Spring training is now only three weeks away and drafting season will be following close behind so its time to take a look at another 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Toss Up. Today we go back into the OF position and take a look at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Holliday. Both guys are being drafted between the end of the second round and the beginning of the third in early mock drafts and they are being selected right in front of each other in the OF hierarchy. So lets compare the two in all five of the ROTO categories along with the intangibles to see who should be selected first this spring.
Average: Kemp is coming off a .249 season but he was the victim of a very low BABIP which will correct itself this season. Be that as it may Kemp strikes out a ton and optimally is around a .290 hitter compared to Holliday who continued his .300-plus batting averages after leaving Colorado.
Advantage: Matt Holliday
Runs: Both guys are likely to bat third of fourth all season and both should see their runs finish in the 90-110 range. There really is nothing to suggest one has the advantage over the other.
Home Runs: Both Kemp and Holliday hit 28 home runs last season and that seems to be the range that both guys will settle in give or take a few through their prime years. Again nothing major can differentiate these two in this department.
RBI: Holliday is sitting in quite possibly the best lineup spot in baseball and thats smack dab behind Albert Pujols. Kemp is no slouch in the RBI department though as again had 89 in an off year in 2010 which followed his 101 from 2009. Both guys will have guys on base aplenty this season so again it will be very close.
Stolen Bases: Kemp wins this easily as his 19 last season was considered an off year. Holliday was much more aggressive in Colorado on the bases but he has settled into the 10 range. Kemp should get back to the 25-plus region this season now that he will have a set lineup position this season.
Advantage: Matt Kemp
Intangibles: As far as age is concerned, Kemp is four years younger than Holliday and so he still has ceiling remaining in his game while Holliday has plateud at this point in his career. The prospect of a 25/25 and maybe even a 30/30 season makes Kemp the draft stock that could yield more of a return than Holliday and guys who can hit homers and steal bases like Kemp can are what all fantasy baseball owners strive to own on their roster.
WINNER: Matt Kemp
This was the closest Toss Up we have done so far and the fact it came down to the intangibles is proof positive that you can go wrong with either guy. Kemp is the more risky play off his 2010 season but he has the better chance of supplying better value that does Holliday due to the chance of growth.