Kevin Youkilis Player Projection No. 66

Key Stats: It’s been many years since he was dubbed the Greek God of Walks, but Kevin Youkilis is still at it. His BB% was tied for 11th last season and for the third straight season he was over 13% in his walk rate. Four out of the last five seasons his OBP has been at .390 or better. Leagues that carry OBP should take special note of this because usually player ranking formulas are based on traditional 5×5 stats and not adjusted for a change in the categories a league might carry.

Skeptics Say: Youk has missed at least 15 games for six straight seasons. He hasn’t had 500 at-bats since 2008. It’s sort of a good thing that it hasn’t really been one injury that’s kept him out of action, but the fact is that he will be 33 this season. It’s going to be increasingly unlikely that he can stay on the field and even if he does, the best is probably behind him.

Peer Comparison: Kevin Youkilis is my tenth ranked third baseman. Watching him in the Boston market the last couple of seasons it just looks like his skills are deteriorating at the same rate as his body. Three players that other sites disagree with me about are Aramis Ramirez, Michael Young, and Alex Rodriguez. The comparison is a fun one to make because all players are done with their primes.

Player

HR per PA

2B per PA

AVG

OBP

OPS

Youkilis

30.1

16.2

.258

.373

.833

Ramirez

24.1

17.9

.306

.361

.871

Young

62.6

16.8

.338

.380

.854

Rodriguez

26.75

20.4

.276

.362

.823

As you can tell, the race between all of these guys is close. I’d rank Young the highest simply because he looks like the guy that’s holding up the best at this point. After that, give me the player that is available at a good spot. It’s too close to truly separate them.

Team Outlook: Youk hit clean up last year and it’s probable that he’ll stay there again given how heavy the team is as a left-handed crew. Then again, Dustin Pedroia hit .347 with a .979 OPS in the clean up spot last year and for his career has hit .397 in the fourth spot. In any case, Youk will hit high in the order, drive in and score a lot of runs in one of the best offenses in baseball if (if!) he can stay healthy.

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #6 First Baseman; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #7 First Baseman & #65 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #8 Third Baseman & #64 Overall; RotoChamp: #201 Overall

Projection: Look for Youk to come out of the gates on fire, but he is certainly more of a risk at this point than he was a couple seasons ago.

80 R 22 HR 97 RBI 2 SB .290 AVG .383 OBP .860 OPS