Commentary

Who's better? Stephen Drew or Troy Tulowitzki?

Updated: March 27, 2009, 9:10 PM ET
By Dave Hunter | ESPN.com

Can you explain to me, in a detailed manner, why Stephen Drew is considered a better option than Troy Tulowitzki? Their projected stats are very similar. In fact, Tulowitzki's are better. Unacceptable62

Dave: There isn't much of a difference at all between the two when you look at their ADP values, or their current ESPN fantasy projections. Tulowitzki is estimated to get owners 10 more runs and RBIs this season, but that's it. The main reason Drew is listed as a better draft option this season is because Tulowitzki is bouncing back from a disappointing year in 2008, where he suffered through injury. So in this case, it's really about perceived draft value between the two, not what their numbers will project to be. Meaning: If you're willing to risk passing on Drew a round earlier to grab another position, you may get a shot at Tulowitzki a round later. Is it okay to draft Tulowitzki ahead of Drew? Of course it is, as I'd be very content with either shortstop this season, but I do prefer the security of Drew over the slight risk in Tulowitzki.

I have Howie Kendrick on my roster and think he's got a lot of upside. While browsing the waiver wire, I found Clint Barmes. He's a multipositional player that could start at second base for me. I think he'll give me slightly lower batting average, but higher home run and extra base hit totals. Who's my best choice at second base for the long term? Andrew

Dave: It's funny that Kendrick came up this week, because I've got proof of how crazy I am about this guy. I recently drafted him No. 92 overall in the ESPN March 25th mock draft, which was definitely early by most standards. But knowing what I know about Kendrick's skills and the fact I'm a sucker for good middle infielders, I had to grab him with that pick. Kendrick has always had the potential to succeed in the majors, but he's had injury issues every season he's been in the big leagues. So the major question is whether Kendrick can keep himself on the field this season. To me, it's worth taking a chance that he'll be healthy enough to get 500 at-bats this year. Now if he could learn to take a few more walks, then we'd really be talking. Barmes is a decent option, but he's had some consistency issues with the bat over his career. And yes, I can see Barmes hitting for more home runs, but the extra base hits over the season for both will be similar enough for me to keep Kendrick here.

[+] EnlargeJeff Clement
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesJeff Clement is looking less and less likely to start the year in the major leagues.

What is the latest on Jeff Clement and his projected playing time in Seattle? YanksNHawks

Dave: Don't expect more than 350 at-bats for Clement this season with Ken Griffey Jr. back in Seattle now. Plus, there's the fact manager Don Wakamatsu announced that Kenji Johjima is his starting catcher this season. Clement will still get time behind the plate, so that's somewhat encouraging, but the designated hitter at-bats expected for Clement just a few short weeks ago will now be affected. According to reports out of Seattle, the plan is for Griffey to start in left field most nights and to slot in at DH the other nights. However, we all know that Griffey will have a very difficult time keeping himself healthy, which will limit his overall field time. I'm banking that Griffey will require more DH at-bats than initially expected, which puts a kink in Clement's at-bat totals. If you have Clement on roster as your only catcher, I'd look at other alternatives now, especially since he hasn't proven himself with the bat yet.

I'm in a league with 15 categories for hitters and 15 for pitchers. On my bench, I have Travis Snider and I am thinking of picking up Josh Fields instead. Who has the more legitimate skills at this point? It's not a keeper league. Thanks. Peter

Dave: Since it's not a keeper league, that's the key here. Snider most certainly has the more legitimate skills long term, but won't make the immediate impact that Fields will this season, especially when it comes to power production. Fields has legitimate concerns as far as his batting eye, since he has whiffed far too many times historically, but for raw production and guaranteed at-bats Fields is the way to go. You'll have to suffer his low batting average of course, but with 15 categories you have a nice advantage being able to absorb the blow much easier than you would in a standard 5x5 league. Playing for this season alone, I would drop Snider for Fields.

Who would you rather have for this season, Adam Lind or Daniel Murphy? Why specifically? King

Dave: Both youngsters have good late-round value in standard leagues, but I'd rather have Lind playing for this season alone. Lind has totaled almost 700 MLB at-bats, compared to Murphy's 130. I like the idea of Murphy starting in the outfield this season for the Mets and batting second in the lineup in front of Carlos Beltran and David Wright, but Lind will produce more over a full season, given his experience. Lind has had trouble hitting lefties in seasons past, but he'll overcome that enough to keep him in the lineup full time. I actually prefer the more proven commodity in Lind here, even though Murphy is enticing. The risk is definitely less on Lind's side.

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