How to Choose Fantasy Baseball Keepers

Certain fantasy baseball leagues are designed using a keeper format. This option allows team owners in yearly leagues to retain one or more players for a following season. The actual amount of allowed keepers will vary based on individual league settings.

As an owner you have to determine exactly which player(s) from the previous year’s roster will be kept. One point to remember is that a Major League Baseball (MLB) player’s success one year might not carry over to the next. Ultimately it can be very difficult for you to make a final decision regarding these selections.

Below are some suggestions designed to help guide you toward making the best possible fantasy baseball keeper picks.

Follow Yearly Performance Patterns
Possibly your fantasy roster contains a veteran MLB player known for high annual production. The immediate reaction would be to designate him as a keeper. But, you should look over that player’s statistics from the previous few years before doing so.

If you notice a steady statistical drop-off over those few seasons, it is probably best not to keep that player. Even though he may have had a decent season, all indications point to an overall decline in his MLB career. Therefore, it is very likely that player would do even less for you the following season.

Consider Player Age
Aside from yearly production, you will also want to factor in a player’s age when deciding on keepers. Unfortunately the production level of most veteran MLB players will decrease in their middle or late 30s. Because of this, making such a player your keeper is probably not the best idea.

The optimal keeper candidate is typically a younger player that has already displayed serious potential. An example of this would be a 25-year-old outfielder that has hit 30+ home runs in each of his first three seasons. There is a good chance he will keep producing at that level or possibly get even better as time goes on.

Let Others Decide First
If possible, let all other owners make their keeper choices before you do. Remember that any players not kept will be available in the draft. Knowing the exact players that are in a draft pool can make your keeper decision easier.

To best illustrate this advantage, consider hypothetically your roster contains a shortstop and first baseman that are both worth keeping. In this example, two owners both opt not to keep highly ranked first basemen that they have. The shortstop would then be your best keeper choice since two quality first basemen are available in the draft pool.

Reduce Risk in Mono-Leagues
If you are in a fantasy baseball mono-league, the player pool is limited to either American League or National League rosters. The most important aspect of this is that you will lose any players that switch leagues during the season. Because of this, owners in mono-leagues should not keep players that have a high probability of being traded.

Keeping up on MLB news is the best way of finding out which players are most likely to be dealt. Even though an intra-league trade will retain your player, do not count on that since inter-league deals are common. Suddenly losing your best player could be very detrimental to the entire season.