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Q&A: I can only keep 5 out of these 6 - Granderson, McCutchen, AGonz, Bumgarner, and Beltre - who should I let go?

Question Submitted to RotoBaller >>

Name: Jake

Fantasy Baseball Question: I can only keep 5 out of these 6: Granderson, McCutchen, Reyes, A-gonz, Bumgarner, Beltre What you think??

League Type, Categories and Player Pool: Roto 5x5, Mixed league, 11 Team

Roster Positions: C,1,2,3,ss,mi,ci,5OF,8P,5B,2DL


RotoBaller Detailed Analysis >>

Hi Jake,

Thanks for submitting your question to Rotoballer!

You’ve got a real nice selection of keepers there. Since you didn’t mention prices, I’m assuming this is a “keep your 5 best” type league without any contract limits. Let’s dig into these guys a bit more to help you figure out which one to let go.

First off, all 6 of these guys are top 60 picks and will be gone within the first 5 rounds of any fresh draft, so it’s not going to be an easy decision. So let’s get rid of the obvious guys: McCutchen is a 1st round pick this year; Reyes is top-2 shortstop hitting at the front end of a potentially dynamite offense, and he gives you top-of-the-line stats at a very thin position; Beltre keeps putting up monstrous seasons. Tie those guys up in a neat package and don’t touch it. That way you have 3B, OF and SS covered.

That leaves Bumgarner, AGonz, and Granderson. Last year, these guys were ranked 42, 60, and 26 respectively.

  • Even with a hitting .232, Grandy was a top-26 player because he mashed 43 bombs and chipped in 10 SB. I think the BA will come up to the .250-.260 range. Even though his K% was a career high (and that is concerning), Granderson drove the ball extremely well, though his BABIP did not reflect this. It’s fair to expect a floor of 35 HR at this point. Net-net, Granderson is going to be a 2nd - 4th round caliber player.
  • Gonzalez had his worst year at the plate in 2012. His BB% and ISO (raw power) were pitiful. He’s turning 31 this May so we can safely assume his best years are behind him. Still, he’s not as bad as his 2012 season, and he’s in the middle of a great lineup. I like the fans’ predictions at Fangraphs, 298-23-105-88-3 with maybe a few more HR and R in there also. That stat line would move him to the middle / end of the 3rd round in terms of draft-day value.
  • Bumgarner is a borderline fantasy ace. He was the #12 SP last year, which means he can lead any fantasy rotation just fine, though not necessarily carry it the way a guy like Verlander can. Bumgarner has good, but not great or elite strikeout potential (ranked 24th), good control (ranked 20th), questionable stamina (ranked 18th from 2011-2012 in IP). These things separate him from the elite arms, from whom you’re looking to get substantial contributions to your Ks and Ws. I think it’s reasonable to expect a similar year to 2012 from Bumgarner which should put him solidly in the 4th round.


As I said, all these guys are solid keepers. It comes down to needs and rare commodities. It will be very difficult to draft a 1B or OF after the 5th round that gives you AGonz / Grandy’s stats. On the other hand there are always sleeper pitchers available, even ones as good as Bumgarner (Gio Gonzalez and RA Dickey are two who were drafted later than the 5th round last year), or just slightly worse (Peavy, Kuroda, Zimmerman were all later picks who put up numbers close to Bumgarner). BUT, definitely don’t just lazily let him go into the draft!!! My advice would be to trade him pre-draft to a manager with a weaker pitching staff. Try to snag a draft pick if you can, or upgrade a different keeper with a 2-1. If you can’t do that, then let him go!

Hope this was helpful and thanks for your submission!

- The RotoBaller Staff