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Before we move our 2010 fantasy baseball rankings to the pitchers, we look at the top 5 utility players for 2010 fantasy baseball.  These players are only eligible at DH aka Utility.  Frankly, I don’t think you should draft any of these designated 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 Ben Zobrist?  You would’ve been wretched, retching on all fours to borrow from The Decemberists.  These guys have no position eligibility for fantasy baseball.  As with past rankings posts, this top 5 for 2010 will be broken up into tiers, and their 2010 projections will be included.  Anyway, here’s the top 5 utility players for 2010 fantasy baseball:

1. Vladimir Guerrero – This is the first tier.  This tier goes until Matsui.  I call this tier, “They were good at one time.  No more.”  If you’re drafting Vlad to clog up your utility spot, then you’re assuming he’s going to bounce back.  So my question to you is, a bounce back to what?  The last time he stole more than 5 bases was in 2006.  That was when he had three working legs and didn’t walk like Ron Kovic.  The last time he hit above 30 homers was also in 2006.  The last two years Vlad hasn’t hit above .303.  As evidenced by the participants of HBO’s Real Sex, swingers don’t age well.  2010 Projections:  70/26/95/.290/3

2. David Ortiz – Right now, Ron Blomberg is rolling over in his Barcalounger in disgust.  It is most certainly not the age of the DH.  Like Vlad, if you draft Papi, you’re hoping for a bounce back.  Again, I don’t think it’s coming.  See Mo Vaughn’s career for further proof.  2010 Projections:  70/27/90/.265

3. Hideki Matsui – He probably won’t give you much different numbers than the first two guys on this list.  Matsui might be the only bargain in the DHs.  Still doesn’t mean I’d draft him.  2010 Projections:  70/24/80/.285

4. Travis Hafner – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end of the rankings.  I call this tier, “Don’t even think about drafting them.” Okay, multiple choice question.  Which of these are actual quotes by Hafner?  A)  I’ll be fully healthy for the 2008 season.  B)  I’ll be fully healthy for the 2009 season.  C) I’ll be fully healthy for the 2010 season.  D)  My head weighs 17 pounds.  If you answered A, B and C, you’re right.  That doesn’t make D any less accurate.  2010 Projections:  50/18/65/.270

5. Pat Burrell – Unless your league has a NSFW category, Burrell isn’t worth owning.  2010 Projections:  65/24/75/.245

  1. Quintero says:
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    My Dynasty league got four utility spots and goes deep to 300 player-deep, is that make Hafner rosterable?

  2. Grimlock says:
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    Grey, if you share Colin Meloy’s opinion of Los Angeles, you should move back to Oregon, hippy.

  3. Quintero says:
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    Sorry, it goes 360 player-deep, not 300.

  4. get figgy with it says:
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    When I put the ADP in my spreadsheet do you think it is fine to use the ADP from today or would it be better to wait a month and use that ADP (do you think it will change that much, barring injury, from now to a month from now I guess is what I am asking)

  5. Keith says:
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    Why are DH’s sooo bad right now in the AL? I can’t remember a year where there wasn’t 1 guy worth drafting, even late. Why even have the DH if nobody uses it properly?

  6. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Grey what’s your thoughts on sheets signing with the a’s does that help or hurt his value?

  7. Eddy says:
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    Ha!!! Love the Hafner blurb! I can always
    count on these to give me a good laugh before going to college, thanks Grey!

  8. big o says:
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    @Mikey boy324:
    sheets didn’t pitch , last year .
    A ‘s play in a pitcher-friendly park , with wide foul ball territories .

  9. These guys all suck Pronk.

  10. Antrim Warriors says:
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    Thomes signs with the Twinkies.

  11. Tony says:
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    @Antrim Warriors: he shoulda came back to cleveland i thought him and manny wanted to come back and reunite! HA!

  12. Tony says:
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    @grey or anyone: you miss on a big 1B bat and its the 7th or 8th round, who would you rather have Derek Lee or Billy Butler? why?

  13. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Sorry to backtrack here but after reading that Chad Tracy was just brought in by the Cubs to likely backup Aramis and D Lee, I decided to go look at the top 20 3b rankings. Aramis at #12 is a mistake. Last year he had a very real injury in his shoulder, not something he’d ever dealt with before to my knowledge. Yes he gets knicks and bruises that cost him time every year but to drop him below Stewart, Young, Beckham, and Figgins is a big mistake imo. He’s basically Sandoval but older. He does get injured unlike Sandoval (so far) but he is a RBI beast when healthy.

    I’d probably have him 6th on that list right behind Youkilis. Just sayin.

  14. Nate Marcum says:
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    @Tony: I would go with Billy Butler just because of the potential upside. All in all, I can see pretty close to the same kind of stats, Lee might have more HR’s, but read this article that another commenter had posted, and decide for yourself.
    http://royalsblog.kansascity.com/?q=node/483

  15. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    I have been waiting three long years for a Decemberists reference. You’ve rent my ventricles apart.

  16. Tony says:
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    @Nate Marcum: haha check back and see the name of the commenter….

    hint: it was me

    I like butler a little more too just for the youth and upside.

  17. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    @Tony: definitely butler

    @Mikey boy324: might hurt a couple of Ws, but we all know you can’t chase Ws. the park should benefit him though.

  18. Eddy says:
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    @Tony:
    if u got a lot of guys who u can count on to produce, Butler. If you got guys who “should” breakout, but it’s not certain, I’d get Lee to offset the upside.

  19. quimmy says:
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    Is Adrian Gonzo really that much better than Dunn, who you can get 2-3 rounds later. Last years stats:

    Gonzalez, Adrian
    R – H – 1B – 2B – 3B – HR – RBI – BB – BA – OBP – SLUG
    90-153-84-27-2-40-99-119-109-.277-.407-.550
    Dunn, Adam
    R – H – 1B – 2B – 3B – HR – RBI – BB – BA – OBP – SLUG
    81-146-79-29-0-38-105-116-177-.267-.398-.529

    If your league does not penalize for K’s than couple that with Dunn’s OF and 1B eligibility and I would rather have Dunn in rd 5 than Gonzo in rd 2. Thoughts?

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Quintero: The 4 utility spots would.

    @Grimlock: Or I should prance around singing, July, July!

    @get figgy with it: I’d just use it from today.

    @Keith: In honor of Ron Bloomberg.

    @Mikey boy324: Helps his value to pitch in that stadium, but he can’t stay healthy no matter where he pitches. That hurts his value.

    @Eddy: Thanks for the kind words!

    @Fman99: Yup.

    @Antrim Warriors: Thanks for the heads up!

    @Tony: Depends on the team you have. If you want some upside, then Butler. Want stability then Lee.

    @Frank Rizzo: A legit backup is brought in because they’re obviously not confident with him and that should move him up? Hmm…

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Ha!

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @quimmy: Dunn’s average is a .240 to .270 range, A-Gon is .260 to .280… So same homers, more Runs, more RBIs and better average gets a few round boost, yeah.

  22. brett says:
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    @Tony: I’d take Butler for the upside. Eddy brings up a good point but that’s rarely my style.

  23. quimmy says:
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    @grey: Runs and RBI look close to equal to me. 2008 Gonzo had 100 more at bats than Dunn and Dunn still out homered him. the possibility of a max .40 diff in ba is the big diff here, but they can also finish with the same avg, like the almost did last year. i do see the pattern u have cited on Dunn with his ba, pegging for a .240ish avg this year, but they look really close besides ba these past 3 years

  24. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Grey: Grey, Chad Tracy is insurance only, and nothing else. The Cubs signed him to a minor league deal worth $900,000.00. He’s 29 years old and has gotten progressively worse since 2005. Should that really send up warning flags about Ramirez?

    I thought we were supposed to zig when everyone else zagged? Aramis is only 31 and he’s in the last year of his contract. I’m seeing a few sites now, including this one, dropping him down to at least the 10th 3b. I’ll be zigging in the 5th/6th round if it stays that way.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @quimmy: I’m a fan of Dunn’s so you don’t have to convince me. I’m just a fan of A-Gon’s too.

    @Frank Rizzo: If you see value with him, then by all means. I’m just worried that he hasn’t put up 5th/6th round numbers since 2006.

  26. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Grey: Aramis will give you a solid BA against righties/lefties, 100 RBI’s, and at least 25 HR’s. He won’t hurt you at all in the 5th/6th and in the meantime, you don’t need to reach for guys like Youk, Zimmerman, Reynolds, or Sandoval who may very well be letdowns. In the meantime, you can spend your time getting offensive freaks in the first 4 rounds.

    I do like the value. It may be a gamble but it’s equally a gamble on guys like A-rod (injury), Wright (bad ballpark), Zimmerman (2009 an outlier?), Reynolds (total gamble), and Sandoval (Sophomore slump).

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: You’re saying he won’t hurt you at all in the 5th and 6th but isn’t that exactly what he would’ve done last year?

  28. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Grey: He went in the 3rd last year and it definitely hurt because of an injury. You can’t predict injuries like that though. And in the 5th/6th now you could get him at a lower price which to me = value. You’ll still have to get Wright in the 1st or 2nd…..he just stunk last year and was drafted in the top 5.

    And Aramis definitely likes money……so I would think at 31 and in the last year of his contract, Aramis will be quite motivated in 2010.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: I gave him 75/25/95/.290 for this year, so there’s value in that for certain teams. Taking him over Stewart who I think can give ten steals too but a lesser average is dealer’s choice.

  30. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @Grey: I’ll be going after Stewart this year, for sure……as a 2b. I wouldn’t take Stewart’s .178 average against lefties over Aramis’ plug and play against righties/lefties at 3b. If I have to guess on projected lineups, Aramis would be batting 4th or 5th and Stewart would be batting 7th or 8th. I just like Aramis’ potential and consistency (when playing) over Stewart’s at 3b.

    Good topic imo. Thanks for the conversation.

  31. Tony says:
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    @Frank Rizzo: @Grey: I’m all about stewart as i’m sure most avid razzball readers are… why do i get the feeling he’s going to be going about the 7th round by draft time? a la Chris Davis 2009.

  32. cubbies299 says:
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    Do you trade Bruce for Garza and an 11th round pick?

  33. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Grey do you think Justin upton is worth the gamble at his current adp a part of me loves his upside while at the same time I’m worried about his oblique problems just wondering what you think?

  34. Tony says:
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    @Grey: haha…. nice. I just hope there’s enough negative info out there to detour some people from him.

    i need to NOT take him myself in mocks to see where he does land… i mock my dream teams but its hard to tell where he would really go if i’m always taking him! haha

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Mikey boy324: I’m a big fan of J-Upside. Around the 3rd round seems about right.

    @Tony: No, you should never take him in mocks. No reason to alert others.

  36. Grimlock says:
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    You know Grey, you could do a lot worse than Here I Dreamt I was a Closer if you’re ever short on snappy title ideas.

  37. Tony says:
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    @Grey: haha dont take him then shred the guy who does….. HORRIBLE PICK, HORRIBLE IAN STEWART IS NO GOOD!

  38. sean says:
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    @Grey: Thinking about playing in cash leagues at Fanball this year instead of (or in addition to) CBS this year. Any experience with this format? I like Fanball pays out first, second, and third instead of CBS where it’s all or nothing…

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: I like CBS but don’t know Fanball at all. Sorry…

  40. Real Tom says:
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    I love every post here, but I remember thinking yesterday, “man, I’m going to be so depressed when I get up and read Razzball and have nothing to look at but Vlad and Pat Burrell.”

    I was right.

    Looking forward to Top Pitchers…

  41. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: Sooo…I like his commentary. “Cockcroft picks Franklin Gutierrez which angers Grey and Grey alone, but a few rounds later he gets his revenge when he selects Edwin Jackson. Many in the room applaud Grey’s selection.”

    So was it a live mock? (As in you were actually there with them)

  42. Nate Marcum says:
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    @sean: i will enlighten you all a little about Fanball.com

    Fanball, which used to be TQ Stats, is a pretty good site. I have been using it for some time now, mostly because I know some of the people associated with it, and have been in an auction dynasty league with the guys for quite a few years now. There are multiple types of styles of play…draft and play is pretty much your basic 5×5 format, etc. It doesn’t allow trades, but moves are allowed. I suggest trying the snapdraft. It’s a daily game. You pick your entry amount, your style of game, and than your players for the day. if you have the most points, you win..you can win a lot of $$ that way.

    Also, Grey, you might be familiar, I think, with some of the site writers and editors. Charlie Wiegert was the gentleman who, a few years back, went to court to defend the fantasy community against the MLBPA’s licensing of players’ stats. In all honesty, without that court battle, there might not be free fantasy leagues.

    Just thought you all might like to know. I am in no way trying to plug the site Grey!

    Unfortunately, I don’t plug your site to others’ either, mostly because we dont’ want the secret to get out any more than it has. I will keep giving donations so long as Johnny B. Fantasyballer doesn’t get wise to your knowledge

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: I think they’re talking about Jason Grey, unless I was sleepwalking.

    @Nate Marcum: Ha!

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jon: 11th round is good value.

  45. sean says:
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    I know Garland to the Padres doesn’t usually get people pumped up, but could he be a reliable back-end guy pitching in PETCO?

  46. Steve says:
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    @Grey: If it’s a NSFW league, Pat the Bat jumps to the top of the first tier though, right?

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: He’s no more than a match ups guy there.

    @Steve: Yeah, he would. There was a good story about Burrell in Deadspin about a week or so ago. It’s NSFW, so be careful when searching for it. To find it, Google [jealous + Burrell deadspin].

  48. GopherDay says:
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    @Grey: You may have been half sleep-walking, because he picked a lot of players you like. (i.e. Lind, Stewart, Reyes, etc)

  49. GopherDay says:
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    Oh, and I want an iPad now!!

  50. zombie says:
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    Mid-Season form Grey! Could Nick Johnson possibly be more handsome in the Yankee lineup to warrant consideration within, or perhaps atop, this pathetic tier of unownable DHs?

  51. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: I want the iPad too. Can stack it right next to my Laserdisc player, Intellivision and Koosh Ball.

    @zombie: He’s handsome, all right. Never really healthy though. Let’s say he’s #6.

  52. Steve says:
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    @Grey: He’s only good for HRs or striking out because he’s clearly too tired to run the bases.

  53. Steve says:
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    @Steve: Not that his strikeout rate is too shabby, it would seem.

  54. Eddy says:
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    just wanted to provide a little info on stewart because he’s someone that really varies sometimes in drafts.

    MDC: Earliest: 62 (early 5th round)
    Latest:176 (late 14th round)
    He’s targeted around:112 (mid-9th round)
    They claim him to be a bargain at: 144 (12th round)

    From the 20 or so mocks I’ve done over the past month I aim to draft him on my squad at the 10th round, and usually end up being successful. That round is almost exclusive to him now and unless there’s some insane bargain there, I draft him there. The latest I’ve gotten him was 14th rd.

    Do i ever expect to see him in the 17th round like in that espn draft? nope, someone just got real lucky there.

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Hehe

    @Eddy: Great info, though only thing I would say is a lot of people look at ESPN for their info so when their ‘perts are saying Round 17 in a mock it holds more weight than just a random person drafting him.

  56. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Understood. But apparently the those ‘perts havn’t made that much of an impact because as I’m sure you know that Stewart data is based on hundreds of mock drafts in MDC. I’m guessing the RCL is going to more or less follow the same trend with Stewart as MDC has and pick him up between rounds 9-11.

    But hopefully in my other none-RCL draft they’ll go by these ‘perts and completely forget about him pre-15th.

    btw, does ESPN do mock drafts now? and if so, is there a way to check Stewart’s ADP there?

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: No idea about mocks at ESPN. The MDC mocks are based on hundreds of mocks, but MDC also has a certain type of fantasy baseballer mocking there. Just as Razzball has a certain type. The average person doesn’t mock. They read ESPN a few weeks before their draft, show up on draft day at ESPN and draft. Those are the leagues you should be showing up to and dominating. Hopefully some of those leagues are money leagues. Wow, I sound like Paul Newman in The Color of Money.

  58. Steve says:
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    @Eddy: You can mock at ESPN closer to the season I think. Alternatively, you can simply mock ESPN at any time.

    Only problem with their mocks were that they were exclusively 10-team. Fine if you’re in a ten-team league of course, but not so good for 12-teamers.

  59. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Careful now. You just used the word ‘dominating’ when talking about a fantasy draft.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I was spinning a pool stick when I wrote that.

  61. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Don’t pull a muscle when wielding it like a samurai sword.

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I’m more worried about deflating this bubble I live in.

  63. sean says:
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    @Eddy: Also, don’t underestimate the stupidity of your fellow drafters. I wouldn’t be surprised to see teams miss out on 3B in the first 6 round, panic, and select Stewart in the 8th because he’s on an ESPN sleeper list without paying attention to the fact that his real value is at 2B.

    All told, I’m beginning to already accept that I’m not going be able to draft Stewart because he won’t fall to where I think he’s worth a pick.

    The good news is that there are a few sites out there that are comparing the Stewart hype to the Chris Davis hype. I haven’t seen Stewart’s BIS projections, but I doubt that he’ll be projected for MVP-type numbers like Davis was last year.

  64. matthole says:
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    @Grey: whats the earliest rd youd take stewart?

  65. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @matthole: 8th round in a 12 team league, which puts him around 96th overall.

  66. Jacob says:
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    grey, why is willy taveras unranked? he was a huge disappointment last year, more than huge. but wasn’t he injured? do you predict no bounce back to his 50+ steals self? sorry if he is ranked somewhere and i just missed him.

  67. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jacob: No, he was unranked. He doesn’t have a starting job. If he gets one in March during Spring Training, I’ll be sure to mention him.

  68. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:

    Grey this season one of my leagues is gonna be 5×5 but Hits instead of average (commish doesn’t like it for some reason, and tbh I’m not its biggest fan). How does Stewart’s value change their?

  69. Eddy says:
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    @Eddy:
    there*

  70. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Hurts his value. Goes from around the 11th pick to closer to the 18th.

  71. Eddy says:
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    hmm figured. I think I’ll have to change up my strategy there and pick up a top 5 2B and a top SS since they get the most hits

  72. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Would you change up your drafting strategy dramatically when doing a H2H as opposed to roto?

  73. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Nah, not especially. I wouldn’t worry quite so much about one category guys. For instance, someone like Bourn can win you a week a lot easier than Sparkakis.

  74. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Thanks!

  75. Steve says:
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    @Eddy: Sometimes it may pay to take the more reliable, consistent option when faced with a choice, say taking Tex over Howard.

    Both are great over the season, obviously, but Howard can go through long periods of suckage which is not ideal when you’re playing week to week.

  76. GopherDay says:
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    @Steve: Not trying to take sides or anything, but Tex was pretty sucky at the beginning of the season. Nearly bencheable. But I get what you’re saying.

  77. Eddy says:
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    @Steve:
    I feel the same exact way. Tex is the next 1B I’d take after Pujols.

    I also think that an amazing strat for H2H which is sometimes a bit hard to pull off is have successive hitters from a lineup. A R.Howard/Rollins, Tex/Cano(or Jeter), Pujols/Holliday (<<best one) would definitely be a HUGE boost in H2H.

    Last season a manager had Fielder and Braun. Needless to say that did some damage.

    But not to be outdone I had Damon/Tex/ A-Rod. and when they broke out, boy, did they break out.

  78. Clodbuster says:
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    Keeper league rules question for anyone who can help.

    10 team auction league in year eight with a $260 cap.

    We’re looking to expand to 12 teams. Do we need to change our salary cap or make any adjustments to the salaries of the keepers?

    Is there a supply and demand issue or can we keep all the values the same and just add two teams?

    Thanks!

  79. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Clodbuster: Cap stays the same but you should have a supplemental draft prior with all the guys the ten teams are not keeping and let the two new teams choose their keepers from that group, going back and forth.

  80. Steve says:
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    Oops. Signed up for a mock at MDC, stupidly forgetting the firewall here at work means the draft software won’t work properly. My team so far from the #4 spot?

    Utley, Reyes, Ellsbury.

    Oh – and all the other drafters no doubt hate me.

  81. Eddy says:
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    @Steve:
    I’d opt to go with a Matt Holliday/ Justin Upton/ Grady Sizemore instead of Ellsbury because I think Reyes covers you in speed. The aforementioned guys can give you a substantial amount of power with some speed to go along with it.

  82. Steve says:
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    @Eddy: Yeah, well if the firewall wasn’t stopping me from using the software (ie every pick is an autopick) that’s probably what I would do.

  83. Eddy says:
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    @Steve:
    ohhh I understand now, I wasn’t aware you couldn’t actually pick. Haha, then not so bad

  84. Steve says:
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    @Eddy: Oh – it’s got a lot worse since the third round.

  85. GopherDay says:
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    @Steve: I’ve done something of the sort on MDC. Gotten into a mock then totally forgotten about the draft. Picked some pretty crappy teams…

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