's adapting. He's stolen three bases and hit two home runs, but the runs and RBI totals aren't there, and he's never been a good percentage base stealer. I'm thinking I'd be hoping for 20/20 at this point, and after watching what Aaron Hill, Yunel Escobar, and other draft-day bargains are doing, I'd probably be wishing I'd taken another big bat or Jake Peavy.

I was really, really, really down on Robinson Cano pre-draft. I didn't think he was worth more than a seventh or eighth round pick, yet was typically going as high as the third or fourth round in mock drafts. It's early yet, but a .164 batting average, one home run, no stolen bases, four runs, and five RBI despite the Yankees offensive prowess is going to be a tough hole to dig out of, especially when you consider he's never hit 20 home runs or stolen six bases in a season. He's a guy you chose for steady RBI/run production and a nice batting average. He's batting sixth and basically giving you zilch.

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