Reading Dave Cameron's Negative Trade Value
article on Fangraphs.com today got me thinking about ARod's actual fantasy value vs. his perceived value. Cameron labeling him as "merely good" may be overly harsh but simply looking at his career numbers it seems likely that his 50+ HR seasons are far behind him and even his 40+ seasons may be as well. His AB/HR has been trending upward from his ridiculous rates while in his prime years (though it's still very good).
He's currently the #69 ranked player on Yahoo (ESPN Player Rater - #86). In 2009 he finished at #54 (ESPN - 65). In 2008 #12. He has been entrenched atop fantasy rankings for so long it's hard to see him anywhere else. And for good reason. He's undeniably one of the premier talents in baseball history. But like Cameron pointed out, age and injuries are catching up to him. He's no longer a good bet to stay healthy all season.
Would he be a terrible first round pick in 2011? Absolutely not. You can still mark him down for a good-to-great season with confidence. And he'll be hitting in one of the best offenses in the league for the rest of his career.
But with the way things are playing out for him I can't say that he would be your best option with where he's likely to go in drafts next year.