Written by Bryan Roth
Published: 11 September 2007
Q: I’ve got a keeper decision coming up. Who is better for this season and for next year of these two players of whom I need to drop one:
Brenden Ryan SS STL
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B SDP
A: Sure, it may be hard to hold on to a solid shortstop every year, but there are plenty of others aside from Ryan who would probably be available in the draft next year. Ryan could take over for David Eckstein, whose contract is up after this season, but St. Louis fans love him and Walt Jocketty has no reason not to give him another year. Kouz is an easy choice because he has more upside for next year after spending a season at PETCO. His overall numbers don’t look pretty, but he’s hit around .280 during the second half and struck out much less. Stick with the Mashadonian.
Q: I’m at the bottom of my league, is it worthwhile to keep trying?
A: Honestly, no. At this point of the season you’re just playing for pride because there’s no way you’ll be able to jump any higher than a couple of spots. You can certainly try to ruin the season for someone else, but for now, you’re just trying to finish higher than where you are now.
Q: Is Rick Ankiel a real option for next year?
A: Right now, Ankiel may be a decent play because pitchers don’t have much knowledge on him and he swings the bat hard. Next year, you have to assume that he’ll have the inside track on usual playing time. He has struck out at a 21/9 K:BB ratio, but he’s consistently hit the ball for a decent OBP. He may be an average outfielder next year based on the fact that he won’t hit .350 (probably closer to .250) but he’ll have power.
Q: Who’s been the biggest fantasy surprise this season?
A: While there are some players who certainly deserve the attention (Ankiel, Garret Anderson, Magglio Ordonez) Carlos Pena easily gets that title. He was a spring training invitee - he didn’t even have a roster spot - and now he’ll probably end up with more than 40 home runs. Considering he probably wasn’t drafted by anyone before the season, it’s easy to give him that tag. Now only if he could repeat this next year.