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Just went over the top 10 for 2010 fantasy baseball and today we give you our top 20 for 2010 fantasy baseball.  Then we’ll go over the top 20 catchers for 2010 fantasy baseball then top 20 1st basemen and so on and so forth as we do onto our 2010 Fantasy Baseball rankings as you would want them done onto you.  In the top 10, I battled with maybe one or two spots, but this top 20 that I gave birth to was a true labor of love, battling with myself on just about every spot.  I’m pleased with what I settled on, but I could see an argument made to reshuffle some of these players.  The 2nd round is easily the hardest round to peg.  In some cases, I think I’d prefer the 3rd round to the 2nd round.  Yes, the 3rd round is the new 2nd round.  This will probably need its own post.  As always, tiers are mentioned and my 2010 fantasy baseball projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2010 fantasy baseball:

11. Evan Longoria -  As mentioned in the top 10 rankings post, this continues the previous tier of players.  This tier started at Teixeira and will end at Wright.  Longoria feels like he should be in the Braun and Kemp class of players that could conceivably get better.  The strikeouts aren’t pretty and will hinder his average to an extent, but the power and speed are there.  He ranked above Wright because of his power.  At 3rd base, you want a guaranteed 30 homers more than a guaranteed 15 steals.  2010 Projections:  100/36/115/.280/10

12. Tim Lincecum – 12th was the absolutely latest I was able to rank a guy who has back-to-back seasons of 260 Ks.  Sure, I don’t like taking pitching in the early rounds, but it’s hard to argue with a guy whose FIP was 2.34 and who lowered his walk rate.  The only knock on Lincecum is his lower back issues towards the end of 2009 and his resemblance to k.d. lang.  2010 Projections:  18-5/2.70/1.00/250

13. David Wright – As I mentioned in the opening, this 2nd round is tricky and has a lot to do with who you took in the first round.  If you took A-Rod, then you don’t take Wright.  But imagine pairing Ryan Howard with David Wright.  That’s like pairing Boone’s Strawberry Hill with a chili dog.  That’s a meal fit for a king!  Prior to last year, three of the last four years Wright’s HR/FB rates were above 16 percent.  Last year, he had a home run to fly ball rate of 6.9.  So I’m chalking some of last year up to bad luck.  Now consider he’s still capable of 20 steals and a .300 average.  Even if Metco’s fences stay in the outer boroughs, Wright can be very valuable.  2010 Projections:  100/25/110/.300/17

14. Ian Kinsler – This begins a new tier.  This tier is called, “Why is the 2nd round so tricky this year?”  This tier goes from here to Gonzalez.  I can’t remember a year when I’ve been so legitimately flummoxed with the 2nd round.  Is Kinsler great?  Sure.  Do I feel 100% confident in him?  As about as confident as I would practicing the withdrawal method with Octo-Mom. Kinsler isn’t a great average hitter, but he’s better than the .253 he showed last year.  He’s not a .300 hitter either.  He’s a near lock for 25/25 at 2nd base and that carries a lot of weight.  Is he that different than Brandon Phillips? They’re both six-feet tall, weigh around 200 lbs, injured more times than I’d like and their birthdays are six days apart. Maybe they’re one player pulling The Alex P. Keaton When He Had Two Dates For The Prom And He Had To Keep Switching His Tie trick.  2010 Projections:  110/29/80/.270/34

15. Matt Holliday – I just went over my Holliday fantasy last week so I’m not going to beat Secretariat.  I’ll only say that I don’t think Holliday is necessarily the hitter we saw in the 2nd half times two.  He goes on hot streaks, that’s what last year’s 2nd half was.  In 2006 and 2007 on the Rockies, he hit 10 and 12 homers in the month of September respectively.  In 2005, he hit 15 homers post-All-Star Break and four before.  When the games are on the line for real baseball and H2H, Holliday is there.  Sometimes that’s frustrating with roto.  2010 Projections:  105/28/115/.320/15

16. Troy Tulowitzki – I tried to drop Tulo as low as I could because he’s deriving a lot of his value from his 2009 steals.  As I said at the end of the season last year, “I wish I believed in all of the steals he racked up this year, but his total is about three times the most he’s ever recorded in any season of professional ball.  Still, he’s good, and can get a bit better on the power side.”  And that’s me quoting me!  The reason why I couldn’t drop him any lower is because of his position, his park, his age and his power.  Remember if you draft him, he doesn’t start playing until May at the earliest.  2010 Projections:  95/35/105/.280/12

17. Grady Sizemore – I already went over in my Grady Sizemore 2010 fantasy baseball post-a-ma-thing-whosies.  After his girlfriend revealed photos of Grady visually detailing his sports hernia recovery, he revealed he’d be ready for the start of 2010.  I believe him.  2010 Projections:  110/27/80/.270/25

18. Carl Crawford – Every time I looked at Crawford, I kept thinking to myself, where’s Ellsbury?  They should be right next to each other, shouldn’t they?  After all, their names together sound like a law firm.  Crawford benefits from just a bit more power, but his knees are getting creaky and we rely on his speed for a lot of his value.  Honestly, I’m hoping he gets off to a hot start and I can tell you to sell him at the end of May.  2010 Projections: 110/14/65/.290/50

19. Adrian Gonzalez – The 20th pick is not an easy one.  I pieced together different draft scenarios with glue and old issues of TV Guide and it spelled out A-Gonz.  If my fantasy baseball ransom note meant Alex Gonzalez, I apologize.  I just can’t get past that I want a 1st baseman in the first few rounds.  And, most importantly, I want a guy I can rely on.  Votto is great, but he probably won’t sniff 35+ homers, Morneau is fine but his power and health are wonky, Carlos Pena is fine, but he’s a .250 hitter going on a .230 one.  Obviously, if you own Fielder, Tex or Howard, you’re not taking Gonzalez.  I think last season was Gonzalez’s power peak, but it was still solid.  He should more or less maintain it.  One thing to be aware of is his involuntarily climbing walk rate.  That’s what hitting behind Sub Standard and in front of Nadir Bupkis will do to you.  2010 Projections:  90/38/100/.280

20. Jimmy Rollins – Rollins didn’t really do anything wrong in 2009.  Sure, he had a bad average.  But that wasn’t his fault.  He was 40 points off his career BABIP.  He’s not a .290 hitter, but he’s not a .250 hitter either.  Even with that terrible average, he scored 100 runs.  Unlike Benjamin Button, he’s not getting any younger so I think the steals will continue to decline, but not noticeably for 2010.  2010 Projections:  110/20/65/.275/28

After the top 20 for 2010 fantasy baseball, there’s a lot of names, but here’s three big names that were purposely omitted:

Joe Mauer – Just went over the overrated Mauer and Mark Reynolds overrated posts.  But I felt that I needed to address the two elephants in the room again.  Mauer’s HR/FB rate was through the roof last year.  In 2008, he hit 139 fly balls and 9 homers.  In 2009, 137 fly balls and 28 homers.  There’s no way he hits 28 homers again.  Then throw in the wear and tear he takes at his position and how he’s already battled more injuries than the “merely a flesh wound” guy.  Then throw in he’s tops at a weak position.  I.e., is there that much difference between him and Napoli?  Sure, on average and Runs.  Not much elsewhere.  See catcher, punt catcher.  2010 Projections:  100/20/85/.330/3

Mark Reynolds – Guys (and two girl readers), this is 2010.  Don’t draft for 2009.  Reynolds had an incredible year last year and hit .187 in September.  What if he hits .187 in April and June?  You’re gonna be looking to start a midseason fantasy baseball league cause your preseason one got bungled.  2010 Projections:  85/35/95/.250/12

Jose Reyes – Wait, so he’s washed up at the age of 26?  So he went from a top three pick to out of the top 20 because he was injured last year?  C’mon.  This isn’t about last year.  Sure, he was a miserable prick last year for getting injured and ruining your fantasy team.  How dare he!  But that was last year.  Now this year, he has a something roid… Oh, thyroid.  Right.  It’s not great that he’s starting the year on the DL, but Mauer did it last year and A-Rod and Utley…  It’s a long season, if you can get Reyes at a discount, go for it.  2010 Projections:  105/11/55/.285/45

  1. Steve says:
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    Good work, fella.

    With so much thought having gone into the top 20, you got a feel for what spot you’d ideally want to be drafting from this year?

  2. mikey boy324 says:
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    i think sizemore and reyes are gonna be steals at there current positions i know they screwed alot of teams last year but prior to last year they put up numbers year after year…

  3. Eddy says:
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    I wonder where that Napoli comparison came out of ;)

    And I completely agree on how tempting the second round can be. It defines how your draft goes imo. What I’ve noticed, however, is that after the first round (where I almost always have a 1B) I usually end up with either Wright, Holliday, or Reyes.

    Are there are specific “requirements” for your team before the end of the 5th round? We all ready know you need a big ol’ bat at 1B, anything else additionally?

    Btw, if you HAD to choose between Bumgarner,
    Strasburg, and Chapman in the last round,
    who would it be and why?

  4. xxxTheToadxxx says:
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    I would take Mad Bum. He may even begin the season in their rotation.

  5. Grey,

    I went back over your “Joe Mauer, 2010 Schmohawk” post.

    I took your projected line for Joe Mauer: .330/18/106/104

    And I calculated the value of that line, stacking it up against the CHONE projected average of all other baseball players.

    Even WITHOUT adjusting it for positional scarcity, that would rank Mauer #11 overall, ahead of Chase Utley, Matt Kemp, and Mark Teixeira.

    Let’s say you’re being too generous with those runs and RBI’s and even HRs. Let’s say his line is .330/15/95/95.

    That would still rank Mauer #18 overall, ahead of Grady Sizemore and Adrian Gonzalez.

    Hmm.

    Editor, Fantasy Ball Junkie

  6. Oh, I forgot the line you have above: 100/20/85/.330/3

    That puts him #17.

    Adjusted for position (how he compares to the likes of Mike Napoli), it would put him ahead of Albert Pujols in value too. At least according to my calculations.

    I mean, he ended up last season by most player raters as a top 10 player overall. You think knocking off a measly 8 HR from his total is going to really shake up his value?

    Editor, Fantasy Ball Junkie

  7. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    Great stuff here. Out of curiosity, are Joe Mauer and Mark Reynolds ranked 21st and 22nd respectively? Or will they show up later in your top 100 rankings?

  8. Tony says:
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    ding ding ding…..

  9. sean says:
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    Definitely don’t think it’s unreasonable to bump Reynolds and Mauer from the top 20 in favor of two guys who were first rounders last year.
    That said, Wright, Reyes, and Sizemore should all be available in the second round. Apples to apples (assuming you selected a mashing 1B in the first round), who is the least risky of the bunch? I’m leaning toward Wright out of default because he wasn’t really injured, he just sucked. Too much of Reyes’ value depends on his legs for me to draft him without proof that he’s back. Sizemore without protection and with the way he plays CF makes me think he could be in line for an early, injury-riddled decline.

  10. Tony says:
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    @Fantasy Ball Junkie: I think you can rank mauer in your top 10 if you like… and he could easily put up a line that justifys it…. but he’s a catcher, and I dont like his likely hood of being injured. He’s just had a past of something going wrong and at that position (catcher) at that point in the draft (so early)…. I’ll let someone else pay for last years career year.

    I also dont mind where reyes is ranked grey, but I wont be taking him with my 2nd round pick. Avoiding him at all costs.

    Players I’m avoiding: reynolds, mauer, reyes, crawford… all have top 10 potential, all have a chance to ruin your fantasy team on draft day. Mauer probably the least of the 4.

    Still loving tulo. And i’m sticking to my guns i think i can stomach taking him at the turn in a 12 teamer, SS is too thin, i wasn’t thinking more than 30 HRs but you’re saying maybe 35?……. giddy up!

  11. mikey boy324 says:
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    i think with reyes it depends on how he looks in spring training if his legs are ok and hes stealin bases and hitting triples ill gladly take him in the 2nd round

  12. sean says:
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    @Fantasy Ball Junkie: To me, drafting the #1 catcher is like winning special olympic gold.

    Mauer’s value needs to be contrasted with other available picks in that area instead of just other catchers. 100/20/85/.330/3 shouldn’t just be compared to McCann, Martinez or whomever to determine Mauer’s value because we, as fantasy baseballers, play to accumulate stats, whether they come from the first round catcher, the fifth outfielder, or the middle infielder.

    In a vacuum is Mauer the hunkiest dreamboat of a catcher ever? Perhaps. Will he deliver more value than the catcher selected in the teens? Probably. But player X’s 20 HRs and 85 RBIs in the 15th Round count for just as much as Mauer’s 20 HRs in the first or second… Oh, and you could’ve had Ryan Howard’s 100/45/140 instead.

    Position scarcity is vastly overrated, yo

  13. Ian says:
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    @Fantasy Ball Junkie: This isn’t intended to be snarky, but why would you take Grey’s projected line and compare it to CHONE’s projections? I would venture to guess that CHONE’s overall projections (for every player) will be more conservative than Grey’s (because that’s just the nature of CHONE). Wouldn’t it be better to take Grey’s projected line and see where it would have ranked Mauer in 2009? Or where it would rank him over a 3 year period?

  14. sean says:
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    For illustrative purposes, let’s go with the Junkie’s situation:

    You draft Mauer #11th, get Longoria at the turn, and you draft Garrett Jones around the 150th pick.

    Using CHONE you get a total line of: 233/67/260/17/.295 (didn’t weight the average to ABs but it doesn’t matter b/c team Mauer is going to take the average).

    In contrast, let’s say you draft Howard #11, get Holliday on the turn, and draft Soto around the 150th pick.

    You get a total line of: 236/85/291/15/.286

    Advantage: Team Howard with three categories to two, and it was two steals away from being a landslide.

  15. A couple points in response:

    1. Yes, comparing Grey’s projected line with CHONE’s projections is a little bit of apples vs. oranges. I’ll admit that. Grey tends to be as (or even more optimistic) than Bill James in his projections. Still, if Mauer’s only declining by 8 HR from his 2009 total, with a .330 AVG and lots of RBIs and Runs to boot, that’s extremely valuable.

    2. Let’s talk about average for a moment. Looking over the rankings by Grey (who I respect a lot…this is a friendly conversation), I notice he tends to underweight the value of average. A .330 AVG is about as equivalent in value according to my calculations as 30 SB. I think it’s hard for people to really figure out what’s the difference between a player who gives you a .270 AVG and a player who gives you a .300 AVG and just tend to dismiss the difference.

    3. Yes, Mauer has risk. I’m not denying that. I’ll accept that he’s a catcher, who tend to have wear and tear. I’ll accept that he has an injury history. The notes I made above only referred to Mauer’s projected line. The risk factor might certainly be something that compels a bump down. (Although maybe Reyes, Sizemore, Wright, and others should be judged on the same risk factor…)

    4. What I don’t accept is the line of argument that goes, “Well, he’s a catcher. I hate catchers.” Yes, I’ve recently seen a study that says that top-drafted catchers tend to underperform their draft position on a yearly basis. But from what my research tells me, the difference between Mauer and other catchers this year is quite large, maybe larger than it has ever been. Maybe a lot of people are putting too much emphasis on HRs and not looking at the other stats. Forget batting average. Take runs and RBIs. Mauer has something like a 40 R and 40 RBI edge on your mid-to-low tier catcher. That’s HUGE, maybe the expected difference between someone like Pujols and Billy Butler.

    Editor,
    Fantasy Ball Junkie

  16. Sean,

    That’s unfair.

    As I’ve pointed out on my blog, Longoria’s is a crapola pick in the 2nd round. His projections by CHONE (and others) don’t add up to a selection there. I would never take him there. (I doubt I’d take Garrett Jones either.)

    I’d probably take Matt Holliday, but even then, without going through the entire draft, you’d be unable to draw a conclusion.

  17. Tony says:
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    @Fantasy Ball Junkie: where do you rank mauer then? curious… and in a draft would you personally take him there….

  18. Eddy says:
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    Quite honestly, I literally think it’s a psychological thing. People (me included) tend to NEED a huge power bat in 3B and 1B because that’s how MLB teams are built, thus making people think that’s how THEIR team needs to be. They don’t associate the Catcher position with 35 HRs and 100 RBIs. And why would they? No one has really done that in recent times, so we’ve come to accept the fact that 20 HRs, 70-80 RBIs, and a .270 avg is the norm, and perhaps I’m even being a little too generous.

    So therefore, the majority of managers tend to prefer Mauer in the 3rd or 4th round (where he’s not going to be this year) so they can fullfill their big bat at the corner positions, or even for an OF’er.

    As I mentioned before I’m a one of thosethat eneds a big bat 1B in the first round. Mauer’s average is what sets him apart from anyone, but I rather take more HRs, RBIs, and possibly SBs from a first round 1B with a sub-.300 average any time.

  19. @Tony…I’d probably take Mauer at the top of the 2nd round. Based on the risk factor. His upside is 1st round material, I think.

    @Eddy…I suspect this isn’t just about catchers. I think there’s also a psychological factor when it comes to HRs and SBs. People tend to look at these categories first when examining players. They see AVG as fickle and Runs and RBIs as too dependent on the context of a team’s lineup. So they gravitate towards players with high HR and SB totals and treat the other categories as secondary. I think Mauer makes excellent contact and doesn’t strike out much so he’s a good bet to bee an AVG leader. He also hits right in the middle of the Twins lineup and is good enough to get at bats as DH when he’s not catching. Thus, his runs and RBIs are extremely solid. People shrug their shoulders, expecting a decline in Mauer’s HR totals and I’ll even give that his AVG should come down a bit…but overall, he still stacks up nicely when you measure all the categories.

  20. Jo says:
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    @fantasy ball junkie @sean: earlier this winter i ran a positional scarcity for accumulated points in the CBS leagues i play in. (In these leagues, you don’t win stat categories, but by accumulated points) anyways, the positional scarcity i ran showed the gap in points from the elite to ok players at each position. thisI did this to show how many points you lose by settling for a lower tier player. the results greatly favored 1B’s! Even when you take albert pujols out of the mix, 1B had the largest gap from top to bottom.

    the conculusion supports greys idea that we need an elite 1B in the first 2 rounds. i’m contemplating going so far as to getting 2 1b’s in the first 2 rounds in order to fill my util with that kind of talent.

  21. Tony says:
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    mauers HR’s, he hit 11 in may, then 3, 4, 8, and only 2 in all of sept/oct?

    he hit almost half his homers in one month… and over half in two months….

    he also missed time, and overall his first half/second half splits are almost identical, but something to look at, especially for H2H

  22. Tony says:
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    @Jo: i’m contemplating that very idea, take howard and fielder back to back if they fall in my 12 teamer, from past drafts and the rise of new talent, i could see it happening… that would be one heck of a power combo to start things off….

  23. Jo says:
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    @tony: That would definitely be redic. the other idea I have is to reach a round or 2 for votto and use him as that 2nd 1B util guy, hoping for his bigggg breakout season that looks on the verge. The idea is that it helps me be a little more conservative with the 2 1B’s approach.

  24. Eddy says:
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    @Jo:
    I’ve actually been contemplating doing that, especially since I play in H2H and 21B in the first 2 rounds can dramatically help me.

    Although there are two downsides for me:

    1) The obvious penalty to your average. It’d be hard to recover from that.

    2)That’d really screw up my strategy because I’d have to forego a closer in the 6th round (which I usually do and it pays out) or limiting myself to just ONE elite SP in the first five rds and resorting to an average staff

    While the thought of having two 35+ homer on my squad makes me drool, I think I’ll ultimately have to pass. Although for the sake of seeing what my team would turn out like, I’ll mock with the startegy and see if it’s worthwhile.

  25. Jo says:
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    @eddy: yeah, in h2h/categorical scoring I could see this strategy hurting a team in other area’s. But in the leagues I play, its not necessary to get a well rounded team since it’s all about total points. I think I will have to make more out of my later picks in order for the strategy to pay off fully. Good luck with sleepers will be the backbone to the plan

  26. The Chew says:
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    Good list Grey… I’m disappointed with how Wright played last year, but I like your numbers for him…Tulo in the top 20 was a surprise, but pleasant for me. Next year… J Upton will be in your top 20 and will make his climb to the top tier OFs. Look forward to more…

  27. Jo says:
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    @eddy: I would also argue your second point for not following the strategy. Closers come out of the woodwork all year, and by the nature of their high pressure position, tend to be risky picks. Also, if you can get a pitcher in the 7th that turns into an elite guy, then you’re ok for passing on your second top guy. My recommendation would be to draft more high risk/ high reward pitchers, knowing that at least one or 2 will turn out. this will let you fill your other positions with the earlier draft slots. then get some of the last closers in the draft. then keep a close eye for breakout closer/injuries that open up slots for others early in the season and preseason.

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: 5th pick and take Braun then Reyes seems nice then take Votto in the 3rd, or maybe the 8th pick and take Fielder, Sizemore and Phillips…. I’d also never refuse the turn or near turn, i.e., the 1st, 2nd, 11th or 12th. Guess it doesn’t really matter.

    @mikey boy324: Agreed.

    @Eddy: There were posts done last year and year before on what to have by the 7th round. I’d search Bran or Peds in the sidebar.

    Strasburg simply because he’d have the most value in a trade, but I’d only draft the one that makes the rotation, which isn’t clear yet.

    @Fantasy Ball Junkie: Seems like you’re comparing apples and oranges then telling me how delicious the hybrid fruit, orapples, would rank among my apples. I.e., you can’t take my projection and stack it up against CHONE. Then say that line ranks this way against *my* projections.

    Hmm…^^That was written before I even read the rest of these comments. Yeah, Mauer’s not a top 20 ranked player on a .330 average alone. If you’ve read the site, I undervalue average and don’t care for Ichiro for the same reason.

    @Cheese: Show up a bit later in the top 100.

    @sean: Apples to apples is ranked above. Wright, Sizemore, Reyes…

  29. Eddy says:
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    @Jo:
    I agree that closers are easy to come by (SAGNOF), but I always like to have that ONE elite closer AND SP. I almost always end up with a Felix/Nathan combo. (Although I’m going to try my best to nab Halladay on real draft day). I honestly forgot how fast closers went last year in my Yahoo! league, but in MDC they start getting drafted by the 6th or 7th, and by then the best SP are Lester, Wainwright, Vasquez, and guys of that tier.

    I used to go with batters in rds 1-7 and then start worrying about my staff, but I noticed after a few mocks that my pitching suffered.

    And as for high risk/high reward guys I usually draft Ted Lilly, Randy Wolf, Happ, and Shields. Good bunch of guys or not so much?

  30. Tony says:
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    @Grey: ORAPPLES, those sound great…

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @The Chew: I wouldn’t bet against Upton making the top 20 in 2011, or even the top 10.

    @Tony: They bake well.

  32. Nate Marcum says:
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    Hey everybody. I have set up a Razzball Commenters mock draft at Mockdraftcentral.com for tomorrow(wednesday, Jan. 13th) at 8:00 cst. It is a 12 team yahoo style scoring league. If you are interested, please go to the site, look for the draft, and you will be asked to enter a password. The password is Razzball (clever, I know). You will be allowed to pick your spot in the draft, except for 1st pick, I will take that so that I can open the league to you all.

    Any questions, just let me know. Grey, if you are available, that would be great, but I know you have other mocks to do.

  33. Jo says:
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    @eddy: I personally don’t care much for that group, I don’t know that they really have high reward… except I do love shields. My late round pitchers are usually the young type… porcello, chamberlain, gallardo, price, de la rossa, scherz. I end up dropping a few, spot starting, and then 1 or 2 usually break out big. Last year it was Kershaw and Hanson that made the strategy work for me.

  34. Eddy says:
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    @Nate Marcum:
    Joined! btw, you may wanna advertise that the password is case sensitive, and it’s a lower-case “r”.

    wait a sec, I think I just advertised that myself!

    hope all you Razzballers could join!
    @Grey:
    Great PEDS article! I’m assuming you’ll be doing one late Feb. this year too?

  35. Eddy says:
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    Hmm I see. Thanks for sharing, I guess going young is really the way to go.

  36. brett says:
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    @Nate Marcum: I’m in. Looking forward to it.

  37. Nate Marcum says:
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    Filling fast Razzballers….remember that the password is razzball *case sensitive*. Thanks for pointing that out Eddy.

    It would be interesting to allow a non-razzballer in just to listen to them freak when we all know what SAGNOF, schmohawk, crapolanco, etc means….they will think we are all off our rockers

  38. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Well, Rudy’s draft strategy is a lot more similiar to the one I came up with.

    I have the strat that within the first 6 rounds I have to have a 1B, 3B, SS, 2 SP, and a closer. If you wanna get even more specific I almost always go 1B, SS, SP, 3B, SP, and closer.

    In addition, by round 9 I have to have 2 OF. This is almost exactly like Rudy’s except that he punts BOTH MI positions. I usually punt 2B because I rely on picking up Stewart later. But SS is just a position that I NEED to fill.

    I know saves are saves are to the 10th power, but picking up a Nathan or Papelbon in Rd.6 where they’re all available can make/break your week, especially since I play H2H.

    I guess later today I’ll mock a couple times and try out yours and Rudy’s and i’ll get back to you as to what I thought was best.

    But thanks for showing me those articles, it certainly gives me a lot to plan and work with for 2010.

  39. Billy says:
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    what’s everyone thoughts on Billy Butler going into this year?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Sounds good and no problem.

    @Billy: Turning into a sleeper sell right before our eyes.

  41. Russ says:
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    Dear Fantasy Ball Junkie,

    If Mauer hits 20 homers, and has 90 runs/rbis, that’s a great season for a catcher, no doubt. If he “only” hits .300, those stats aren’t much better than will be produced by many players taken near the end of drafts, or not taken at all. And what if he hits .330, but regresses to his career norm for HRs, and only gives you 10-15?

    The obvious risk with drafting Mauer so early is you could be taking a guy who could give you well-belowing couting number stats compared to his fellow 1st and 2nd rounders. You say he’ll get 40 more runs/rbis than most catchers, but it’s just as likely he’ll get 20-40 less runs/rbis than most other top draft picks, plus, if his breakout power in ’09 wasn’t legit, he could end out with half as many homeruns. Even with a .330 average, how do you make up for the discrepancy?

    And if Mauer had an “off” year and hit only .310–the value you’re describing mostly evaporates.

  42. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Grey I know you havnt posted your pitcher rankings yet but what’s your thoughts on Webb Going Into the year can you see him returning to form?

  43. royce! says:
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    That k.d. lang comparison is so spot on and such a huge burn on Lincecum. No wonder why he needs to use chemicals to escape.

    Also, are Wright + Howard = strawberry hill + chili dog? I deduce from the context that you recommend this combination, but that sounds retched. Retched enough that I have to try it.

    Lastly, does anyone know what stat (of HR, R, SB, RBI and AVG) is most subject to luck? My gut says AVG, but I can’t find any articles addressing the question.

  44. sean says:
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    @Grey: Thoughts on Rickie Weeks for 2010? I was thinking good late round MI flier potential plus he’ll be buried on the sortable draft tools because of his lost 2009.

  45. sean says:
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    @royce!: My vote would be for AVG, which is second in fantasy flukiness to Ws

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mikey boy324: I don’t trust Webb to return, but as with any players, depends where he’s being drafted.

    @sean: Great upside, huge injury risk. Same old, same old.

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: I agree with Sean. Then ERA.

  48. brad says:
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    @Fantasy Ball Junkie: Probably because batting average IS sort of fickle. Mauer’s own BA numbers from the last 6 years are: .308, .294, .347, .293, .328, .365. He could certainly hit .350 this year, but he could also hit .300.

    Besides that I personally have my doubts that he’ll hit 20 HRs, his career best before ’09 was 13. In ’08 with a career high in ABs he hit 9 homers. If Mauer has a year like he did in ’08 you’re basically getting Robinson Cano minus 15 hrs.

  49. sean says:
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    Maybe it’s still early, but I also haven’t seen anyone in Mauer’s camp explaining away the big change in ballpark coming up in Minnesota. Homerdome is gone-zo and we’re moving outside in MPLS onto grass in April and October where the average temperature is 46 and 49 degrees respectfully. Doesn’t sound like a good equation for power.

  50. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @royce!: I haven’t done anything for the hitter stats but did an informal 3-yr for pitching stats:

    WHIP the most stable, by a good margin, then Ks; ERA quite eratic (didn’t bother to track Ws).

  51. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    @Simply Fred: Joined Nate’s mock.

  52. Antrim Warriors says:
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    @sean: good point on the new park

  53. Eddy says:
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    @sean:
    That’s actually a VERY good point. Idk how the hell that flew over our heads. Does anyone know how it’ll play like?

  54. Tony says:
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    This top 20 really turned into a JOE MAUER post. Its posts like this that just back my initial theory and thoughts on Mauer. I started getting swayed for minute thinking “wait Joe Mauer might be better than sliced bread” then i look at all the different arguments and realize passing on mauer is the RIGHT thing to do…. Sometimes it just takes ALOT of different points of view, sort out the dumb ones, then create your own judgement…. the average is for real, is the power? will he stay healthy playing catcher full time? Not things i’d gamble with if i can avoid it…

  55. Still think you guys are ignoring the huge value of those runs and RBIs from a catcher. That’s nothing to shrug off.

  56. Yankees2010 says:
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    This is only my second season using your site and my first post. I can honestly say your picks were right on last year since I finally won my league after 6 years of Playoffs but no enchilada. Something tells me I won’t be getting the 2009 gang back together again seeing as my first 4 picks from last year are in your 2010 Top 20 – Braun, Fielder, Holliday and Gonzalez. Where you really helped was with the Starting Pitching – Haren, Vasquez, Wainwright, Josh Johnson, Danks and Cueto. Keep up the great work and I am looking forward to the Top 300.

  57. weas says:
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    I’ve already started to talk to all my leaguemates about how awesome Mauer and Reynolds are and how I can’t wait to draft them.

    Suckers.

  58. Jim says:
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    Grey,

    Help a guy out. Long story, but I have both Kinsler and Utley. The schmohawks in my league don’t value Kinsler as much as I do so I stole him late in the second round last year of a keeper league I joined. My league does not use MI position, so Kinsler was my utility guy all year with Utley at 2nd. Do I keep him at utility next year or do I try to move him for a first baseman, which I need. Carrying both 2B kills me on RBI and OPS.

    Thanks
    Jim

  59. Neil says:
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    Great reading, thank you.

    But A-Gonz is always way overvalued, largely because of the ballpark and terrible supporting cast (which limits his runs/RBI). Last year he went:

    .277, 40 HR, 90 runs (with a 17% BB% and .407 OBP), 99 RBI, no speed. That made him #75 on the ESPN player rater. A-Gonz would be a monster on a real team, but on the Padres, he will give you Adam Dunn numbers plus 30 points of AVG. Not second round value, not by a long shot.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @weas: Hehe

    @Jim: I’d try and move him for a 1B or move Utley for one.

    @Neil: It’s more of a wont for a 1st baseman and his consistency of numbers. He’s now had 4 straight years of 155 games or more and he’s 27 years old.

  61. AtlantaCrackers says:
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    I was wondering if you good folks would weigh in on my keeper dilemma… I am in a 12 team H2H league (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, K, SV, ERA, WHIP), each team may retain 3 keepers and select them in their original draft round. League is relatively shallow – positions are C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF (3), Util, 9 pitchers, and some bench spots.

    My choices are between (draft round in parentheses): Chase Utley (1), Roy Halladay (7), Grady Sizemore (11), Jason Bay (11), Chris Carpenter (11), Jayson Werth (13). This is a snake draft, and I pick last in the 1st round, first in the 2nd, and so on. Also, if you have multiple keepers from the same draft round, the second keeper is taken a round later (so I could take Sizemore in 11 and Carp in 12).

    So, thoughts?

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AtlantaCrackers: Sizemore, Bay and Halladay would be my choices, but Werth is nice too.

  63. Neil says:
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    @Grey: A-Gonz is a stud, no doubt, but if you take him 20th you will take him at a loss…there’s no way he will crack the top 20 on any player rater, or even 30. The Padres and the ballpark will hold him back in runs/RBI, he has zero speed and he’s a neutral hitter in terms of AVG.

    A guy who hits 40 HR while stealing zero bases is worth less than a 20-20 guy because steals are rarer than HR.

    If A-Gonz played 2B, 3B or SS it would be a different story, then he would be more valuable, but 1B is soooooo deep.

  64. Matt says:
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    Is anyone else concerned by Lincecum’s last year’s marijuana bust?

    Is it indicative of a recreational “lets-see-how-this-feels” use? Or could he be using it to mask the pain from a lingering injury?

    Tell me I’m being overly paranoid.

  65. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Matt: You’re being overly paranoid (which is a common side effect of smoking marijuana, hmm….).

  66. Josh says:
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    What is this about Tulo not playing until May at the earliest? I can’t find anything about that.

  67. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Josh: Last three years he’s hit around a combined .185.

  68. worth says:
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    its risky to take a closer before rd 10…last year i snagged heath bell in the 13th in both my leagues..not bad for 40 saves and 6 wins..point is closers can wait

    dont zzzzzzz on Billy Butler…will he hit .300 again?..no but i like .290 and his 20 homers late

    What happened to Cory Hart?

  69. xtremehulk says:
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    i feel wrong getting ready to take reyes with pick 20 since his yahoo Orank is 55 or so.
    Pairing him with Longoria or Fielder just seems right though.

  70. and1mcgee says:
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    “pulling The Alex P. Keaton ” HAHAHAHA

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