Who’d You Rather?

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Articles

By David Kerr

To steal a “segment” from my buddies at the “Dear Mr. Fantasy” podcast (http://www.dmfantasybaseballpodcast.com), I’m going to play a game of “Who’d You Rather” today. I asked my followers on Twitter to submit two names for me to compare and contrast and then pick who’d I’d rather have the rest of the season. To start off, I am going to look at two Milwaukee outfielders sent in by @Savannahseniors.

Corey Hart OR Carlos Gomez

Corey Hart

Corey Hart is the type of player that flies under the radar, but at the end of the year the stats always seems to be there. Since becoming a regular in 2007, he’s had 20 home runs in all but one season (2009). He isn’t the base thief that he once was, but he’ll chip in a few here and there. He’s currently sitting at a line of .270-20-54-4 so there is a realistic possibility of 30 homers. He’s swinging a hot bat right now, hitting .329 since the All-Star break. With that being said though, beware. His bat can be quite streaky as evident by the .233 average he had in the month prior to the break. At the end of the season his average should be right around .275 with 30 home runs.

Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez has been a regular in only one season since he made his debut in 2007. In 2008 he logged 614 plate appearances while swiping 33 bags. His average? .258. His On-Base Percentage? .296. Yuck. From 2009 on he hasn’t eclipsed more than 349 plate appearances in a season making him nothing more than a bench player and an injury replacement. If you can look past his career stats, you’ll see a guy that from July 1-August 1 who has hit .274 with 5 homers and 11 steals. If you dig even further, you’ll see a guy that’s done most of his damage since the All-Star break (.320-4-9). Consider him lucky to this point, but I think his luck is about to run out.

The Verdict: Corey Hart and it’s really not close. Hart is very consistent from year to year and Gomez is more or less a flash in the pan. I’ll take Hart 100 times out of 100.

The next “Who’d You Rather” is sent in by both @1689J and @BigFourInsider.

Paul Konerko or Edwin Encarnacion

Paul Konerko

If you want to talk about a guy who is constant fantasy stud year in and year out, look no further than Paul Konerko. Over the past three seasons, he’s batting a studly .311 while bashing 87 home runs. This season alone he’s batting .327 with 17 homers. He’s on pace to reach the under on 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s, but that’s nothing an extreme hot stretch couldn’t change. I think there’s at least one of those coming between now and the end of the season. There is no doubt in my mind that Konerko is the safer bet between these two, even with him missing a day here and there with minor ailments. The best part about “PK” is that you know what you’re going to get. A strong batting average, plenty of home runs, and a lot of RBIs. CONSISTENCY is the only word to describe him. My end of season line prediction for Konerko is .315-28-92.

Edwin Encarnacion

Labeled “E5” because of his poor defensive skills at the hot corner, Edwin Encarnacion has really come into his own this season. As of today (August 1st) he’s batting .293, with a .388 on base percentage, 28 home runs, 72 RBIs, and 9 steals. At this point in the season that is top 10 production. The real question is can he keep it up? I tend to think he can as long as he can avoid the injury bug that has plagued the Blue Jays throughout the 2012 campaign. He has always been a guy that everyone was waiting for to break through the glass ceiling and reach his full potential. At age 29, it seems as though he’s done just that. There is nothing in his underlying stats that tell me he’s going to go into a prolonged slump. His BABIP is .287, he’s walking at a higher clip (12%) than ever before, and maybe most importantly he’s just totally locked in. Recently on Twitter I posed a question asking what my “tweeps” thought Encarnacion’s final line would be. Most said he’d hit 40 homers and drive in 100 runs. I agree with that. My guess on his final line is .280-43-105-12. That is utterly fantastic for a guy drafted later in drafts. Has he arrived for good? Only time will tell. But, he’s most definitely arrived for the 2012 season.

The Verdict: Edwin Encarnacion. This may be his career year, but this is FANTASY baseball and I know I’m playing to WIN NOW. Encarnacion will have a lower average than Konerko, but with the added homers and steals, it makes up for it. With that in mind, this isn’t a slight to Konerko. They’re extremely close overall, but this year I prefer “E5”.

Thanks for reading! Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Again, shout-out to @cmcbrien and @TheFantasyDR from the Dear Mr. Fantasy Podcast for biting the “Who’d You Rather” tag. Click below to follow me on Twitter where I’ll answer all of your Fantasy Baseball question’s daily!

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