So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? The newest Real World? Why would you put them in Cancun and then say they can’t drink in public? Go put restrictions on the castmates of 16 and Pregnant and leave the Real Worlders alone. As with all of the other 2009 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Albert Pujols number one on the top 50 list for the second half of 2009 and he could get injured tomorrow. Then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a roadmap for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my ‘stache. This list is NOT (Caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take the first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Quentin did not have a solid first half, he will appear on this list because I think he can play in the 2nd half. Anyway, here’s the top 50 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half:
1. Albert Pujols – Pujols, a God amongst Schumakers.
2. Hanley Ramirez – Ah, how nice it would be to own Hanley and not have to worry about the shortstop schmohawk behind door number three.
3. Chase Utley – Already dropping a head turner on ya, huh? At 2nd base, he’s putting up better numbers than Miggy C., Ryan B, BBD and The East Coast family. I have no problem with Utley ranking 3rd. Do you?
4. Miguel Cabrera – Let’s stop with the “Ooh…No Wright?” right now. He’s not showing up for a bit.
5. Ryan Braun – Big fan of the Hebrew Hammer. He’s one of those players that can go into a two month zone.
6. Tim Lincecum – Could easily be the most valuable fantasy player (not just pitcher) at the end of the year.
7. Mark Teixeira – Drink some PABST (Post-All-Star Break Teixeira).
8. Prince Fielder – See Howard, Ryan or 1/8th of an inch below.
9. Ryan Howard – One of those guys that could be in an 1-for-75 slump and I’d still rank himself higher than he deserves. Simply because he’s one of the few guys capable of a 15 homer month.
10. Carl Crawford – Do I think he slows down in the 2nd half? Who am I, Ms. Cleo? I don’t know, but there’s few players that can give you 10 homers, 30 steals and a .300 average in the 2nd half. Crawford’s one.
12. Ian Kinsler – The whole “Never played more than 130 games” weighed on this ranking. So, yes, he is currently out-hitting a few of the guys before him. I realize that.
13. Justin Morneau – In the preseason, I worried Morneau’s power wouldn’t come around. It has.
14. David Wright – Becoming a fantasy baseball Public Enemy because he feels the need to Fight the Power.
15. Roy Halladay – Even if he gets traded his value will be about the same. Unless he goes to the Padres, but that seems unlikely since they traded their number three hitter for a bag of buttered popcorn.
16. Johan Santana - Not pitching nearly as well as he has in the past, and still on pace for 200 Ks, 17 Wins and a 3 ERA.
17. Matt Kemp – On pace for 20/40, batting .300 and serious Daddy issues because Torre won’t love him.
18. Jason Bay – Good chance of being a top 5 outfielder the rest of the way. Chowdah!
19. CC Sabathia – This high ranking is partially predicated on his 2nd half last year. And partially because I have a soft spot for fat guys.
21. Mark Reynolds – Having him this high is a bit silly for a guy that strikes out as much as him, but you know what? Mark Reynolds makes people do silly things. Just the other day, I mailed a pizza and ate my telephone bill.
22. B.J. Upton – Really has no business being this high either, but when I tried to find someone who was capable of a 10/25 2nd half, I came up with Upton.
23. Lance Berkman – Relevant of nothing, if Berkman and Fred Savage had a kid, it would look like the host of Man vs. Food.
24. Curtis Granderson - As I learned in the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston, when you have so many 1st and 3rd basemen that give you no speed, it’s important to get outfielders that give you both. School’s out, Alice Cooper!
25. Joey Votto – .342 since his return. I could see him getting more value than this ranking. I heart Votto.
27. Zach Greinke – He’s relatively low compared to where you might think he belongs but he had a 4.05 ERA in June and 3.75 in July. You haven’t noticed those numbers because he made love to your eyes in April and May.
28. Justin Upton – No reason why he can’t do it over the whole year, it’s just that he hasn’t done it before so there’s some risk involved.
29. Jacoby Ellsbury – Wholesale version of Crawford.
30. Jimmy Rollins – I know he was crizzap in the first half. This isn’t about the 1st half.
31. Grady Sizemore – I’ll move him up to the first round again next year when he enters Spring Training healthy.
32. Brandon Phillips – Not really dazzling anyone, but there’s value in 10+/10+ and solid Runs and RBIs from your 2nd baseman.
33. Carlos Lee – I don’t buy Chuck Lee’s done, but he also hasn’t hit more than 6 homers in any month in two years.
34. Raul Ibanez – He’s been historically better in the 2nd half and should be healthy for the start of it. Then throw he’s either on steroids or out to prove he’s great without steroids…
35. Manny Ramirez – Without his female hormone pills, he’s looked fine… If a bit emotional.
36. Joe Mauer – Three homers since June 3rd. I’m convinced that when he hit 11 homers in May, he had a cortisone shot like the world hasn’t seen since Upton’s playoff cortisone shot.
37. Nick Markakis – In 2007, he hit for good power in the 2nd half (14 Hrs), but he didn’t follow that up in 2008 (6 Hrs). Markakis is making a good case for dropping to the 3rd outfielder tier.
38. Alex Rios – Weird how Markakis and Rios are forever linked in rankings. They’re not really that alike, but they always seem like they have similar, unfulfilled expectations.
39. Dustin Pedroia – I don’t think Pedroia’s necessarily going to throw Papi and Youuuk on his back again this year. He had a huge 2nd half last year – 51/8/36/.345/11, but the power doesn’t seem there this year.
40. Ichiro Suzuki – I don’t know why I can’t get behind Ichiro. I love sushi. Love! I once dated a Japanese girl, which turned out miserably, but other than my current girlfriend, they all end badly, right? I mean, at some point in every relationship you gotta say, “The sound of your breathing irritates me. Let’s breakup.”
41. Chad Billingsley – I believesley.
42. Matt Holliday – I’d really like to know what happened to all of the people that said Holliday was money no matter where he played. That collective voice got real quiet.
43. Adrian Gonzalez – He hit 4 homers in June, zero in July.
44. Carlos Quentin – This ranking is more that I want to believe than I do believe.
45. Nate McLouth – Good for 10/10/.270 in the 2nd half, but not good for much more.
46. Justin Verlander – More than a K/IP and has actually been unlucky in the 1st half.
47. Javier Vazquez – A real bargain this low. Nearly 140 Ks going into the All-Star Break is nothing to sneeze at. Unless you’re allergic to productive starters.
48. Adam Dunn – Sometimes you need nothing but homers. For those times, call on Dunn.
50. Alfonso Soriano – I’d love to sit here (and I am sitting) and tell you all will be fine with Soriano. Unfortunately, he’s pushing 40-something and his body’s breaking down quicker than you can say Vladimir Guerrero. Free swingers just don’t age well. For what it’s worth, swingers don’t age well either.
51. Aramis Ramirez – Aramis smells like risk to me, but could pay dividends if he can have a hot August/September like he did last year.
52. Brian McCann – His Eyeglass Fiasco™ might help keep him fresher in the heart of the summer.
53. Shane Victorino – 43/9/29/.311/14 in the 2nd half last year.
54. Robinson Cano – Notoriously a 2nd half hitter and this year he’s actually done well in the 1st half. Put it together and you’ll have an overrated 2nd baseman next year.
55. Victor Martinez – Might be able to keep the Ghosts of 2nd Halfs Past at bay if he plays more games at 1st.
56. Aaron Hill – .245 in June, .204 so far in July. But he still would’ve been in front of Cano if it wasn’t for Cano’s 2nd half history.
57. Kevin Youkilis – Currently less productive than the Kung Fu Panda.
58. Brian Roberts – Usually a big ol’ plate of 2nd half bleh.
59. Carlos Pena – Looking more and more like a Latino Dave Kingman.
60. Dan Haren – In 2006, 3.53 ERA in the 1st half, 4.91 ERA in the 2nd half. In 2007, 2.30 ERA in the 1st, 4.15 ERA in the 2nd. In 2008, 2.72 ERA in the 1st half, 4.19 ERA in the 2nd half. Cust kayin’.
61. Torii Hunter – Member what Berkman did in the 1st half last year? Yeah, Hunter just did that. Member what Berkman did in the 2nd half of last year? Yeah, me neither.
62. Felix Hernandez – With a little Win Karma, at the end of the year he could be right there for the AL Cy Young too. F-Her good, wordplay bad.
63. Carlos Beltran – How did I place him so low? I went through every single player and tried to decide whether I’d want them over Beltran. When I got to Jeter, I stopped.
64. Derek Jeter – This year he was probably so overrated that he ended being underrated which could lead to him being actually overrated next year. If that makes any sense.
65. Jon Lester – SAT Question of the Day, June ERA was 1.85, July ERA was 0.61, August ERA will be? (Answer is: Negative something.)
67. Josh Beckett – Throw out his April 7.72 ERA and he’d currently have a 2.10 ERA on the year. Zoinks!
68. Bobby Abreu – Currently putting up Damon numbers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
70. Jose Reyes – I’m more worried about Reyes than I am about Beltran because so much of his value comes from his legs.
71. Jermaine Dye – He’s on pace for 100/35/100/.300. That’s better than a lot of people listed above him. Not sure why, but no one ever wants the safe number two outfielder. Maybe it’s like how you want a lady in the street and a freak in the sheets. Dye can never be that freak you want.
72. Jonathan Broxton – Current number one closer in my book. But my book is titled, “I’d Never Draft A Number One Closer.”
73. Josh Johnson – Brother is the porn star, Gosh Johnson.
74. Ryan Ludwick – Where’s Vlad? Hmm…
75. Edwin Jackson – Just for the fact that he made my top 100 of the 2nd half. Wow. The fact he made the list and Oswalt didn’t. Wow, wow. Listed before Hamels? Triple wow.
76. Jonathan Papelbon – Absolutely fine as a closer. Which puts him in the tallest midget category.
77. Hunter Pence – Probably will get hot for a month and finish with a 24/15 line. Solid, but he’s at 11/9 right now.
78. Nelson Cruz – Can Ron Washington really sit a guy who’s on pace for 35/20? Not really rhetorical, cause I think Washington can do that. Hopefully he doesn’t.
80. Adam Wainwright – Should finish the year with a 3.50 ERA and 180 Ks.
82. Alexei Ramirez – He’s actually hitting better this year in the 1st half. Could have a big 2nd half.
83. Cole Hamels – Maybe the innings have finally caught up to him. Best thing that could happen for Hamels is he’s shutdown early this year for a strong 2010.
84. James Shields – I keep waiting for Shields to give me a complete game shutout with ten Ks and I continue to be disappointed. Just have to remember Shields is not a dominant pitcher. Solid, just not dominant.
86. Troy Tulowitzki – Can hitzki 12 homers after the break and throw in 10 more steals. That would give him 28/20 on the year.
88. Jayson Werth – Numbers are a bit inflated going into the ASB because he went caca-cuckoo last week with 5 homers.
89. Matt Cain – Soon his regression is going to mean he’s regressing from a 2.38 ERA to a 3.00 ERA.
90. Yovani Gallardo - His walks are outta control. If it wasn’t for his Ks, I would’ve dropped him out of the top 100 completely.
91. Ricky Nolasco – In his last six starts, 49:5 K:BB.
92. Wandy Rodriguez – The Wandwagon rolls on.
93. Jorge Cantu – Jump in my Sidecar Of Optimism because Cantu has no business being ranked anywhere in here. In July, August and September combined of last year, he hit 15 homers.
94. Pablo Sandoval – In the preseason, I almost said Sandoval reminded me of Edgar Martinez because he’s a high average hitter with a power hitter’s build. And that’s me putting words in my mouth!
95. A.J. Burnett – As most of youse know, I’m not a big Burnett fan. I almost put Lackey here instead of Burnett, but the more I looked at 2nd half trends, the more I decided Burnett deserved this spot. Now watch him burn(ett) me.
96. Michael Bourn – SAGNOF!
97. David Price – I know he’s been terrible in the 1st half. Put it behind you. You’re not trading for that. You need alligator blood when you check raise to the bettor.
99. Andre Ethier – His 2008 2nd half was so great that I had to put him on the list. So, here he is.
100. Ben Zobrist – Zo!
101. Whoever Wins You The Championship – It’s now or never, people! Make your move or lose.