Let me preface this by saying that I have liked Alex Rodriguez every year since he began playing baseball. But this year I particularly like to have him on my team. Why is that?
A-Rod is ranked around the 20th spot on every player projection I have seen so far. That means that one could have him in the second round. Given the 3B position scarcity, being able to wait for A-Rod ill the second round is a gift from the gods.
The low rating for A-Rod is because he is expected to miss a few weeks of playing time. Considering that the Yankees may be careful with him, he may miss three, or even four weeks. With that in mind, his personal production projections were lowered making the power hitter a second rounder.
Do not take me wrong. I agree with the projections. But this is how I see it and, you will see, it is pretty simple.
Unless you play in one of those rare leagues where roster changes are not allowed, the moment A-Rod is out one is expected to replace him with a bench corner guy. From a purely mathematical perspective that means that your team’s overall production from the 3B position is going to be A-Rod’s plus a few weeks of another player’s. Which is going to be, let’s guess, a HR or two, a half dozen runs and RBIs, maybe even a stolen base? Let’s add these numbers together. There is no other third baseman out there who by himself can beat this combined production. That plus the opportunity to wait ‘till the second round is why I like A-Rod this year.
It sounds simple. Unless by the time you are ready to pick up your spare third sacker, there is absolutely no one left out there. Given this year’s scarcity, that’s quite possible. In a league where I picked A-Rod, I ended up with Placido Polanco as my bench hot corner man. I am counting on Polanco’s steady high batting average. I drafted him because I had noticed that my assembled team was not projected to do so well in the BA category. Meaning, do also pay attention to where your overall team's projected numbers rest during the draft.