There are two schools of thought regarding
And the pessimist would say A-Rod is a slow starter -- no matter when the clock starts on his season -- and even if he returns to the team in full health by mid-May, he'll still need another 3-4 weeks to regain his elite form. And from a fantasy perspective, that'd be a case of too little, too late.
Taking away his record-setting April of '07 (14 HRs, 34 RBIs, 27 runs, .355 average), A-Rod is averaging 5.5 homers, 15.1 RBIs, 17 runs, 2.1 steals and a .286 BA during baseball's opening month as a Yankee -- good numbers for
In the SI.com fantasy baseball preview, I originally had A-Rod slotted for 34 HRs, 107 RBIs, 102 runs and 14 steals; but with the post-injury numbers adjustment, I'm now projecting 24 HRs, 89 RBIs, 83 runs and 10 steals.
So, where does A-Rod rank among third basemen in drafts and overall in our Top 225 countdown? Well, David Wright,
Verdict: At the risk of sounding hypocritical here, ailing A-Rod warrants a six or seven ranking among third basemen ... but in the Super 225, he tumbles "only" 35 spots to No. 39 -- just two slots below Longoria, and well ahead of Chipper, Youk and Beltre.
Why is this? Because injured or not, steroids or no steroids, the vast majority of fantasyland owners could never let the legend of A-Rod slip past the fourth round of a mixed-league draft -- as long as the minute possibility of an early May return exists on the horizon. After all, who wouldn't love to brag to their grandchildren someday about snagging A-Rod in Round 4 of a fantasy draft? It could be the comeback story of the year!