Ah yes, fantasy baseball draft season. A time for reflection, for looking ahead, and for answering all the important questions about Sox numbers.
Does Jim Thome have another 90 RBI season left in the tank?
Can Paul Konerko rebound enough from last season to provide a reasonable substitute for automatic first round choice Albert Pujols?
Will Carlos Quentin hit another 35 home runs before sawing off his own leg as punishment for failing to catch a foul ball he chased into the upper deck?
That in mind, our wise council of statisticians, doctors, physicists and aeronautical engineers has emerged from their annual conference deep in the bunker beneath the Bridgeport Inn. Here, for the first time ever, we present their findings.
Jermaine Dye is the Sox bat you want if you can’t get Quentin. Quentin is the more obvious choice, while Konerko and Thome have more sentimental value, but Dye has the perfect combination of the former’s reckless power and the latters’ grizzled old man strength. Quentin also had the advantage of limited scouting preceding him, so look for his power numbers to drop oh-so-slightly while Thome and Paulie keep chopping down trees.
Alexei Ramirez is better than Derek Jeter at everything. Despite what the experts might tell you, gambling is not a time to play it safe. No one ever beat the house at the $2 blackjack table and no one ever won a poker tournament merely playing the steady hands. Ramirez is younger, faster and more psychotic with the bat than Jeter, and that is exactly the formula for numbers that win fantasy leagues. Simply put, Jeter bats second for singles and for situational effectiveness. Ramirez bats whenever he damn well pleases. The choice should make itself.
Don’t pick a White Sox centerfielder for any reason. Very few leagues reward defense, even fewer reward unused speed and none reward the persistence needed to simply hang around the majors for a long time. Keep shopping.
Josh Fields is the sleeper who never really slept. People forget he had 23 home runs in 100 games his last time up. No one’s really sure why, although it may have something to do with his season-long disappearance in 2008. Whatever the case, the technicians have restored him to wholly operational and it’s safe to expect great things again.
Carlos Quentin will cut you so bad if you don’t pick him. Seriously. Do not anger that man.