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We fill out the 2012 fantasy baseball rankings with the last few hitters, the top 5 utility players for 2012 fantasy baseball.  Tomorrow we take this mother to one hundred!  Not one hundred utility men. The top 100 overall.  Then we take this to 300!  Again, not 300 utility men.  Okay, 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 Vladimir Guerrero clogging up your Utility spot last year and you really wanted to pick up Desmond Jennings?  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 2012 will be broken up into tiers, and their 2012 projections will be included.  Anyway, here’s the top 5 utility players for 2012 fantasy baseball (they suck, enjoy!):

1. Billy Butler – This is the first tier.  This tier goes from here until here.  I call this tier, “Look at dem cans!”  (Butler had 11 games at 1st base so he might have eligibility for you there.)  To see Butler’s 2012 projections go to the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.

2. David Ortiz – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until here.  I call this tier, “And now you’re hamstrung.”  By the tier name I mean this, Ortiz seems like the only Utility-only player that anyone considers drafting.  People draft Butler, but as a 1st baseman.  So when people draft Ortiz, they really are only getting a Utility-only player.  With no hope of getting a 1st baseman from games played during the season.  Now they have no flexibility.  If you have a guy in your Utility spot all year, you’re hamstrung.  BTW, isn’t it interesting how the word utility means something useful, but for fantasy it’s not?  I swear that sounded interesting in my head before I typed it.  Anyhoo!  2012 Projections:  75/27/90/.270

3. Johnny Damon – (Has 16 games in the outfield, so he might have eligibility there.)  This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end of the post.  I call this tier, “You are a damn fool if you draft one of these guys.”  Actually, I can see a scenario where drafting one these guys makes sense.  You join a ten team league with you and nine other teams that are just you using different aliases.  I’d then draft Damon for one of the other teams that you’re sandbagging.  When you beat the nine alias sandbagging teams, the girls will be throwing themselves at your feet.  2012 Projections:  50/12/40/.265/12

4. Vladimir Guerrero – It’s definitely not the age of the DH, huh?  Somewhere Ron Blomberg is rolling over in his grave.  Assuming he’s dead.  If he’s not, looking at the current DHs will kill him.  I hope you’re happy, Vlad!  2012 Projections:  35/15/45/.270

5. Hideki Matsui – “Does he have outfield eligibility?  Does he have a current major league team that is going to play him?”  That could also be this tier’s name.  2012 Projections: crap/that/smells/nasty

From Around The Web

  1. barker says:
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    first mock of the season
    swish and brett anderson were autos all drafters present
    light on pitching (saves mostly) but i think that can be corrected by march

    R1 P11 3B Evan Longoria, TB
    R2 P2 1B Prince Fielder, DET
    R3 P11 SS Starlin Castro, CHC
    R4 P2 3B David Wright, NYM
    R5 P11 2B Brandon Phillips, CIN
    R6 P2 OF B.J. Upton, TB
    R7 P11 SP Madison Bumgarner, SF
    R8 P2 2B Ben Zobrist, TB [RF]
    R9 P11 OF Cameron Maybin, SD
    R10 P2 SP Jordan Zimmermann, WAS
    R11 P11 OF Nick Swisher, NYY
    R12 P2 SP Anibal Sanchez, MIA
    R13 P11 SP Cory Luebke, SD
    R14 P2 1B Ryan Howard, PHI
    R15 P11 RP Carlos Marmol, CHC
    R16 P2 SP Jhoulys Chacin, COL
    R17 P11 OF Colby Rasmus, TOR
    R18 P2 RP Jason Motte, STL
    R19 P11 SP Brett Anderson, OAK
    R20 P2 OF Alex Rios, CHW
    R21 P11 SP Ryan Dempster, CHC
    R22 P2 C Devin Mesoraco, CIN
    R23 P11 C Wilin Rosario, COL

    • Bourne says:
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      @barker, I feel Castro was an overpay and wright was a decent value there. I am still looking at later round pitching and of. You need a couple breakouts from the second half of drafts

      • barker says:
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        @Bourne, yea prolly shoulda waited on SS — draft was with CI and MI so i figured i could take wright and be pretty set at CI — in real drafts i will most likely be taking at least one OF in the 3-4 rds — but there is so much pitching i really feel you can wait

    • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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      @barker, Yeah your OF is pretty hurting. Although Wright in the 4th is tempting, your team needs kinda needed an OF in that spot. Upton, Maybin and Swish as your top 3 is not where I’d want to be.

      • Buge Hoobs says:
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        @RandomItalicizedVoice,
        With your Wright pick, if you wanted to lock up your CI spot, wouldn’t a 1B have been more productive?

        • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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          @Buge Hoobs, I’m kinda with Grey when he says that locking up util or CI or MI spots early in a draft, while tempting, hurts you later in the draft when you lack flexibility to do stuff like grabbing a good value that has fallen somewhat.

          • barker says:
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            @RandomItalicizedVoice, yea i hear you all loud and clear — my strategy will evolve as the drafting season goes on — another factor i was considering w/ the wright pick is i could potentially flip him for a better player b/c 3b is so thin and i could plug howard in there when he gets back but i doubt howard falls that far in real drafts — i probably wont end up with any of these guys on my team anyways

            cheers GL to all you fantasy baseballers out there

  2. TheNewGuy says:
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    Is it just me that quite likes the production that Papi still provides at around round 10? I know you lose the utility eligability (coincidental rhyme!) but it’s hard to get close to a 30-100-won’t-kill-your-AVG guy outside the 4th round this year, Times are tough for offense yo.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheNewGuy, But then you can’t pick up anyone for UTIL, though I will say in 2 UTIL slot leagues it’s a bit less of a problem.

  3. TheNewGuy says:
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    And I hope we won’t be seeing Prince’s moobs on this list next year, that would be bad.

    • The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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      @TheNewGuy, haha “moobs”.

      He should have enough games at 1B. It’s Miggy that i would be worried about.

  4. Mike says:
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    Hi Grey

    Choosing keepers in my 12 team H2H (6×6) league. Extra cats are OPS & Losses.

    We keep 10 + 1 “rookie” from the previous season wo has passed eligibility criteria. Players can be kept for a maximum of 4 years. The “rookie” keeper selection gets an extra year.

    So mine are:

    1 Robinson Cano (2B) (2 years remaining)
    2 Hanley Ramirez (SS) (2 years)
    3 Hunter Pence (OF) (2 years)
    4 Aramis Ramirez (3B) (2 years)
    5 Buster Posey (C) (4 years)
    6 David Ortiz (Util) (4 years)
    7 Dan Haren (SP) (2 years)
    8 Ian Kennedy (SP) (4 years)
    9 Carlos Marmol (RP) (3 years)
    10 Josh Johnson (SP) (2 years)
    Rookie: Jeremy Hellickson (SP) (5 years)

    On the outside looking in:
    Brett Gardner (4 years); Adam Lind (2 years); Carlos Pena (2 years)

    Would you make any changes to my selections?

    • The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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      @Mike, I’m not crazy about you keeping Aramis Ramirez, Ortiz, Johnson. I would probably keep Gardner, and Lind over any of those 3 players.

  5. Kenneth says:
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    I’d dump Hellickson. He’s gonna get rocked this year!

  6. Slap Daddy says:
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    Big Sloppy isn’t #1! Balls man, guess I won’t keep him now…

  7. Scott says:
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    Grey … wanted to get this on the middle relievers post, but whatever. I’m in an NL-only dynasty 5×5 roto. We keep 8 players. My starting pitching was a notch below terrible, so I’m planning on punting starting pitching. Risky, I know, but look at my keepers: Kemp, CarGo, Hanley, Victorino, Miggy Montero, Kimbrel, Axford, Hanrahananan. I’ll be able to load up on offense in the first nine rounds of our draft and should be able to win or come close to winning each offensive category. I’ll win ERA, WHIP and saves. What say you? Stupid, or stupider like a fox?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Scott, I don’t like punting anything, puts too much strain on having everything else work out right.

  8. weas says:
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    The other downside to Papi is how he doesn’t play during away interleague games.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @weas, True

  9. Bermuda Triangles says:
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    Hello All and Grey

    Keeper Question.

    12 team, $300 budget, 2 utility positions… 6 keeper positions

    Are you keeping Adam Lind at $17?

    In a separate trade, I can pick up a $4 Anibal, but it means I’m not keeping Adam Lind. It will cost me a $3 Austin Jackson who’s a freebie keeper (doesn’t take up a keeper slot) and the 17th pick in the rookie draft.

    So: keeping $17 Lind? or acquiring $4 Anibal, dropping Lind back to free agent pool and giving a free keeper in Austin Jackson?

    Thanks to anyone who cares to comment!

    Bermuda Triangles
    Get Lost!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bermuda Triangles, I’d take a $4 Anibal.

  10. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    This heading should be “Top 5 Schmubs of 2012 fantasy baseball”… HAHA.

    Seriously during the draft I high-five myself when other people pick guys like this up.

    @ Grey,

    Should Jesus Montero possibly be added to this list, as he will only have DH eligibility in the beginning of the year. Some leagues (like mine), require 20 games played at a position to qualify. He might not get that till July!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @The Talented Mr. Dope Man, Montero should get catcher eligibility. If he doesn’t or like in your league, then he’s here between Butler and Ortiz.

  11. captainpyper says:
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    If theres 2 Util spots is it ok to fill Ortiz with one or is that still clogging up your Util spots? I like Ortiz projections as well and I think thats a conservative projection. (Wow, just tryin to make conversation after this shizzy Top 5 Utility piece)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @captainpyper, It’s less terrible if you have 2 UTIL slots.

  12. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Those are the most realistic projections for Matsui I’ve seen anywhere. For some reason my spreadsheet is having trouble processing them, though. Odd…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Awesomus Maximus, I’ll be honest, I copied those Matsui projections from Bill James.

      • Simply Fred

        simply fred says:
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        @Grey, hey, we have our Survivor One World kickoff tonight. Any chance you’ve had a chance to take a peak at any spoilers? Got a couple names for me?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @simply fred, Starts next Wednesday, no?

          • Simply Fred

            simply fred says:
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            @Grey, yeah, starts next wednesday but we payoff last season’s winner tonight and make our picks for the new season. don’t be late to the party!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @simply fred, Oh, yeah, I wait until after the first episode to choose my horse.

      • Awesomus Maximus

        Awesomus Maximus says:
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        @Grey, Hmm… and my guess was that you ARE Bill James. Damn.

        Can’t wait for new Survivor, I have a good feeling about this season. Runway AS blows and the new MTV Challenge is being a bit of a tease (no spoilers), so it’s coming at the perfect time.

  13. chata says:
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    off-topic .

    jose reyes got his dreds cut on mlb-tv and admitted he only washes
    his hair “about once a month” , and uses a shower cap .

    now that manny is trying to get signed by the orioles ……

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @chata, That’s the beauty of dreads.

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey, Oohhh, I feel a haircut conversation coming on…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Steve, I had dreads in high school for a day. A white kid with dreads ain’t cute.

          • Steve says:
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            @Grey, That’s awesome. My hair is a bit too fine and straight to do too much with (and mostly grey these days) but I did have blonde highlights back in the 80s.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @Steve, Oh, I frosted my hair at one point and shaved my eyebrows. Yeah, I’m basically a moron.

              • Simply Fred

                simply fred says:
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                @Grey, was hired straight out of national guard boot camp to teach junior high english. several months later i had an afro. principal wouldn’t talk to me. flower child :-)

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  @simply fred, Ha! I’d love to see a picture of Simply Fred with an afro.

              • Wake up says:
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                @Grey, Mullet with cat scratches shaved into my eyebrows here. And I like Paul for top chef too. I’m happy as long as the 2 buffalo from chicago didn’t win.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  @Wake up, Ha… Yeah, but Paul’s so obvious.

                  • Wake up says:
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                    @Grey, (I meant he was my pick from the beginning…the hometown guy)

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      @Wake up, Ah, can’t hate on that then. He was Rudy’s pick too. Rudy’s been to his restaurant and says it’s bueno.

                    • Wake up says:
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                      @Grey, I also liked that other girl from LA that keeps winning all the 2nd chance things(believe it or not I have seen every episode even though I can’t remember anyone’s name.)
                      I’ve never been to his restaurant but I used to buy my weed from him and it was muy bueno.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      @Wake up, Eh, he used to mix oregano in with my shake. Alesha is her name, I think. I’ve been to her restaurant, not so good.

                    • Wake up says:
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                      @Grey, That’s the “difference between endo and oregano…imagine how fresh I am now wrote these lyrics down a year ago”…
                      Yes. I’m surprised. She seems like quality.

              • chata says:
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                @Grey,
                for my son and his friends , whoever got drunk and passed out first , got ONE eye-brow shaved .

                My question about the dreds is :
                Reyes’ were only about 7 or 8 inches long (he said 3 years) .
                Manny’s go below shoulder level , and everytime he swings a bat , they fling around and hit him in the face .

                How the heck big is Manny’s shower cap ?
                and , where’s the paparazzi when you need them ??

                SHOW OF HANDS …. how many of you think that he just doesn’t bother to shower ???

                I sincerely hope , that if he does sign , it’s with the Orioles
                and NOT my A’s .
                but , i’m afraid that , between the allure of the medicinal pot outlets , and the incompetence of billy beane ,
                my hopes are doomed .

  14. PublicEnemy#1 says:
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    Trying to decide my final two keepers.

    Adrian Gonzalez $28
    Brandon Beachy $1
    Daniel Hudson $1
    Cory Luebke $1

    I’m leaning towards Hudson for sure. Who would you keep out of the othertritee? $250 cap, top 1bs go for $40-$43 usually and middle of the pack SPs can go for around $12-17. This league uses QS instead of Ws.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @PublicEnemy#1, Hudson, A-Gon…

  15. TheBravesWear Prado says:
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    My league is doing keeper for the first time and I can keep 3 players. Right now I’m thinking Kemp at $36 and Lawrie $16 (my league has a long term contract rule where I can keep him for the next 5 years at that price). I can’t decide between Beachy and Morse at $6 each for my last one. I really like Beachy but I feel like at 25 homerun hitter at $6 is better value. $260 cap with QS instead of Ws. Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @TheBravesWear Prado, Morse

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    ****THERE’S A NEW POST BY ME.****

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