Dispelling The “Negatives” Of Kevin Youkils

I’ll be honest, I was kind of surprised last week when many people seemed down on Kevin Youkilis.  I can understand the debate between him and Ryan Zimmerman, as I do have their 2010 projections to be extremely close.  Still, people seemed to be of the opinion that he wasn’t even in the same class of player.

First, let’s look at the numbers he posted in 2009:

491 At Bats
.305 Batting Average (150 Hits)
27 Home Runs
94 RBI
99 Runs
7 Stolen Bases
.413 On Base Percentage
.548 Slugging Percentage
.363 Batting Average on Balls in Play

That comes a year after he went .312, 29 HR, 115 RBI and 91 R.

You want to point to the BABIP?  He struck out a career worst 25.5% of the time last season and should be in line for an improvement there.  That means that even with decreased luck, he shouldn’t see a significant decrease in average since he should be putting more balls in play.

You want to point to the 16.5% HR/FB rate?  He was 14.9% in 2008, so how long does he have to consistently show the skill before we believe it?

In the same token, his flyball rate has been between 44.2% and 45.0% for the past four years, so there’s no questioning that.  Given his consistency the past two years, the power is very much for real and he certainly has the potential to reach the 30 home run plateau.

Want to say that the Red Sox lineup isn’t what it used to be?  Yeah, that’s a fair argument, but it’s not like the Red Sox are going to be a poor offensive unit.  He’s going to have Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia & Victor Martinez hitting in front of him, so there’s going to be plenty of opportunities to drive in runs.

Will he score close to 100 again?  Probably not, though don’t underestimate the guys at the backend of the lineup.  David Ortiz.  Mike Cameron.  J.D. Drew.  Adrian Beltre.  These are all players with the potential to hit the ball out of the ballpark each time they step to the plate.  Seeing him score 90 wouldn’t be surprising at all.

Yes, this isn’t the same type of Red Sox lineup that we’ve come to know, but that doesn’t mean that Youkilis is not going to be able to perform like he has over the past two seasons.

You want to say that he’s older?  Well, he is just turning 31-years old in March.  Since when is that past your prime?  The way people discuss him, you would think that he’s 37 or 38-years old and clearly on the downturn of his career.

Yes, Zimmerman is younger and has more long-term potential so dynasty league owners would likely prefer him, but as far as 2010 goes the two are on an even playing field.

Let’s take a look my projection for him for 2010:

.307 (164-535), 29 HR, 105 RBI, 95 R, 5 SB, .341 BABIP, .406 OBP, .551 SLG

There just isn’t anything not to like about those numbers.  Throw in his flexibility, being eligible at 1B and 3B, and I am a big fan of his heading into 2010.  I don’t believe the negatives that people are pointing to, because he has proven the past two seasons that he can perform at a high-level.  Why should we expect him to simply fall apart now?

What are your thoughts on Youkilis?  Is he a player that you are not as high on?  What are you expecting from him in 2010?

Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here.

Make sure to check out some of our 2010 projections, including:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. TY says:

    I posted this before, but Youk and ZIMM are very similar and should be drafted within a few picks of each other. I’ll gladly take either for my 3B this year.

  2. BLAZE says:

    But would you take Sandoval over either of them? That’s my only question.

  3. turk99 says:

    I love Youk. I’ve had him on my team the last two year, and I have constantly bounced him between 1st and 3rd b/c of other injuries in my dynasty league. That flexibility is worth an inflated price. I’m currently keeping him at 25 for next season (260 auction league). I could throw him back and probably get him at the same price, but this could finally be the year my other GMs see the light and bid me up for him. The last couple of years most GMs were luke warm. If anyone thinks I shouldn’t keep him for 25, I’d like to hear the arguments.

  4. TY says:

    Blaze- i rank them Zimm, Youk (basically dead even), and then pablo….

    I wouldn’t take Pablo over either in any situation.

  5. BLAZE says:

    I’d agree with you even though i have a soft spot for the Panda. I do believe his power will stick relatively close and maybe the average drops a tad BUT the problem to me is gonna be his Runs. He didnt even crack 80 last year.

  6. Rotoprofessor says:

    Blaze, I agree with Ty in that there is no situation I can think of that I would draft Pablo over either Youkilis or Zimmerman (though I have them ranked Youkilis, Zimmerman, Pablo myself).

    Does anyone disagree with that?

  7. Rotoprofessor says:

    Agreed Blaze, and what has changed? Do you think Mark DeRosa & Aubrey Huff are going to make a huge difference to their line-up? It’s going to improve it, but I’d be surprised if he comes close to the other two in that category.

  8. PaullyBoston says:

    I think that people just hate youk because he is kind of a tool. I am from boston and most of the people here that are sox fans dont even like him a ton because he is such a blowhard.

    That being said, I am really hoping to nominate him early in my auctions leagues and land him early. bagging those type of numbers early and at a reasonable price allows one to be flexible at 1B and 3B the rest of the draft. Just take whatever value presents itself later on, as I already have a very solid option at one of these positions.

  9. PaullyBoston says:

    For what it is worth


  10. TY says:

    blaze- i actually think Sandovals average will dip and his power some… last year was a monster year for him, i’m not paying for it without seeing a second one.

  11. I too love the flexibility. I see no reason why he can’t continue to produce. I’m a Sox fan so I’m biased, but I love the passion he plays with. He doesn’t take a pitch off, let alone an at bat. That’s the kind of player i want on my fantasy team.

  12. carlito says:

    what about reynolds? he is better then then sandoval. my biggets thing with youk is hes always hurt. always misses games and that kills you in head to head leagues. in head to head..

    i would go… zimmerman, youk, reynolds, pablo

  13. Chad says:

    Zimmerman’s big year was his breakout as much as it was for the Panda. While I agree that Panda is 3rd out of those three, doesn’t Zimmerman pose some risk since he hasn’t exactly repeated those numbers either?

  14. Nate says:

    Reynolds has some serious regression comin’ his way imo, but the SB potential keeps him above Sandoval for me. Youk, Zimm, Reynolds, Sandoval.

  15. TY says:

    chad- I think i believe in zimmerman more because he has the pedigree. He’s a highly drafted and touted prospect coming into the league. Plus he’s put up 3 years of at least 20HRs and 90RBIS and the 4th year he was hurt… He has a 20/110 and 24/91 season under his belt.

    Carlito- Youk has been hurt each year basically for the past 4, but averaged missing only 15 games. I guess its alot but in H2H why is that such a big deal? I play H2H, thats only two weeks? maybe a little into the 3rd week…. roll with a replacement til your stud comes back.

    nate- does the SB potential overrule the HUGE difference in average, even if Panda regresses to .300 he’s going to hit 40+ points higher than reynolds, but i agree with reynolds over panda just due to the sheer power/speed combo…. i can dismiss the average if i get 30-35 HR’s and 10-20SB’s.

    AGAIN, All in all with power, average, rbi’s, youth and health I like Zimmerman still…

  16. PaullyBoston says:

    Quick general question, does the season pass address auction drafts?

  17. turk99 says:

    The thing w/ Zimmerman is he is on everyone’s radar now. It’s the sexy pick. He’ll go to early or for an inflated price. That’s where the benefit of Youk helps you win.

    Also, interesting that I think this is the longest comments thread in recent memory.

  18. Rotoprofessor says:

    Paully, by season pass do you mean the draft guide? If so, I am working on getting projected values included, to go along with everything else (over 525+ projections, etc).

    And I agree with Turk, both for Zimmerman & Sandoval. They are the “sexy” picks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the smartest ones. The argument between Zimmerman & Youkilis is a close one, but I can’t buy Sandoval off his 2009 season. I think we’ll definitely have to address him in an article early next week.

  19. TY says:

    turk99 I think zimmerman and youk’s value is inflated, people are aware 3B is shallow… both of them are gone in the 3rd round of a 12 team draft… after than panda will be gone in the 4th, and then you’re looking at….. bleh

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