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Catchers, 1st basemen, 2nd basemen and top 20 shortstops for 2010 have been accounted for.  Up now, the top 20 3rd basemen for 2010 fantasy baseball.   Lots of surprises in the top 20 for 3rd basemen.  In the top 3, two guys that weren’t drafted in the first 10 rounds with the 1st guy not being drafted in the first 20 rounds.  Heroes of 2009, Mini-Donkey and Kung Fu Panda, which sounds like an anime cartoon that has a 75% chance of giving you a seizure, did give you the fits.  Then when you get to around the halfway mark, the drop off is precipitous.  Also, to recap, this final ranking is from ESPN Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2010 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Jose Bautista – He had 59 homers in four previous seasons combined.  That was in 570 extra games.  No wonder some people were calling Jose Bah-test-him.  (Never heard anyone actually call him this, but they should’ve been.)  This is the most improbable 50 homer season since Brady Anderson, who was aided by Luke Perry’s sideburns.  How awesome would it have been if McGwire was Bautista’s hitting coach this year?  Would’ve been like when a face wrestler suddenly is recruited by a heel manager.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  109/54/124/.260/9

2. David Wright – At this point, I think it’s fair to say you’re never getting 35 homers from Wright as long as he calls Metco home.  At least you didn’t get another 10 homer season, or as Ralph Kiner calls it, ‘What my Mommy hits.’  Preseason Rank #3, 2010 Projections:  100/25/110/.300/17, Final Numbers:  87/29/103/.283/19

3. Adrian Beltre – I didn’t look this up because Google requires me to open a new tab, but Beltre has to have Boras as his agent, right?  Speaking of heel managers, Boras is the ultimate heel agent.  He would be Bob Sugar in Jerry Maguire.  If you get the sense I’m annoyed by these top guys, I am.  Bautista had no business having that season and Beltre is El Senator, as Rudy dubbed him.  Because Beltre campaigns every 6 years, making promises he doesn’t live up to once under contract.  Preseason Rank #14, 2010 Projections:  70/24/80/.275/10, Final Numbers:  84/28/102/.321/2

4. Evan Longoria – If you would’ve told me before the season started that Longoria would get 15 steals, I would’ve been over the moon, or whatever that old-timey expression is.  Though I would’ve expected those steals to be paired with 35 homers.  Someone not only stole his New Era cap but also his power.  Preseason Rank #2, 2010 Projections:  100/36/115/.280/10, Final Numbers:  96/22/104/.294/15

5. Ryan Zimmerman – Seems like his career is following the two steps forward, one step back Electric Slide approach.  In fairness, it was due to some thigh tightness in April and missing the last two weeks that caused Zimmerman to fall just short of projections.  I have to say, for a top guy, he kinda bored me for stretches.  Particularly, the 2 homer, .245 month of June and a zero homer month of September.  Preseason Rank #4, 2010 Projections:  105/30/110/.295/5, Final Numbers:  85/25/85/.307/4

6. Alex Rodriguez – It’s going to be surprisingly difficult to rank A-Rod next year for the first time in 15 years.  He seems to have settled into a solid, yet unspectacular option at 3rd base.  His lineup doesn’t hurt his Runs and RBIs, but the huge homer totals and steals have vanished along with his cousin.  Preseason Rank #1, 2010 Projections:  110/36/120/.310/15, Final Numbers:  74/30/125/.270/4

7. Michael Young – I feel like I’m in countdown waiting for this guy to get old, or, rather, show his age.  I know that any season now he’s going to go from 20+ homers to 15 homers and become tough to own at a high production spot in fantasy lineups.  In 2010, it was not yet that year.  Check in again in 2011.  Preseason Rank #10, 2010 Projections:  75/14/90/.315/10, Final Numbers:  99/21/91/.284/4

8. Martin Prado – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2010 post.

9. Casey McGehee – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 post.

10. Kevin Youkilis – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2010 post.

11. Michael Cuddyer – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2010 post.

12. Scott Rolen – In the first half of 2010, Rolen was a Rolex.  In the 2nd half, he turned out to be a Rolecks.  Preseason Unranked Final Numbers:  66/20/83/.285/1

13. Omar Infante – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 post.

14. Chone Figgins – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 post.

15. Chase Headley – I was admittedly too high on this guy in the preseason.  He wasn’t a sleeper, he was a Valium.  If you throw out his 7 steal month of April, he was middling at best, unownable at worse.  Preseason Rank #21, 2010 Projections:  70/20/85/.290/10, Final Numbers:  77/11/58/.264/17

16. Placido Polanco – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 post.

17. Neil Walker – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 post.

18. Miguel Tejada – Went over him in the top 20 shortstops for 2010 post.

19. Juan Uribe – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 post.

20. Mark Reynolds – This Reynolds year should be a warning for Bautista’s 2011.  I’ll call him overrated and will still probably give him too much credit, as I did with Reynolds.  In 2009, Mini Donkey received all the brays.  In 2010, you pulled on Mini Donkey’s reins to try and get him to move.  Finally, you tried to push on his ass and he kicked you in the teeth.  Preseason Rank #6, 2010 Projections:  85/35/95/.250/12, Final Numbers:  79/32/85/.198/7

From Around The Web

  1. Jumping Jackturtles says:
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    I hate you Mark Reynolds. You abnormal turd.

    /traded V-Mart for him

    /at least it was a dynasty league

    Why has every list so far come off as extremely yawnstipating, even for guys at #4 and #5? There better be an extended list of pitchers.

  2. Steve says:
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    No Keppinger?

  3. DrEasy says:
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    Wow, no MMD either!

  4. big o says:
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    walker and youkilis (if beltre sticks around)
    will be dropping off this list for 2011 .

    will be interesting to see how far up this list
    pedro alvarez finishes .

  5. robbiec says:
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    Grey, I feel a bit cheated. Many of these guys play little to no third base. How about an “honorable mention” for a few more guys? Kinda like the other day when J-roll didn’t make the top 20 becuase he was bumped by a bunch of guys who hardly ever play SS. I guess in that case J-roll would be a “dishonorable mention”, but I digress.

  6. JoeC says:
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    Good call on Reynolds, Grey. I’m sure your projections for him were a lot closer than most of the other “experts”. It’s pretty funny to look at his “final numbers” and see that .198 BA. I’d go so far as to say: if you drafted Mark Reynolds (and didn’t trade him early on), you didn’t win your fantasy league!

  7. Tony says:
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    @JoeC: yep he batted under the mendoza line, wow…. thats not a good return on a 2nd to 3rd rounder…

  8. Eddy says:
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    Fun fact: Mark Reynolds is the first player in MLB history to finish with more strikeouts than average points. 198 to 211.

    Think about that for a second.

    Yup.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jumping Jackturtles: Because offense was pretty pathetic this year.

    @Steve: Ha!

    @DrEasy: He had a better chance of the top 20 2nd basemen list. If he didn’t miss the last month, he would’ve made it.

    @big o: Top 10 re: Alvarez.

    @robbiec: Well, they do play it in fantasy and that’s what counts, right?

    @JoeC: Yeah, I warned people away the best I could. He was a good 12th rounder in 2009, not 2nd rounder in 2010.

    @Eddy: Yeah, that’s pretty incredible. Had mentioned it a few weeks ago.

  10. Justin says:
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    grey, another trade question. 16 team h2h. 16 keepers.

    A: Andrus/E. Santana
    B: Gallardo/Alexi Ramierez

    Am i giving up too much for andrus’s upside?

  11. Earl Battey says:
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    Longoria will be a tricky keeper decision for me. We can keep 8, and their salaries inflate different amounts depending on the length of the contract. I could bring Longo back for 1 year at 29 bucks, or 3 years at 33 bucks apiece. It’s an 8 team league. I’d do it if he could hit your projections for 2010, but a repeat of his actual numbers wouldn’t be a huge value.

    What would you do with Longo?

    Thanks.

  12. Earl Battey says:
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    I could also keep MMD for 3 years at 13 bucks per year.

    Maybe not.

  13. It’s interesting that half of the top 20 third basemen also rank at other infield positions. It will make drafting a good infield next year that much harder in a deep league.

  14. Justin says:
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    what if i was giving Brett Anderson instead of Gallardo?

    Anderson seems a bit easier to swallow

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @ChrisV82: Yeah, assuming a lot of these people maintain their eligibility.

    @Justin: I like Anderson, but it would be a better for you.

  16. Whiskey Diet says:
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    Zimmerman
    Longo
    Wright
    Youkilis
    AndROiD

    Those are my top 5 going into next year, just off the cuff. What about you Grey if you had to say? Off the record of course.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Whiskey Diet: Longo, Wright, Zimmerman, A-Rod, Youuuuuuuuk…

  18. Whiskey Diet says:
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    Fair enough.

    Maybe Zimm is still another year away, but I think he’s going to win a batting title one of these years. Royals could have had him too but we went with the sure-fire HOF and George Brett clone.

    Who you got in the series?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Whiskey Diet: The first three guys are tomato-tomahto and any of them could be number one. Like to see Zimmerman hit 35 homers and steal 10 bases before crowning him. Rangers and Giants… Same two teams I said two weeks ago.

  20. Whiskey Diet says:
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    I’m calling BS!!!

    jk looking like a good call. I can’t count the Phillies out, the Giants luck is bound to taper off. Wouldn’t put money on it though.

  21. Anonymous says:
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    Just traded CJ Wilson, Ian Stewart and Grant Green for Danny Hudson, Pedro Alvarez and Brian Wilson in a dynasty. *happy emoticon*

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Whiskey Diet: 3-1 is a tough deficit. May not be out, but they’re on the ropes, gasping.

    @Anonymous: Wow, well played.

  23. Anonymous says:
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    @Grey: Trade partner has Jeter and wanted to strengthen his SS down the road and he told me to name my price. Five minutes later, we settled on that. I’ll happily upgrade my 3B, get a younger pitcher of equal quality with a presumably higher ceiling and swap a prospect shortstop (whom I vaguely recall to have the potential of being moved to the outfield…) for the closer with the most saves over the past three years. (especially considering I’d lose a closer if Feliz moved to the rotation) Bottom line, unless you’ve got an elite, top of the line prospect with either a major bat or blazing speed, don’t hesitate to move him for a piece that can help you now.

  24. Bum Juice says:
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    I agree with your first guess at next year’s top 5 for 3B, Grey. It’s interesting that this is the first position you’ve done so far where the top 5 will probably not change (although they will in order). Specifically, there’s no real breakout (break-in?) at this position. Catchers have Posey, 1B have Votto, 2B have Cano… I guess some Bautista fans might argue he deserves entry, but I don’t think he leaps ahead of A-Rod.

  25. big o says:
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    tigers’ announced the re-signing of brandon inge .
    2-year extension @ 5.5 mil/per

    5.5 MILLION DOLLARS per YEAR !!

    fantasy baseball is fun ,
    but let’s not lose sight of the fact that professional sports
    has more in common with organized crime ,
    than it has with it’s fanbase .

    these guys are ALL crooks .

    meanwhile , back at the farm :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc2Z7CL4Cv0

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bum Juice: Yeah, probably will be close to what it is. Alvarez will be a fun name late, but he’s not going to be top 5 next year obviously.

    @big o: There was an interesting article in The New Yorker about Marvin Miller and Catfish Hunter and the way the salaries have gone from one polar opposite to the other. Should read it if you can find it.

  27. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:

    What’s your take on hot September finishes Grey? Does it differ from hitters and pitchers?

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Don’t think it matters either way unless it gets a person a job in April that didn’t have one. In 2009, some of the top September hitters were Reimold, Coghlan and Mags. Bleh.

  29. Anonymous says:
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    @Grey: Can’t forget Bautista there…

  30. Anonymous says:
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    @Grey: Top 2009 hitters. His September was a 10 HR, 21 RBI, .944 OPS month.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Anonymous: Those aren’t his September 2009 numbers. Either way, you can’t just pick and choose which names to look at. A month is a small sample size any way you look at it.

  32. Anonymous says:
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    You’re right. I accidentally included his October stats.

  33. Anonymous says:
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    @Anonymous: Either way, to quote the awesome Winston Churchill, Bautista is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” or something like that.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Anonymous: Yeah, it’s weird he would start taking steroids in September of 2009 and risk getting caught before he could hit 50+ homers.

  35. You can say offense was pathetic this year, but I suspect its going to be this way for awhile, we are entering into a new cycle where pitchers are dominating more. Another good reason to look at drafting 2 top 1st basemen next year so you actually have some power in your infield.

  36. @big o:

    You can call them crooks, but it’s just supply and demand. As long as people will shell out big for tix and ‘dise, and cable companies for ‘casting rights, the money’s there.

  37. @Anonymous:

    Baustista is less of a riddle seeing that the Jays HR #’s spiked across the board. I credit the hitting coach some for his hacker approach.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: Yeah, I don’t see offense suddenly coming around. It’s like the higher mound era all over again.

  39. I’m getting my wings and beer ready, how about everyone else!

  40. Steve says:
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    Bah.

    Home sick today – and the game’s not on TV!

  41. @Steve:

    I know an excellent streaming site if you have a highspeed connect.

  42. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: sglyonatgmaildotcom

  43. @Steve:

    OK, I’ll let you know when it starts, its in HD and looks as good as my TV, but they usually dont advertise they are broadcasting until the game starts so as to duck the banning police.

  44. big o says:
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    @Steve:

    suffering from markaki-separation ?

  45. Steve says:
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    @big o: Heh. Something like that.

  46. big o says:
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    nice shot of willie , there in the dugout ,
    during the lesh/weir national anthem .

  47. big o says:
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    freak / posey

    by far the youngest battery ever to appear in a world series , potentially .

    cust speculatin’

  48. Grey

    Grey says:
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    So… How’s the game? Oh, and my girlfriend just broke up with me.

  49. @Steve:

    OK Steve, Email sent, let me know if there’s problems.

  50. @Grey:

    At least you have your priorities straight.

  51. That was quick.

  52. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Yup. Looks great. Hope I don’t blow through my data cap.

  53. haha, great!

  54. Big Out, care of Obvious Man.

  55. My Boy Utley just isn’t getting it done this year.

  56. @Steve:

    If you want full screen, its the gadget on the far right.

  57. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: Feed is a bit stop-start. Will check in and out, I think.

  58. @Steve:

    Yeah, I figured given the cross-pacific latency.

  59. Lincy looks like hes got it goin on tonight.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: How did the Giants score?

  61. @Grey:

    Leadoff walk, hit and run, 1st and 3rd, lineout, Utley botched the double play, got 1 out, runner scored.

  62. big o says:
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    if you listen to the game on wpht (accessible on gameday , thru mlb.com) ,
    the action is one full pitch ahead of what’s being shown on tv .

  63. big o says:
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    it’s like ,
    foxsports viewers are the last to know .

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: Gotcha… Thanks!

    @big o: No, O. You’re in the future. But you knew I was going to say that.

  65. Grey

    Grey says:
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    You think the guy in the Panda costume got that at a 75% off sale?

  66. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Whatever he paid, he was ripped off.

  67. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: It’s pretty sweet right now.

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Costume was free, last shred of dignity lost… priceless.

  69. Steve says:
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    When did Uribe turn 50?

  70. Stop the presses, Ibanez gets a hit.

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: A Latin 50.

  72. There went the stream steve, switch to ESPN America Channel.

  73. big o says:
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    believe it or not ,
    that’s counts as a successful sac bunt for halladay .
    only his 3rd of the season … making him 3 for 19 , now .

  74. Talk about a botched call.

  75. Phils get lucky as it gets.

  76. Lincy seems to be rattled by the turn of events.

  77. Utley *emoticon*

  78. big o says:
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    oh great .

    the wife just heard the one-pitch discrepancy
    (on utley’s hit up the middle) , and asked ,
    “you mean that’s going to happen here ?” (as she pointed to the wide-screen).

    and in one fell swoop , she took the tv clicker off my desk .

    there goes my visual contact .

  79. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: You O’s are funny.

  80. Howard shoulda had that imo.

  81. Steve says:
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    Doesn’t help his fantasy owners none, but J-Roll is starting to play.

  82. Steve says:
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    Does Romo take the beard off and give it to Wilson between the 8th and 9th?

  83. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I think you said this before but it really does look like a Witness Protection beard.

  84. big o says:
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    madson ….. impressive .
    3 K ‘s .

  85. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Do you go near Lidge here?

  86. big o says:
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    me ?
    madson returns and stays until he gets in trouble .

    manuel ?
    madson done .

  87. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: Brad Lidge hearts Werth.

  88. big o says:
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    interesting now .
    phillies need to win 2 at home .
    yankees need to win 2 on the road .

  89. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Alvarez appears to have breakout potential. What catches my attention is 12 HR at home, 4 away. The rest of the double-digit homer guys for PIT have pretty even splits. PIT away opponents comprise 4 of the top 10 HR-allowed parks. His 16 total came in 95 GP. If he gets comfortable on the road, it seems that 30 HR aren’t out of the question. What do you think? (Problem is that runs and rbi may not be all that plentiful on PIT team.) (I like him for the HR, but think he will likely get drafted too high for me.)

    What do ya’ think?

  90. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: BTW: Sorry about the loss (GF).

  91. DrEasy says:
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    It turns out Bautista played most of the season with a sports hernia. He just had surgery to fix it. Now does he get some respect for next year?

  92. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Also, Hellickson or Stauffer?. Hellickson brings the Ks but AL. Stauffer NL-W. Kind of conflicted. Know you favor Ks and NL…

  93. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: That’s pretty interesting about Alvarez. Could just be a small sample. I don’t think 30 homers are totally out of the questions though. Thanks for your sentiment.

    @DrEasy: Imagine he working nads. Hello, 80 HRs!

    @simply fred: I’d go with Stauffer next year if I had to draft one right now. Hellickson’s stuff is much better though.

  94. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: RE: Stauffer, thanks! Obviously looking for 3-4 tier player. Expect Hellickson will be the higher draft so will keep a watch on Stauffer for better value.

  95. i’m not saying bautista’s going to hit 50 homers again next year, but i think he’s closer to being the real deal than people are giving him credit for.

    i wasn’t on him at all to start the season; i didn’t even think he’d be a full-time player, so i didn’t bother to consider him. but once he started hitting all those homers in may, and i started to really look at him, i bought in immediately. things i saw at that point:

    * the 10-homer final month of 09.
    * the stories about him working with the TOR hitting coach to get his foot down quicker, etc and having a new rebuilt swing in july of 09 – then a terrible august as he rolled out the new system – then the september. that all adds up.
    * how he used to be a real prospect, but then had that weird 4-team rule 5 odyssey and never got much more minor league time. stuff like that can screw up a guy’s development path.
    * video of him hitting.

    the scounting reports are that he’s gotten to the point where he really won’t swing at anything he can’t destroy. and then things that he can destroy, with the new swing, he destroys. it wasn’t luck and i don’t think it was steroids. he hits the ball -hard-. they have those weird new tracking systems now and they confirm it.

    -nobody- can hit 50 homers every year. he -is- going to get drafted too high next year. that’s all true. but i do think he’s a legit power hitter now.

  96. also, it’s weird how, as terrible as reynolds was, your projections were actually pretty close except for the terrible, terrible, terrible batting average.

    i think reynolds is a good draft-low target for next year. unless there’s some flaw in his plan that pitchers have found and he’s really going to keep on hitting under .200, which doesn’t seem that likely to me, he’s still basically the same guy as ever. except now everyone hates him.

    now that i mention it, when it’s all said and done, i think him and bautista are actually pretty close to being the same guy.

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