OpinionSeptember 15, 2009


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A Premilinary Look at 2010 - 3 comments

By R.J. White

Milwaukee Brewers vs St. Louis CardinalsMany of you are still plugging away, adjusting your rosters and battling for a championship. For those lucky people, good for you! At this point, you probably don’t need additional advice, at least, not from anyone other than yourself. What you’ve been doing is obviously working just fine. If you want some support as you go for the gold, head over here. For the rest of us, we’re already taking a look at 2010. What will the player rankings look like next spring training? I’ll give my best guess in the following article, but I’d love to hear your opinion as well. Please use the commenting section at the end of the article to pitch in and share your view.

Catchers

1. Joe Mauer
2. Victor Martinez
3. Brian McCann
4. Jorge Posada
5. Matt Wieters

If Pablo Sandoval is again catcher-eligible, he’s #3. If Brandon Inge retains catcher eligibility for some reason, he’s likely after Posada. Matt Wieters didn’t show much this year, but the hype that surrounds him and the future expectations that are attached to him should get him picked over guys like Geovany Soto and Miguel Montero.

First Basemen

1. Albert Pujols
2. Prince Fielder
3. Miguel Cabrera
4. Mark Teixeira
5. Ryan Howard

Pujols will be the No. 1 overall selection in most leagues next year, especially after throwing 14 steals next to his Triple Crown-type numbers. There will be jockeying at the middle-to-end of the first round between the next three options on the list. Ryan Howard slots in at five — he’s actually done better than Mark Teixeira so far this season, but Tex’s hot stretches were more prominent, and fantasy owners will drool over Tex’s home field, even more than they drool over Howard’s Citizens Bank Park.

Second Basemen

1. Chase Utley
2. Ian Kinsler
3. Brian Roberts
4. Aaron Hill
5. Robinson Cano

Brandon Phillips, Dustin Pedroia and Ben Zobrist could all be in the mix for the positions after the big two, and once one or two of them are drafted, there should be a prominent position run. Chase Utley is looking like he could be a top-five pick next year, and we were obviously wrong to pass on him at the end of the first round in our 2009 drafts. Ian Kinsler isn’t letting injury keep him from a 30/30 season. If people think that average goes back up, he could pass Utley.

Third Basemen

1. Alex Rodriguez
2. David Wright
3. Evan Longoria
4. Mark Reynolds
5. Ryan Zimmerman

If Miguel Cabrera somehow regains 3B eligibility, he’s likely #1 on this list. A-Rod missed the first six weeks, and presuming he’s 100% by the start of 2010 and considering David Wright’s power struggles, Rodriguez should wind up on top in the majority of leagues. Excitement over the growing Evan Longoria could place him in the first round as well. Even though he’s been the best 3B this year, Mark Reynolds has to avoid the stigma that this season can be written off. Someone won’t be able to resist him in the second round though.

Shortstops

1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Jose Reyes
3. Derek Jeter
4. Troy Tulowitzki
5. Jimmy Rollins

Hanley Ramirez is the clear #1, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him and his huge average drafted above Pujols in a majority of leagues. What’s certain is that you definitely want a top-two pick in 2010. A younger Derek Jeter would be at #2, but Jose Reyes should earn the second spot on 2010 cheat sheets and be a late-first or early-second round pick. Tulowitzki is really streaky, but his season numbers deserve the spot over Jimmy Rollins, who won’t be able to shake his early-season slump and relatively advanced age.

Outfielders

1. Ryan Braun
2. Matt Kemp
3. Matt Holliday
4. Carl Crawford
5. Grady Sizemore
6. Jason Bay
7. Justin Upton
8. Ichiro Suzuki
9. Manny Ramirez
10. Jacoby Ellsbury

Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp arre interchangeable, depending on particular owners’ preferences. Matt Holliday has much more value in a lineup with Pujols, and that adds to the likelihood of his remaining in St. Louis. Carl Crawford could have made a run at #1, but he’s been slumping after the All-Star Break. Whoever takes Sizemore in the second or third round will feel like they got a steal. Justin Upton has turned heads and could actually be drafted higher, if a guy at your draft falls in love with him. Jacoby Ellsbury might look out of place, but he makes for great value a couple rounds after Crawford, a similar player fantasy-wise.

Starting Pitchers

1. Tim Lincecum
2. CC Sabathia
3. Zack Grienke
4. Dan Haren
5. Justin Verlander
6. Roy Halladay
7. Felix Hernandez
8. Johan Santana
9. Javier Vazquez
10. Adam Wainwright
11. Brandon Webb
12. Chris Carpenter
13. Josh Johnson
14. Cole Hamels
15. Jake Peavy

This is predictably the hardest group to predict. Tim Lincecum is your obvious choice for #1. CC Sabathia’s late-season dominance, coupled with the opportunity for a lot of wins in New York, should give him the nod at #2 in many leagues. Zack Grienke and Dan Haren will jump off the board soon after, although both have trouble getting wins. Roy Halladay could easily be higher, as could Johan Santana, who’s value will be suppressed heading into 2010. I also think Webb could be selected much higher, depending on whether people remember how dominant he is when on his game. Chris Carpenter’s 2009 season should earn him a higher spot, but people are always going to feel the next injury is right around the corner. People won’t be sold on Jake Peavy in the AL in Chicago away from Petco — in fact, a #15 ranking might be high for him.

Relievers

1. Mariano Rivera
2. Jonathan Broxton
3. Joe Nathan
4. Jonathan Papelbon
5. Joakim Soria

Until he steps down, Rivera probably deserves the top spot. He doesn’t walk anybody, which will help to keep his WHIP down. If not for a small rough patch, Jonathan Broxton’s ridiculous strikeout total would place him on top. Joe Nathan and Jonathan Papelbon have proven to be solid over a couple years, something that will endear them to drafters over first-year closers Heath Bell and Andrew Bailey. If you can get Joakim Soria at a discount, he should be a great value as your RP1.

That’s it! Share your thoughts below.

 
R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
 
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3 Responses to “A Premilinary Look at 2010”

  1. User avatar DbacksRback says:

    Really helped me with picking my keepers ( Kemp, Hanley, Kinsler, Crawford, Greinke) but leaving out zimmerman, Reynolds, Carpenter, Peavy. Thanks!

    ReplyReply
  2. User avatar daullaz says:

    Very nice keepers DbacksRback! Be sure to grab some power in your draft in the first couple rounds (Dunn, bounceback from Hamilton, etc).

    Right now I’m looking at keeping A-Rod, Crawford, Tulo, Reynolds, and Santana, over A.Hill, Cliff Lee, and Adam Dunn.

    ReplyReply
  3. User avatar chris8 says:

    Nice lists on the whole; I’d only have a few alterations:

    After another 20/20 season, I’ll take Brandon Phillips over Robinson Cano at 2B any day, even with the 40-point difference in AVG (which could easily be less in 2010). I’d consider Zobrist & Pedroia over Cano as well.

    At 3B, it’s amazing how an injury-plagued season has dumped Aramis Ramirez from our minds. He’s still hit for an AVG of .323 with a dozen HR in 266 ABs. Not saying he makes my top 5, but he’s there or thereabouts with Ryan Zimmerman for my money.

    I don’t think Ichiro wil be in my top 10 OF for next year – the likes of Werth (heading for a 35/15 season) and Carlos Lee (down year, but can’t write him off for that) are ahead of him IMO. I may even have Beltran ahead of him, depending on how he looks in ST.

    Agree that SP is hardest to predict at this stage; I think Cliff Lee has earned himself a top 15 spot after another excellent year, but it’s tough to say who will be bumped out – Peavy may be the one to go, for the reasons you mention.

    ReplyReply

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