By David Sabino
June 17, 2010
Nine For Now

You took a chance by drafting them off sub-par seasons, and thus far they've paid off handsomely, rewarding your faith with big offensive numbers. Today we look at the best position-player fantasy comebacks of the season, ranked in the order of who is the most likely to continue their bounce-back seasons from this point on.

For more insights, follow SI's fantasy expert David Sabino on Twitter at SI_DavidSabino.

1 Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
Widely believed to have baseball's worst contract, the Blue Jays couldn?t give their long-time centerfielder away over the offseason, which many teams now regret. In 276 plate appearances this season he's already surpassed his home run total in 684 trips to the dish last year (16 to 15). He?s also raised his slugging percentage by .171, from .400 in '09 to .571 this year and leads the AL with 23 doubles. As the mercury rises in the Rogers Centre, the ball will fly out even more often than it has in making the Jays baseball's home run leader, and Wells should challenge his career high of 33 set in '03.
2 Alex Rios, White Sox
Alex Rios, White Sox
Injuries have kept the reigning AL MVP's numbers modest (2 HR, 25 RBIs, .316 avg.). The outfielder the Jays were able to unload, Rios, is a five-tool player who didn't show too many of them last season after arriving in Chicago, where he hit .199 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 41 games late last year. This year he's the only player in baseball with at least a dozen home runs (12) and a dozen stolen bases (19), once again showing why he was a two-time All Star in Toronto, and a high round selection in the fantasy drafts of the late '00s.
3 David Wright, Mets
David Wright, Mets
Many blamed the new Citi Field for David Wright's decline in power last season, as he dropped from 33 home runs in '08 to 10 last season. Now that all seems like a blip as he's already surpassed his home run total (12) and his slugging percentage (.526) is much more in line with his career average (.519) than last year?s (.447). He's still not hitting for much power at home (only two of his 12 home runs have come in Flushing) but he hasn?t let that affect him on the road, as only Miguel Cabrera, Justin Morneau and Albert Pujols have more clouts away from home.
4 Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers
Vlad the Imapler's first season in Arlington has been a throwback to his glory days before a chronic bad back plagued him and his suffering fantasy owners. His .341 average is as high as his best in Anaheim while his 14 home runs puts him on pace for 35 this season, which would be his most since arriving in California in '04. He tops all designated hitters in hits (71), batting average, on-base percentage (.373), slugging percentage (.567) and runs batted in (52). Meanwhile, Angels DHs have combined for .220/.309/.344 with six home runs and 26 RBIs.
5 Scott Rolen, Reds
Scott Rolen, Reds
You can make an argument that last year was Rolen's comeback season as he hit .304 while splitting time between the Jays and Reds, but as a fantasy owner you had to be skeptical of someone who has not played more than 128 games since '06. This year he?s been a fantasy revelation while anchoring the top scoring offense in the National League, placing second in slugging percentage (.586), behind only L.A.'s Andre Ethier, while placing in the top 10 in total bases (126) batting average (.307) and home runs (14).
6 Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
Pardon Beltre owners for having that ?here we go again? feeling when the third baseman was homerless through 25 games, but the former Mariner righted the ship quickly, slugging nine long balls since to beat his total of all of last season by one. Mike Lowell's replacement is also hitting .336, good for fifth in the league and tops the powerful Red Sox lineup in RBIs with 45, tied for eighth in the junior circuit.
7 Corey Hart, Brewers
Corey Hart, Brewers
One of the few bright spots for one of the most disappointing offenses in baseball, Hart has exploded back into the discussion of heavy-hitting outfielders with a one-month power surge. Since May 15 Hart has hit 14 home runs and driven in 35 runs, easily the highest totals in the majors over that time. Putting that in better perspective, he hit more home runs during the last month (14) than he did in 474 trips to the plate last year (12). He leads the NL in home runs and is two behind the big-league lead, but is bound to cool off any moment.
8 Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays
Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays
One of the season's top waiver pickups, the well-traveled shortstop missed the entire '08 season for the Reds with a left knee fracture. After batting .238 between Cincinnati and Boston last year he looked like he'd never again come close to his career year of '04, when he hit 23 home runs and drove in 79 runs for the Marlins. But a trip north of the border has been the tonic he needed. His 13 home runs lead all shortstops, and only Derek Jeter has driven in more runs.
9 Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks
Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks
He never became "the next Chipper Jones" in Atlanta, as some had predicted, and lost his starting second base job to Martin Prado last year by batting .224 and slugging .389. But Johnson has adapted quickly to life in the desert, slugging nine home runs in April. He's cooled off since but is still within his professional home run high of 23, set in 2001 at Class A Macon.

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