Previously The Fantasy Fix reviewed and gave projections for the 2011 Yankees rotation. Now its time to dive in and analyze the Pinstripes positional players.
Mixed League Rotisserie Auction Values in Parentheses
CATCHER: Russell Martin ($7)
Early season speculation had youngster Jesus Montero pegged as the 2011 Opening Day starter but it looks as if the Yankees deemed him "not major league ready" yet with the offseason signing of Martin.
Russell will handle the starting duties with long time Yankee catcher Jorge Posada moving to the DH position. Be careful with Martin though, as he is coming off offseason hip surgery and if he starts slow you may see the Yankees promote Montero, thrusting Martin into a part-time role.
DH/CATCHER: Jorge Posada ($16)
Hip-hip-Jorge will move to the DH position although he will still qualify as a catcher this year. Posada, like Martin, is coming off an injury plagued season and his stat trends dropped in the last three years.
Jorge is a boom or bust candidate because of the lack of quality catchers in the majors. Draft him in middle rounds and hope the move out of the catching position will keep him healthy.
FIRST BASE: Mark Teixeira ($33)
Tex started with his customary early season struggles but still managed a 33 HR and 108 RBI season. Mark's batting average took a dive from the norm but I would attribute that to some bad luck and a couple nagging season injuries. Few know about Tex leading the American League in runs scored last year with 113. With a bump in his BA you have a solid four category player.
He's a top 20 pick, just be prepared for another possible slow start. Great candidate to trade for after other owners get frustrated with the mediocre April stat line season struggles.
SECOND BASE: Robinson Cano ($36)
I absolutely love Cano and he is as safe a pick as you can get at the second base position. Hitting in the middle of the Yankee lineup only adds to his potential to produce.
Some of you may have drafted Robbie in the middle rounds last year but be rest assured that will not happen this year. The American League second base position is not that deep so the only question is how much do you covet him? He's a solid four category player and a great league addition. He'll play 160 games and get you 600 plus AB.
SHORTSTOP: Derek Jeter ($21)
Jeter has been a mainstay at the Yankees SS position since 1995. The question now is whether the 36-year-old aging Jeter can show the doubters that last season was just a down year.
My feeling is that Jeter will want to prove the naysayers wrong and he will bounce back with a solid year worthy of a top five SS. His 2010 stat line read .270, 10 HR, 67 RBI which are still decent numbers for a shortstop across the board. He lead all shortstops in runs scored and also swiped ten bases.
The Captain is still a contributor in all categories. Draft him in the middle rounds and expect a bounce back year.
THIRD BASE: Alex Rodriguez ($30)
A-Rod is not the A-Rod of old. The days of 50+ home runs and 140 RBI are gone. Steroid allegations, injuries and Cameron Diaz continue to drag his production down. He had career lows in BA and OBP in 2010.
That said, he is still an elite option at the third sack with a 30 HR, 120 RBI season very much in reach providing he stays healthy.
Brett Gardner ($15)
If you receive fantasy points for heart then Brett would be a top 10 option but unfortunately he is only a two category player—steals and runs. Brett struggled in the second half of the season hitting only .233.
Draft him with expectations for above average SB and run categories. With a full major league season under his belt, the ceiling is high for Brett. Just don't expect Carl Crawford type numbers.
Curtis Granderson ($18)
Granderson strikes out too much, doesn't hit lefties well and is a gamble if you're willing to take the chance that last year was a down year for him and he will bounce back. Granderson does play every day and managed to hit 24 home runs last year.
He is a middle round pick and will provide you with decent numbers in four categories. He is a poor man's Matt Holliday.
Nick Swisher ($21)
Nick had one of his best years ever in 2010 but be cautious when draft time comes around. Swisher Sweet will get you 20+ HR and 70+ RBI but don't get caught up in drafting him too early.
I expect a drop in batting average and do not expect everything to fall into place for him like it did last year. He's a top 10 American League OF and a middle round pick in combined league drafts.
Andruw Jones ($7)
Jones will play some OF and DH a bit. Basically he will take the place of Marcus Thames who signed with the Dodgers in the offseason. Jones will pop a homer now and then but that is all he is good for now.
He is at the end of his career and not worthy of drafting. Don't let an early hot start like in 2010 fool you, as it didn't last more than a month.
Eric Chavez ($7)
Chavez was an elite third sacker in the early 2000s but those days are long gone. He has barely played in the past three years with almost no production (64 games/3 HR/25 RBI) and was signed to be a possible left hand option off the bench plus insurance for Alex Rodriguez.
If he actually makes the team and Rodriguez suffers a long term injury he may be worth a late round flyer or a waiver wire pickup. There are too many what-ifs to have any fantasy relevance on draft day.
Written exclusively for www.thefantasyfix.com by John Marino