I'm going to post this now because after the trade deadlines the traffic here moves to the football cafe as well it should. Who's the top top 5 guys off the board off next year. The reason I ask is because I can possibly have the top 3 hitters in a three player keeper league next year. Don't worry about the stipulations I can take care of that. My thought below.
1.Pujols-Still the best hitter in baseball 2.Hanley-Down year, but talent and position scarcity are still there 3.M. Cabrera-Pujolsesque nix the k's. 1st base is deap. Arguments welcome 4.Roby Cano-Young, good, plays for the dark ones, scarce position 5.D. Wright-Still solid, still young, position scarcity. Don't think he has anymore upside than what we've seen however
Honorable mentions: Hamilton-The natural. Best swing since the Kid but a very old 29 due to his past. Injury history Votto-Numbers/Age can't be ignored but again 1B is always deep Braun-Down year but I think he's injured right now. Huge bounce back next year possible Crawford-How long does he steal bases at this clip? Is power here to stay? Carlos Gonzales-Cant' believe I traded this guy early. Does it continue?
1 - Pujols 2 - HanRam 3 - MCab - sobered up and healthy, great numbers will continue to get better. 4 - Matt Holliday - Averaged .325AVG 28HR 111RBI 107R 18SB over the last 3 years. 5 - Braun - Only 26...most experts say 27 is the year to shine.
If you take injury concerns out of the equation Josh Hamilton would be #2a. I have trouble putting David Wright near the top. I think Citi field has pretty much taken him out as a top hitter. Cano/Utley are definite top options because of 2B scarcity.
1. Miguel Cabrera - this is what we've all been waiting for. At 27 years old he's got another 2 or 3 years where he will likely continue to improve. The sky is the limit.
2. Albert Pujols - Looks as good as ever really. On the wrong side of 30 now, so some injury/decline concerns start to creep in.
3. Hanley Ramirez - Certainly a down year, but he's too young and too good not to bounce back. Watch for .320, 30 HR, 20+ SB next year.
4. Ryan Zimmerman - he may not be one of the top 5 hitters off the board, but he probably should be. He will play at 26 for the entire '11 season and he just keeps getting better each year. His BB% continues to increase along with his power (developing that classic "sluggers approach" perhaps influenced some by teammate and close friend Adam Dunn) and at that same time he has managed to maintain a 80%+ contact rate. A .300 40 HR season may be on the horizon. And remember - he plays a Gold Glove 3B, so he's got positional value to boot.
5. Evan Longoria - yes the power is a bit disappointing, but when you take a closer look at the peripherals there's really only one thing that's stopping him from being an absolute beast. His BB% is consistent at 11% again this year. His Contact rate has actually increased now for the 3rd consecutive year from 73 in 08 to 76 in 09, and now 78%. His GB/LD/FB split is in-line with previous years and even shows a slight improvement with increases to LD and FB with a slight GB decrease. So what's holding him back? His HR/FB ratio is significantly lower (11%) than the previous 2 years at 18 and 19% respectively. If you really believe that Longoria's power has decreased at 25 years of age, then by all means discount him. But I think most of us know better.
On top of that Longoria has continued to impress with his steadily increasing speed skills. He's currently 15/18 on SB attempts this year (an impressive 83% for anyone, but especially a slugging 3B) and has recorded 5 triples this year, which are often a great speed indicator. A monster .300, 40 HR, 20 SB season could be lurking just around the corner.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
Hard to say right now...but, I guess I'll go with;
pujols hanram mcab cano braun
Utley is close, possibly besting cano. I'm basing this primarily on next year, so his age is less a factor for me. Also think arod might have one last uber season in him. None of the above ideas are wrong....love zimmerman and longoria aswell.
hmmmm...interesting to answer at this point, because (for example) if crawford goes to nyy that helps him a bit (if say 5 of his doubles this year go over the fence next then hes a 20 HR guy, and its going to be more difficult to take him after braun.
id say... 1. pujols-i think this year is if anything a low year-hard not to put a guy with his track record and every year production first. 2. hanley-tulo is the only SS thats even close for next year, and his numbers out of a generally weak position are irreplaceable. 3. mcab-great year so far, no reason it should stop next year 4. cano-2B isnt as weak as SS, but theres a slight drop to utley, and then after that you're looking at pedroia/phillips/uggla before you start hitting guys that will be average producers at best. i think it'll be key to have at least one of these guys, and cano has the best lineup to hit in, park to play in, and is having an awesome year this year. 5. crawford-i could see him having a .310, 120/20/80/40 year next year...sure, i might be a little high on him, but if im picking between him, braun, longoria, zimmerman, holliday, wright id probably take him. that said, certainly id say hes the one of my top 5 im least sure about, but i guess its boring to repeat all of the same guys as everyone else so i'll take a chance on him. certainly i wouldn't argue too much with any of the above picks.
other guys that haven't showed up yet that i think could break in to the top 5 (but more likely top 10): carlos gonzalez--if he has another year like this one, then hes a great candidate-could easily be better than braun. if he ever gets traded away from coors obviously he drops a bit, but for a guy that went 13th round or later this year, hes a huge producer. joey votto-another guy who's been a huge bargain this year, but wont be next year-hes almost certainly the #3 1B for next year after pujols/mcab