Adrian Gonzalez is a safe bet come draft day. He currently is flying a bit under the radar among first basemen, but not every fantasy pick needs to make the room go “ooooh”. Take Gonzalez and pencil into your projected stats, 20 Home runs, 100 RBI, a .290 AVG, and hope for anything more as bonus.
Well that was one of the easier player profiles so far. More to come throughout the off season!
Hanley Ramirez appears to be happy in Los Angeles, and a happy Ramirez is a .300 hitter. We don’t have statistics for happiness, but Ramirez seems to enjoy his new city, and seems to enjoy the star power around him. No I am not talking about Hollywood, I am talking about Gonzalez, Kemp, Puig, and the like. Ramirez produced enough in 2013 to be the first shortstop taken in most 2014 drafts.
The at bats were down in 2013 due to injuries. If Ramirez can stay healthy in 2014 it would be fair to expect a healthy increase in runs and runs batted in. The stolen bases I have no doubt are in decline, and a fantasy owner should not bank on his old 50 or even 30 stolen base days. In many draft Ramirez may be a first rounder. This is primarily due to his position being shortstop. An owner is not maximizing their projected statistics by taking Ramirez in the first round compared to many of the other first rounders, who will hit with more power, or run with more speed. But an owner will be drafting a shortstop who can produce significantly more than the second tier of shortstops available.
As I mentioned earlier I do believe Ramirez is a .300 hitter. In 9 seasons Ramirez has had 3 season under .300, one of which was his rookie season (.292). The other two season below .300 were 2011 and 2012, these were the seasons where Ramirez was not happy with his playing situation in Miami. It is unsettling that a disgruntled Ramirez could mean a 60 point drop in batting average, but we have reason to believe that he is happy and ready to produce.
I would prefer to use my early picks on players that are going to boost my counting numbers, Ramirez can not do this to the degree other top notch players can. But if your goal is to get strength at a weak position Ramirez may be a good choice.
My 2014 projection for Ramirez:
Kemp has some incredible skills, and true fantasy first round output potential. However I have some concerns with his high ranking and consistent first round selection in mock drafts. It should be noted that I am saying this as a Dodger fan and big time Kemp fan. My concerns stem from his shoulder injury, and the similarities it shares with his teammate Adrian Gonzalez.
Gonzalez entered the 2011 season having had torn his labrum the previous year. This was Gonzalez’s age 28 season. Kemp now enters the 2013 season, at age 28, having torn his labrum. As many fantasy readers know, Gonzalez has experienced a shortage in HR totals since his shoulder injury. I have the same concerns regarding Kemp’s power. I still believe Kemp is going to be an impact player for anyone’s fantasy team, but this mid first round pick seems to be carrying in some risk for the upcoming season. I do not typically like to take risks on my first round pick. There are many second round types who have some sort of risk going into the season however, so we will just have to keep a close eyes on Kemp’s power.