Dynasty Keepers – Lowe vs. India vs. Chisholm

Spring training is fully underway and fantasy baseball season is now in full force.

Thousands of people like you and me have already been in a draft or two (or three or four) while others are still preparing for their first draft (or second, third or fourth). If you need a refresher on my top 125 keepers, please go back and take a ganger at my rankings.

With the top keepers now listed and out of the way, let’s focus on three players this week who ranked 62nd, 72nd, and 79th overall – Brandon Lowe, Jonathan India, and Jazz Chisholm Jr. After the top group, these players will likely still be on the board in the sixth round or so in a 12-team league, and I picked this trio because they are all under the age of 29 and all three are close at age – Lowe is 27, India is 25 and Chisholm is 24.

In any dynasty league, production is always the top factor. But unless you are playing to win immediately and do not worry about winning in 2027, then a player’s age plays a role into who you draft, mixed in with the need to win in the future. That magic formula plus my gut put Lowe ahead of India with Chisholm bringing up the rear.

Do those rankings still hold up? Let’s take a deep dive into Brandon Lowe, Jonathan India, and Jazz Chisholm Jr. and find out.

2021 Statistics

If this trio is still on the board in the fifth or sixth round, assuming the league has 12 teams, you are probably asking yourself, “who should I take?”

Let’s take a quick look at their standard stats. If you don’t dig too deeply and just look at whatever categories you care about most, then you will surely come to the following conclusion:

  • Lowe is your man if you want power
  • India is the right choice if you want a more well-balanced player
  • Take Chisholm if you value stolen bases

If the simple approach works for you, that is great. You also don’t need to read the rest of this article.

I don’t mean that, I really hope you keep reading. Because if you are like me, you don’t take the simple approach. You look at their overall career and recent trends, or whether they look good in knicker pants and stirrups.

In this case, it is hard to compare the careers of all three players as both Chisholm and India were rookies last year. So let’s look at trends from last season.

Brandon Lowe Splits

April/March 103 88 4 11 0 29 0.182 0.301 0.364 0.665
May 109 92 5 11 3 37 0.196 0.312 0.380 0.692
June 95 83 7 16 1 31 0.241 0.337 0.542 0.879
July 89 73 6 14 0 22 0.288 0.416 0.616 1.032
August 119 107 9 26 2 26 0.262 0.328 0.598 0.926
Sept/Oct 100 92 8 21 1 22 0.315 0.360 0.641 1.001

Lowe was a mix of good and bad the first half of the 2021 season. The good was his 16 homers and 38 RBI in 307 plate appearances from March to June. The bad was just about everything else. He didn’t hit above .200 until June, had a slugging percentage below .380 the first two months of the season, and had a strikeout rate of 31.6%.

The strikeout rate was alarming. After posting a 25.9% strikeout percentage in 2020, Lowe was looking like he was going to match his rate of 34.6% in 2019. The trend was not looking good as Lowe was looking more and more like the next Rob Deer or Joey Gallo.

However, as the months warmed up, so did Lowe. Over his last 308 plate appearances, Lowe walloped 23 homers, drove in 61, and hit .286 while slugging better than .600. The key for Lowe was the huge reduction in his strikeout rate, dropping to 22.7% over the last three months. The final three months of 2021 was more in line with what he showed in 2020 when he slashed .269/.362/.554 with 14 homers and 37 RBI in 56 games and 224 plate appearances.

Jonathan India Splits

April/March 79 67 1 14 0 20 0.239 0.317 0.358 0.675
May 71 59 2 7 2 13 0.220 0.352 0.339 0.691
June 121 99 3 9 4 25 0.303 0.425 0.455 0.880
July 117 91 4 12 1 27 0.319 0.470 0.528 0.998
August 117 107 7 17 2 36 0.243 0.308 0.514 0.822
Sept/Oct 126 109 4 10 3 20 0.266 0.357 0.477 0.834

India didn’t set the National League on fire during the first two months, as seen by his numbers above. His season turned around in June as he never had an OPS lower than .822 the rest of the way and saw his home run rate go from 1 homer every 42 at-bats to one every 22.6 at-bats. While his strikeout rate rose from 20.2% in June to a whopping 30.8% in August, India made the adjustment at the plate in September/October, lowering it to 15.9% while posting an .834 OPS.

After killing the league in June and July, India came back down to Earth in August. But instead of continuing to go downhill over the final month, he made the adjustments at the plate and finished on a strong note.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. Splits

April/March 85 74 4 8 9 26 0.311 0.388 0.581 0.969
May 37 36 1 4 2 16 0.278 0.297 0.361 0.658
June 120 110 4 17 1 34 0.227 0.292 0.409 0.701
July 62 56 2 6 1 17 0.232 0.295 0.375 0.670
August 82 75 3 9 5 16 0.253 0.305 0.400 0.705
Sept/Oct 121 113 4 9 5 36 0.221 0.258 0.398 0.657

Chisholm never really got into a groove at the plate last season after the first month. He spent two stints on the IL thanks to a shoulder injury in July and a hamstring injury in late April and played through an ankle injury as well. The hamstring injury curtailed Chisholm’s biggest asset as he steals dropped from nine in April to 2, 1, and 1 before picking up again in August and September. His OBP was below league average in four of the six months and his OPS was below league average every month after April.

Digging a Little Deeper

Going beyond the splits of each player, let’s take a look at how they rank in a side-by-side comparison versus other second-base eligible players with more than 300 at-bats last year. Lowe ranked 30th in batting average, 15th in OBP, and 3rd in slugging. India ranked 13th, 2nd, and 11th and Chisholm was 28th or lower in average and OBP and ranked 17th in slugging. Lowe ranked 2nd in homers, 3rd in RBI, and 22nd in steals. India came in at 10th, 13th, and 12th while Chisholm ranked 15th, 21st, and 4th.

Outside of steals, Chisholm was average or below average compared to other second baseman. Lowe easily is one of the top power hitting players at this position while India was slightly above average in most areas and one of the best in OBP. He didn’t drive in a lot of runs, but he is also hitting leadoff for the Reds, which limited his RBI chances. With the universal DH, that RBI number may increase a bit but will not match Lowe.

The Verdict

I was not high on Lowe entering last season and the first two months made me feel good about that. But he figure something out at the plate, lowered his strikeout rate, and became a force for the Rays on offense. Because of that, and because he is only 27 and thus in the prime of his career, I still prefer Lowe over India.

But it is not a convincing win for Lowe. If he was 29 like Javier Baez or 33 like Whit Merrifield, and I was thinking five years down the road, I would want India on my team. I think he has a higher ceiling. That ceiling is just not reached yet.

As for Chisholm, I like his speed with the ability to hit 20 homers, but if his legs go, then he is nothing but a semi-decent hitter. Let someone else take him and go chase steals with another player.

Leave a Comment