Everyone has their own rules as to determine who to keep for the next season. It definitely depends on talent pool, number of keepers allowed, and possibly contract/draft spot. I find that usually players are kept because they are ranked high in their position.
However, has anyone bucked the tradition by keeping someone whom they speculate would be great? I'm not talking about keeping minor league keepers, but more about hanging onto major league players that you believe are one or two years away from greatness. I sometimes feel that, though I know I may be able to get the guy back in the draft, I would rather just own him ahead of time because I believe in the possibilities.
Anyone else gamble with the potential of their keepers?
LIke you said, it's hard to answer this without looking at situations.
In one league I can keep all my sure things and my speculative guys as we can freeze 15. In another league we can only freeze 7 which leaves little room for speculation.
I would generally say it depends on how well set up I am for a championship run. If I think I've got a great shot (bringing a lot of undervalue into the draft), I go for sure things. This actually hurts me a little as I think upside wins championships. I just don't do as I say.
If I'm likely going to struggle I go for upside. Even if I don't compete I likely end up with a keeper for the following season.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” --Henry David Thoreau
14 team, 5x5 roto, C/1B/2B/3B/SS/OF/OF/OF/U. 1250 Max IP.
We get 5 keepers. Two years ago I bought into the hype and drafted Wieters fairly early. When it came time to make a decision on keepers last year, I had Reyes/Pedroia/Holliday/Jason Bay as locks, with my 5th keeper coming down to Wieters and Hanson. Hanson was the safer pick, but I really believed that Wieters would take the next step and become a top 3 catcher at least, so I kept Wieters to my dismay.
It depends on how many keepers you get and the strength of your team, but taking a chance can set your team up for a while (especially in perennial keeper leagues).
If in keeping a guy his value from last year carries over (ie you lose his draft pick in the round or round + 2 or w/e) or you keep him at a value at or somewhat higher than last year in an auction league, you can keep guys with the best value relative to their position.
Otoh, if your 5 (or w/e number of keepers) are your first five picks in a draft, then you're just going to keep the top five guys on your team, and pricing in an uptick in performance is a bad idea.
Generally speaking, I prefer to just keep the players that will best help me in the upcoming season. It's impossible to predict 2-3 years down the road. Most of the time the player with the upside never pans out. Plus, there are always new and upcoming 'stars' entering the league every year. It's always nice to have a guy that finally blossoms, but I prefer to go into my draft knowing what I have and knowing what I need to reach my statistical bench marks in each category.