For a baseball season which threatened to have about as little drama as an episode of Emeril Live until the final week, the high drama continues in a hotly contested World Series. For some leagues, keeper decisions need to be made by the time dessert is finished in the season, and so the other 28 teams get some attention before trading begins in earnest. Whether a deadline looms or not, keeper advice can help make a team into a dynasty.
Shallow (10-team mixed, 3 keepers): http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6431
Medium (12-team mixed, 4 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6430
Deep (15-team mixed, 6 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6432
NL-Only (12-team NL only, 5 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6435
AL-Only (12-team AL only, 5 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6434
Super Deep (20-team mixed, 10 keepers) http://pfm.baseballprospectus.com/index.php?cid=6433
It's still unnatural writing about Lance Berkman, outfielder. Last December, he was covered in this column as a bargain for the upcoming 2011 season, with slight cautions about his inability to hit lefty pitching in the past. He ended up surpassing all expectations and clouting 31 home runs while scoring 90 runs and driving in 94. Expecting a repeat at his age would be overly optimistic, but he should be a strong contributor in that lineup and a force in leagues which use on-base percentage.
With Ike Davis due back, surprising power source Lucas Duda will be seeing most of his playing time in the outfield, though dual-eligibility will make him more valuable for 2012. Before 2010, there was little to suggest that Duda would be able to earn more than bench play for the Mets or any other team. He isn't a great defensive first baseman and plays outfield defense as if his primary position is first base (it is). He was coming off a typical .281/.380/.428, age-23 season in Binghamton, but in 2010, he quickly earned a promotion to Triple-A, where he hit .314/.389/.610 in 298 plate appearances. He picked up where he left off in 2011, hitting .302/.414/.597, and when opportunities arose on the injury-plagued Mets, he barely slowed down against major-league pitching. He's a big guy with a big swing, and the increase in power was to be expected. That he's been able to keep his batting average (and thus on-base percentage) as high as he did is a credit to the reduction in strikeout rate he's shown as he's progressed through the system. With such a big swing, he may never hit lefties enough to impact then, but if he can come close to the .380 on-base percentage and over-.500 slugging against right-handed pitching again, he'll be a force. He's still under the radar enough that protecting him in a deep league would be overkill, but he's certainly someone to target.
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