With Mike Napoli signing with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring back one of the main features from the previous version of this site – our keeper series.
The premise of these posts is simple – inform your decision making process before making keeper selections. Today, we’ll take a look at the DH/1B coming off a career year.
In an effort to give some context to my write up, I’m including last year’s relevant stats and skills profile, along with Napoli’s career averages in those categories*. The idea here is to see how last year stacks up to traditional Napoli.
As always, please leave any comments, questions or player requests in the comment section. It’s great to be back.
Player Grade: D**
Case for Napoli: Even at 35, the results are still there for Napoli when he’s healthy. The skills were remarkably similar to his 162-game averages and as long as he gets to spend time at DH, he will provide value with his bat. He’s a good option for leagues that have deeper keeper lists, as long as your team is ready to compete this year.
Case against Napoli: The biggest thing behind Napoli’s resurgence in 2016? His health/playing time. Napoli played in the most games of his career last year, which lead to 67 more PA than his previous career high. With PT now the hardest fantasy commodity to come by, everyone playing full time has to be considered for keeper spots. Just don’t consider him too long given his age and past playing time history.
Final thought: Napoli is a support piece at this point in his career and is better viewed as an auction/draft end game target. If he stays on the field, he will produce, but do you really want to gamble on a 35-year-old to play 150 or so games when last year was the only time in his career he achieved that mark?
*All stats can be found online at baseball-reference.com.
**Player grades relate as follows:
A – Keeper in almost all formats
B – Keeper in many formats
C – Only a keeper for rebuilding teams or in dynasty leagues
D – Only keep if you are related to him
F – DANGER!! Do not keep under any circumstances