The other day we went over our top 10 for 2009 fantasy baseball and today we fill out the top 20.  Pretty neat, huh?  What, you can’t handle the word neat?  Whatevs.  You’re wearing Jordache Jeans and your Mom calls you, “Pumpkie.”  Deal with that!  Next, we’ll go over the top twenty catchers and so on around the diamond as we look at our 2009 Fantasy Baseball rankings.  This 2nd round was a real battle for me to commit to, taking by far the longest time.  I had Utley as low as 17, Beltran was at every slot at one point.  I’m happy with what I settled on, but I will say that I could see a serious argument made for a reshuffling of these names.  By my estimation, there’s only two tiers in the 2nd round.  Utley to Fielder then the last three players.  In addition to these 2009 fantasy baseball rankings, we have our 2009 fantasy baseball player rater. It’s all here, ya’ll!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2009 fantasy baseball:

11. Mark Teixeira – I wouldn’t expect 40 home runs from Teixeira.  He doesn’t seem capable of that outside of Arlington.  Though he’s extremely trustworthy for a certain level of production and that’s what gets him in here at twelve.  2009 Projections:  110/35/125/.310

12. Tim Lincecum – After Santana, he’s about as good as a lock for a 3.00 ERA and 200 Ks as you’re going to find. With Sabathia’s move to the AL East, and the slight uncertainty of how he’ll adjust, Lincecum becomes the number two pitcher off the board.  With a 2nd round pitcher, I want someone who has a good chance at being a top ten player at the end of the year and Lincecum’s that pitcher.  For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t draft Lincecum because I don’t believe in taking pitchers this high.  2009 Projections:  17-8/3.00/1.18/210

13.  Carlos Beltran – He’s a lock for 110/27/115/.275/22 with upside for a bit more.  Again, this doesn’t feel like an exciting pick.  You look at Josh Hamilton and he’s EXCITING!  Caps and exclamation mark exciting.  That’s real exciting.  That’s screaming as you ran down the street with your pants around your ankles right after you lost your virginity exciting.  I agree with you.  A 2nd round pick of Josh Hamilton is the kind of pick that makes all the guys wanna be your friend and all the girls wanna date you.  Well, don’t forget the lesson of Ronald Miller.  A 2nd round pick of Hamilton could take you from “geek” status to “king” status to no status.  2009 Projections:  110/27/115/.275/22

14. Ian Kinsler –  I really thought Kinsler would be later in the 2nd round, but his position coupled with his ability to go 20/20 has him ranked here.  Though his average will come down from last year.  2009 Projections:  110/23/80/.280/25

15. Jimmy Rollins – Braid up your hair real tight to your skullz and think about this…. In an off year, where Rollins battled injuries and one of the worst slumps of his career, he hit 11 home runs and stole 47 bases — stole 47 bases out of 50 bases.  Rollins should bounce back to 110+ Runs and 70+ RBIs.  Let’s be conservative and say he hits only 5 extra home runs in 2009 and steals only 40.  You STILL (caps for emphasis, not for the farsighted) want that from your shortstop.  2009 Projections:  115/16/75/.280/40

16. Prince Fielder – I’ve seen the big man falling into the third round of some drafts.  Makes me feel like I need to clear something up.  We’re drafting for 2009, not for what he did in 2008.   Sure, Berkman had a great 2008, but he’s hardly just entering his prime.  Yes, Fielder is the world’s fattest 24-year-old vegetarian and we should be worried about his general health when he’s in his 30s and needs a crane to get him to 1st base, but right now….  Binge on some Boca Burgers!  2009 Projections:  85/40/110/.285

17. Carlos Lee – And here’s the 2nd tier of the 2nd round.  This tier goes from here to the end of the list.  I call this last tier, “Their projections are variations of 100/32/100/.290/7.”  A fluke injury derailed Carlos Lee from putting up the same stats he puts up every year.  El Caballo isn’t ready for the glue factory just yet.  2009 Projections:  100/33/110/.300/7

18. Lance Berkman – Berkman fills up all the categories just like Carlos Lee.  They’re like Crockett and Tubbs.  If Crockett were a little more Tubby.  2009 Projections:  100/32/100/.300/7

19Evan Longoria – A full season of Longoria has me very excited.  The Rays love to run and Longoria can hit 30 home runs with ease.  If you think David Wright is a top ten pick, Longoria’s definitely in the top twenty.  Honestly, I feel like Longoria’s headed for the 1st round in 2010 (when we’re all driving around in flying cars).  2009 Projections:  85/30/110/.275/7

20. Alfonso Soriano – Al-So is somehow being underrated all of a sudden.  Sure, he’s a Latin 33 but whatevs.  2009 Projections:  110/32/85/.275/15

After the top 20 for 2009 fantasy baseball, there’s lots of names, but two I want to specifically mention:

Matt Holliday – I already went over Holliday for 2009 fantasy. As I sorta said there, Holliday is not someone I would avoid completely.  He’ll still have value and I could see him going as soon as 21st.   He’s just not the 1st or 2nd rounder he was last year.   2009 Projections:  90/22/105/.310/12

Josh Hamilton – I’ve already gone over Hamilton being overrated.  I’ve seen some fantasy baseball ‘perts rank Josh Hamilton as high as 8th overall.  Are they expecting him to go 40/40?  Cure the common cold?  Invent square pancakes?  We’re all rooting for Bubbles to stay on the straight and narrow, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to get nearly 100 RBIs by the All-Star Break again.  He’s Carlos Lee, but more injury-prone.  Call him Unhealth Lee.  2009 Projections:  95/30/110/.295/7

  1. Steve says:

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been hanging out to see which hitter would end up at 13 (assuming Tex had gone already) so I could stop taking Holliday all the time, but this has got me looking at Beltran in a whole new light.

    It’s clearly time to stop looking at his numbers as something just a little short of what you think he should be capable of and start seeing them for what they are – production you can rely on.

    And who among us doesn’t love that?

    Grey – Apart from Lincecum, any guys here that you wouldn’t necessarily draft where you have ranked ’em?

  2. 101 M.P.H. says:

    Well done, Grey. That’s the first Ronald Miller reference I’ve heard/read in 20 years. After I draft Carlos Beltran in the second round, and eventually win my league, I’ll offer up my prize winnings to Cindy Mancini for a month’s worth of dates.

    As for your rankings, if I could nab Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins with 1st and 2nd round picks, I’d be as happy as a pig rolling in shizz.

    Pigs apparently like that sort of thing. I don’t know why…..

  3. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Nope, that’s how I’d take them in a vacuum, but the problem is with rankings in the 2nd round, it’s slightly dependent on who you’re taking in the first round. I mean, if I got Ryan Howard, I’d skip Prince Fielder, and try to grab someone else in that first tier. If everyone was gone, I’d grab the first guy in the 2nd tier, Carlos Lee. And so on.

    @101 M.P.H.: Then you and Beltran can ride off together into the sunset on your lawnmower.

    @BigFatHippo: That’s brilliant.

  4. I asked this at the end of last season, but will pose it again: In my main keeper league, I can keep one SP. I have both Webb and Lincecum on my roster. Which do I keep? It’s a 6×6 roto league with OPS and Holds as the extra categories.

  5. Tony says:

    With Beltran I am worried about him getting banged up? I wouldn’t lock lock him into anything. He somehow seems to put up around the same stat line, but his knees and history concern me a bit.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    @johnwhorfin: I answered in the forums.

    @Tony: His consistency was impossible for me to overlook.

  7. Tony says:

    True he is like the tides. I will be contemplating taking him in my league when the day comes. It looks like him, Carlos Lee, Agon, Kemp, Markakis, Lincecum, and possibly Morneua could all fall to me in my keeper league. I already have wright and holliday kept, so i am on the fences. All solid producers. I am leaning towards Lee. Like you said and I agree I hate going pitching so i am almost automatically nixing lince, although thisisn’t the second round its pretty much my third round pick and i’m already solid with wright and holliday…..

  8. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Tony: Lee would be a tremendous addition to that already solid foundation.

  9. sean says:

    Longoria is a strange pick for me. I think if he fell to me in the third round, I would be pumped about drafting him because he has first-round upside. The problem is that in the first three rounds, I’m looking to draft the absolute rock solid locks and not take a gamble on a guy who might perform like a 7th rounder or a 1st rounder.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: It wasn’t easy for me to put Longoria in the 2nd round and I juggled a few other people in that spot (Holliday, Hamilton) but in the end Longoria missed a month of the season with an injury that shouldn’t effect him going forward and still put up great stats.

  11. @Grey: It’s a tough one but I’m taking Hamilton right now based on home stadium.

  12. sean says:

    I know that position scarcity can be a naughty word around here sometimes, but I think that I’m on board with Longoria over Hamilton and Holiday, not only on the numbers (Longoria didn’t even get 500 ABs last year) but also on the idea that the corners seem to be a little slim this year.

    Any chance of Longoria’s 7 steals last year ballooning to a Wright-esque dozen?

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: Longoria falls into that category of guys (Lee, Hamilton, Berkman) that could get you 15 steals, but you shouldn’t count on more than 7.

  14. big o says:

    i certainly don’t envy your position on the “hot seat” here , considering you have readers who will conduct their drafts based on your projections and rankings.
    i understand that, as a rule , these rankings are meant as a guide , and that more important , perhaps, is to develop a plan based on rational thought.

    at the risk of being a yankee band-wagoner , and based more on your own projections , rather than current fashion , i’m of the impression that teixeira should rank above miggy cabs.

    what’s convincing me is a couple of things :
    1) physical condition … i view this as a committment to a professional attitude and approach , which might have motivational under-pinnings.
    2) K – rate
    cabrera whiffs every 5th trip to the plate .
    teixeira has reduced his rate from 1 in every 4.5-5 AB’s to 1 whiff per 6 AB’s .

    of course , i am evaluating them as if cabrera is only 1st base eligible.
    is it because of possible 3rd base eligibility that you rank him higher ?
    if so , by taking miggy with my 1st rd pick , should my subsequent move be to pick another 1st baseman , as opposed to a 3rd baseman.
    i understand that a lot depends on who “falls” to me in subsequent rounds , but considering some of the 1st and 3rd base options out there , i’d like to hear your thoughts on this issue.

    as always , thanking you in advance .

  15. Grey

    Grey says:

    @big o: Thanks for the empathy, Big O. They *are* a guide. Cabrera’s third base eligibility does nudge him up ever so slightly, but even without it, I still like Cabrera a bit more. Cabrera has never had the benefit of Arlington or 700 plate appearances to inflate his numbers and his numbers still look slightly better than Teixeira’s. Cabrera’s numbers are also increasing as he ages (he’s still only 26 for the season) and Teixeira’s numbers are flat-lining a bit in the power department. Finally, Cabrera finished very strong last year. A sign that he grew accustomed to his new surroundings and went back to hitting the cover off the ball.

    If you ask me who I’d prefer on my real team, I take Tex in a second. But that’s not what we’re looking at. Though, in the end, this is really a quibble. They’re both soooo close and if you wanted to go Tex over Miggy, I’d have no problem with it. If you went Berkman over Miggy, I’d think you were crazy.

    2nd point — If you were to grab Miggy with your first pick and he did not have 3rd base eligibility, then I think you should go with an MI (Utley or Rollins), a 3rd baseman (Longoria), or an OF’er (Lee, Berkman or Hamilton), in that order.

  16. Eric W says:

    i just cant get over “You smell like vagina” quote. and kinsler is not worth a second round pick for the same reasons pedrioa isint

  17. waters95 says:

    The two players who have dropped like a stone and in my opinion should not are:

    1) Carl Crawford – I’ve always regarding speed as a scarce resource. Although Crawford might never hit 20 HR’s, he still hits a lot more than zero, which is what happens if you get Dave Roberts, etc. as your late round speed. In addition, he gives you help in the other four categories. I know I’m going against the grain, but I will probably pick him in any draft where I don’t get one of the top five picks or six picks. BTW, speed combined with his SS position elevates J. Rollins in my book to the number six or seven pick.

    2) David Ortiz – First, let me start off by saying I really hate Boston. I think the only reason Jim Rice got in the HOF is because he played for Boston. But I think it’s ridiculous that Ortiz is going as late as 72 in some drafts. I think he will decline some from his peak seasons, but he’s healthy and if you can get him in the late second, or early third rounds, you are stealing (there goes that word again) him.

  18. Grey

    Grey says:

    @waters95: I think Crawford is being underappreciated a lot this year. As I’ve said in past posts, there’s a lot of this “What have you done for me lately?” attitude with fantasy baseball. Better off looking at three year averages and trends. But when you look at those things, Crawford and Victorino are pretty similar, with Crawford being a bit more valuable. So Crawford is a third to fourth round pick and Victorino is a 5th. I think for the first time in a while, Crawford is actually being ranked correctly.

    Funny you should mention Rice, he also stopped hitting around 33. Ortiz is showing signs of the Big Man Cecil Fielder trend where guys who are big-sized power hitters, decline rapidly. I don’t want Ortiz on any teams with that in mind and his Utility only eligibility.

  19. cole says:

    Ha! I like the Bubbles refererence on Hamilton. I got the guy in the 10th rd last year and won my h2h league based largley on that (along with late kinsler and lincecum picks). I think it is important not to dwell on last year’s breakouts. It is better to try to find ’09’s breakouts later in the draft and look to realiable and consistant HITTERS in the early rounds. Get your pitchers later. This blog is one of the better ones i have run across. Keep it up, guys.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:

    @cole: Thanks and I agree with you. Go for solid producers early and your breakouts in the later rounds.

  21. Ha! I just got the “Unhealth Lee” joke.

    I’m a retard.

  22. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Fman99: Razzball, the gift that keeps on giving.

  23. mikey boy324 says:

    grey two questions
    1.with the news about a rod today where would you draft him?
    2.ive been doing mock drafts on espn the past couple of days and i notice in every draft brandon philips and matt kemp have been falling to the 4th round which one do you think is better value?

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @mikey boy324: re: Arod: Sometime in the third to fourth round now seems the most likely place. Say 40th to be safe.

    I like Phillips a hair better than Kemp only because of his position. I do think Kemp’s a better talent.

    EDIT: Typo.

  25. Tony Danza says:

    Who’s the Boss Grey?

    Anyways, I got the 5th pick in an 8 team snaker H2H league. Who would you take #5 now that A-rod is down, and who would you hope to target at #12 coming back?

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