25 January 2010

2010 Fantasy Baseball Top 20 Players

Well, I am a fantasy baseball junkie and absolutely cannot get enough of the game. This is fueled by my passion for baseball, plus my passion for stats and competition.

Through spring training and the regular season, I will begin to have some ranks posts, opinion pots, advice posts and, possibly, mailbag posts (if enough people deem my advice worthy) on all facets of fantasy baseball.

For my first post of the year, I will go over the top 20 fantasy players for 2010.

#1 - Albert Pujols - 1B - STL - This is basically a no brainer. Many people try to argue for Hanley Ramirez here because of position scarcity and his potential to go 30/30 (30 homers and 30 steals), but you cannot pass up taking the best player in all of baseball first. You just can't. Not to mention with Matt Holliday staying in town, his numbers are sure to improve. I predict another MVP season.

#2 - Hanley Ramirez - SS - FLA - Dan Uggla staying in Florida is really going to help Hanley keep his numbers good enough to stay at #2. A consistent threat to hit 30 homers and steal 20 plus, Hanley's numbers should basically mirror what he did last year, though a bump in RBI's may be in order if Cameron Maybin finally establishes himself this year.

#3 - Alex Rodriguez - 3B - NYY - With a full season of Mark Teixera and the addition of Curtis Granderson, ARod will only improve his numbers from last season (obviously, since he was out with an injury for awhile). We could see ARod putting up his best homer totals and possibly his highest RBI output since his days in Texas, as Granderson is a huge upgrade over Cabrera and adds the element of good speed to the top of the Yankees order.

#4 - Ryan Braun - OF - MIL - The outfield position used to be the deepest position in all of baseball, with almost half of the first round picks in most drafts being from said position. As the stars got older and the up and comers never making their mark, Braun has guided himself to the top half of the draft with his consistent bat and great health. Braun is the best hitter in the bigs when facing the best pitching and could be considered being taken 3rd overall, so long as Fielder stays healthy.

#5 - Chase Utley - 2B - PHI - Probably the surest thing at 2B, Utley always produces as a top 5 to top 10 talent, year in and year out. Playing in the fun house that is Citizens Bank ballpark with an All Star line up surrounding him (including fellow 1st rounder Ryan Howard), Utley's numbers stand to be great for the next few years.

#6 - Miguel Cabrera - 1B - Showing the depth at 1B, Miggy is one of 5 1B in the top 20. It was recently revealed he has kicked an alcoholic habit that had been affecting him for awhile, which should definitely reflect in his numbers. And that is pretty ridiculous, seeing as he was putting up great numbers while being addicted, who knows how high they can go without having to deal with that. Not to mention he has lost weight in the off season. The only negative is that the Tiggers have traded Curtis Granderson for unproven Austin Jackson....so Cabrera's RBI totals may go down a bit.

#7 - Prince Fielder - 1B - MIL - Fielder makes he and Braun the first two teammates to be taken in the first round. His OPS has been downright Pujolsian (new word, bank on it being in Merriam's by next year) two of the past three years. Combining with Braun to be a one-two punch, Fielder's numbers are very consistent from year to year.

#8 - Evan Longoria - 3B - TB - 24 years old. Has two speed demons hitting ahead of him in the lineup. Has a power 1B hitting behind him. He's only 24 years old. He has hit since he came up, with no doubt power and a great eye for pitches. He's only 24 years old. He will only get better. Did I mention he is only 24 years old?

#9 - Tim Lincecum - SP - SF - The first pitcher off the board, Lincecum is coming off of back to back Cy
Young seasons and is only looking better. The Giants offense looks to be improved over last year, so this should mean more wins for little Timmy. Not to mention, none of the teams in the NL West seemed to get any stronger offensively, so he will continue to get to face weak competition (not to mention a slew of pitchers batting) and most likely roll right through to his 3rd consecutive Cy Young.

#10 - Matt Kemp - OF - LAD - One of only 4 outfielders I would consider taking in the first two rounds. He has 30/30 potential, with a good BA, high runs and potential for high RBI's. He faces weak pitching in the NL West (aside from Lincecum, Cain and Jimenez) and has a very solid offense around him (Manny, Ethier, Loney, Russell Martin, Furcal, etc.). He logged more than 300 at bats from the bottom third of the lineup last year but that has to change this season. If he gets the opportunity to bat anywhere from 2-4, watch out. He could end the season as a top 4 player.

The second half of my top 20 will be posted later on in the week. If you have any questions regarding any facet of fantasy baseball - trade help, running a league, joining a league, keeper decisions or league set up - don't be afraid to email me. I have a fiery passion for fantasy baseball and I strive to help anyone who asks (even people in the leagues  was in would come to me for advice...and I was playing AGAINST these people).

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