2008 Fantasy Baseball is similar to every of year of fantasy baseball in its dissimilarity of the similar. Hey, I sound like Dr. Suess after three Coladas. (BTW, I’m not implying Dr. Seuss was a drunk. He seemed like a peyote man to me.) To paraphrase Sinatra, “Fantasy baseball surprises… Yeah, we’ve had a few.” Since it’s almost halfway through the 2008 season, here’s a look at the top twenty fantasy baseball surprises according to me. Who am I? The CEP (Chief Executive ‘Pert) for the number one fantasy baseball blog. That’s who. (Or whom. I can’t ever figure out the difference. I never said we were the number one Who/Whom blog. But if we were, Who would write for it. Or Whom. Or would they have one blog author that was Who and the dissenting opinion would be Whom?) Anyway, here’s 2008′s biggest fantasy baseball surprises:
20. Justin Duchscherer – Why isn’t Scot Shields starting for the Angels? Can’t Broxton go six? Damaso Marte has to be better than all of the Pirates starters, right?
19. Ryan Dempster – At least Dook-sheer was good as a reliever. Seriously, my head is spinning from Dempster’s season thus far. My head isn’t meant to spin!
18. Xavier Nady – Two days after the season started, I said pick him up cause you never know how long guys will stay hot. You are only lying to yourself if you listened to me. I didn’t even listen to me.
17. Cristian Guzman – What gets him on this list? Being less awful than is expected. Tallest midget on the list. (I didn’t use the term “little person” because “little person” groups midgets and dwarfs together. This seems to be selling both groups short. Pun obviously intended. Don’t make me point out the obvious!)
16. Nate McLouth – ADP 194. Yeah, that’s McValue.
15. Jason Bay – Maybe this is only a surprise to me, but I thought he was toast. (Here’s someone who never stopped believing.)
14. Jorge Cantu - More valuable than Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Justin Morneau, Aramis Ramirez, Garret Atkins, Carlos Guillen and the guy he replaced, Miguel Cabrera. Seriously, you could’ve drafted Cantu in the first round and it would’ve worked out for you. Now you figure out this game of fantasy baseball.
13. Jacoby Ellsbury – 34 steals; 36 steals for all Red Sox not named Jacoby.
12. Victor Martinez – Kelly Shoppach would’ve gave you more value. (For those unfamiliar with that name, it is not the name of Zach’s girlfriend in Saved By The Bell, but I don’t fault you for thinking so.)
11. Ervin Santana – Johan, Carlos and Tito move over; there’s a new Santana in town.
10. Miguel Cabrera – Joe Crede outperforming Miggy. Maybe Miggy should’ve stayed fat.
9. Rafael Furcal – He’s pulling a Kotchman and that’s just wrong.
8. Kerry Wood – Still healthy as he vies for Comeback Player of the Year honors. (BTW, recent winners of Comeback Player of the Year are Carlos Pena, Dmitri Young, Nomar, Thome, Konerko and Javy Lopez, so if Kerry makes it to October healthy, I still won’t be excited about him in ’09.)
7. Troy Tulowitzki – When the injury came, half of me (the Lily Tomlin half) was actually happy I could pull him from my lineup.
6. J.J. Putz – Has made Mariners fan miss Miguel Batista, the closer.
5. Milton Bradley – In the beginning of the year, Milton Bradley would have punched you in your stupid face if you told him he was going to be in contention for a Triple Crown. Why? Because.
4. Carlos Quentin – CQ has performed much better than the crappy Coppola movie of the same name. (Speaking of which, at what point do The Godfather/Apocalypse Now favors end? The Coppola surname has wasted at least 300 hours of my life. And I’m subtracting the two hours for the wine tasting at his vineyard. My buzz was the least he could’ve done.)
3. Cliff Lee – The Mets hiring Zsa Zsa Gabor to replace Willie Randolph would be less surprising than his first 13 games started.
2. Edinson Volquez – I begged with you all to draft him before the year began. (BTW, in the same piece I point out how Karabell was wrong for being down on him. Seriously, he is ESPN’s top fantasy analyst — wow.) Of course, I didn’t even think Volquez would be sitting on the major league lead in strikeouts and ERA.
1. Josh Hamilton – Now the crack of the bat is the only crack Josh needs.