Most leagues where you know your opponents (as opposed to a CBS or Yahoo league where you are assigned to a league) allow keepers. I am in one league that allows five each year and another that allows 23, so things can vary greatly. If you are in any keeper league, you are probably always on the lookout for the kid who is putting it together to be the next Matt Holliday: a guy who was supposed to be good but develops into a superstar. Let’s look at some youngsters who are playing well this season and their likelihood of taking it to the next level.
Ryan Ludwick is finally playing well. He has always been viewed as a future star, but never could get it all together. He has made the most of his opportunity in St. Louis this year and is on pace for a .285Avg/32HR/112RBi season. That’s a guy most fantasy owners would love to have, but the future isn’t so bright considering he’ll celebrate his 30th birthday in a few weeks. Most stars decline in their early 30’s, which means he’s unlikely to have more than a couple of good years. He’ll have some productive years, but only a few.
David Murphy of the Texas Rangers is having a very nice season. If he keeps it up, he’ll put up a .275Avg/20HR/104RBi/10SB line this season. Pretty good for a guy that was only projected to go 6HR/33RBi/3SB this season. He came to Texas in the Eric Gagne deal last year with expectations that he’ll be good, but not this good. Don’t buy the hype! He’ll be a very solid player for the next 5-8 years, but a superstar he is not.
Jair Jurrjens didn’t get a lot of fanfare when he was with Detroit. Jim Leyland loved the kid and planned to put him in the 2008 rotation before the trade to Atlanta. With Atlanta, Jurrjens has been the only consistent thing in the Braves rotation (unless you count Mike Hampton‘s injuries). This kid is for real and will be a legit #2 for the next ten years. He’s probably not sitting on the waiver wire, but you might be able to pry him away from his owner.