For the sake of posterity, try to block out Utley's 5-HR barrage in Games 1-5 of the '09 World Series. And then momentarily forget about his career-high 23 steals last season for the National League champs. With those high-profile omissions, Utley would
If anyone can challenge Utley for a full season, the smart money lies with Kinsler (31 HRs, 86 RBIs, 101 runs, 31 steals in '09). But that could only happen if Kinsler returns to the neighborhood of his 2008 production in batting average (.319) -- which shouldn't be too hard with
Without a doubt, Pedroia is superior to Kinsler in the runs department (233 in 2008-09) ... and probably batting average, as well. But there are noticeable gaps with homers, RBIs and steals, which explains why he's a firm-but-distant No. 3.
There are two ways of characterizing Roberts' fantasy value at the ripe age of 32: The optimist would point to a sizable spike in HRs (16) and RBIs (79) last season, while also mentioning his three consecutive years of 100-plus runs. The pessimist would point to Roberts' 25-percent reduction in steals (just 30 in '09) and batting(.283). At this point, the optimist would interrupt the debate to smash the pessimist over the head with a mallet, before shouting:
In AL-only leagues for Rounds 1-4, I value speed guys over one-trick-ponies in the power department; hence, I
It's a pretty simple concept with Uggla on draft day: Take your 30 homers, 91 RBIs and 93 runs and move on to the next round. No questions asked. And if you're still bugging out over someone who hits like
There's just something about a guy named "Ian" who once enjoyed
If you're planning to invest a Round 2 or 3 pick on Phillips, please be aware of the following: The statute of limitations for his monstrous 2007 season (30 HRs, 94 RBIs, 107 runs, 32 steals, .288 average) has just about expired. Translation: It's
With the recent acquisitions of
Forget about homers and RBIs, Cabrera is a reasonable lock to surpass 90 runs, 20 steals and a .295 batting average this season for a sneaky-good Indians club. And that alone gets him ranked over guys with the potential to be great but may have a greater talent waiting in the wings.
How's this for taking both sides of an argument? On one hand, I'm not dismissing Zobrist's All-Star breakout from 2009 (27 HRs, 91 RBIs, 17 steals, 91 runs, .297 BA). After all, Zobrist has been a highly regarded staple of the Rays' fertile farm system for many years. And finally, at 28, he's making the most of his opportunity. On the flip side, I believe that Tampa Bay scored a major coup in acquiring
Even at 27, Kendrick has no established fantasy ceiling -- or floor, for that matter. He could hit 15 HRs, hit .300 and score 85 runs this season, surprising no one. Conversely, he could go single-digits in homers and steals and hit a soul-crushing .255 -- also a surprise to no one. Perhaps that explains why he's barely getting more love than Milwaukee's oft-injured, sometimes-anemic hitter at the position.
This time next year, McGehee (16 HRs, 66 RBIs, 58 runs, .301 average in just 116 games in '09) could easily be a top-10 second basemen. Heck, he might even crack the top-7 -- if Milwaukee entrusts him with at-bats while playing second, third base or maybe the outfield. Or, whenever
This ranking is more of a reflection of Lopez's underrated fantasy value than his actual production (25 HRs, 96 RBIs, 69 runs in '09). Simply put, it's easy to fall off the proverbial radar when you play in Seattle and infamously stand as perhaps the Mariners' greatest source of power. We say "infamously" for the following reason: It's quite possible that Seattle's projected starters (