The Rookies Can Wait

Posted: July 23, 2011 in Articles

By David Kerr

The Rookies Can Wait

I’ll admit it. I have a tendency to pick up highly touted rookies with a hope that they will magically produce like Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay, or Ryan Braun. Sadly, that’s almost never the case. I’m not sure why these players seem so appealing, but my guess is that it’s a gamble on the unknown rather than the same old song and dance.

When you hear of a call-up that you may have interest in, it is easy to think, “Well, should I take a gamble on Anthony Rizzo or stick with Derrek Lee whose age has finally caught up to him?” Well, I’m here to tell you, that you should’ve stuck with Lee. I realize Lee isn’t having a good year, but it has certainly been better than Rizzo’s trip back to Tuscon.

There are so many question marks surrounding highly touted prospects. No one knows for sure how they will adjust to being on a big league ball club. There’s no guarantee they will hit major league pitching. As for pitchers, they could go out and get completely shelled in three or four outing and have their confidence completely in shambles. More often than not their first “cup of tea” doesn’t go how they or we, as owners, envisioned it. For every Evan Longoria there are a ten Brandon Wood’s. It is just how it goes in Major League Baseball.

If you’re in a keeper league, these are valuable pieces to your overall puzzle. If you’re trying to win right now (which is the goal), it is probably better to trust the 12 year veteran. If you compared Derrek Lee to Anthony Rizzo, you will see who helped your team more in the 50 days Rizzo was on the big league roster. Rizzo batted .143 with one homer, 6 RBI’s, and 8 runs scored in that time period. On the other side of that coin Derrek Lee batted .254 with six homers, 19 RBI’s, and 15 runs scored. It may not seem like a lot, but that highly touted prospect you thought would jump start your team just cost you four homers and may have dropped your average .01-.03 in a month. Added up, those things matter in September.

Obviously, this is a small sample between two players, but this happens more often than not. If you’re debating with yourself whether you should drop the proven veteran and take a risk with the rookie, play it safe. Every home run counts, every steal counts, every hit counts. Maximize your chances to be there in the end. Stick with the proven players, the rookies can wait until next year.

Be sure to follow me on twitter by hitting the follow button below. I will answer any and all fantasy baseball questions you have. Also, you can e-mail me at askROTObaseball.com for any long form question’s. If you need an answer quick though, definitely use twitter!

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