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Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

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Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby MTUCache » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:33 pm

Pros:
Hitting behind Pujols/Holliday
Hitting behind Pujols/Holliday
Soon to be OF eligible
.296 career hitter w/ 20 HR 10 out of last 11 years

Cons:
35 years old.
"Playing" OF, likely very badly.
May get moved down in (or out of) lineup against lefties.
Average dropped .024 last year, and slugging almost 90 points
Declining bat speed.
HR/FB has gone from a career high of 25% down to 12% last year.

Current ADP at 255 at MDC and 243 in the Cafe's MDP sticky, easily within range of a #4/5 OF spot, likely as a non-drafted player in most shallow leagues.

So... worthy of a bench spot? Borderline wait-and-see guy? I mean, if people are going to be gambling on the likes of Stanton for their #2OF spots in the 7th/8th rounds, a guy with an upside-line of .290/90/25/60/0 has to at least be on the radar, right?

To me, OF is so shallow this year that I'm thinking that Berkman is going to end up on just about every roster I've got as my alternate OF. If LaRussa moves him down in the order and starts resting him for shoddy defense he's a risk-free cut. On the other hand, if he finds his stroke he's going to be hitting with a TON of runners on base...

I mean, crap, even Ryan Ludwick was a good fantasy OF-option last year because of that spot in the lineup, and he's a .260 hitter. Just sayin'...
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby Element » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:40 pm

I was high on Berkman before the move to STL for one reason alone. This is the first offseason in a while where he is not rehabbing a knee surgery and gets to concentrate on his offseason strength and conditioning program. That alone is big news. Now the reports are that he has lost 20 pounds. For me, that just validates my above thought.

And who's to say that he doesn't hit IN FRONT of Albert and Holliday? Historically, LaRussa likes using high OBP guys in that slot (JD Drew comes right to mind). Even if that is only against RHP.

I think that he is well worth a bench spot at the very least and could be a sneaky CI play this season.
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby hot4tx » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:19 pm

Berkman bit me last year as my CI starting out, but I still think he's got a lot of value since he's falling so far. He's had a lot of stat fluctuation from year to year, so maybe him having the knee issue combined with just bad lucky/year/jujube/poor team/whatever his deal is explains the poor stats last season instead of it being a huge decline. Now he hasn't been in good shape for a long time and those guys tend to age poorly, so I expect he has been and is declining with age, but maybe a lot of that last year was just him having a bad year.

Especially with 1B/OF elig I'm buying him this year. Won't go hog-wild and reach 8 rounds and I won't cry if someone else gets him, but I do think he has a lot of potential value going in rounds 20-23 right now.
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby cordscords » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:01 pm

As an Astros fan I'm always gonna like the guy. Hope for a bounce back season that looks like Konerko's. I think he's definitely worth a gamble for where he's going, but is he the right pick at that spot?

Looking at R&C's MDP post there are 2 players who are within 10 spots of him that could be better picks. Garrett Jones & Luke Scott will have the same 1B/OF eligibility (Berkman will gain his OF eligibility early), and they would appear to have much more tread on the tires than Lance. Jones smacked 33 homers combined in 2009, and just hit 21 homers in his first full season. Maybe he's more adjusted to major league pitching and returns to his 2009 power numbers? Scott has hit 25-27 homers over the last 2 seasons. As the primary DH this year does that jump to 30-35 homers?

It's the classic dilemma. Does the aging veteran have another big season in him, or does the younger player with potential finally put it all together? Just something to think about.
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:25 pm

Isn't G Jones in a platoon with Matt Diaz?
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby cordscords » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:52 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:Isn't G Jones in a platoon with Matt Diaz?


Wasn't aware of that until just now. I guess that makes Scott the guy you should consider more here, but I think that Jones finds a way to get a good # of plate appearances. Diaz missed a good chunk of 2008 & 2010 due to injury. A brittle player who only excels against lefties shouldn't take away too much playing time from arguably the teams biggest power threat. Overbay was a 1 year deal, I think he's dealt at some point.
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby kab21 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:03 pm

Luke Scott is 32 and has never been a full time player and has barely been above 70 R's or RBI's a handful of times in his career. And Garrett Jones is going to be in some sort of platoon.

Meanwhile Berkman is going to hit before or after Pujols/Holliday and injuries can directly be attributed to his lack of production the last 2 seasons (2009 was pretty good actually, just shortened). He's an injury risk but he can be much better option than either of these two. I'm all over Berkman in rds 16-20.
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby J35J » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:29 pm

kab21 wrote:Luke Scott is 32 and has never been a full time player and has barely been above 70 R's or RBI's a handful of times in his career. And Garrett Jones is going to be in some sort of platoon.

Meanwhile Berkman is going to hit before or after Pujols/Holliday and injuries can directly be attributed to his lack of production the last 2 seasons (2009 was pretty good actually, just shortened). He's an injury risk but he can be much better option than either of these two. I'm all over Berkman in rds 16-20.


+1
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby CBMGreatOne » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:26 pm

I definitely like Berkman. OF is not deep this year by any means and he should get that eligibility in short order. He's a guy who could have elite counting stats with 25-30 HRs if things break right. With his plate discipline and almost unprecedented lineup protection there's plenty of upside for him even at age 35. Barring injury, I would set the floor at something like Scott Rolen's numbers from last year. Anything else would be gravy considering where he's going in drafts.
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Re: Berkman - Worthy of a Gamble?

Postby cordscords » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:10 am

For the record I do like Berkman over those 2. Just playing devils advocate here.
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