Fantasy Clicks
A Time For Reflection
Miguel Cabrera: Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

The majority of MLB clubs will reach the 50-game mark sometime this weekend, accounting for approximately 31 percent of the season. While that doesn't seem like a big chunk of the 2010 campaign, it's certainly enough of a sample size to pass judgment on players who have either outperformed expectations ... or fallen woefully short of 5x5 projections. To wit, here's a four-round fantasy redraft (12 teams, 5x5 roto rules), if we were starting from scratch at this moment. (Sorry for the Billy Vera clip ... but how can I turn down a chance to play the most overrated love song of the 1980s?)

The Ultimate Do-Over

This is not the top 48 fantasy players from April 5-May 27; it's merely a redraft speculation:
Round 1
1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals (let's not overthink this -- he's still the king)
2. Ryan Braun, Brewers
3. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (possible AL MVP in real-world/fantasyland circles)
4. Evan Longoria, Rays
5. Carl Crawford, Rays
6. Justin Morneau, Twins (back to dominant self; apparently stress fracture-free)
7. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
8. Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies (his 0.88 ERA after two months is NOT human)
9. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
10. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees (yes, he'll likely break out ... but when?)
11. Chase Utley, Phillies
12. Roy Halladay, Phillies

Round 2
13. Jayson Werth, Phillies (a true fantasy dynamo before Philly's cold snap)
14. Andre Ethier, Dodgers (broken finger aside, a 4-category monster)
15. Tim Lincecum, Giants
16. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
17. Nelson Cruz, Rangers (would be higher if injury-free)
18. Alex Rios, White Sox (arguably the best 5x5 performer to date)
19. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
20. Mark Teixeira, Yankees (3-HR game at Fenway warrants solid ranking)
21. Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks
22. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (the 2010 stolen base king ... book it!)
23. Ryan Howard, Phillies
24. Joey Votto, Reds

Round 3
25. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
26. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (premium, yet struggling shortstops still golden))
27. Prince Fielder, Brewers
28. Josh Johnson, Marlins (the Ubaldo Jimenez of the East Coast)
29. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
30. Robinson Cano, Yankees
31. Jon Lester, Red Sox
32. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (easily the biggest surprise of this list)
33. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers
34. Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers (who could've predicted 42 RBIs/.339 BA to date?)
35. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
36. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals

Round 4
37. Elvis Andrus, Rangers (trumped Derek Jeter for this spot)
38. Paul Konerko, White Sox
39. Casey McGehee, Brewers (forget the 'fluke' talk ... this masher's legit)
40. Matt Garza, Rays
41. David Wright, Mets
42. Zack Greinke, Royals (forget the 1-5 record ... check out the 51/11 K-BB ratio)
43. Jason Heyward, Braves
44. Justin Verlander, Tigers
45. Jose Reyes, Mets (starting to show flashes of his old stellar self)
46. Carlos Marmol, Cubs
47. Rafael Soriano, Rays
48. Ian Kinsler, Rangers (a scintillating June/July must be in the offing)

The Few, The Wretched

Of course, we're obligated to mention the 20 biggest fantasy busts to date:
1. Grady Sizemore, Indians (a flameout, production-wise/health-wise)
2. Brian Roberts, Orioles (a wasted pick ... has zero trade value)
3. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
4. Carlos Lee, Astros (.199 average and just one steal ... really?)
5. Derrek Lee, Cubs
6. Carlos Pena, Rays (on-pace for only 24 HRs ... and a putrid .183 BA)
7. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
8. Adam Jones, Orioles (showing slight signs of coming to life)
9. Trevor Hoffman, Brewers (perhaps the biggest single implosion of '10)
10. Chipper Jones, Braves
11. B.J. Upton, Rays
12. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox (may finish below 10 HRs/10 steals -- yikes!)
13. Jair Jurrjens, Braves
14. Javier Vazquez, Yankees
15. Ian Stewart, Rockies
16. Curtis Granderson, Yankees (torn groin muscle puts damper on steals projections)
17. Nate McLouth, Braves
18. Kyle Blanks, Padres (we may have jumped the gun on his HR projections)
19. Jay Bruce, Reds
20. Geovany Soto, Cubs

WHIP Masters

Here are MLB's best performers in the hallowed WHIP category (min. 27 innings -- thru 5/27):
RP Manuel Corpas, Rockies(0.86)
SP Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies (0.93)
SP Doug Fister, Mariners (0.95)
RP Evan Meek, Pirates (0.96)
SP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (0.99)
SP Mat Latos, Padres (0.99)
SP Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays (1.00)
SP Dallas Braden, Athletics (1.00)
SP Roy Oswalt, Astros (1.01)
SP Josh Johnson, Marlins (1.03)
SP Ryan Dempster, Cubs (1.03)
SP Cliff Lee, Mariners (1.03)
SP John Ely, Dodgers (1.04)
SP Jason Vargas, Mariners (1.06)
SP Phil Hughes, Yankees (1.09)
RP Jeff Zumaya, Tigers (1.09)
SP Jonathan Sanchez, Giants (1.09)
SP Livan Hernandez, Nationals (1.09)
SP/RP Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies (1.09)
SP Tim Hudson, Braves (1.09)
SP Jeff Niemann, Rays (1.09)
SP Trevor Cahill, Athletics (1.10)
SP Roy Halladay, Phillies (1.10)
SP John Danks, White Sox (1.10)
RP Tyler Clippard, Nationals (1.11)
SP Barry Zito, Giants (1.13)
SP Chris Carpenter, Cardinals (1.13)
SP Jaime Garcia, Cardinals (1.14)
SP David Price, Rays (1.14)
SP Matt Cain, Giants (1.15)
SP Matt Garza, Rays (1.15)
SP Colby Lewis, Rangers (1.15)
SP Brett Cecil, Blue Jays (1.15)
SP Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks (1.15)
SP Zack Greinke, Royals (1.16)
RP Matt Belisle, Rockies (1.16)
SP Carl Pavano, Twins (1.17)

Dare To Compare

In a nod to the classic Pepsi Challenge of 1980s lore, here's a blind taste test for fantasygoers (based on Accuscore projections): Which of the five high-profile first basemen would you most prefer from this point forward (May 28-Oct. 1)? And can you guess which projections represent that of Lance Berkman and Justin Morneau?

Player A
Projected stats: .316 average, .418 OBP, 67.5 runs, 23.6 HRs, 76.3 RBIs, 0 steals

Player B
Projected stats: .284 average, .347 OBP, 58.3 runs, 9.1 HRs, 64.2 RBIs, 8.5 steals

Player C
Projected stats: .321 average, .414 OBP, 70.6 runs, 22.7 HRs, 74.9 RBIs, 8.1 steals

Player D
Projected stats: .261 average, .382 OBP, 46.7 runs, 17.2 HRs, 54.3 RBIs, 3.5 steals

Player E
Projected stats: .283 average, .404 OBP, 58.1 runs, 12.4 HRs, 39.3 RBIs, 0.4 steals

A -- Justin Morneau, Twins
B -- James Loney, Dodgers
C -- Joey Votto, Reds
D -- Lance Berkman, Astros
E -- Ike Davis, Mets

Earning Their Stripes

One good turn deserves another. Here are MLB's ERA kings (min. 27 innings -- thru 5/27):
SP Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies (0.88)
RP Evan Meek, Pirates (0.96)
RP Tyler Clippard, Nationals (1.99)
RP Joel Zumaya, Tigers (2.03)
SP Doug Fister, Mariners (2.03)
SP Livan Hernandez, Nationals (2.08)
SP Tim Hudson, Braves (2.09)
SP Jon Garland, Padres (2.10)
RP Hisanori Takahashi, Mets (2.13)
SP Roy Halladay, Phillies (2.22)
SP Roy Oswalt, Astros (2.35)
RP Manuel Corpas, Rockies (2.37)
SP John Danks, White Sox (2.37)
SP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals (2.38)
SP David Price, Rays (2.41)
SP Josh Johnson, Marlins (2.43)
RP Matt Belisle, Rockies (2.45)
SP Jeff Niemann, Rays (2.54)
SP/RP Kris Medlen, Braves (2.57)
SP Andy Pettitte, Yankees (2.62)
SP Mike Leake, Reds (2.70)
SP Phil Hughes, Yankees (2.72)
SP Clayton Richard, Padres (2.73)
SP Barry Zito, Giants (2.80)
SP Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays (2.82)
SP Mike Pelfrey, Mets (2.86)
RP Raul Valdes, Mets (2.86)
SP Matt Cain, Giants (2.88)
SP Justin Duchscherer, Athletics (2.89)
SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (2.90)
SP Matt Garza, Rays (2.97)
SP James Shields, Rays (2.99)
SP Tim Lincecum, Giants (3.00)
SP/RP Huroki Kuroda, Dodgers (3.03)
SP C.J. Wilson, Rangers (3.07)
SP Clay Buchholz, Red Sox (3.07)
SP Chris Carpenter, Cardinals (3.09)
SP Mat Latos, Padres (3.09)
SP/RP Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies (3.09)

Take This To The Bank

Based on Accuscore's sophisticated statistical evaluations, here are the top 20 projected home run leaders amongst second basemen from this point forward (May 28-Oct. 1):
1. Aaron Hill, Blue Jays -- 24.1
2. Dan Uggla, Marlins -- 23.6
3. Chase Utley, Phillies -- 23.5
4. Robinson Cano, Yankees -- 19.4
5. Ian Kinsler, Rangers -- 17.4
6. Ben Zobrist, Rays -- 15.3
7. Rickie Weeks, Brewers -- 15.1
8. Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks -- 14.5
9. Brandon Phillips, Reds -- 14.4
10. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox -- 14.0
11. Clint Barmes, Rockies -- 11.5
12. Juan Uribe, Giants -- 10.7
13. Alberto Callaspo, Royals -- 10.3
14. Gordon Beckham, White Sox -- 9.7
15. Martin Prado, Braves -- 9.6
16. Brian Roberts, Orioles -- 9.2
17. Luis Valbuena, Indians -- 8.7
18. Mark Ellis, Athletics -- 6.9
19. Howie Kendrick, Angels -- 6.8
20. Mike Aviles, Royals -- 6.4

About This Weekend ...

Since I'll be toiling in the offices for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday (don't cry for me, I have a ton of vacation in June/July) ... there's a chance I'll pen the regular Monday Clicks, even though it's Memorial Day and you, the reader, might be on your 10th adult beverage by the time it's published onto the Fantasy page. No matter how it plays out, have a raucous (yet safe) holiday weekend!

Take This To The Bank, Part II

Here are Accuscore's top 30 projected RBI leaders amongst outfielders from this point forward:
1. Jason Heyward, Braves -- 89.5
2. Andre Ethier, Dodgers -- 83.9
3. Ryan Braun, Brewers -- 78.9
4. Nelson Cruz, Rangers -- 77.5
5. Torii Hunter, Angels -- 76.3
6. Jayson Werth, Phillies -- 74.8
7. Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers -- 71.5
8. Jason Bay, Mets -- 69.9
9. Matt Kemp, Dodgers -- 67.9
10. Raul Ibanez, Phillies -- 67.7
11. Bobby Abreu, Angels -- 67.4
12. Michael Cuddyer, Twins -- 66.5
13. Manny Ramirez, Dodgers -- 64.8
14. Matt Holliday, Cardinals -- 64.8
15. Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals -- 64.5
16. Marlon Byrd, Cubs -- 64.1
17. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians -- 64.0
18. Nick Swisher, Yankees -- 63.8
19. Carlos Lee, Astros -- 61.9
20. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks -- 61.9
21. Jose Guillen, Royals -- 61.3
22. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers -- 61.1
23. Carlos Quentin, White Sox -- 59.8
24. Shane Victorino, Phillies -- 59.3
25. Johnny Damon, Tigers -- 59.2
26. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays -- 59.1
27. Garrett Jones, Pirates -- 58.9
28. Nick Markakis, Orioles -- 57.7
29. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- 57.4
30. Cody Ross, Marlins -- 57.3

Feeling A Draft In Here?

With MLB's first-year player draft on the horizon, here are the first 20 picks from's most recent mock draft (updated May 25). You'll notice that Washington has a chance to land two once-in-a-lifetime players in back-to-back seasons -- Stephen Strasburg in 2009 ... and Vegas power-hitting legend Bryce Harper this season:

1. Nationals: C Bryce Harper, Southern Nevada Community College
2. Pirates: SS Manny Machado, Brito HS (Fla.)
3. Orioles: P Jameson Taillon, The Woodlands HS (Texas)
4. Royals: P Drew Pomeranz, Mississippi
5. Indians: P Chris Sale, Florida Gulf Coast
6. Diamondbacks: P Deck McGuire, Georgia Tech
7. Mets: C Yasmani Grandal, Miami
8. Astros: P Karsten Whitson, Chipley HS (Calif.)
9. Padres: 3B Zack Cox, Arkansas
10. Athletics: P Dylan Covey, Maranatha HS (Calif.)
11. Blue Jays: OF Michael Choice, University of Texas-Arlington
12. Reds: P Alex Wimmers, Ohio State
13. White Sox: P Brandon Workman, Texas
14. Brewers: SS/3B Nick Castellanos, Archbishop McCarthy HS (Fla.)
15. Rangers: 3B/OF Josh Sale, Blanchet HS (Wash.)
16. Cubs: P James Paxton, Kentucky
17. Rays: OF Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee State
18. Angels: P Asher Wojciechowski, The Citadel
19. Astros: OF Austin Wilson, Harvard-Westlake School (Calif.)
20. Red Sox: SS Christian Colon, Cal-State Fullerton

The Missing Links

Here are the Web sites I check every morning -- in the name of 24/7 roster improvements:
**Baseball America
**Baseball America's 2010 Top Prospects
**Rotowire Player Search Database (great for targeting prospects)
**'s stats page
**'s fantasy page
**Baseball Prospectus
**The Hardball Times
**Dallas Morning News' Rangers blog (co-writers Richard Durrett, Jeff Wilson)
**Seattle Times' Mariners blog (Geoff Baker, author)

Great Time To Be A Kid

At the top of today's Clicks, I referenced "At This Moment" by Billy Vera and the Beaters, one of the most loathsome songs of the 1980s, no matter the genre. But since I don't like ending these columns on a sour note, here are MY 10 favorite songs from the greatest decade in the history of the world (one man's opinion -- keep in mind I was between the ages of 6 and 16):

1. Crosby, Stills & Nash, Wasted On The Way -- (sweetest guitar riff/harmony ever recorded)
2. Queen, Under Pressure -- (good luck finding a better motivational song at the gym)
3. Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants To Rule The World -- (technically speaking, a perfect song)
4. The Clash, London Calling -- (thank god I wasn't too young to appreciate societal angst)
5. The Police, Every Breath You Take -- (Billboard mag's No. 1 song of the decade -- I think)
6. Metallica, Fade To Black -- (if you don't like this song, you must not like ice cream, either)
7. Pink Floyd, Another Brick In The Wall, Part II -- (did the choir kids get their $$$?)
8. New Order, True Faith -- (strange video aside, this one's for the books)
9. U2, A Sort Of Homecoming -- (had to squeeze in one song from my all-time favorite band)
10. Michael Jackson, Beat It -- (great lyrics, terrific singing and one of the best guitar riffs in pop history, courtesy of Eddie Van Halen)

Next week ... the best albums of the 1980s. You remember actual albums, right?

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