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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: CHRISTIAN YELICH/ANDREW BENINTENDI

The next 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Debate is on tap and today we look at the back end of the top ten outfielders for the upcoming season which includes both brand new Milwaukee Brewer Christian Yelich and emerging Boston Red Sox talent Andrew Benintendi.  With Yelich having just been traded into a hopelessly negative situation in Miami (both in ballpark and surrounding cast) to a potentially great environment in a stacked Brewers lineup (and terrific power park), he likely would be the reflexive pick since he has all the pop going for him now.  But should that be the case?  Let's compare the two in the five standard fantasy baseball hitting categories to find out who in fact should be selected ahead of the other.

RUNS:  We still don't know where Yelich will hit in the Brewer batting order but at or near the top is likely.  Yelich scored a massive 100 runs last season with Giancarlo Stanton behind him and another move toward that number is likely as well this season in his new locale.  Benintendi scored just 84 last season but he figures to improve as well there.  For now though, Yelich seems like the better bet to get to 100.
ADVANTAGE:  Christian Yelich

HOME RUNS:  Last season it was Benintendi over Yelich in home runs by a slim count of 20-18 but in the advanced world, it is Benintendi who gets the nod.  The reason being is that Yelich continues to have a major ground ball-heavy tilt which has always capped his power.  Last season Yelich hit the ball on the ground 55.4 percent of the time which is very high and not good for power output.  Meanwhile, Benintendi's ground ball rate was a much lower 40.1.  That means Benintendi has the better power potential and so he gets the check.
ADVANTAGE:  Andrew Benintendi

RBI:  Going along for the ride with home runs are the RBI and we already established Benintendi as the better power option of the two.  Already as a rookie last season, Benintendi beat Yelich in RBI 90-84 and that setup should remain.
ADVANTAGE:  Andrew Benintendi

AVERAGE:  Yelich has always been lauded for having batting title potential but so has Benintendi as well.  For now Yelich is the better overall hitter as Benintendi has to work through some lefty struggles.
ADVANTAGE:  Christian Yelich

STEALS:  Both Yelich and Benintendi can really run but the latter won this battle 20-16 last season.  Yes, the Brewers like to run which is a boost to Yelich and if the former Marlin gets the leadoff spot then look out.  This one is too close to call.

So in the event of a tie, we go to Intangibles and on this front, we have to give the nod to Benintendi due to the fact he has more upside than Yelich.  Yelich is almost in his prime now, while Benintendi has a few years to go.  What is interesting is that as good as Benintendi was last season, he struggled in Fenway Park which is amazing for someone so talented with the bat.  That struggle will surely be remedied soon and so Benintendi's outlook is brighter.
ADVANTAGE:  Andrew Benintendi

WINNER:  Andrew Benintendi

So as you can see, the nod goes to Benintendi.  It is very close but we have to go Benintendi here given his upside.


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