As we continue to get closer to the fantasy baseball season, its now the appropriate time to revisit out TOSS UP feature where I compare two almost evenly matched players at the same position and break it down in an effort to decide who is the better guy to draft when the lock is ticking and you are going back and forth on who to select. Today we start at the always deep 1B position and look at the Reds’ Joey Votto and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. Both guys had huge 2010 seasons and both have an ADP (average draft position) that is almost equal. So lets try and break the deadlock and see who I think is the guy you should pick if you are lucky enough to be in position to draft one of these two. As always we will look at how each breaks down in the five hitting ROTO categories (avg, runs, home runs, rbi, and sb).
Average: Both Votto and Cabrera are among the best average hitters in all of baseball as the former hit .324 in 2010 and the latter hit .328. The one caveat here however is the fact that Votto benefited from some luck with a higher than it should BAPIP. Also Cabrera has back-to-back seasons over .320 so he is the more stable commodity as far as being able to hit that high consistently. Votto surely will hit .300 but maybe not to the level Cabrera is at.
Advantage: Miguel Cabrera
Home Runs: Just top once again illustrate how even these guys seemingly are, Votto cracked 37 dingers last season while Cabrera hit 38. This was Votto’s first foray into the 30 home run club but he was on the pace in 2009 despite missing a bunch of games with illness and injury. Cabrera has gone from 37 to 34 to 28 the last three season and he should be right in line there again this season. Votto has the approach and power to also be right there so this one is a dead heat.
RBI: Cabrera on this battle in 2010 as he went for 126 RBI to Votto’s 113. Both guys should have plenty of opportunity to add up the ribbies again this season but once again Cabrera is more likely and proven to come out on top here by a slight margin.
Advantage: Miguel Cabrera slightly
Runs: Both guys hit third in the order and both should score well over 100 runs. Cabrera scored 5 more runs last season than Votto but that is not enough to qualify an advantage here.
Stolen Bases: This is the one category that Votto wins easily as he swiped a very above average for the position 16 last season while Cabrera got only 3. Votto should get at least 15 and maybe even threaten 20 this season and Cabrera wont get more than 5 or so. Having a 1B steal that many bases is a huge bonus for fantasy baseball owners as Votto is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack not named Pujols at 1B in this specialty.
Advantage: Votto by wide margin.
Verdict: Really you cant go wrong with either guy and looking at the breakdowns, Cabrera wins two categories (one slightly and one decently) while Votto scores easily with one category himself. Based on the breakdown Cabrera would be the safer choice but I would have no problem if anyone went the other way. This one is as close to a dead heat as you are going to get.