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Before we take our 2009 fantasy baseball rankings to the arms, we look at the top 5 designated hitters for 2009 fantasy baseball.  These players are only eligible at Utility.  Frankly, I don’t think you should draft any of these hitters.  They don’t allow enough flexibility.  For example, what if you had David Ortiz clogging up your Utility spot last year and you really wanted to pick up Jayson Werth but had 5 outfielders already?  You would’ve been S to the Crewed.  If you want some perspective on where these 5 designated hitters fall in the big picture, look at our 2009 Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  As always, this top 5 for 2009 will be broken up into tiers, and their 2009 projections will be included.  Anyway, here’s the top 5 designated hitters for 2009 fantasy baseball:

1. David Ortiz – This is the first tier. This tier goes from here to Thome.  I call this tier, “David Ortiz and Jim Thome.”  Ortiz just turned a Latin 33 and is easily coming off his worst season in six years.  Was it the knee?  Was it the wrist?  Was it the real birth certificate that says he’s actually 47 years old?  I can’t say for sure, but I’m not counting on much of a rebound season.  Though some ‘perts are.  At Utility, it’s not worth the risk.  2009 Projections:  85/27/110/.285

2. Jim Thome – As Adam Dunn should say, “Thome is the Founding Father of Country Strong.”  2009 Projections:  85/30/100/.250

3. Travis Hafner – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here to the end of the list.  I like to call this tier, “For sadomasochists only.” As some of you might remember, I had faith in Hafner going into last year.  Then some time in May, Hafner let me see behind the curtain and he looked like Zelda Rubinstein.  2009 Projections:  60/22/85/.275

4. Gary Sheffield – With three years since his last thirty home run season, I think it’s safe to say he’s not going to suddenly explode back on the scene.  Could the Yanks have parted ways with an aging vet at the right time?  Appears so.  2009 Projections:  50/15/60/.255/7

5. Rocco Baldelli – Take that, mitochondria!  2009 Projections:  50/12/50/.280/3

35 Responses

  1. sean says:
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    If you are anti-DH in the DH/UTIL slot, what type of player should we look to slot there?

  2. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @sean: I think of the DH slot as a 6th OF usually… Someone like Randy Winn or David DeJesus, who can’t really hurt you anywhere with 12/12/290. If you’re really enterprising, you can find someone who has multiple eligibility like Felipe Lopez in case you need to pick up a guy like, say, the next Jason Werth or something and already have 5 good OF.

  3. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    Given the lack of flexibility (I’m looking at you, Thome) that this position entails, is it even worth it to draft one of these schmoes? I.e. how far would one have to fall to make him draftable?

    That said, I drafted Thome a few years back in the 16th round and after his hot start traded him for a then-worthwhile Pronk.*

    *God, sometimes I sound like an old man in a rocking chair.**

    **Get off my grass.

  4. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Are you back, Baron?

    Drafting Thome is like going to the Dairy Queen and ordering a vanilla ice cream cone.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: If you get lucky your late round draft flier will pan out and he’ll be slotted there. If you don’t, then hopefully you’ll get the big break out (Last year Ludwick, Huff, etc.). And if you miss out on them, hopefully you have the hottest player of the last week or so in that slot and constantly change them out.

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: **

    **Nice.

    @IowaCubs: No love for the Blue Bunny? I saw it on Unwrapped last night. Now that’s a factory tour!

  6. The factory tour is Americana, a shrine to obesity and the worship of our fatliciousness. I’ve been on the Ben & Jerry’s tour in Vermont and I spent the whole time quietly mooing in the background.

    Having said that I don’t draft any of these guys unless they fall past the 15th round. They are schmohawks. Pronk is not welcome on my roster after he soiled it last year.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Fman99: The factory tour in Milwaukee for Miller was pretty wonderful. They didn’t let us leave until we were buzzed. Then again, two beers and I’m feeling boozy. The worst factory tour was the Sam Adams plant. Major letdown. It was one room. That room was seen from the lobby where they made us wait for 45 minutes.

  8. Hafner super late is the only one worth taking, and then you’re praying for a bounce back, but hey you got him late so who cares. Big Papi is still going way to high and is way too risky…. Pass on all this Grass

  9. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: He he… I love Blue Bunny. Back in October, I went to a trade show in Chicago where Goose Gossage was signing autographs at the Blue Bunny booth. He still has the stash, Grey, you’d be proud.

  10. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Question for all: I want to buy one fantasy baseball magazine for toilet reading, which one would you recommend and why?

  11. I have the Sporting News one next to my terlet. I like the short 3-4 line bios that they have – they cover several hundred guys that way, even if the mag prints too early and they don’t know what team K-Rod is on, etc.

  12. Tony Y says:
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    I bought the sporting news too, good read, and like FMANN said some things are not current or correct, but you’ll have that when you’re the first Mag out. I think i saw Lindy’s out now too, browsed it at the bookstore, I bought it last year, good read, I think it has first and second half splits listed, which I find very helpful….

  13. Anthony G says:
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    I bought the fanball mag but I think they out of their minds because they listed Josh Hamilton as the #19 outfielder in the league. Lindy’s is a good one as well because they track seldom known stats for many players.

  14. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Anthony G: @Tony Y:

    How accurate do you think those magazines are? I’m not being preachy here, I’m just wondering if you can’t get the same info online. Is it worth it?

    I personally feel I can get much better advice by just doing a few mock drafts in all formats (AL-only, NL-Only, mixed, etc), reading some good blogs like this one and looking over stats from last year.

    From my experience, most are poorly written and published in December — a good 3 months before most drafts. I guess I trust the advice of the guys on this blog and the commenters here more than a fancy $10 magazine.

    Also, print off a few depth charts the day before your draft to make sure you’re not drafting a guy that’s injured or, um, not on the team. Make a list of potential lineups for each team, too so that you can rate them higher if they’re expected to hit in the middle of the lineup vs. the end of it.

    This is a little more advanced and dorky than most, but I’ve also taken the ADP and match it up with point shares on this site so that I can know where to expect good or bad values based on projected points. For example, Aaron Harang is being drafted 10 slots lower than his point share (or a +10), so if I see him around pick 200, it’s a good value if I pick him. Dustin Pedroia is being drafted 15 slots too high, so he’s a -15.

    I’ll post my HYPE factor charts on the Forums on Monday.

  15. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Grey: If you ever make it to KC, go to the Boulevard Brewery tour. If you catch them at the right time of the year, they’ll let you contribute to making a batch of beer.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Anthony G: I agree with Iowa.

    @IowaCubs: Never been to KC, but if I’m there I’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

  17. VanHammersly says:
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    Kind of a random question, but the Royals are saying they’re going to try and plug Mark Teahen into 2B this season. If it works, and he’s able to pick up eligibility there, do you like him more than some schmoe like Kelly “Big” Johnson (or even Weeks)?

  18. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @VanHammersly: I don’t like him better than either of those two you mentioned, but he would become draftable — barely. Though I really hope they go with Callaspo, or one of their 17 first basemen/DHs.

  19. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @IowaCubs: I can’t speak for the others IC but I just mentioned it for toilet reading. Didn’t mean to get your blood boiling. I’m well aware of how outdated they are come draft time and I don’t use them for my draft.

  20. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: Oh man, I never get mad at anything, now I feel like a douche. I was just throwing down thoughts on a page.

  21. Steve says:
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    Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam is pretty good too. Interesting AND free beer.

  22. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Plus it’s in Amsterdam!

  23. Steve says:
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    You can find any kind of trouble you want in that town.

  24. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Steve: Sadly, those days are behind me now.

  25. Steve says:
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    (sings) “Memories – like the corners of my mind…”

  26. BigFatHippo says:
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    Haha, no rememberies though, lost a whole decade.

  27. GasTheObese says:
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    Obviously Sheffield breaks the mold of all the “schmohawk” 3 true outcome dorks. Plus apparently he will run when he wants because he’s obviously the elephant ego in the dugout. There is one in every business I swear. Does Sheff really hurt you as long as he’s in the lineup? I’m saying no.

  28. GasTheObese says:
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    Here’s me holding the awesome Gary Sheffield coffee table book I made when I was like twelve. I ended up putting all the good shit in it and its a converstion piece. I had no real explanation other than Sheff was angry black and he was more fun to watch hit than anyone I’ve ever seen in the 12 years I played + watched in my life. I swear I traded his upper deck rookie card for Dr Dre’s “The Chronic”. Seminal moment.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/mv14q9.jpg

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GasTheObese: Is that a bottle of Courvoisier in that pic? Who are you, GTO? Suge Knight?

  30. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: That’s a Crown bottle if I ever saw one, and I’ve seen a lot of em.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Yes, you’re right. I apologize, GTO. Don’t cap me.

  32. GasTheObese says:
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    @Duderz

    So sheff pwns faces? Y/N/M?

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GasTheObese: I was drawn to angry black men as a youth too, so I sympathize with your fond memoriez of Sheff, but I think he’s too old to pwn anyone.

  34. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: GTO, ha, just got that. My brain’s frozen like the Splendid Chilled Splinter’s.

  35. GasTheObese says:
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    Gary Sheffield will pull the fork out of his back and stab you in the neck for condemning ’09 for him like that.

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