Kevin Youkilis, now of the New York Yankees, was once a dependable fantasy baseball producer. In his career year of 2008, he had 29 HR, 115 RBI, batted .312, and finished third in the American League MVP ballot. But now five years later and at age 34, we need to ask whether or not Youk has anything left in the tank.
In his 8 1/2 years with the Boston Red Sox, he would play 1B, 3B, and OF at various times during a season. This versatility and his gritty play made him very popular with Red Sox fans and with fantasy managers. But in the turmoil surrounding the Red Sox last season, he was traded to Chicago White Sox. Now this year he ends up with the Yankees. So he might see action at both 1B and 3B again with both Alex Rodriquez and Mark Teixeira likely to miss substantial playing time early in the season.
One of the most troubling declines in Youk’s numbers over the past three years has been the drop in his batting average: .307, .258, .235. That’s a pretty substantial drop. Despite this, he was drafted in over 70% of Yahoo leagues, which I find just a little surprising.
He’s being taken two rounds ahead of Trevor Plouffe, who has 3B and OF eligibility, batted about the same as Youk last year, but had five more HR. Youk’s being taken in the same round as Manny Machado, whom I would prefer, certainly in a keeper league.
If you want to take him with one of your last picks, even if just for old-time sake, go ahead. But I wouldn’t be expecting him to play a major role in the success of your team this year.