Every year there are several players that enter spring training with lingering injuries or sustain an injury during spring training. And sometimes their Median Draft Position (MDP) is slow to reflect this change. Who are this year’s fantasy sliders? And when are you prepared to take them?
Chase Utley – MDP #15
Chase Utley had established himself as the elite fantasy second baseman typically putting up a .290 average, 100-R, 30-HR, 100-RBI and 15-SB line. This is the second straight season that he has entered spring training with injury concerns. He started last season on fire but tore a thumb ligament in June and finished with decent but not elite numbers. Now he has patella tendinitis and the Phillies are taking baby steps after an MRI and a cortisone shot. Currently his MDP is in the early second round, but this is a situation that I’ll avoid. But at what point is he worth the risk? Third round? Fourth round? Or does this not concern you and you will still take him in the second?
Justin Morneau – MDP #47
Unlike Greinke and Utley all of the news regarding Morneau has been positive. He played in his first spring training game recently and is on track to be in the opening day lineup. Yet I read about drafts where Morneau is falling to the bottom or even out of the top 100. There is a good reason that drafters have been avoiding him, since he has sustained numerous concussions before and during his professional baseball career. But how far do you let a guy having an MVP season last year before the injury slide?
Zack Greinke – MDP #51
After the offseason trade to the Milwaukee Brewers (more importantly a team with an offense playing in the NL) Zack Greinke was vaulting to the top of the deep second tier of starting pitchers. But then he broke a rib playing basketball and will likely miss a few starts at the beginning of the season. My concern isn’t that he’ll miss a few starts but rather that this could be a lingering injury affecting his entire season. Do you take a chance on Greinke in the 70s? Or do you let him fall to the bottom of the top 100?
Kendrys Morales – MDP #59
The Angels and fantasy owners everywhere suffered perhaps the most heartbreaking moment of 2010 when Kendrys Morales broke his ankle after a walk off grand slam last May. It has been nearly 10 months since the injury and he still isn’t 100%. It’s even possible that he misses Opening Day. I don’t know about you but I’m not too excited about investing a fifth round pick in a player that hasn’t played a spring training game yet. Is he still in your top 75? Or is he in the bottom of the top 100? Do you draft him before or after Morneau?
Kirk Beiser is a lifelong Twins fan. He's currently in Taiwan drifting aimlessly around the world (and playing a little fantasy baseball when possible). You can catch up with Kirk in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of kab21.
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