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Who Would You Rather Have: Torii Hunter or Carlos Beltran??

Santa was nice enough to bring me the Graphical Player book from The Hardball Times last week. The book is recommended for fantasy players as they provide 4 years worth of stats, 2010 stat projections, a breakdown of the hitter or pitcher's skills (CT%, H%, BB%, BASH, K/9, BB/9, HR/9, GB/FB%) along with Productiveness stats (vs. LH or RH, and 1st half and 2nd half splits), and xFIP for pitchers and WAR for hitters. The book also gives graphical analysis of how a player performed from month to month for the past 3 seasons.

Another interesting feature is what they call the "Mini-browser', where they compare the player to 5 other players based on their 2010 projections. One that interested me was Torii Hunter getting compared to Carlos Beltran.

Hunter went 22-90-18-.299-.366-.508 in 2009 and the book projects him to go 24-92-17-,284-.347-.481 in 2010. I can actually see a dropoff in his production in 2010 as he will be 34 years of age, and he could suffer from Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero leaving via free agency this offseason.

Beltran is coming off a knee injury in 2009, but he went 10-48-11-.325-.415-.500 in just over 300 at bats. Beltran is projected to go 24-89-18-.293-.384-.507 in 2010. I am not so sure he will steal more than 15 bases in 2010, as he is coming off the kne injury that could still require microfracture surgery at some point. I don't see Beltran approaching 30 HRs in 2010, due to his knees and Citifield's dimensions. I also question how healthy Beltran will be going forward. Is he a guy that will give you close to 600 ABs a year, or is he more of a 450 AB hitter going forward?

Both Hunter and Beltran come with pretty decent projections, but also some questions marks related to health and age that make the decision difficult as to which player I would rather have come draft day 2010. I would probably lea toward Hunter, but a healthy Beltran could outperform Hunter in 2010.