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2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Why You Should Draft Tulo and CarGo

Photo Credit:Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America
Photo Credit:Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America

Let me start off with a question—if I told you that you could drive a Ferrari for eight months, or a Toyota Prius hybrid for twelve months, which one would you pick? Most people who go with the Ferrari because of it’s power, it’s luxury, and it’s separation from any other car in the world. Now let me ask you another question—if I told you that you could have Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez for 100 games this season, or a mid-tier player like Ben Zobrist or Christian Yelich for 162 games, which one would you pick? If you answered the Ferrari in the first question, you should be saying Tulowitzki and Gonzalez for the second question.

Both studs have burned many fantasy owners over the years, but they remain two great players that shouldn’t be over looked at the draft table. I’m not saying Zobrist or Yelich aren’t good players because they are, but Tulo and CarGo are players who can win you a fantasy baseball championship. Many people believe they are injury prone, and they might be, but it comes down to one thing—fantasy owners are risk adverse. No one wants to take high risks early on, especially with players who have a track record of getting hurt. But I’m here telling you that you should, that you should take the Ferrari and go as far as it takes you, because you may win it all at the end of the day.

Let’s start with Tulowitzki, who is arguably the best shortstop in the game of baseball right now (when healthy of course). We all have this assumption that the 30-year-old is always injured, but in fact, Tulo has only been on the DL four times since 2009. Sure, he’s missed considerable time in two of those stints (113 games in 2012 and 64 last season), but he’s necessarily not more injury prone than any other player out there. Outside of the four DL stints, the shortstop has missed only 36 games since 2009 because of minor injuries. The California native may end up on the DL again this year, but his upside is definitely worth the risk of drafting him early on.

Before requiring surgery on his hip, Tulowitzki was tearing it up for the Rockies—finishing the year with 21 home runs, 52 RBI and a .340/.432/.603 batting line. There’s no way he would have maintained those numbers, but they were all above his career average numbers and his 21 home runs were only four shy of his 2013 total (126 games in 2013 vs. 91 in 2014). The two-time Gold Glove winner has consistently been hitting above his .299 career average since 2010 (except for 2012 where he only played 47 games) and has hit over 20 HR in every season since 2009 (again except for 2012). The four-time MLB All-Star is the best player at his position, and avoiding him because of his recent injury is something most people will do but shouldn’t because he’s the player that’s going to make a difference at the end of the year.

Gonzalez is going to be a hard sell, I get that, and I don’t blame fantasy owners for wanting nothing to do with him. For those of you who had the joy of owning him last season (myself included), it was a nightmare to say the least. The 29-year-old’s current ADP is 54—a bargain if you ask me, and drafting him a round early is not as crazy as it seems.

Gonzalez struggled last season—hitting only 11 HR and 38 RBI in 70 games. It was also the first time since 2009 that he didn’t steal 20 bases in a season. Overall, it was a down year for the three-time Gold Glove winner, but when he’s healthy, he’s one of the best players in the outfield. The two-time All-Star has consistently been part of the 20/20 club since 2010 and has been hitting above his career average .294 every year since 2010 (with the exception of last year). Gonzalez has been on the DL four times in his playing career (three times since September 2013) for a total of 121 games, but he has still been able to play an average of 129 games a season from 2010-2013.

What’s been the biggest problem for the Venezuela native have been his hands—missing a total of 72 games since 2013 because of multiple finer related injuries, and it seems like his knee will be back to 100% following off-season surgery. CarGo may just be very unlucky, but if he can just avoid these bad luck injuries that haunt him every season, he should be able to return to the player who hit 34 HR and 117 RBI in 2010.

Its never easy to trust players who get hurt, but the reality is every player can get hurt, and trying to predict if a player will stay healthy is almost impossible to do. Tulowitzki and Gonzalez remain two of the best players in the league, and with both of them coming into spring training almost 100%, the Rockies can expect both players to return to elite status and help the Rockies try and compete for a playoff spot. Fanatsy owners may not like to take risks, but sometimes the difference between winning a championship and coming in second is taking that risk in March.

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