Grady Sizemore was fast becoming a reliable fantasy stud prior to last season's injury marred debacle. One has to wonder, with the Cleveland Indians continuing to retool and Sizemore only a few months removed from two different surgeries, which Grady will fantasy owners be getting with their draft pick. More important, when should they consider picking him up?
As we often do, my colleague Ray Tannock and I will look at both sides of this argument, and let you decide for yourself.
Grady Sizemore’s 2009 season is the centerpiece in an ongoing debate over the outfielder’s fantasy worth. For some, they are true believers that he will once again be a dominate fantasy option, but for the naysayers, it is believed that his injury-riddled 2009 season severely takes away from his overall potential value.
Sizemore, over his career, has been known to be a 30/30 player good for not only dingers and stolen bases, but also doubles. His Ratio Batting Chart says it all.
But what it doesn’t suggest is whether or not Sizemore is really worth as much as he is being touted.
In fantasy baseball, there are a lot of people who get excited over great stats and projections without realizing what could be at stake, for a player who has been injured.
And stats only tell half the story.
An elbow injury and a hernia injury—both of which resulted in surgery—are nothing to forget. These types of injuries tend to creep back into a players career, elbows especially, which could leave your confident draft pick in utter ruination.
Does Sizemore have the capability of being a 20/20 or even 30/30 player? Well more so 20/20, but yes.
But an equally good question to keep in mind is this:
Don’t hernias and elbow injuries directly affect stolen base counts and power; two categories that define Sizemore’s fantasy worth? Yes, yes they do, which is a big concern.
So why waste a pick that has a surmountable amount of risk attached to it; especially at a position as deep as the outfield?
Perhaps you are afraid you’ll miss out on a comeback bid. Or perhaps you really believe in the 27 year old, like my colleague Rustyn Rose.
Either way, keep in mind one thing: The click of the mouse is a permanent one. And if you’re unsure of what to do, I would wager to say you already subconsciously decided. Sizemore is more of a gamble than I think he will be worth.
On your draft day, make you’re click count. No regrets, limited risk.
My colleague has taken the cautious route with Sizemore in 2010 where I see 2009 as more of an anomaly than a precedent.
Sizemore has been fairly consistent over the years, and prior to his injury marred 2009 season, where he missed 56 games, he hit 33 HRs, stole 38 bases, and scored 101 runs in 2008. Over his first four full seasons he averaged 116 Runs, 27 HRs, 81 RBIs, 29 SBs and a .281 batting average. That's good for a late first round, early second round pick in most drafts.
The concerns of course are his health and the ever devolving talent pool surrounding him. Both are fair concerns, but if you consider the time he missed and extrapolate what his finals numbers would have been over a full season in 2009, they were not far off his average numbers. His current ADP, based on ESPN is 31st, or the beginning of the fourth round. If Sizemore is still there with your third pick, you'd be a fool not to roll those dice, and you could even feel good taking him as early as late in the second round. Matt Kemp is putting up numbers historically similar to Sizemore and he's a mid-first round pick.
I agree with Ray that stats only tell half the story, but history has to play a sizable role too, and history is on Sizemore's side. He's also at that magical age of production, 27. Sizemore really does matter!