If you’ve read my blog recently, you know I love power/speed combo threats. Most of the players I’m targeting this season have a realistic shot for at least 20 HR and 20 SB. I went back to look at how rare a 30/30 season is, and found just 11 active players who have done it. Cross off Jimmy Rollins, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Beltran, Bobby Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero, and Alex Rodriguez because they are 32 years old or older, and therefore are remarkably unlikely to repeat, and you are left with five players who have done it once, and could do it again.
2010 was the first year since 1994 where not one single player accomplished the feat. The five active players, under 30 years old, who have done it are David Wright, Ian Kinsler, Hanley Ramirez, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore. Along with them, candidates to do it for the first time in 2011 are as follows:
Drew Stubbs, 26, 2010: 22 HR, 30 SB
Chris Young, 27, 2010: 27 HR, 28 SB
Carlos Gonzalez, 25, 2010: 34 HR, 26 SB
Matt Kemp, 26, 2010: 28 HR, 19 SB
Hunter Pence, 27, 2010: 25 HR, 18 SB
Shin-Soo Choo, 28, 2010: 22 HR, 22 SB
That’s about it. And those are guys that I would like to have on my team. Notice, those are all outfielders. Meanwhile, four of the five threats to repeat are infielders.
Go ahead and spend your draft chasing categories, trading off with Juan Pierre and Dan Uggla. But I’d rather have two guys go 25/25 than one 40 HR guy and one 40 SB guy. Also, dual-threat players produce more consistently. If a home run hitter goes cold, he doesn’t give you anything. But if someone like Stubbs loses his power stroke, or takes a road trip to San Diego (PetCo) and New York (Citi Field), then he might not hit home runs, but he can still get on base and steal bases.
I’d rather have Ian Kinsler and Chris Young than Uggla and Pierre. It’s worked for me in years past.