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Drop the balloons and get out your noisemakers, it’s time for the 2010 Fantasy Baseball Rankings. It’s a celebration, snitches! All the 2010 Fantasy Baseball rankings will live in that link. The 2010 fantasy baseball rankings can also be found at the top of the page. See next to the Fantasy Baseball Forum link? Yeah, right there. Way to use those eyes! The 2010 Fantasy Baseball Rankings will be an ever-evolving mass like the blob. This fantasy baseball top 10 for 2010 list is as of right now and could potentially change with a big injury or Pujols retiring to become a hand model, so while it is the 2010 fantasy baseball gospel. Take it with a tablet of salt. Tomorrow we will cover the rest of the top twenty for 2010 fantasy baseball then we will go around the horn with a top 20 list for every position. Then for pitchers and outfielders, I’ll turn the dial to 80. Listed next to each player are my 2010 projections. Did I consult with CHONE, Bill James, ESPN, Marcel and whoever else does projections? Yeah, of course. Dur. But in the end they are my projections. Finally, as with each list in the 2010 fantasy baseball rankings, I will be mentioning where I see tiers start and stop. I look at tiers like this, if Chase Utley and Albert Pujols are in the same tier, it doesn’t matter if one guy is ranked 1st and one guy is ranked 3rd, they’re both very close. It comes down to personal preference. I would prefer the guy at number one better than the guy at three, but you do what you do and I’ll do what I do. Anyway, here’s the top 10 for 2010 fantasy baseball:

1. Albert Pujols – This is the first tier. This goes from here until Braun. I call this tier, “The, uh, top five.” The first round is stacked with talent so don’t take this the wrong way, but Pujols has a wonky elbow, Utley has had more hip surgeries than Zsa Zsa and Hanley’s shoulder comes out of the socket when he’s playing Wii Tennis. I hope they’ll all be fine, but I worry about them more than I should for the first picks of a draft. Maybe I’m just a worrywart. It’s not like Jose Reyes, Grady Sizemore or David Wright had any issues after getting ranked in the top ten last year. 2010 Projections: 110/40/120/.337/10

2. Hanley Ramirez – I almost put Hanley first because I can see myself taking him first overall in certain leagues, but what finally convinced to go with this ranking is my nagging want for a first baseman in the 1st or 2nd round. I like Billy Butler and all but he’s a corner man, I don’t want his moobs jiggling around in my 1st base slot. Hanley’s work ethic was questioned last year by Dan Uggla. Yeah, and Uggla sucks. Though I’m going to drop some caveats on you. Hanley’s not stealing like he used to because the team doesn’t want to risk him getting hurt and Hanley’s aforementioned shoulder might cause issues with power. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Hanley go 20/20 with a .300 average, but because of his track record and position, I couldn’t drop him any lower. 2010 Projections: 100/25/110/.320/25

3. Chase Utley – I love Chase Utley. Easily my favorite player. Look next to the definition of gritty and you see a picture of a young Clint Eastwood, but then under that it says, “See also Chase Utley.” You can’t make that shizz up. 2010 Projections: 110/32/105/.300/15

4. Alex Rodriguez – When you have a bottom line of 30 homers, 15 steals and a .290 average, a stacked lineup surrounding you and eligibility at 3rd base, you have my vote for the 4th pick of the draft. 2010 Projections: 110/36/120/.310/15

5. Ryan Braun – Could easily have been fourth, but the outfield eligibility softens his case. What I really like about Braun is how he feels like a 40 homer, 20 steal player who just hasn’t gotten there yet. In other words, he’s on the rise. In other other words, I wouldn’t kick the fifth pick of any draft out of bed. 2010 Projections: 110/37/120/.305/17

6. Mark Teixeira – After the high five, this is a new tier. This tier goes from here to the beginning of the top 20. I call this tier, “I hope someone takes Joe Mauer in this tier so I can take one of these other guys.” Teixeira’s consistency is being rewarded with this high ranking. Yes, some players get contract extensions, others get bonuses. Teixeira is being rewarded with a high ranking by yours truly. Congrats! I fought with myself for far longer than I care to admit regarding who I want first between Miguel Cabrera and Teixeira. Alas, you lose, Miggy. 2010 Projections: 100/37/120/.305

7. Miguel Cabrera – I know too many numbers give you the yawns, but Miguel Cabrera’s peripheral numbers are incredibly consistent. HR/FB since 2007 — 18.5%, 18.9% and 18.3%. FB% over the same time — 39.3%, 39.3% and 36.8%. The total percentage of pitches he swung at — 51.6%, 51.5% and 50.8%. Those numbers are across three years, playing in the American and National League and being drunk. Holy see, that’s consistent. Doode is a robot. 2010 Projections: 105/35/115/.320/3

8. Matt Kemp – Let’s face it, the first round is not filled with much upside. A-Rod, Tex, Howard, Fielder etc etc etc are great, but they’re not getting much better. Now Kemp feels similar to Braun in that he can exceed expectations. If I may don my “Running for Councilman” hat, that promise of a better tomorrow has Kemp ranked a smidge higher than maybe his numbers say. In 2010, count on Kemp not hitting in the 6th hole or lower in over 350 ABs as he did last year. 2010 Projections: 100/30/110/.305/32

9. Prince Fielder – In these lean steroid-testing times, 40 homer guys like Prince Fielder aren’t as easy to find anymore. Yes, that is the only time lean and Prince Fielder have been used in a sentence. His career HR/FB rate is 20.4%. Last year, he was at a 23.1% clip. I think he gets to 40 homers; I don’t think 45 is necessarily in the bag.  2010 Projections: 100/42/115/.285

10. Ryan Howard – So many guys wanted to be in this spot. Kinsler flashed his 20/20 potential and his eligibility, Longoria bragged of his potential and Lincecum smoked the competition (bad pun point for Grey). Alas, it’s Howard at the end (not to be confused with Howard’s end). The one thing that really bothered me about Fielder and Howard is, if the brothers from another chubby mother are first round picks, how is Adrian Gonzalez a late second round pick? Here’s how I reconciled that in my head. Firstly, Adrian Gonzalez is a 40 homer hitter going on a 35 homer hitter. Fielder is going the other way and Howard is a no doubt 45 homer hitter. Secondly, Prince Fielder is a .285 hitter going on a .300 hitter. Gonzo is a .280 hitter going on a .270 hitter. Thirdly, Gonzo has the schmohawk behind door number one hitting in front of him and the schmohawk behind door number two behind him. Fourthly, Petco. Fifthly, there’s no such thing as a fifthly. Howard is a .275 hitter with that lineup, that ballpark and that guaranteed power. 2010 Projections: 105/47/140/.275

From Around The Web

  1. dean says:
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    YES!! It begins!! Thanks Grey. Looking forward to this season of preseason seasoning.

  2. Steve says:
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    It’s like Christmas.

    And to give you some idea of what these rankings mean to me, I haven’t actually even had my Christmas present yet.

  3. Steve says:
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    @Steve: Uh, slightly carried away there.

    Happy to see the rankings, move along please.

  4. Aaron says:
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    Ah, the winter just got a little warmer.

  5. sean says:
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    Grey, what major projection system offers the most accurate AB numbers? I’ve heard BP’s Pecota…. True?

  6. Tony says:
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    I did another mock over the weekend, maybe two? can’t remember, i was drinking… one thing i’ve found is I really dont like leaving the first round without a 1B or a 3B. Basically i dont like leaving the first round with an OF’er… as much as it pains me, taking braun and Kemp make it tough going forward. Great players, i love em both, i’d take them on any team… But it just seems like was i was at a disadvantage the rest of the draft almost. I’m beginning to think starting my team with Tex, miggy, prince or Howard is the way to go… since i know i’m not picking at the VERY top of my draft.

  7. Eddy says:
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    Good stuff Grey. Love the Mauer and Lincecum jokes!

    I was going to ask you who would you pick first between Hanley and Pujols, but you magically read my mind and answered that

    if there was one thing I’d do different it’s that I’d still take A Rod 3rd (as he’s currently being drafted) because his power numbers will be slightly better, and we’ve yet to see him play a FULL season HEALTHY in the new yankee stadium. And I think 2B is slightly deeper than 3B

  8. mikey boy324 says:
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    grey i see you have utley ranked 3rd how concerned are you about his hip acting up at some point during the season?

  9. GopherDay says:
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    @mikey boy324: Do you remember the last time people questioned his hip?

  10. Ian says:
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    Interesting that you prefer Fielder to Howard after looking at your projections. Of course, what’s not to love about Fielder’s 2009 and the fact that he is still really young? The potential of him repeating last year probably gave Fielder the edge.

  11. BSA says:
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    @dean: Now that’s a lot of seasoning.

    Grey, Its good to be back to sharing my morning coffee with you.

  12. mikey boy324 says:
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    of course i do just hip issues in general scare me a lil especially with a guy your gonna pick in the top 5

  13. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    i think id take the 10th and 15th pick this year,grab fielder or howard then grab the next top guy

  14. Tony says:
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    @Ian: ya i didn’t realize it until starting my winter research that fielder was so much younger than howard…. maybe its bc howard isn’t as fat as he use to be, thanks subway, and prince is super fat, yet still legs out inside the parkers??? LOL

  15. brett says:
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    Aha! Back to my computer just in time.
    Solid rankings so far. Round 2 is where things gets tough…

  16. Tony says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: im with ya alk, i draft 12th in my redraft, i’m hoping one of the big 1B bats falls to me. They create a good base. Lots of power.

  17. big o says:
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    @ Grey :
    half of the top 10 are 1st basemen .
    some sort of modern-day record ?
    glad you resisted listing a pitcher , here .
    i feel more comfortable with this year’s list.
    and , yes ,
    i’m tired of smelling like vagina !
    http://razzball.com/2009-fantasy-baseball-rankings-top-10/
    hah .

  18. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @brett: your right,kinsler ,wright ,reyes,tulo,grady,crawford,id like to grab A-ROD,then kinsler or tulo,shore up 2 weak positions with power and sb,s early

  19. PhillyYorker says:
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    Question about methods: I frequently see Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury cited in top 5 lists for best or most valuable fantasy players because of the margins they provide in steals. Your list looks more like a 10 best players in baseball than a 10 best fantasy players. Is the difference: best vs. most valuable?

    Do you disagree with other analysis that the steals provided by Crawford and Ellsbury, together with their other stats, hold more value than a more across-the-board talent like Utley because the steals are so hard to replace?

  20. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @PhillyYorker: Steals are easier to replace. You can get them much deeper in the draft (Bourn, Morgan, R.Davis, etc., etc.). Plus, you can find steals on the waiver wire with new guys getting chances. Solid power, plus steals, has value up top (Kemp).

  21. Tony says:
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    @PhillyYorker: I actually avoid guys like crawford and ellsbury, sure if i can get them at the right spot and i’ve got a power heavy team to start i take them, but I hate investing and banking on all my steals from one guy. I’d much rather have 4 guys that can steal 15 bases than one that steals 60. Main reasoning one of them gets hurt i still have 45 sb’s. Crawford or ellsbury get hurt…. ZERO sbs.

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @dean: Excellent!

    @Steve: When’s Christmas in New Zealand?

    @Aaron: Hehe

    @sean: True

    @Tony: Yeah, I hear what you mean.

    @Eddy: Gotcha, fair points.

    @mikey boy324: Utley’s further removed from that surgery than A-Rod and younger.

    @Ian: The potential for Howard to possibly hit .250 gave Fielder the edge.

    @BSA: Good to be back.

    @AL KOHOLIC: Yup

    @brett: That’s true, it does.

    @big o: Ha!

    @PhillyYorker: Crawford and Ellsbury are barely more than SAGNOF. You draft Julio Borbon in the 22nd round and you could have the same player as Ellsbury.

  23. Nate Marcum says:
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    Grey,

    This might be the best birthday present yet! I will pass on the cake, balloons, etc, but I will happily take the start of the new years’ rankings!

  24. Jo says:
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    @PhillyYorker: Steals aren’t as hard to replace as they may seem. There’s always fast players coming out of the woodwork, ie Michael Bourn. Also, steals are something that can fluctuate quite a bit. Look at Alex Rios and Hanleys year by year numbers. Also, steals only give you steals… a guy with power gives you hr’s, rbi’s, and runs. That’s just my take on it, maybe grey’s reasons are different.

  25. weas says:
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    omgomgomgomg rankings!

  26. mc serch says:
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    And we are on our way! Agree that it is wise to lock in big power numbers early, especially when they come with a .280+ batting average, and seek speed later. For that reason I might have Fielder/Howard above Kemp. Seems like last few years the 1st few OFers off the board have been somewhat problematic (e.g., Hamilton/ Sizemore/Upton last year).

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @weas: Ha!

    @mc serch: I could see that. Kemp, Howard and Fielder are in the same tier.

  28. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Interested in what you project for Borbon’s playing time. ??

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: He’ll have his own post soon, but I think at least 450 ABs.

  30. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Grey: Cool, moves him up the watch list.

  31. Monti says:
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    Maybe a long shot, but I think Justin Upton could creep into the top 10 this year. Given his age and time missed, last year was very impressive, and there is room for so much more.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Monti: Could easily be in the top 12 for next year, but he’s not going to get drafted there this year. At least I wouldn’t advise it.

  33. Monti says:
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    Agree. He could be a steal at the end of the 2nd round or beginning of the third round. There is a real possibility his numbers eclipse Kemp.

  34. Big Mike says:
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    Ah, rankings! “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York; And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.”

  35. quimmy says:
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    Would anyone gamble on Sizemore (if its a gamble) at 14 overall in a keeper league? A list of possible guys on the board at this point are: Morneau, Gonzo, Reyes and Wright.

    Current Keepers: Kemp, JUP, Tulo, Hill and Kendry

  36. brad says:
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    Would you rather have Kemp at the cost of a 3rd round pick or Justin Upton for a 9th round?

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Big Mike: Ha!

    @quimmy: I’d take Wright before him, but they’re close.

    ****FYI, THERE’S A NEW POST.******

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @brad: Tough choice, I’d take Kemp.

  39. brad says:
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    Also, would you keep Hill over the Colorado Cargo?

  40. pwire says:
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    Grey,

    Utley at 3 is my concern… Looking for you to back it up or agree with me, but I’m looking for a comment from the #1 pert…

    A-Rod, Braun, and Kemp have better projections than Utley according to you quoting you… In CBS Sports – last three years’ final ranking in order for Utley (26,26,28). I’m pretty certain your argument will be position scarcity or “at least I’m hoping”-not because he gets the edge in ”grittiness,” but there are 8 second baseman in the top 100 in ADP this year including Zobrist- who could keep pace w/ Utley.

    My feeling is: that is the ceiling for Utley while the other two can eclipse and have… (Braun, 17,31,7) finishes in CBS (Kemp, 27,12) for Kemp in the last two years… Here is AROD by the way.(A-ROD, 1,17,67) A-ROD obviously missed time last year and is clearly capable of exceeding his numbers last year-also plays 3B

    I would pick AROD, Braun, Kemp, (who hit in miserable slots last year) over Utley currently, but looking forward to hearing about what you think…

  41. Joe C says:
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    Okay. I’m admitting the error of my ways now. No David Wright pick at number 5.

    But I can’t pick Utley. I just can’t do it.

    It’s not that I don’t like Utley. I do. It’s just… look at all that power that’s available out there. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of guys who can hit 40 home runs anymore. It would be a shame to pass those guys up (Howard and Tex being the other 2… for some reason, I don’t like MigCab. Maybe I just don’t like hard-drinkin’ ballplayers not named Bull Durham).

    I’m picking Fielder (however, that is *not* my final answer).

  42. Bob says:
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    Hill or Reynolds in a keeper?

  43. Joe C says:
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    That’s also somewhat my problem with Utley. Seems like you could pick a guy in the 3rd round or so that is basically equivalent to what he do.

    But I’m probably out of my gourd on that one, and not giving enough credit to Utley for his 5×5 contribution.

    I’m pretty sure Grey has Utley above Kemp and co. because of position. Taking an OF in the 1st round seems to always leave you one step behind in the rest of the draft.

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @pwire: Yeah, position scarcity, his consistency, his age and his numbers. A plus 30 homer, 15 steal, .300 average, 100 Runs and 100 RBIs 2nd baseman is a top five pick.

    @Bob: Reynolds in a vacuum.

  45. PhillyYorker says:
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    Got it on the steals. I should know by now my assumptions are always wrong. So, to re-form a question I have been asking, keep two of three: Ellsbury, Pena, or Werth?

  46. Joe C says:
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    Damn you, Grey! Don’t make me pick Utley! ;)

    However, after committing the sin of going against your advice last year (Hamilton in the early 2nd, Chris Davis in the 5th round… yeah, I guess I have a thing for big, dumb Texans… in a baseball way, I mean), I’ve resolved to be a better man and heed your advice more than ignore it.

    But Utley. Aghhh!

  47. brad says:
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    @PhillyYorker: I’d try to trade Ellsbury. Bound to be a member of Red Sox nation in your league, right?

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @PhillyYorker: In a vacuum, Werth and Ellsbury.

    @Joe C: I’m not infallible, anything can happen, etc. But Utley’s proven to be consistent enough to warrant the high pick. He’s also surrounded by one of the top lineups in a great park where he bats 3rd.

  49. Joe C says:
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    @Grey: You may indeed not be infallible, but that mustache certainly is.

    Le sigh.

    Alright, alright. It’s fine. I really like him as a player. Gritty, goes all out, clutch…

    I will highlight his name, close my eyes and click enter. Of all the fantasy bloggers I’ve read, you’ve been both the wittiest and the wisest… so I’m just gonna give you this one as a token of my appreciation.

    Or maybe you had me at mustache.

  50. Steve says:
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    @Joe C: @Grey: He’s so good, you can even excuse the ‘do he has going.

    And his prediliction for ‘professional’ women.

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe C: You had me at le sigh.

    @Steve: Yeah, and he likes hookers… C’mon!

  52. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I thought this was a family show.

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: (TJ) Hooker.

  54. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Not to mention it’s a key rugby position.

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Invictus!

  56. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Don’t ever raise the subject of the 1995 World Cup again.

    Or ’91, or ’99, 0r ’03, or ’07.

    We were robbed every time.

  57. Pat says:
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    I agree with all of your top 10 except I would flip Utley and Arod. Your rankings reflect how speed will be much more easier to come by than power this coming season. Guys that can slug 35 homers or higher will be few and far between. In my draft, I’ll definitely feel pressure to get a big bopper like Howard, Cabrera, Fielder, etc. early.

  58. Frince Pielder says:
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    Cabrera and Kemp above Fielder? Fielder’s HR/FB last year still wasn’t even close to his career high (from 2007) and all of his hitting/plate discipline numbers and peripherals improved across the board. Plus he’s the youngest guy on the list and is just now entering traditional peak offensive age. I’d say the upside is 50 HR and a .300+ average. Not like he hasn’t done both those things already in his relatively short career (more specifically, in the last three years)

    Remember that terrible opening month he had last season? Remember those numbers he ended up with last season?

    I’m taking The Big Man top 5. (Plus he has his own rap song, does Pujols?!)

  59. jamesllegade says:
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    YAAAAAY!

    Rankings are here!

    I dropped Longoria in favor of keeping Prince and Kemp. I am but a servant of your will.

    Only problem is with M-Cab… as in “I needsh a um… mmmmmm…cab. I’m to drunk to drive…”

  60. Steve says:
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    Howard is down here training in Tampa right now, and the guy looks even leaner and meaner than when we saw him during the playoffs, hmmm…..

  61. Steve says:
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    @Steve: I’m in Tampa?

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: It’s parallel universe Steve.

  63. Steve says:
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    @Grey: It’s a pity whoever’s in charge of that stuff couldn’t have picked somewhere a little nicer for me.

  64. Grey- Whaddya think about Tex/Zimmerman for Utley/Victorino in a 11 team 5×5 roto?

  65. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @pubscout: I’d want the Tex side.

  66. Mike says:
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    Grey…Gotta pick two keepers….

    A-Rod
    Howard
    Crawford
    Kemp
    M. Cabrera

    Not sure who to take along with A-Rod. What do you think? Curious.

  67. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mike: Man, that’s tough. Can’t really go wrong a lot of different ways. I’d take Kemp.

  68. Mike says:
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    Thanks for the response…at this point, I know what I’m going to get from Howard. We increased the SB points this year and that makes me think Crawford. But been watching Kemp a lot the past two years and that kid can just flat-out play…and young and entering prime. And Cabrera. He’s 25. And consistent numbers every year.

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