It's funny how a .342 batting average and 38 percent uptick in RBIs can make up for noticeable dips in homers, runs and steals. That explains why Ramirez is still the redoubtable choice for No. 2 overall (behind
From a pure 2009 numbers standpoint,
No one is comparing Tulowitzki to
Rollins may be the most difficult superstar to project in all of fantasy baseball this season. At one end, you want to assume that he'll hit around .300 again, while easily clearing 20 homers and 100 runs again. On the other side, owners should expect approximately 80 RBIs and 40 steals from the leadoff hitter of baseball's greatest offensive machine. Put it all together and we're (somewhat) ready to predict the following:
Tampa Bay arguably has the greatest collection of twentysomething studs in all of baseball (and that doesn't even include soon-to-be-immortals
If Jeter should approach 107 runs and a .334 batting average again this year, that alone may be enough to outperform Bartlett. But it's impossible to ignore that Jeter, at age 35, is more susceptible to nagging injuries than the other studs preceding him on the list. That's not to say we're predicting gloom and doom here for 2010 -- just a simple market correction:
Perhaps Al-Ram earns this high ranking based on potential more than actual production. But at the very least, we're prepared to guarantee 20 steals and 85 RBIs within the White Sox' sneaky-good lineup. After that, it's anyone's guess for how it'll end for the 28-year-old shortstop.
After a two-year sabbatical away from Camden Yards, the 35-year-old stud is back to reclaim his lofty perch amongst the fantasy elite. And he'll certainly do that upon repeating his 2009 production (14 HRs, 86 RBIs, 83 runs, 5 steals, .313 average).
The 27-year-old Escobar has improved in three or more categories every season, and yet, he barely cracks our top-10 listing of shortstops. Is this some kind of reverse hometown bias (SI.com is partially based in Atlanta) ... or the work of an analyst who feels Escobar has reached his invisible fantasy ceiling? Frankly, we're not sure; but at least he's a stronger play than
With the lightning-fast
Last year at this time, we pooh-poohed Drew's chances of duplicating a near-brilliant 2008 season (21 HRs, 67 RBIs, 91 runs, .291 BA); and now, we're highly skeptical that Drew will repeat the mediocre feats of 2009. The best remedy for this when making projections? How about splitting the figures down the middle?
Color us crazy, but Cabrera has sneaky-good potential for 30 steals in the very-near future -- perhaps as early as 2010. Throw in a flirtation with 90 runs and it's easy to see why Cabrera will likely yield great production for a low-round draft pick.
The days of 25-plus steals and .330-plus hitting our probably behind the 32-year-old Furcal, but that doesn't mean the fight has completely left the old dog. Assuming he posts 575 at-bats for the presumptive favorites in the NL West, Furcal is a reasonable lock for
Peralta's partly production in 2009 (11 HRs, .254 BA) was probably just a fluke and nothing more. Of course, this mediocre ranking would seemingly suggest otherwise.
If Scutaro is a lock to repeat any one category from last season's out-of-nowhere breakout with Toronto (12 HRs, 60 RBIs, 100 runs, 14 steals, .282 average) ... it'll be runs with his new team, Boston.
In some circles, Escobar is being touted as the