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With the top 40 outfielders, we’ve finished all the recaps for hitters.  (Here’s all the final 2009 fantasy baseball rankings.  They’re also to your left… your other left.  And down.)  Pitching recap will begin next.  (NOTE:  The end of the season rankings are based on ESPN’s Player Rater.  I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this course.  This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason it carries more weight.  Does this mean I think ESPN’s Player Rater is perfect?  No.  It’s just an objective third party to see how well my preseason rankings did.)  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2009 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. Carlos Lee – How did he only get 65 Runs?  He played in a 160 games.  He batted .300.  He hit 26 homers.  He hit 4th the entire year.  Oh, wait, I know.  Geoff Blum hit 5th for the Astros in 171 at-bats.  Preseason Rank #3, 2009 Projections:  100/33/110/.300/7, Final Numbers:  65/26/102/.300/5

22. Andre Ethier – Maybe it’s because of the pitcher’s park or the pitcher’s division, but I never fully get behind Dodgers hitters.  Lukewarm on Russell Martin, Loney, Hudson, Furcal, Blake, Ethier and Manny.  Kemp I’m crazy for, but I think you have to be crazy to not be crazy for him.  Preseason Rank #46, 2009 Projections:  80/17/75/.290/5, Final Numbers:  92/31/106/.272/6

23. Michael Cuddyer – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.  Final Numbers:  93/32/94/.276/6

24. Nick Markakis - Here we see the problem with relying on 25 homer power.  In an off year, they hit 18 homers and you wanna strangle someone.  Markakis had two months where he hit one homer (June and September) and one month of 2 homers (April).  His speed continues to decline.  He now has back-to-back seasons of 5 homers vs. lefties.  Markakis isn’t done in my eyes (he’s only going to be 26 in 2010), but I really would like to see 30 homers before going caca-cuckoo for him.  Preseason Rank #3, 2009 Projections:  95/25/100/.310/10, Final Numbers:  94/18/101/.293/6

25. Nelson Cruz – His season was actually much better than this ranking and that will be reflected in January when I go over 2010 rankings.  I say it’s much better because Runs and RBIs are a symptom of the guys around him.  The homers and steals can’t be taught, and he has them.  He could easily be a top 15 outfielder with better Runs and RBIs.  Preseason Rank #49, 2009 Projections:  75/25/90/.270/10, Final Numbers:  75/33/76/.260/20

26. Rajai Davis – After the All-Star Break, he stole 30 bases and hit .325.  DNA samples taken in the 2nd half of the season showed there was a 99.8% chance that Rajai was Carl Crawford.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  65/3/48/.305/41

27. Jason Kubel – In February, I alluded to how he was better value than Jermaine Dye.  And that’s me alluding to me!  Preseason Rank #61, 2009 Projections:  80/20/80/.280, Final Numbers:  73/28/103/.300/1

28. Raul Ibanez – My call on him being a 2nd half hitter looked about as good as Lady Gaga’s clothing choices.  Preseason Rank #28, 2009 Projections:  85/25/110/.290/3, Final Numbers:  93/34/93/.272/4

29. Scott Podsednik – Sometime in May, Ozzie called him into his office.  This is what transpired.  “I want vintage Podsednik!”  “I don’t know if I have it in me, Skip.”  “Skip?!  What is that?  Punta talk?  Now go uncork a 2004 Podsednik!”  And he did.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  75/7/48/.304/30

30. Adam Dunn – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.  Preseason Rank #23, 2009 Projections:  80/40/85/.245/5, Final Numbers:  81/38/105/.267

31. Hunter Pence – The same thing that hampered Carlos Lee also got Pence.  It’s called the lack of an Astros offense.  With a little help in Runs and RBIs, Pence would’ve been ranked much higher.  Preseason Rank #35, 2009 Projections:  85/28/95/.275/10, Final Numbers:  76/25/72/.282/14

32. Curtis Granderson - There was a whole lot of math done recently on Granderson’s year.  Long story short, he should’ve hit in the .270s rather than the .240s.  As is my wont, I usually ignore average anyway when a guy brings something else to the table.  Grandy brings 30/20.  That’s a whole lotta something else.  I feel like I may be owning Grandy next year on a few teams.  Preseason Rank #19, 2009 Projections:  115/22/75/.275/17, Final Numbers:  91/30/71/.249/20

33. Franklin Gutierrez – Back in February, I said, “I’m a fan of The Big FraGu.  Decent shot at being a cheap source of 15/15.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Preseason Rank #63, 2009 Projections:  70/12/75/.260/16, Final Numbers:  85/18/70/.283/16

34. B.J. Upton – You know what would be nice?  Beej living up to(n) his potential.    Upton’s in the same category as Grandy.  Come February, I’ll be ignoring his bad average.  Preseason Rank #9, 2009 Projections:  95/20/80/.280/35, Final Numbers:  79/11/55/.241/42

35. Marlon Byrd – I suggested in the preseason that you grab Byrd and David Murphy and platoon them.  Turns out you would’ve done fine just owning them both and playing them.  Preseason Rank #68, 2009 Projections:  100/20/100/.285/10, Final Numbers:  66/20/89/.283/8

36. Nate McLouth – McLousy turned in an old school Mike Cameron season.  20/20 — yay!  .256 — eh.  Preseason Rank #18, 2009 Projections:  95/22/90/.270/22, Final Numbers:  86/20/70/.256/19

37. Andrew McCutchen – The Dread Pirate didn’t get his first at-bat of the season until June.  Go ahead, reread that sentence.  Now smize!  (The Tyra Banks definition, not the other one.)  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  74/12/54/.286/22

38. Brad Hawpe – Hawpe’s 2nd half was about as good as my ability to read Sumerian.  Apparently, the guy with the arrow on the ancient tablet means Hawpe shouldn’t be facing lefties.  Preseason Rank #34, 2009 Projections:  70/30/95/.280, Final Numbers:  82/23/86/.285/1

39. Juan Rivera – There should be a glossary term for these Juan Rivera types.  These players are available off of waivers in just about every 12 team league.  They don’t wow you with their numbers.  They don’t hurt your team.  They’re just there in your 5th outfielder slot.  Jason Kubel would be another one.  Each year, one steps up and does more than what is asked of them.  In 2008, it was Xavier Nady, this year it was Michael Cuddyer.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  72/25/88/.287

40. Chris Coghlan – Went over him in the top 20 3rd basemen post, Final Numbers:  84/9/47/.321/8

  1. Chase says:
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    I bet this is the fastest response to one of your posts ever.

  2. Tony says:
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    I can see a few guys from this list jumping back into the top 20.

    Raja, BJ, grandy, Pence could all make the jump….

    I love a guy who underperforms, next year hopefully they’ll be a little undervalued.

    I also (as mentioned before during the season) love Carlos Gonzalez for next year. I know this is based on rankings from this year, but still, there’s some youngsters that are gonna jump into the top 40 OF’ers and knock alot of these guys off. Adam Jones is another.

    Bring on 2010.

  3. Brade says:
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    Glossary term for guys like Rivera: fifth wheel

  4. Cain Fan says:
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    Is it me or does ESPN put an insane weighting on SBs. I also think 2010 will be a great year for keeper leagues, so many great young guys breaking away.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chase: Top 5, for sure.

    @Tony: Maybe on Davis, but he’s still basically steals and wouldn’t pay much for him, the other three I agree. Agreed on Jones and CarGo too.

    @Brade: Wow, I feel like I should wait until there’s a few more possibilities before declaring a winner, but that’s very good. Well played, sir.

    @Cain Fan: They do weigh steals very heavily. Basically, if a guy gets 5 steals and identical numbers elsewhere, he’ll jump way more spots than justified.

  6. Tony says:
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    @Grey: ya raja isn’t one of those guys i’d waste a mid round pick on but he could be a great 11th round on snag.

    The others have potential to fill the board in multiple cats, which is a beautiful thing…

  7. Tarasco'sSecretStash says:
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    Early keeper question! Hooray!

    I have 4 years to dole out between Tulo and Ryan Howard…I also own Miguel Cabrera and his newly-minted lack of 3B eligibility, so Howard’s my Util guy for the time I keep him. 16 team dynasty league, offensive stats are:

    AVG/OBP/SLG/HR/RBI/R/SB-CS/K

    Tulo for 3 years, Howard for 1? Or split it 2 years apiece? Howard’s positionally repetitive and counting K’s in my league hits his value a bit…but sweet jebus, the dude’s power numbers, the consistency of his monstrous production, and (perhaps most importantly in a H2H league) his annual sprint to the finishline are impossible to ignore…

  8. Byrone says:
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    no love for carlos quentin? he’s a keeper!

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Byrone: Carlos Quentin will be in the top 40 outfielders for 2010. This is a recap for 2009.

  10. Tarasco'sSecretStash says:
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    Wicked, thanks Grey.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Hmm… Not sure on that one, but gotta love a Short Circuit mention.

  12. Xar says:
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    Re: Rivera et al: How about “doubt-fielder”? As in you doubt he’ll be productive, but he turns in a solid season and fills in holes? A la Nick Swisher this year?

    I was trying to come up with something like “middling infielder” or “corner infidel” … Something that almost explains itself.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Xar: I like that a lot. As of right now, between that and Fifth Wheel.

  14. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Are you sure? Did you notice he’s ALIVE?

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Saw that, still weighing the ‘ALIVE’ part.

  16. big o says:
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    the days of assuming carlos lee as a lock for 100-30-100 , with up-side , are over for me .

  17. Steve says:
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    I guess sit all depends on what Lady Gaga is dressing for.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Or undressing for. Rawr!

  19. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Dunno. She frightens me a bit.

  20. Josh says:
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    What’s next now that we’re done recapping the player rater? I like your wrap-ups of each players season, but the ESPN player rater is useless. You could have a handful of top 10-20 guys on that player rater, and dominate SBs but easily lose the other offensive categories.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, agreed.

    @Josh: Will go over the rookies to watch for 2010.

  22. Russ says:
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    Hey Grey, huge fan of the site. So many fantasy baseball “experts” lack your humor. This is a game after all. You help make it fun.

    I wanted to make a glossary suggestion for the type of hitter you can put in the lineup and never check back with. I know with catcher you like to say most are essentially equal, and the position is a crapshoot; plus, I know your affinity for (or proclivity for?) Ron Popeil, so how about: “set him and forget him”?

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: Thanks for the kind words! I do like Ron Popeil and have used the “set him and forget him” strategy a lot with catcher, but I don’t think it works for the 5th outfielder type. These guys aren’t usually set, but shuffled in and out. Hmm… Under consideration though.

  24. Russ says:
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    I probably made the suggestion under the wrong post…but yes, I meant it for catcher (and agree it wouldn’t work for OF).

    Fifth Wheel and Doubtfielder are tremendous suggestions; I hope you find a way to incorporate both.

  25. Xar says:
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    Fifth wheel might very well be a better name for Rivera types, with doubtfielder referring more to the guys who have a great week or two, and you want to pick them up, but you’re just not sure, them they do it again, etc.

    I say that because with some of the Riviera types, you know exactly what you’re getting. Not great, not crap. You don’t need them very often, but they’re great in a pinch. Like a spare tire. Or a “spare tier,” perhaps?

    I think mine’s funnier, but 5th wheel might be more accurate given what Grey’s looking for. But a may have to start referring to some folks as doubtfielders anyway…

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: Ah… Gotcha. Yeah, catchers should be handled with plastic gloves like Ron Popeil wears.

    @Xar: I’m not sold doubtfielder can’t work, but fifth wheel may be more appropriate.

  27. Russ says:
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    …onto some fantasy questions…

    I’m in a standard 5×5 yahoo league (21 spots, no CIs, just 3 OFs; 1250 innings pitched limit). It’s an auction keeper league. Standard draft budget is $200 (a team can go as high as $225 via trading for cap, or as low as $175 trading cap away).

    My 2010 budget is $214.

    On the hitting side I have kept: Posada ($4), Butler ($6), Tulo ($19), Beltran ($24), Ethier ($8) and Milledge ($4).

    On the pitching side I have kept: Hanson ($5), Buchholz ($11), Slowey ($7) and Rodney ($2).

    That’s $90 in keepers; so I have $124 left for 11 players.

    So, without further ado, my (rapid-fire) questions:

    1–Will Metco keep his homers below 20?

    1–Can Beltran be relied on to steal 25 bases?

    3–Can I expect 30/20 from Tulo again (if not, what)?

    4–Milledge: 20/20 reasonable expectation? or wishful thinking?

    5–Buchholz: will his ERA/WHIP kill his wins/K value (do you have rough predictions yet for his ERA/WHIP)?

    6–Slowey: he was touted going into ’09 as a low WHIP SP (so few walks). That didn’t pan out. Will he be a low WHIP SP in 2010?

    7–Will Kendrick, Stewart, or Weeks break into the upper echelon of 2B in 2010? How would you rank them?

    8–Will Aramis Ramirez put up ARod-lite numbers (minus steals, of course) or is he too risky for 2010?

    9–I have the feeling Broxton, Nathan, Papelbon, Rivera etc. are going to go for around $20 (at least high teens) in my league? Is it crazy to spend 10% of your draft budget on a closer (i.e., should I avoid getting into that bidding war on any one of them)?

    10–This may be the most difficult to answer: but which cheap closers (preferably who get more than a K/inning) will repeat in 2010, and which won’t? (I’m thinking Baileys, Aardsmas, Sorianos, etc)

    11–Last one: which current young pitchers are the best risk to become a fantasy worthy SP, preferably a #3, if not a #2, by 2011? Bumgarner and Feliz come to mind immediately. Don’t know if you have anyone else to add.

    Thanks!

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: 1. Keep whose numbers down?

    2. He steals 15 bases +/- 5.

    3. 32/14

    4. Wishful thinking.

    5. It shouldn’t and no.

    6. He should.

    7. Stewart, Kendrick, Weeks… And I’d bet on at least one breaking out.

    8. Aramis – 24/90/.300 and hope for more.

    9. I wouldn’t draft any of them.

    10. Soriano maybe… Who closes changes daily in the season so now it’s very early.

    11. Feliz should be good for a solid 150 innings.

  29. Russ says:
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    Grey, thanks for the answers.

    With #1 I meant Beltran, my apologies.

  30. Russ says:
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    With the 3 SPs I have, would you bother paying for a true #1, or is my money better served getting both ARod and Utley/Kinsler?

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: I think Beltran can get 22 homers. Arod or Utley…

  32. Russ says:
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    grey, thanks for sharing your anatomy (and by anatomy I mean your brain; and by brain I mean the part obsessed with fantasy baseball)

  33. big o says:
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    @Grey:
    is there any chance that you might replace your mug shot ,
    with one a bit more colorful ,
    before your hair turns , you know ,
    completely gray ?

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Russ: No problem.

    @big o: Not likely.

  35. big o says:
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    my money’s on the yankees , tonight .
    in case you guys wanna capitalize on the moosh-factor .

  36. Brade says:
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    @Grey: thanks for the props. ;)

    @Xar: “doubt-fielder” definitely made me laugh, and I agree with your logic about both our suggestions. I’d apply “doubt-fielder” to some guy like mike cameron who you just know will bottom out at any time. But the quietly consistent guys like rivera I think are the 5th wheels…

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Brade: Don’t ever shortchange your props. You earned those.

  38. Steve says:
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    Oh Lackey – that was slack(ey).

  39. big o says:
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    new game
    now

  40. Steve says:
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    @big o: @Grey: I’m only following on the interwebnet, but Burnett has been pretty good since that first-inning shambles.

  41. big o says:
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    burnett’s pitch count …. 80 …. after 6 complete

  42. big o says:
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    @Steve:
    fyi …. the rbi hit that vlad got , was on a pitch down by his ankles .

  43. big o says:
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    @Steve:
    there’s a pretty vocal yankee contingent among those in the crowd ,
    (isn’t that always the case ?) .
    but half the angels fans in attendance have been continuously banging those damn “thunder sticks” (red , of course) and making a lot of noise .

  44. Mr Baseball says:
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    Marte brings his era of 10 into the game

  45. BigFatHippo says:
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    Go Yankees………………

    The quicker we get this over with, the quicker we get to see the Phillies whip your easy money ass…………….

  46. BigFatHippo says:
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    From a good source, Holliday will sign with the Yankees next year.

    I was the first to say he’d become a Cardinal,now you know……………..

    the rest of the story………….

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: You jinxed him there.

    @BigFatHippo: Wouldn’t surprise me if he did. That’ll help his value again.

  48. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: You almost have to don’t you?

    Or leave Weaver in, glad I’m not a big league manager.

  49. BigFatHippo says:
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    I’d walk A-Roid………..

  50. BigFatHippo says:
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    Then again, I’m not much of a pitcher. I’d walk your Mother………

  51. BigFatHippo says:
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    (in my best big o)

    across the road
    to denny’s

    for the grand slam
    or rootie-tootie fresh and fruity

  52. Steve says:
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    How is it that Joe Saunders is in the No.2 spot in the Angels’ rotation?

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Not sure why they have Saunders there instead of Weaver. Must’ve been the way the rotation paid out in the playoffs.

  54. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Joe? Mike here. Yeah buddy it’s you tomorrow. What’s that? Nah – usual game plan. Yeah – that’s it. Get out there and defy my expectations. I won’t but you should try and get a good night’s sleep. See you at the park.

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, kinda like Torre and Padilla’s convo in the the Dodgers last game.

  56. NF says:
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    Looking forward to getting Sparkakis and Grandy at nice discounts in ’10.

  57. GopherDay says:
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    What is BJ’s value going into next season? Around the all star break, I tried trading for either BJ or Justin (same guy had both) and he wouldn’t trade me either for anything! I think he wanted A-Gonz and Ian Kinsler for either one.

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: I think Upton will bounce back nicely next year, he’s still very young and capable.

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