For obvious reasons, we're going to ignore A-Rod's monster 2007 season (54 HRs, 156 RBIs, 143 runs, 24 steals, .314 BA) and focus on the last two years as the jumping-off point for 2010. That aside, he's still the No. 1 player at his position -- and most likely the No. 3 choice in all drafts.
Longoria can certainly challenge A-Rod in homers, RBIs, runs and maybe even steals. But unless the batting average breaks .290 this season, he'll have to wait until his fourth MLB season to become top dog at the hot corner.
Wright deserves the benefit of the doubt for his 10 HR/72 RBIs slumber in 2009, his first season at cavernous Citi Field. But it took a few rewrites to rank him ahead of
Forget about the 44 HRs/102 RBIs/24 steals/223 strikeouts for just one second, as we point to this telling stat: In 2009, Reynolds hit just .208 with runners in scoring position. That alone should indicate Reynolds' dream season was not a fluke. In fact, he might be in store for more good karma in 2010.
As great as Young was in 2009 (22 HRs/.322 average), we're inclined to lean on the production from a year earlier when establishing output: 17 HRs, 84 RBIs, 94 runs, 10 steals and .301 batting average. But then again, perhaps we're underselling his role on the AL's greatest run-producing machine of 2010 (the Rangers). And maybe, just maybe, we're underestimating
In the past three seasons, Ramirez's home-run rate has ranged from 1 per every 19.46 at-bats (2007) to 1 per every 20.52 at-bats (2008), including last year (15 HRs in 306 at-bats). So, assuming the 31-year-old Ramirez can stay relatively injury-free and amass 530 at-bats, he's a precedent-citing lock for
Just imagine what kind of damage Sandoval could do if he had better protection in the Giants' lineup. And then imagine how many runs and steals a slimmed-down Sandoval could register in only his second full season. Well, there are reports that Sandoval lost significant weight during the offseason, which should boost his runs and steals to 85 and 11, respectively. As for the lineup-protection part, he still must overcompensate for the power-deficient travails of
In last year's preview, I correctly asserted that Jones would fall back to earth after an amazing 2008 season. And now, I'm happy to get back on the bandwagon of a suddenly
Ideally, Figgins would garner a top-7 ranking that doesn't account for his move from Anaheim to Seattle. But he's bound to pay a fantasy price for accepting the Mariners' lucrative in the offseason -- in the form of falling woefully short of 114 runs/42 steals from last year. And while we're making cuts here, wave bye-bye to the .395 OBP!
There's just something about a guy named "Ian" who once enjoyed
The second-year Beckham is going as high as 42 in mixed-league mock drafts -- a slot that suggests a significant upgrade from 2009 (14 HRs, 63 RBIs, .270 in 378 at-bats). But let's not get too hasty here in overprojecting a future stud with plenty of hard knocks still ahead.
Boston or no Boston, Beltre is still an erratic hitter who can no longer dominate any one category. Of course, it'd be foolish to think he won't eclipse 75 runs and 15 steals while playing in Fenway Park ... along with 19 homers. After that, all bets are off.
Around June 1 or so, our 2007 mancrush for Gordon will officially expire, leaving us no choice but to live vicariously through
Speaking of mancrush expirations, I had no great aspirations for Atkins before his trade to the Orioles. But now, he has an outside chance of almost reaching his 2008 totals (21 HRs, 99 RBIs, 86 runs, .286 average) on a club with solid power hitters and potentially stellar pitching. And get this, no one will expect him to carry this club in any way. Talk about an easy way to make a living!
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
How long has Cantu been a placeholder for Marlins farmhands
This is probably Blake's last season as the Dodgers' uncontested third baseman, along with his top-20 swan song for this countdown. Perhaps he'll finish on a high note -- a la
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.
The minor league publications from 2005-06 had Headley ticketed for major league stardom by 2010. That just hasn't happened yet. But that doesn't mean that Headley won't ultimately achieve greatness at whichever position he calls home for the next 10 years. He's on the right track. Give it time.