When you are looking for a shortstop, you could easily find yourself trying to decide between two “pure” speed options in Elvis Andrus and Everth Cabrera. Who is actually the better draft day investment? Let’s see what the Rotoprofessor writers think:
Will Overton – The Case For Elvis Andrus
I think there is a common misconception out there that Everth Cabrera is a younger, still budding player, unlike Elvis Andrus. The fact is that they both came in the league as rookies in 2009 and Cabrera is actually two years older. I think people are souring a bit on Andrus because he hasn’t progressed as far as some expected, but he’s still clearly a better player than Cabrera for fantasy purposes.
Andrus has never hit below .265 in his five seasons in the Majors. Cabrera is a lifetime .252 hitter. He clearly made progress last year reaching .283, but one year doesn’t trump five years of consistency.
There’s also the factor of the team they play for. I’m not always big on this, but in this case it makes a difference. Andrus plays for one of the best offenses in baseball and Cabrera plays for one of the worst. This matters more when you’re talking about a speed, top of the order guys like we are here. I think Andrus is going to be one of the best run scorers in the league this season, while Cabrera will be middle of the pack. Andrus also knocked in 67 last year which is a lot for a top of the order guy. For those who say Cabrera will steal more, that might be true, but Andrus had a career high 42 last season so he’s trending the right way.
I like Cabrera, but Andrus is better. You could possibly argue Cabrera has better value, but even than I think Andrus is a round or two better and that’s where he’s being picked. Andrus has been drafted too high in the past which has him labeled as overrated, but he’s going in the right spot now and I’d personally rather have him than Cabrera.
Ray Kuhn – The Case For Everth Cabrera
I’m not sure it really gets closer than Elvis Andrus and Everth Cabrera. Just about everywhere you look will have the two shortstops back-to-back in their rankings. In a vacuum given the choice, with no other considerations, I take Andrus. Yes, you read that right. So while this is purely on the surface, the guy who is advocating for Cabrera would rather have Andrus. So what gives?
If you look at the two, they are pretty much the same player. Cabrera is coming off a 50 game PED suspension, but I don’t think that will be a factor in what we can expect from him in 2014. Andrus does play for the better team in the hitter’s park so that does help. However does it really matter? We aren’t drafting either of these guys for their power. While Andrus will likely score more runs and drive in a few more runs just based on playing in the American League and the fact that the Rangers have a better offense, Cabrera will steal probably about 10 more bases. With stolen bases being as rare as they have been lately, this is no small consideration. So from an overall value perspective, they really are equal.
That is not how they are being drafted. So far in NFBC drafts, Andrus has an ADP of 51.64 (range from picks 34-75) while Cabrera’s ADP is 82.67 (range from picks 54-109). Personally I wouldn’t take either based on their ADP, but if on average I can wait 30 picks from Cabrera, then that is the side I take. Plus I’ll take the extra stolen bases.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: