A GetSports reader named Brian has recently been offered
Mark Reynolds for Justin Upton in his fantasy league and has requested our
thoughts on the deal. First, we have to assume that Brian plays in a
traditional 5x5 Roto league with 10 or 12 teams. If the scoring categories are
different and include, say, slugging percentage or strikeouts then things may
change. So let’s just stay with the basics.
Secondly, we have to look at position eligibility. Reynolds
has slightly more value at third base than Upton in the outfield. However, it is
doubtful that either was drafted as a centerpiece of the team and both are
likely to fill secondary positions.
Both of these young players have little experience and
tremendous upside for a good ballclub. And both are off to a very good start.
It is very likely that at some point in the season Reynolds and Upton will struggle, but
of course that is something that is impossible to determine. The best we can do
is look at the numbers in front of us, from the minors and the majors.
Mark Reynolds has more power potential than Justin Upton. He
hit 31 bombs two years ago in the minors. Last season he had 17 HRs for the
D-Backs in just 366 at bats. With five blasts already this year, 25 for the
season is a reasonable possibility to go along with 70 to 80 RBI and an average
in the .275 range.
Justin Upton may not hit as many home runs, but he may
actually end up not too far behind Reynolds. Although he had just two in 140 at
bats with Arizona
last season, he had 18 home runs in the minors. Like Reynolds he already has
five bombs this year and he could easily finish near 20 on the season with RBI
totals to match. The .221 average he posted in 2007 looks quite ugly but he hit
.319 in the minors last year.
also has one more thing that Reynolds lacks – speed. Upton had 19 stolen bases last season
compared to just two for Reynolds. Both may actually run a lot on a team that
always seems to have the green light but Upton
has the clear edge.
So Brian, it is of my opinion that unless you are hurting to
fill the third base position, you should probably hold on to Upton. He still has good power, should
provide nearly the same RBI and batting average plus give you a fair amount of