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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: WILIN ROSARIO/YADIER MOLINA

It is time once again to check in on another 2014 fantasy baseball draft debate and today we go into the catching fraternity to see who should be picked right behind consensus number 1 backstop Buster Posey in the hierarchy of those who don the tools of ignorance.  Two prime contenders for such a title are the Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario and the St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina.  As always we will compare the two in all five of the relevant hitting ROTO categories in order to see who comes out on top.

RUNS:  This is an absolute dead heat as both Rosario and Molina have finished in the mid-60's when it comes to runs scored during the last two seasons.  Nothing will change going forward in their projections with that stat.
ADVANTAGE:  EVEN

HOME RUNS:  Molina hit 22 home runs in 2012 but that was the only time he reached the hallowed 20 mark for a catcher and overall that total was an outlier based on his career stats which showed he never came close to such a tally before.  Rosario meanwhile has hit 21 and 28 home runs the last two seasons which is a benchmark number for him that Molina just doesn't possess.  Also with Rosario being only 25, there is still some small window left for him to add to that home run total.  Plus playing your home games in Coors Field instantly puts one as the favorite there.
ADVANTAGE:  Wilin Rosario

AVERAGE:  Molina was in the batting title race for much of last season as he ultimately finished with a splendid .319 mark.  Molina has hit at least .305 in each of the last three seasons and he is one of the toughest hitters to strike out in the game.  Meanwhile Rosario is prone to striking out despite putting up some decent average the last two seasons in the form of a .272 and .292 mark.  Molina is the much better pure hitter and is a lock for .300 while Rosario will not likely come close to that average area code due to the K's.
ADVANTAGE:  Yadier Molina

RBI:  Last season Molina drove in 80 runs while Rosario came in at 79.  It doesn't get any closer than that unless they were even.  Both men will be thrust in the middle of the batting order again which means more RBI opportunities are on the way.
ADVANTAGE:  EVEN

STOLEN BASES:  Both guys have a bit of speed with Molina having stolen as many as 12 bases in a season while Rosario has swiped four bags both in his 2012 and 2013 campaigns.  Molina is now turning 32 though and only took 3 last season which means age could be a factor now.  Nothing too concrete to declare a winner.
ADVANTAGE:  EVEN

All right so both men take one category with the other three coming in even.  When that happens it is time to look at INTANGIBLES to break the tie.

INTANGIBLES:  As I noted earlier, Rosario is much younger at 25 to Molina's 32.  He has upside to his game and has hit as many as 28 home runs in a season which Molina has not even come close to reaching.  Also catchers tend to drop off quick once they turn 30 and while Molina is still hitting at a very high level, it would shock no one if he tailed off.  He also got nicked up a bit last season which is another red flag to worry about when it comes to Molina this season.  Rosario is the guy.
ADVANTAGE:  Wilin Rosario

WINNER:  Wilin Rosario

Rosario is my number 2 fantasy baseball catcher behind Posey and for good reason.  He could lead the position in home runs this season and also supply 80 RBI and a solid average.  That is great production from a catcher and his youth makes him the one to pick over Molina this season in your draft.

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