You want to know where to draft the top twenty catchers – here. While you’re at it, here’s the top twenty 1st basemen, 2nd basemen, 3rd basemen and shortstops. Also, our Player Rater for 2007 is here to give you some prospective. But, really, the position that has you here is the top twenty outfielders for 2008. Without further ado:
3. Carl Crawford – See our top twenty overall where Crawford ranked 14th.
4. Alfonso Soriano – He’s 16th overall, see his projections here.
5. Carlos Lee – 17th overall, see his projections here.
6. Alexis Rios – I went out on a limb and placed him 18th overall, see why here.
7. Vladimir Guerrero – 19th overall, see why here.
8. Nick Markakis – I obviously love Markakis as I admitted here. Miguel Tejada left the Greek God of Roto, so what now? Well, he didn’t have him for thirty games last year and actually hit better during that time. Projections: 100/27/115/.300/20 with the skill set to go above and beyond these numbers.
9. Carlos Beltran – I don’t know how he’s been able to make everyone look the other way, but Beltran is a .270 hitter with 25/20 skills. Good, but he’s not a top twenty overall player where he usually gets drafted. Maybe it’s his resemblance to Ricky from My So Called Life. Projections: 100/27/110/.270/18
10. B.J. Upton – See the top twenty 2nd basemen for his projections.
11. Ichiro Suzuki – The new manager of the Mariners, John McLaren, challenged Ichiro to hit .400, steal 80 bases and a staring contest. Ok, I made up the staring contest. I’ve never had Ichiro on a team. I stay away from guys whose number one benefit is a high average. More than likely, you only need a .280 average for your team to finish in the top three in your league. What, are you gonna turn your average points up to an eleven? But there is a place for Ichiro on a fantasy team, if coupled with Adam Dunn, Troy Glaus and Chris B. Young. Projections: 110/10/65/.330/45
12. Lance Berkman – See the top twenty 1st basemen for his projections.
13. Bobby Abreu – I rode Abreu’s second half last year to a title in one of my more important leagues, so maybe I’m prejudice. Then again, I rode Braun, Peavy and a host of others. Anyway, Abreu’s in a good lineup for runs and RBIs and won’t kill you in home runs and average while chipping in decent steals. I’m a believer. Projections: 120/15/110/.310/20
14. Curtis Granderson – In the same post about why I like Markakis, I broke down why I didn’t like Granderson. He’s too much of a free swinger for my taste, so I won’t have him on my teams, unless he falls way down from where I’ve been seeing him get drafted. Projections: 115/27/85/.280/25
15. Adam Dunn – Go ahead and guess Dunn’s age? Wrong, he’s only 28 for the ’08 season. It’s the 320 lbs. that confuses people. I’ll probably get reamed for putting Dunn this high, but follow along, he’s got a great eye and he’s hitting 40 homers and getting 100 runs and RBIs without question and he chips in some steals. Also, as players get older, their averages tend to get better. Projections: 100/45/110/.265/7
16. Eric Byrnes – Let me start by saying, I’m not drafting Byrnes this year. He’ll be overvalued/rated. But if the hype gets high enough on him, maybe the tide will shift and he’ll be underrated by draft time. (I’m seeing this begin with Braun in the reverse direction. Everyone started very high on Braun for ’08, and now people have begun to get cold on him.) I think Byrnes can get you decent numbers, just don’t draft him thinking you’re getting more than last year. You will get less. Projections: 90/20/75/.270/20
17. Torii Hunter – Torii landed on a good team for running and a crappy team for offense. (Celebrity Deathmatch: Billy Beane (the straight one) vs. Mike Scioscia) The word on the streets of The OC is Torii is going to be protecting Vlad. Well, who’s going to be protecting Double I? The Rally Monkey? Either way, I think Torii’s good for 20/20, act accordingly. Projections: 85/25/100/.275/20
18. Magglio Ordonez – Saw something the other day about Mags. It said he won his 1st batting title in ’07. Thought it was weird it said “1st” as if he’s going to win a second. He’s not a bad hitter; he’s just not going to hit .363 again. Since so much of his value last year was tied to his high average, be very careful drafting him. Projections: 100/30/110/.300
19. Corey Hart – He ran like a demonfish in the first half (mostly against righties) and kept consistent power and average throughout. As much as I feel weird saying it, I think Mr. Hart is here to stay. His OBP against righties is kinda icky, but you know who else is like that, Double I. That’s right, Corey Hart is the white man Torii Hunter. Projections: 95/22/75/.280/25
20. Brad Hawpe/Ryan Spilborghs – With only twenty outfielders listed (will do a second half to the outfielders at a later date), I wanted to reach a bit for number 20. Hawpe will be sensational this year and not hit lefties. He sported a .418 OBP last year against righties. Grab Spilborghs for next to nothing and platoon them yourself, cause Spilborghs had a .426 OBP against lefties. Hawpe/Spilborghs combo projections: 105/35/110/.300/5
After the top twenty, many obviously, but one name to absolutely avoid:
Jason Bay – I broke down various reasons to avoid him here. You may feel like he’s a bargain coming off a bad year, but he’s doesn’t run anymore, his lineup protection is from hunger and he compares to Bobby Higginson. Do I have to say more? Projections: crap/crap/and more crap.
But let’s end on a positive note. Someone I’m absolutely giddy about:
Shane Victorino – Last month I wrote about Victorino here. He’s Eric Byrnes seven rounds later. You’re welcome. Projections: 115/15/60/.280/40
Tomorrow, the top twenty starting pitchers to draft.