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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL HOLD HIM OR DROP HIM: MIKE NAPOLI C TEXAS RANGERS


When Mike Napoli was first traded to the Texas Rangers, the excitement was palpable in the fantasy baseball community as the consensus best power hitting catcher in the game was going to quite possibly the best hitting park in the game.  Visions of 30 home runs danced in owners' heads and so when drafting season came around, Napoli was drafted with those expectations firmly in hand.  And things certainly started off well as Napoli hit a home run in the season opener and added two more before the season was two weeks old.  Unfortunately Napoli has failed to homer since and his stats currently sit at 3 homers with 5 RBI and 6 runs along with a .292 average.  Not terrible by any means but there are some deeper concerns to get to here and once again that's playing time.  Here we go again huh?  And the answer is a resounding "yes" as manager Ron Washington must have read the Mike Scoscia handbook on how to deploy Napoli and that is not often enough.  In fact Napoli has only played in 8 of the teams 17 games with a total of 24 at-bats.  That is downright ridiculous and really forces his fantasy baseball owners to deploy a second catcher on their roster or even a third if you play in two-catcher formats, and that is always a big no-no in my book when it comes to roster management.  This of course is not an indictment of Napoli as he once again is not being allowed to showcase his talent due to the whims of his manager.  Fantasy baseball owners however have to take a stand here and I believe they have no choice but to let Napoli go.  Having to check the lineup everyday to see if Napoli is in there is an annoying requirement with the guy and since he is missing half the games, the loss of counting stats is impossible to replace.  There are also some more intriguing guys who might be sitting on the wire such as a resurgent Matt Wieters, Carlos Ruiz, or Nick Hundley who could supply even better value than what Napoli can due to the playing time issue.  All in all though, this is a guy you just got to cut your losses on and run.  VERDICT:  DROP HIM

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