I know; I’m a bad person for putting Josh Hamilton in the 2009 fantasy baseball overrated category.  Sorry.  I also don’t like soda.  It is what it is.  Don’t hate the player, hate the cola.  Last year, Josh Hamilton entered a 12 step program for fantasy relevance.  Step 1. Stay healthy.  Step 2.  Go into the All-Star Break with almost 100 RBIs.  Step 3.  Stop sucking people off for drugs.  Step 4.  Stop having your girlfriend/wife/whatever suck people off for drugs for you.  Step 5.  Seriously follow steps 3 and 4.  Step 6.  When pumping gas, don’t huff it.  Step 7.  Call your sponsor, Otis Nixon.  Step 8.  Admit you are powerless to Rum Raisin and don’t sample it.  Step 9.  Humbly ask Him to remove you from a lineup with Edwin Encarnacion and Scott Hatteberg and move you to Arlington and Kinsler and a career year Milton Bradley.  Step 10.  Win the hearts and minds of everyone at the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby.  Step 11.  Somehow convince people that anything is possible including a 40/20 season.  Step 12.  Actually follow these steps.  So that’s all that was necessary for Josh Hamilton to get on your 1st and 2nd round radars for 2009 fantasy drafts.  Now what can we expect from him in 2009 for fantasy baseball?

Carlos Lee.  Wait, huh?  Weren’t you just talking about Josh Hamilton? I was, random italicized voice.  Chillax.  All I meant was, Carlos Lee has been doing for years what you can reasonably expect from Josh Hamilton in 2009.  When was the last time you considered Carlos Lee in the 1st round?  Never?  Yeah, me neither.  This is not to say Josh Hamilton is going to suck a giant bottle of Mediocre in 2009.  He’s a great talent.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes 35/110/.300/10, i.e., Carlos Lee’s numbers.  Also, don’t forget Hamilton wore down in the 2nd half last year and he’s injury-prone.  While some will be drafting Josh Hamilton in the 1st round of 2009 drafts, I’ll be shooting up on some Carlos Lee-infused smack at the end of the 2nd round.  Suck on that pipe, Pookie!

  1. Steve says:

    Nice to have you back, Grey. Hope the festive season has treated you well.

    Dunno if you saw, but a week before Xmas, Hamilton was taken 11th in a mock at CBSSports.com (Lee was taken 23rd)

    Two words for Carlos Lee – Relentless (Reliable?) Production. OK – that could be construed as three words. Once upon a long time ago, I obtained Lee for Derek Lowe and Akinori Otsuka (when Otsuka was still a setup man and both were waiver wire pickups).

    There were some rumblings from the league…

  2. Steve says:

    Just to clarify – Lee is as Reliable as they come. Question mark relates as to the choice of adjectives I could have used there ;-)

  3. sean says:

    Preach. Hamilton’s recent comments about not playing in the WBC so that he can prepare on the season on his own suggest to me that he, and his 24-hr my buddy and me sponsor, are worried about the way he broke down last season.

    There’s no doubt that Hamilton is an exceptional talent, but he’s the oldest 27-year old in the history of baseball (yes, even older than Carl Crawford), and I’d be surprised if he can stay injury-free in ’09. If he get 600 ABs, I see 80/32/105/.280/5 — which is nothing to scoff at, but it’s nowhere near MVP numbers…

    Cruz and Davis could have a tremendous effect on his numbers too…

  4. big o says:

    your point about the relative draft positions of hamilton and lee is well founded .

    however , lee is 33 years old and stuck in the middle of a line-up that is offensively challenged .

    hamilton , whom ron washington compared to the mick , (last year , spring training) is on one of the best hitting teams in the majors .

    me ? i want both guys on my fantasy teams .
    unfortunately , considering the current ADP ‘s that are floating out there now , i may have to reach for both …. unless the increasing trend to draft c.c. , lincecum , and johan in the top 10 continues ….lol .
    i just hope it does .

  5. Shogun says:

    Gray: Good post. I’d bet a bag of syringes that Hamilton will spend a chunk of time on the DL with assorted injuries. He’s definitely a risk in the first couple of rounds. Who do you like better next year, Hamilton or Quentin?

  6. Shogun says:

    Oops, sorry about the misspelling of your name. I fired off that message pretty fast, with no proofing. My bad.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Thanks, good to be back. Your forced alliteration is right on. I hadn’t seen that at CBS Sportsline but I have seen Hamilton go ridiculously high so I felt it was time to say something.

    Lee had a freak injury last year with his pinky that won’t bother him this year. El Caballo is steady as they come.

    @sean: He’s broken down like that for the last two years. It wasn’t just last year. Those are good projections for 2009 Hamilton. I could see that line and, yup, they are not 1st or high 2nd round numbers. BTW, Soriano was the oldest 27 year old ever at 33.

    @big o: I’m not a big believer in pitching early, but Johan and Lincecum before Hamilton is a better bet.

    @Shogun: I like Quentin better for his value, i.e., you’ll never get Hamilton as late as Quentin is going.

    re: my name’s spelling — How dare you!

  8. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    Ludwick at last year’s numbers don’t get any respect in the 7th or 8th round.

    Someone has to explain to me why Quentin gets drafted in the 3rd round with his gimpy hand and Ludwick gets drafted in the 7th with his better numbers at age 30? Lee gets drafted in round 2?


  9. Grey

    Grey says:

    @IowaCubs: Ludwick came out of nowhere at the age of 30. No one trusts him. Even the Cards have been trying to move him. Quentin has been a talent for years and finally showed that promise last year. Lee’s been doing a 150 games and 90/30/10/.290/10 for almost ten years.

  10. Shogun says:

    @IowaCubs: @Grey: I had the good fortune of reaping the spoils of both Ludwick and Quentin last year, and as an owner of both, it just *felt* like Ludwick was going to stop producing at any time, whereas Quentin *felt* rock solid until his injury. Ditto what Grey said: I think the reason I could feel good about Quentin was because of his track record as a prospect, whereas Luckwick didn’t have a history of success. Unless Ludwick was using some awesome PEDs last season and continues riding that train this season, I’ll continue not to trust him.

  11. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Grey: @Shogun: Ludwick’s got a similar prospect pedigree for years with a good batting eye and similar power both in the minors and coming up with the Tigers and the Cards… it just took him longer to get there.

    I’m a Luddite, I’ll admit it.

  12. Interesting points on Lee vs. Quentin vs. Ludwick.

    Two points to add:
    1) Ludwick shouldn’t be lowered b/c he ‘came out of nowhere’. He showed the potential and finally got the playing time in 2008. Best parallel is Luis Gonzalez whose first big year with Arizona was at 32 and his monster year (51 HRs) was at 34.

    2) Ludwick SHOULD be lower than these two b/c he’s a K machine. His K rate is 27% which is well above Quentin (16%) and Lee (11%). Ludwick’s .299 last year was a fluke (.349 BABIP)- with his swing and miss rate, he’s a better bet for .250 than .300. I’d say the Carloses have better AVG potential (.280-..300) and that all three are about even on power. Playing time will drive R/RBI. None of them really are SB gains. I’d rank them Lee, Quentin, Ludwick. Marcel-based Point Shares has them Ludwick, Lee, Quentin based on the assumption Ludwick keeps getting fortunate BABIP (unlikely) and that Lee’s huge Run drop from last year doesn’t bounce back up (questionable).

  13. TJ says:

    Funny that you mention CC in the post as well.
    For 2009 (and possibly beyond), who is the better potential keeper- Hamilton or CC?

    My league is H2H, with categories:
    Offense- R, H, HR, RBI, SB, TB, AVG, OPS, XBH
    Pitching- W, CG, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, K/9, QS

    Having a helluva time deciding between the two.

    I can keep Hamilton through 2010, but if I keep CC it would only be for 2009.

    My other keepers are looking to be Hanley, Kinsler, Liriano and either Holliday or Berkman (still deciding on that one).

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @TJ: You have some great keepers for 2009. I’d keep Hamilton. Hitting is easier to predict and he should be fine for 2010. It’s very close and I could see an argument made for CC, but the added 2010 season puts Hamilton over the edge for me.

    re: Holliday vs. Berkman — I like Berkman slightly better in 2009 but it’s close enough that if you’re looking at those two for 2010 then I’d keep Holliday.

  15. big o says:


    i saw your post over at roto-authority .

    i’m beginning to think that you are ludwick’s “buscon” .

    maybe you should buy a greyhound …. the percentage is larger .

  16. TJ says:

    Grey- thanks for the advice.
    I’m only able to keep Holliday for ’09, whereas I’d have Berkman through ’10.

    CC and Hamilton both have a lot of value in our league, as they are four year keepers if they get traded. So I’m trying to spin one of them in a deal for Wright or Pujols, which would replace my Berkman/Holliday keeper.

    Love the site.

    Oh, and count me as someone not on the Ludwick bandwagon.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @TJ: Then I’d go Berkman, but I’d spin either of them for Wright or Pujols in a second.

    @BSA: There’s a good chance.

  18. sean says:

    I think it would be good to discuss Ludwick in depth at some point before the season. Is he worth a mid-round pick if he slides or are we talking about SERIOUS regression to the mean.

    I really don’t think that his ’08 level of production is sustainable given his high K rate (23.67%), ridiculous BABIP (.349) and FB/HR rate (about 5:1 — I think league average is traditionally around 10:1).

    His equally ridiculous LD rate and previous performance in the majors indicate that he might really be a dominant hitter. Time will tell, but what’s the guess on ’09?

  19. BigFatHippo says:

    @sean: I may be a homer but I take him with a mid round pick, think 7, 8, 9. He may be the steal of the draft. I’m keeping Ludwick in my keeper league for 5 bucks, that’s like a 15th rounder.

    It pained me to see the Cards trying to deal him but it looks like they’re high enough on him that they didn’t sell cheap. I’m glad because the guy can hit.

    He had good numbers at AA and AAA with a lot of nagging injuries sprinkled in. Finally healthy now, he could put up the same power #s but expect the average to drop to around .270. I watch every game the Cards play, he’s 30, in his prime, adjusts well pitch by pitch and amazes me with some of the pitches he hits.

    Fearless prediction? 30 HRs, 110 RBI, .270, .385 again. Would we like that better than Vlad in the 2nd round? You bet we would. Just don’t tell anybody.

    This has been a public service announcement, my name is Hippo, and I’m a Ludaholic.

  20. Steve says:

    I wish I would have read this before I drafted Hamilton 7th overall. Good call Grey.

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