Rickie Weeks Player Projection No. 38

Key Stats: This is a true Fantasy Baseball 365 exclusive as you won’t see Rickie Weeks ranked in the top 40 anywhere else. Why? If I had that answer, I wouldn’t have ranked him in the top 40 now would I? Weeks was the 38th overall player in 2010 and actually improved in two key categories last year: slugging percentage and strikeout rate.

Skeptics Say: Injuries have destroyed Weeks’ career who could be in the same class with Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia if he had more than one season with 130 games. Last year he missed 40 games with an ankle problem, but he’s had all sorts of injuries. He’s also been placed on the DL for problems with his right wrist (twice), left wrist, and knee. There are those that believe that 2010 was an aberration.

Peer Comparison: Sure putting Weeks in the top 40 could be high, but Yahoo ranks him as the 11th best second basemen. Now just who is crazy? At first glance of both players numbers from last year, taking Kendrick seems like a good call.

Player

Runs

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Weeks

77

20

49

9

.269

Kendrick

86

18

63

14

.285

Let’s remember a few key factors that make these stats misleading:

  1. Kendrick easily set career bests in homers and RBI. Are those figures easily duplicated?
  2. Weeks’ numbers were worsened by his injury. When he came back in September, he was not healthy. He had 17 homers before the all-star break and just 3 after it.
  3. Kendrick played more than Weeks. If we add Weeks and 40 games of his brother versus Kendrick and 20 games of Jemile here’s what we get:

Player

Runs

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Weeks

99

21

65

19

.274

Kendrick

97

18

72

19

.289

       4. Weeks 2010 season versus Kendrick is not even close:

Player

Runs

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Weeks

112

29

83

11

.269

Kendrick

67

10

75

14

.285

Lineup Outlook: Aramis Ramirez for Prince Fielder isn’t a fair swap, but it’s better than the alternative of Fielder for nothing. Mat Gamel was a big-time name just a few years ago, but has fallen out of the good graces of prospect love now that he’s 26. I’m going to go out on a limb and say at some point this year Gamel is a top 50 player for a month. With 28 home runs last year at Triple-A, he could get hot and really help fantasy teams (and Weeks for that matter). The net effect of losing Fielder and Casey McGehee for Gamel and Ramirez won’t be as big as it’s made out to be.

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #5 Second Baseman; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #6 Second Baseman & #62 Overall; Yahoo: #11 Second Baseman & #84 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #6 Second Baseman & #63 Overall; RotoChamp: #94 Overall

Projection: Knowing that last season was Weeks’ first taste of bad luck with the ankle, I’m going to go out on a limb (pun absolutely intended) and say he stays healthy. Please let the Brett Lawrie is better than Weeks comments start flowing.
103 R 25 HR 70 RBI 12 SB .268 AVG .832 OPS in 685 plate appearances