Fantasy Baseball: The Value Of Alex Rodriguez

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I am not a fan of Alex Rodriguez. There, I said it. I generally make it a point to cross cheaters and liars off the list of players that I root for, and I think it’s safe to say that Red Sox Nation agrees with me.

However, you’re not here to read another diatribe against the Yankee third baseman; you’re here because my fantasy guidance got you into first place and you want more (if you’re in last because of me, just know I’m a Cub fan so I feel your pain). So, here’s my advice — pick Rodriguez up off the waiver wire, as soon as possible.

This is a player who, only one season ago, had a .353 OBP, hit 18 home runs and drove in 74 in only 122 games. Over a full season, those numbers equate to about 25 home runs and 90 RBI, both of which would have ranked in the top seven among big league third basemen last season. Recent history tells us that No.13 is still a second-tier third baseman at worst, so why is he only owned in 42 percent of ESPN leagues right now?

There are some who may be wary of putting Rodriguez on their fantasy team for fear he will revert to the form he showed in the 2012 playoffs. This is understandable; he hit .111 and looked more washed up than Michael Jordan did as a Wizard.

Rodriguez and his legal team claim that he was playing through a torn labrum, which team doctors knew about, but didn’t divulge to the third baseman. According to his lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, “They rolled him out there like an invalid and made him look like he was finished as a ballplayer.”

Whether that is true or not, Rodriguez was clearly not playing at 100 percent because he had offseason hip surgery which held him out for the first half of 2013. Right now, the 38-year old seems completely recovered; he is sporting a .319/.407/.489 slash line in 12 games since his return from injury.

His average and OBP are unlikely to remain that high because Rodriguez will likely not hit .371 on balls in play all season. However, an average of .270 for the rest of the year, similar to what he put up in 2011 and 2012, is completely reasonable.

.270 with 25-homer power (not to mention 15-steal speed) compares favorably to “elite” third basemen such as Ryan Zimmerman and Pablo Sandoval, both of whom are owned in 100 percent of ESPN leagues. Finding a top ten third baseman on the waiver wire is a rare occurrence and Rodriguez will likely not remain a fantasy free agent for long. Unless you have Miguel Cabrera at third base, I would scoop up A-Rod, quickly.

Again, I’m not a fan of Rodriguez, but fantasy isn’t about being a fan. Fantasy baseball is all about numbers, which is part of what makes it great. Well, the Yankee third baseman has the numbers to help a fantasy team win. Feel free to continue to boo him as loud as you can.

Dylan Sinn is a freelance contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSinn or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

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