We fill out the 2011 fantasy baseball rankings with the last few hitters, the top 10 utility players for 2011 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 Travis Hafner clogging up your Utility spot last year and you really wanted to pick up Jose Bautista?  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 10 for 2011 will be broken up into tiers, and their 2011 projections will be included.  Anyway, here’s the top 10 utility players for 2011 fantasy baseball:

1. Adam Lind – This is the first tier.  Lind is the only one in this tier.  I call this tier, “Lind will bounce back, check his eligibility in your league.”  Went over Lind’s projections in the top 20 1st basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball.  (Note: Has 11 games at 1st base and 16 games in the outfield.)

2. Vladimir Guerrero – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Ortiz.  I call this tier, “These guys will tempt you to draft them.  Don’t.  Okay, draft Vlad if he has outfield eligibility in your league.”  Went over Vlad’s projections in the top 40 outfielders for 2011 fantasy baseball.  (Note: He only has 19 games in the outfield.)

3. David Ortiz – Big Popup’s HR/FB% went from 17.2% in 2007 to 14.8% in 2008 to 13.4% in 2009 to 19.0% in 2010, which was actually near his career norm.  So that means at 34 years old, Ortiz stopped the career slide and reverted back to his old ways or it means he had one last good year and will go back to the career slide this year.  I’m guessing on the latter.  2011 Projections:  80/27/100/.255

4. Luke Scott – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Matsui.  I call this tier, “Don’t draft these guys under any circumstances.”  I don’t mind picking Scott off of waivers when he’s on one of his hot streaks.  If you draft him and keep him on your team, you probably autodrafted.  You’re also not reading this so I can say whatever I want.  I was the one who used your Seven Samurai Criterion Collection DVD as a coaster.  That’s for not even knowing Kurosawa until the Barenaked Ladies mentioned him in one of their songs.  Scott’s projections are in the top 80 outfielders for 2011 fantasy baseball. (Note: Scott has 19 games at 1st base and 14 games in the outfield.)

5. Hideki Matsui – I worry about you and your fantasy baseball team if you even consider drafting Matsui.  If he’s on the board and you’re considering drafting him, go for an upside pick.  2011 Projections:  50/18/70/.270  (Note:  Matsui has 18 games in the outfield.)

6. Jim Thome – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end of the list.  I call this tier, “Now would be a good time for the AL to revert back to the pitcher hitting.”  People convince themselves Thome is a good bet on draft day.  “Hey, he hits 25 homers!  That’s better than a flyer on some guy who I’m not even sure is getting playing time.”  That’s you.  And that’s incorrect logic.  If, say, Reid Brignac is not getting playing time when you draft and Thome is, you’re still better with Brignac because when it’s the day before the season starts and Brignac is suddenly the starter, guess whose value shoots up?  Thome’s value never goes anywhere.  Ever.  It’s like this, do you buy a penny stock of Atari hoping they regain their past glory even though they haven’t done anything new in 20 years and their factory is three Chinese men passing around a porn magazine or do you buy a penny stock of a hot shot new company that may or may not burst onto scene?  Go with the hot shot.  2011 Projections:  50/22/60/.255

7. Jack Cust – Another Atari.  Cust kayin’.  2011 Projections:  60/20/70/.235

8. Travis Hafner – More like ColecoVision.  2011 Projections:  45/15/55/.265

9. Dan Johnson – I could see telling people to pick Johnson off waivers during the season, but unless he has 1st base eligibility in your league (14 games) and your league is an AL-Only league, there’s no reason to draft him.  2011 Projections:  60/15/70/.245

10. Jake Fox – I almost put Nick Johnson here, but I was afraid if I ranked Johnson, he would read it, get excited and throw out his back.  As for Jake, I still have the “Unathletic like a Fox!” t-shirts.  As soon as he hits, they hit the market.  2011 Projections:  30/10/40/.245

  1. Howard says:

    @Grey 12 team 5×5 roto keeper 32 roster spots:
    C Napoli
    1B Howard
    2B EYJ
    3B Longoria
    SS A Cab
    OF J Up
    OF Krispie
    OF Werth
    OF Bruce
    CI Bautista
    MI Rayburn
    DH Berkman
    UT Lawrie
    SP Lester
    SP Greinke
    SP Mad Bum
    SP D Hudson
    SP Jo Lease
    RP Broxton
    RP Nunez

    I didn’t actually draft Bautista but picked him off waivers and I may have waited too long to take a closer. Still 12 rounds to go. Where do I need the most improvement granted that in the 20th + is getting to flier territory. Thanks and love the Decemberists reference!

  2. Ned Shakeshaft says:

    AL-only auction types: it’s never a great idea to go out of your way to fill the DH-Util slot early, and it’s especially true this year. You’ll get an awful lot for a buck late in the auction. Cust kayin’.

  3. Mike says:

    Just about spit out my Frosted Flakes this morning at, “More like ColecoVision”. Long time listener, first time caller. Great stuff Grey.

  4. Mets fan says:

    Grey you wouldn’t draft Lind at all if he’s only dh elgible? The reason is my league is done on espn and he’s been going crazy late like 14-15 rd would he Be worth drafting that late regardless?

  5. boomer19 says:

    Hi Grey. First time poster. I just got back into fantasy ocd mode and made a trade that I’m getting ripped on for. I dealt Tulo and Crawford for Miggy and Holiday. I thought I did ok. Am I just looking through rose/grey colored glasses? (Sorry not a dh post but this list makes me sleepy…)

  6. Josh says:

    Grey, I was just reading that it sounds like Borbon is Texas’ every day center fielder this year, although I’m sure he gets bumped occasionally for Murphy to play in Left and Hamilton to slide back to center. Either way, he’s a guy that climbed draft boards last year and didn’t deliver, but has a full season of experience and great speed. He’s gotta have a better year than last year right?

  7. Rabbit says:

    How did you even find 10 guys for this list? These guys make me year for the Top Catchers post. Well, not really.

  8. Rabbit says:

    That’s “yearn”. I meant to say “yearn.” Or “crave.” Or maybe “pine.” But not “year.” Stupid typing fingers.

  9. Kwaz says:

    How do you feel about Thome in a 12 team mixed league w/deep starting rosters and 6 bench spots? Toying w/the idea of drafting him and only starting him when his team is vs RHP (assuming he lands somewhere)

  10. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    A sign of the baseball apocalypse in Baltimore, Josh Bell was working out in the offseason with, wait for it , Brady Anderson. Check back in three days to find that Bell has been suspended 50 games for PED’s

  11. Wilsonian says:

    I, for one, LOVE football. Doc was probably pretty sick of me by season’s end. But I hate that ESPN pretty much passes baseball by. This is my true allegiance and one true love, and it hurts me so that “the Network” would rather show Mel friggin’ Kiper and his terrible mop on his head talking about where he thinks some guy will get drafted. Why do people care? He’s NEVER right, it’s like the dude just throws darts at a board, and you know the best way to find out where someone is drafted? Huh? Anyone? Oh, it’s when the draft actually friggin’ happens…

    *End rant*

  12. Nick Johnson just saw his name in your post and strained one of his eyeballs. It will be a week to 10 days before he’ll be able to resume baseball activities.

  13. Howard says:

    @JoeC @Grey Thanks, I get the point. Maybe too late to draft %#& Ichiro. Just kidding! Will work on your suggestions.

  14. Yep, I said it! says:

    @Grey: is Raburn starting in LF this year? His trade value in one of my leagues (where he’s 2B eligible) has bottomed out ever since Boesch got listed ahead of him in depth charts at other sites. Is he going to get enough ABs to be a draftable sleeper this year in 1-year leagues? Cheers!

  15. wilsoniam says:

    anyone have a good reference guide on what values should be tied to guys in an auction/strategies for an auction draft?

    we have a keeper league, and its always been a snake draft, but now we are going to auction style…ive not done one before…

  16. Dom says:

    @wilsoniam: my league did the same transition a few years back. We simply dumped all the keepers and started new. It worked out well for us, finally had a chance to go after some players other teams had locked up. Plus we couldn’t find any other way that everyone would agree to

  17. Actually, I shouldn’t limit it to just the NFL. The coverage spreads into NCAA and I think I actually saw an ad for a show that will cover what colleges top high school football prospects will be going to (no joke, I’m completely serious).

  18. Salty Balty says:

    Do your thoughts chage regarding Ortiz and Scott in a league that uses OBP and SLG?

  19. yo-yo says:

    Is Thome worth a $2 keeper in daily transactions league? I’d only plan on starting him vs. right-handed pitching.

  20. nmdunkel says:

    I just can’t believe you dropped an Atari reference in a Thome paragraph. I mean, I know he played back when Matt Williams was a stud an all…but COLD, bro!

  21. nmdunkel says:

    @ Awesomus Maximus/#16

    I’m sure I’m way behind on this, but I thought I’d mention a show called Friends. It’s a comedy about a group of friends who are in a fantasy world together and their lives.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Was wondering why you hadn’t commented in awhile, although I sort of only realized it after you said so.

  22. Salty Balty says:

    My league has 2 UTIL spots . . .

    14 teams, 5 keepers per team, in a 9×9 (AVG, OBP, SLG, K, R, H, RBI, HR, SB). Power gets pretty scarce and I don’t have a premier 1B. I was giving some thought to drafting Scott and platooning him at 1B (he qualifies in my league and its daily moves), perhaps with someone like Moreland.

    Thanks in advance. Love your blog.

  23. Pete says:

    Nice “Unathletic like a Fox” that’s why he can play five positions. How about a new T, Grey = Moron

Comments are closed.