2B- Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds (ADP 117.3)
I hope I’m wrong here as I have Phillips at a nice number in a pair of NL-only keeper leagues, but I’m not overly excited about his prospects for the 2014 campaign.
The 106 RBI last season were nice, but also seems hard to repeat, especially with on-base machine Shin-Soo Choo now gone from the top of the lineup.
Phillips is a decent source of middle infield power, but he is also not running anymore and his batting average could be a liability on any team.
The downward trends suggest things are about to get a lot worse for Phillips.
3B- Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers (ADP 160.5)
Ramirez gets Ryan Braun back in the lineup which should help, but he is 36 now and coming off a season in which he posted only a 12 homer, 49 RBI season in only 300 at bats.
He’s at the age now where you are going to start seeing a sharp decline.
His 80 percent contact rate should result in a decent batting average, but I would expect to see a huge dip in the power numbers.
SS- Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs (ADP 126.8)
Castro is only 24 so there is still plenty of upside with him, but I’m banking on the real Castro is more like the 2013 version opposed to the 2012 version.
His Singles% last year was at .238, which cost his average about 40 points. He also saw a huge drop in batted ball speed on HRs, which dropped from 104 to 102, which directly correlated to his measly 5 HR/FB rate.
Given that his effort is often questioned, I wouldn’t expect to see too much of a rebound in 2014.
He should be better, but likely not worth of being a top 10 shortstop which is sad because this kid is talented.