Monday, March 14, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 6: Outfielers

And now to one of the most important lists in baseball.  Outfielders of course have speed in their repertoire.  I mean, they need to track so much ground in the field they have to be fast.  So for your stolen bases, these players are definitely who will get those numbers for you.  And the greatest thing about outfielders is that they can hit for power as well as contact.  Outfielders are probably the most important person for you to draft behind first basemen and a great starting pitcher.  And the great thing is that you get 3 outfielders per team, at least.  So with that in mind, while the other lists were of the top 20 players, here are the Top 60 outfielders in baseball in 2011.

1. Ryan Bruan, MIL
Here is a man who plays on a powerful Milwaukee team and leads their outfield every year in almost all offensive stats.  For him to be on top of this list, you should probably look to him in the second round at the latest.  If you miss out on a good power first baseman in the first round, you can pick up Braun in the first.  Unless of course you see pitching as more important, in which case Braun will probably still be around in the second round.  I mean, we have a man here who will probably hit 30 home runs, over 110 RBIs and have at least a .300 batting average.  Those are great numbers.  This is the kind of hitter you could build a team around.  I say go for him early, because he can be a great use to you throughout the entire season.

2. Carlos Gonzalez, COL
This is another power hitting outfielder.  He will probably have very close to 30 home runs and just over 100 RBIs.  He one stat that puts him below Braun is his batting average.  Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad average.  I mean he will hit between .290 and .300, a very respectable average.  If Braun were hitting a lower average, these two would be almost equal, if not Gonzalez being higher.  So again, Gonzalez is a man you could build a team around, as long as you add another player to it.  Look to Gonzalez in the second or third round,  and in the earlier rounds pick up another great hitter.  I see Gonzalez really filling up the whole in Colorado's lineup that Matt Holliday made when he left a few years ago in free agency.

3. Carl Crawford, BOS
And now to a much different type of hitter.  Carl Crawford is not a man who will hit 30 home runs.  I see him hitting around 15, but having a batting average into the .320s.  Also, Crawford's strongest weapon is his legs.  I see him being able to outrun plenty of infield singles.  Also, Crawford has always been at the top of the list of base stealers.  If you need a base stealer (and you need at least one on your team) Crawford is you man.  If you picked up a power hitter who's average isn't great in the early rounds, Crawford would make a great addition to your team.  His high average and speed will definitely balance out the power and non contact of your heavy hitter you picked up earlier in the draft.  Crawford will definitely be picked in the third or fourth round depending on your league's size, so go for him in the third if you really see him as helping you team specifically.  But if you see him as a man who could help your team, but not vital, grab him in the fourth.

4. Matt Holliday, STL
Yet another heavy hitter, Holliday's greatest stat is also his batting average.  Holliday will hit around 25 home runs and have 110 RBIs with a .320 batting average.  He is a great hitter who can definitely be the captain of a fantasy team.  The only reason he is not higher is that his individual stats are not as high.  His home runs will be fewer than Braun and Gonzalez while his batting average and steals will be lower than Crawford's.  But Holliday is probably the most well rounded hitter on this list.  This is a man who should probably be picked up in the third or forth, but you would be pushing it with forth.  If you had a poor first round pick and didn't get the big bat you wanted, grab Holliday in the third because he'll give you some great power and contact hitting.

5. Josh Hamilton, TEX
One thing that many people will remember in baseball history is the power display Josh Hamilton put on in Yankee Stadium in the Home Run Derby.  He became the closest hitter to hit a ball out of the park in right field in the entire history of baseball.  His power numbers are great.  I see him hitting 25 home runs this year but only having around 90 RBIs based on the team around him.  While great, they aren't going to help him by getting into scoring position, so his RBI numbers are going to go down.  But like Matt Holliday I see him as a great all around player.  He will have over a .300 batting average.  Not higher than Holliday, but close.  He is a great player who will not be around past the fourth round in the draft.  So if you are in need of an all around player, grab Hamilton because he will lead your team to victory almost every week!

6. Shin-Soo Choo, CLE
7. Jose Bautista, TOR (Can also play third baseman)
8. Matt Kemp, LAD
9. Andrew McCutchen, PIT
10. Nelson Cruz, TEX
11. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
12. Justin Upton, ARI
13. Jayson Werth, WAS
14. HOU
15. Alex Rios, CWS
16. Andre Ethier, LAD
17. Jason Heyward, ATL
18. Jacoby Ellsebury, BOS
19. Chris Young, ARI
20. Shane Victorino, PHI
21. Drew Stubbs, CIN
22. Jay Bruce, CIN
23. Nick Markakis, BAL
24. Mike Stanton, FLA
25. Corey Hart, MIL
26. B.J. Upton, TB
27. Delmon Young, MIN
28. Curtis Granderson, NYY
29. Aubrey Huff, SF (Can also play First Baseman)
30. Michael Bourn, HOU
31. Grady Sizemore, CLE
32. Vernon Wells, LAA
33. Nick Swisher, NYY
34. Brett Gardner, NYY
35. Torri Hunter, LAA
36. Bobby Abreu, LAA
37. Juan Pierre, CWS
38. Jason Bay, NYM
39. Ben Zobrist, TB (Can also play First Baseman and Second Baseman)
40. Carlos Beltran, NYM
41. Colby Rasmus, STL
42. Carlos Lee, HOU (Can also play First Baseman)
43. Travis Snider, TOR
44. Angel Pagan, NYM
45. Carlos Quentin, CWS
46. Adam Jones, BAL
47. Michael Cuddyer, MIN (Can also play First Baseman and Third Baseman)
48. Jose Tabata, PIT
49. Magglio Ordonez, DET
50. Rajai Davis, TOR
51. Denard Span, MIN
52. Andres Torres, SF
53. Austin Jackson, DET
54. Franklin Guttierez, SEA
55. Johnny Damon, TB
56. Vladamir Guerrero, BAL
57. Omar Infante, FLA (Can also play Second Baseman, Third Baseman, and Shortstop)
58. Nate McClouth, ATL
59. Manny Ramirez, TB
60. Chris Coughlan, FLA

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 5: Catchers

Now to the most depressing list of all baseball.  With the exception of the number one catcher, who if you can't figure out who it is, quit your league and get your money back.  With the exception of number one, you can wait until the seventh or eighth round to get a catcher, and probably later.  You will not miss out on a great player by waiting until number the number 6 or 7 catcher.  There isn't a stand out catcher in this list from 2 through 20.  It took me 3 days to put together this list because I just couldn't figure out who was good.  With that in mind, you may need help picking the top of the bottom of the barrel, so here's the list:

1. Joe Mauer, MIN
Really? You had to check this? You weren't sure who was the number one catcher in baseball? This is the only man who could be drafted in the top 5 rounds.  However, this man is not a power hitter.  In Target Field, Mauer hit only 1 home run last year, and I don't think he'll hit much better this year.  Maybe 12 home runs, and probably only around 90 RBIs with the list of "who's that?" that's batting in that lineup.  However, Mauer does do one thing that other catchers can't.  Make contact! He is the only batter on this list who will hit over .300, and he will hit well over it.  So while he wont hit many home runs, neither will other catchers.  But he will get hits and help your team's batting average, so he will help.  Grab him in the fifth or sixth round.  He'll still be there then.  But again, if you miss on him don't fret.  The other catchers are neither much worse or much better than Mauer.

2. Victor Martinez, DET
Now to a man who is unlike Joe Mauer.  He may hit home runs, but will have a horrible batting average.  He will probably hit 20 home runs and get close to 100 RBIs with a team that's not horrible at the plate.  But he will only hit around .260.  So if you need a power hitter and have plenty of contact guys who will help to boost the average batting average of your team, don't be afraid of Martinez.  However, I wouldn't say to start thinking about Martinez until the seventh round at the earliest.  Catchers are not the all stars this year, and so he will still be around then.

3. Buster Posey, SF (Can also play first baseman)
This man may be a rarity in baseball this year as far as catchers go.  He will get you around 18 home runs and bat almost .300, but still below it.  Posey will do great for a team, and is a sleeper pick because a lot of other lists have him at 5 or lower.  So while other people are picking Brian McCann and Yadier Molina, take Posey in the eighth round.  His downside that causes him to be listed so low on other lists? The Giants only got to the World Series last year because of their pitching.  Their offense is why they lost.  Posey will not have many men on base when he hits his home runs, so he will only get around 70 RBIs.  But if you drafted a great run producer in earlier rounds as you should have, Posey will be a great steal in the late rounds with this promising contact hitting and decent power hitting.  I say pick him up, but no where near earlier than the eighth round.

4. Brian McCann, ATL
Now I don't want anyone thinking that the shot I took at McCann in the last section means he's a horrible catcher.  By typical baseball stats they're all horrible players offensively, but compared to other catchers Brian McCann is actually a pretty good player.  I see him hitting more home runs than any other catcher besides Victor Martinez.  McCann will get mid-20s home runs but only around 80 RBIs and maybe batting .275.  Again, like most catchers, with the exception of number 1, batting average is the down fall.    So again, the way to counter act the poor average is to have someone on your team who will hit a .325.  That will average out the batting average to around .300.  If you have a speedy contact hitter on your team already pick up McCann to add to your power numbers.  But again, only look at McCann in the eighth round or later because there are much better players in that draft pool!

5. Carlos Santana, CLE
I'm sure you're wondering exactly what I'm wondering...who?  But that's the theme of the catchers this year.  There aren't many big name players.  But that's why it's important to draft them strategically.  Take Santana here.  Most people will pass up on him for a more recognizable name like Kurt Suzuki or Jorge Posada

6. Geovany Soto, CLE
7. Mike Napoli, TEX (Can also play First Baseman)
8. Matt Wieters, BAL
9. Miguel Montero, ARI
10. Kurt Suzuki, OAK
11. Jorge Posada, NYY (He will play DH, so don't be nervous about him riding the bench)
12. Chris Ianetta, CLE
13. Yadier Molina, STL
14. A.J. Pierzynski, CWS
15. Carlos Ruiz, PHI
16. Russel Martin, NYY (He will play catcher with Posada at DH, so not to worry)
17. John Buck, FLA
18. Miguel Olivo, SEA
19. Jarrod Saltalamachia, BOS
20. John Jaso, TB

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 4: Shortstops

An unfortunate position in baseball this year is the shortstop.  There are a very small number of exceptions, but not very many.  Unfortunately this position is going to involve some players that are on their team for defensive purposes only and will bat at the end of the order.  And unfortunately in fantasy baseball offensive numbers are all that matters.  These players are not going the be the best players in your draft and because of that, I would wait until at least the fourth round, but maybe even the fifth before looking at these players.  But sometimes those late picks can wind up being huge sleeper picks for you, so it is important to pick these properly.  So with that being the the list!

1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA
The only player on this list worth using a first round pick on is Hanley Ramirez.  And even that isn't that great.  Ramirez should be a very late first round pick, if not a second round pick.  That being said, he is a great player.  The greatest part about Ramirez is his speed.  He will be able to beat out a lot of singles and steal plenty of bases.  But when it comes to power, Ramirez will be a bit of a let down.  He should still lead all shortstops in home runs and RBIs, but we're only talking about 25 home runs and fewer than 100 RBIs.  It's hit hit numbers, batting average and stolen bases that put him so high.  He will still be the best fantasy shortstop but the numbers wont be as great as a first baseman or third baseman.  Honestly, I wouldn't even think about Hanley Ramirez until the fourth round.  But if you are a huge fan of him, go ahead and waste your third round pick on him.  There's a chance someone else may try to do it first. But even then, he doesn't have that huge of an advantage over other shortstops.  But if you get into the fifth or even sixth round and he's still there, grab him!!!  He will do amazing for you at that point.

2. Troy Tulowitski, COL
Now to a player when someone looks at him they think, "Who?"  Tulowitski is not a huge name in this league which is why he could be a steal.  I see him going in the late fifth, sixth, or maybe even  seventh round.  That's what makes him such a great pick up.  If in the seventh round you can pick up a player who will hit  32 home runs, 110 RBIs and bat over .300, that's an amazing hook up.  Now, says that Troy will go twelfth overall.  I think that's way too early.  At the earliest he will go late third round early fourth, but again I don't see him going early that fifth round (depending on the number of people in your league).  Troy will be a great late round pick who if you can get him as a fifth round pick, grab him, his number of homers, RBIs and batting average will definitely help you this season.

3. Jose Reyes, NYM
Now to a man who is very close to my heart.  Not because I'm a Mets fan.  That is an old roommate of mine.  Jose Reyes is a man who I used my second over all pick on four years ago.  And you know what? He wound up leading my team to a season win in my fantasy league.  He can still do that.  Reyes' greatest quality is his number of triples and stolen bases in a week.  Usually when I had him, he would beat my opponents whole team in triples and stolen bases by himself.  He is still capable of that.  In fact, coming off a year in which he was plagued with injuries, along with the entire Mets, I would see him having a huge year!!  And the best part his, he's ranked pretty low.  So those fantasy players who go by ranks wont pick him up til real late.  He will be a huge sleeper and great point gainer.  Pick him up in the sixth or early seventh round and watch him rack up the points!!

4. Derek Jeter, NYY
And much like his Yankees counterpart yesterday, this may be a huge disagreement on all the readers' part.  But here's what I see when I see Captain Yankee.  I see a much older player who is not as fast or has a fast swing.  I still see him being successful, but not in ways that people expect.  I'm expecting 16 home runs but close to 90 RBIs because of the great players around him.  However, his batting average will be lower because of his age and decreased swing speed.  I am seeing Jeter having around a .260 batting average.  He could surprise us all, but I don't see it happening.  However, when it comes to your draft...If you're a Yankee fan, pick him up early if it's really important for you to have him.  There are a lot of people out there who will pick him up based on name alone.  I wouldn't pick him until around the sixth or seventh round because I think there are that many players better than him in fantasy point scoring.  But when it comes to picking a shortstop, he's definitely fourth.  And because of the diminished talent of shortstops this year I think he should be around in the late rounds.  But again, if you really want him, grab him in the fourth round.  He will be there then, but after that it's a risk based on name alone.

5. Alexi Ramirez, CWS
The position of shortstop is full of sleeper picks.  This man is one of those sleepers.  You can pick him in the late seventh round or later because of the great players this year, but he will still be great.  Ramirez is also not a well known name in baseball.  He's a silent killer of sorts, because I see him hitting close to 20 home runs, around 80 RBIs and almost a .290 batting average.  I know those aren't great numbers, but look at the list of shortstops there are.  When it comes to offensive numbers, Ramirez is a huge sleeper.  He will perform very well for a shortstop, but most people will pass on him the whole draft.  Don't draft him expecting great numbers though.  He wont do amazing.  But he will do great compared to other shortstops.  If you get to the eighth round and Ramirez is still there and you don't have a shortstop, pick him!!!  He will do great in the shortstop category.

6. Jimmy Rollins, PHI
7. Elvin Andrus, TEX
8. Stephen Drew, ARI
9. Rafael Furcal, LAD
10. Ian Desmond, WAS
11. Starlin Castro, CHC
12. Aleides Escobar, KC
13. Omar Infante, FLA (Can also be play Second Base, Third Base and Outfield)
14.  Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE
15. Yunel Excobar, TOR
16. Jhonny Peralata, DET (Can also play Third Base)
17. Juan Uribe, LAD (Can also play Second Base and Third Base)
18. Marco Scutaro, BOS
20. Miguel Tejada, SF (Can also play Third Base)

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 3 Part 2: Third Basemen

This season, third basemen are the power hitters in the infield along with the first basemen.  While the second basemen are the contact hitters third basemen are home run hitters.  However, the power numbers are very high, the batting averages are not as low as one would think.  Third basemen should go early in the draft, especially the top 5.  If you make it into the third round and any of the top five players on this list are still there, grab them! Because other league members will grab them before you have the chance if you pass them up.  With that being said, to the list:

1. Evan Longoria, TB
Now many people ask me why the number one third baseman in Major League Baseball isn't Alex Rodriguez.  The fact of the matter is that while he will probably go down as the best third baseman career wise, his age is becoming an issue.  He is getting older, while the Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is young with a blossoming career.  If he stays healthy Longoria should hit close to 30 home runs, well over 100 RBIs and just over a .300 batting average.  Those are great numbers for anyone.  He is a young man who can also run from time to time, so look for him to have a few stolen bases as well.  Longoria will undoubtedly out play any other third baseman in baseball as long as he stays healthy.  That being said, his team is depleted after a horrible off season for the Rays in which they lost a lot of their power.  He may try to shoulder too much of the offense and get hurt.  I would take Longoria in the second round, maybe pushing it in the third.  But closer to the end of the draft, pick up a back up in case he does get worn out.  But even if he plays 90 percent of the games in the season, he will still earn you plenty of points to win!

2. David Wright, NYM
Again, with the number 2 third basemen we're going with youth over experience.  David Wright is younger than the bigger named New York third baseman, and will be able to play in more games and probably hit better.  Look for Wright to have similar numbers to Longoria in home runs and RBIs, but a slightly lower batting average.  However, 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .285 average is nothing to scoff at.  Wright will still perform great this season and rack up the points for your team.  I would pick him in the third round after getting a power bat and a pitcher in previous rounds.  Wright will act as a contact and power bat in your line up, he is definitely not someone you want to pass over.  Look for Wright to have a huge year this year especially with the Mets trying to perform well in the highly competitive NL East.

3. Alex Rodriguez, NYY
And now for probably the most controversial pick I will make this whole week.  Many of you will pick Alex Rodriguez with your first over all pick, unless you have the #1 pick in your draft, in which case report to my first ranking of the first basemen.  And I will admit, if you're in a league with people who don't know the science of baseball very well and just go by reputation, A-Rod will not be in the draft for long.  But something to consider.  A-Rod, much like his counterpart on the Yankee left side of the infield is getting older.  He got a nice big contract a few years back and a World Series ring so he has nothing to prove anymore.  With all that being said, I don't see him having the kind of year people expect out of him.  People expect 40 home runs and 130 RBIs.  That wont happen this year, and it may never happen again for the rest of his career.  He will have over 100 RBIs, probably close to 120 with the bats in front of him.  But he will only be able to drive maybe 30 balls over the fence, and that's being generous.  I would look for him to have only 25. And I know, 25 bombs and 120 RBIs are great, but his average will be very low.  Look for it to be around .250-.275 at best.  If you can pick up a second baseman like Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia who will get plenty of hits, that may balance it out enough to take him.  Like I said, his power will not be what it was, but it will still be well about average.  If you want Alex Rodriguez, take him in the first round because everyone else in your league will think he's the best.  But if you want my advise, use the first round pick on someone a little better like an Albert Pujols or Joey Votto and wait til the second or early third round to get Longoria or Wright. But if both of those guys are gone in the third round and A-Rod is miraculously still there, jump on him!! Just make sure you get a good contact guy in your lineup to make up for his low base hit total.

4. Kevin Youkilis, BOS (Can also be drafted as a first baseman)
Now on for a man who a lot of people are forgetting about.  ESPN doesn't even have him ranked as a third baseman.  But people need to remember that he is in the prime of his career and just moved back to his original position of third base.  Also, with some big signings in the off season by the Sox, Youkilis will not have the spotlight on him and can just worry about hitting, which he will do.  Youkilis will probably still be around in the mid third round, so if you see him in the second pass on him, unless you really want him for your team.  If you go into the draft with a set list of people you want, and Youk is one of them, grab him in the second or early third (and I mean if you have the first pick in the third that kind of early) because there is a chance someone will catch him early. But most baseball people will recognize he is good, but probably not good enough to waste a first or second round pick on. Look for 32 home runs, 115 RBIs and about a .305 batting average from Youkilis this year, good enough to get you some real points this season.

5. Ryan Zimmerman, WAS
And now to another man who is having the spotlight taken off of him.  Zimmerman is a great hitter who has consistently been getting over 25 home runs and over 70 RBIs a season along with a respectful batting average.  This year the Nationals picked up first baseman Adam Dunn, a big power hitter. Z-man should hit third in that lineup in front of a great power hitter.  You can compare the season Zimmerman should have to David Oritz's season in the early years of the last decade, with Manny Ramirez hitting in front of him.  I would say 35 home runs but only 85 to 90 RBIs just because he doesn't have a lot of great hitters around him to get on base.  However, his batting average will be over .300 which will definitely make him come up huge.  I would say Zimmerman will be passed up quite a bit, so I think you can wait until the fifth round to pick up this sleeper, but he will definitely pay off.  I am looking for Ryan Zimmerman to set career highs in most offensive categories in 2011.

6. Jose Bautista, TOR (Can also play Outfield)
7. Adrian Beltre, TEX 
8. Aramis Ramirez, CHC
9. Michael Young, TEX (Can also play First Base, don't be afraid of Beltre taking his spot)
10. Martin Prado, ATL (Can also play Second Base)
11. Casey McGehee, MIL
12. Pablo Sandoval, SF
13. Mark Reynolds, BAL
14. Pedro Alverez, PIT
15. Ian Stewart, COL
16. Placido Polanco, PHI
17. Michael Cuddyer, MIN (Can also play First Base and Outfield
18. Scott Rolen, CIN
19. Omar Infante, FLA (Can also play Second Base, Shortstop, and Outfield)
20. Juan Uribe, LAD (Can also play Second Base and Shortstop)

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 3 Part 1: Second Basemen (Delayed)

The position of second base this year is probably the position with the most contact hitters in it.  The second basemen on this list are on it for their ability to raise their batting average, not for their power.  While some may hit near 20 home runs, they hold their position on their teams to get on base.  So if you find your team is full of power and not much batting average, draft a second baseman with your next pick.  And when you get yourself in that position, look to this list to decide how to choose who to draft next.

1. Robinson Cano, NYY
A member of the powerful New York Yankee infield, Robinson Cano is often overlooked because of the players around him.  But the learning he has done from players like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Texiera has turned him into the premier second baseman in Major League Baseball.  Coming off a season with 29 home runs and over 100 RBIs while still batting .317.  No second baseman this year is going to have such a well rounded year as that.  A great combination of power and average, Robinson Cano should be drafted early in the second round.  If you have an early pick, take Cano, because you will not get a better chance at a great second baseman as Cano.

2. Dustin Pedroia, BOS
Another well rounded player, Dustin Pedroia will provide statistics in power and average.  However Pedroia will not be able to hit as much power as Cano.  Pedroia is more known for his hits and batting average.  Look for Pedroia to get over 200 Hits this season.  If your league scores Hits, Pedroia will be a great asset to you.  Coming off a season in which he spent almost half the season on the Disabled List, Pedroia is now hungry for a great season.  He will perform will.  Pedroia should be drafted in the late second round, maybe early third depending on the size of the league.  If you're looking for a great second baseman, Dustin Pedroia will perform perfectly for you.

3. Chase Utley, PHI
While Dustin Pedroia is known more for average than power, Chase Utley will hit for power.  His average will be okay around a .280, but his home runs will be around 20 to 25.  Utley will also play almost every day because he is very rarely injured.  Utley will provide regular numbers for your team and you will not need a back up second baseman on your bench.  Utley may not give you as great of numbers as Cano or Pedroia, but he will still provide well for your fantasy team.  He will be drafted in the early fourth round, so you can wait on him to go for more powerful hitters or some great pitching.  But don't wait too long, or Utley will be gone.

4. Dan Uggla, ATL
Dan Uggla will give some great power numbers for your team.  But his hits will be very low.  But if power is what you need, than Uggla is your second baseman. Uggla was traded in the offseason from the struggling Marlins to the better Braves.  This could provide better numbers, but that has to be seen this season.  Uggla will be drafted in the early fourth round right around the same time as Chase Utley, so once again feel free to wait on Uggla unless you see something that I don't.  But as is the case with Utley, don't wait too long, or Uggla will be snatched away.

5. Ian Kinsler, TEX
Ian Kinsler is the perfect combination of hitting and speed.  Kinsler will get on base with a single and then run his way to a double.  So because stolen bases can be great points for your team, Kinsler comes in at number 5 on this list.  However, there is a downside to this player.  Over the last three seasons he has been injured and spent a lot of time on the DL.  If you draft him, you will also need to draft a suitable back up player.  A player like Ben Zobrist or Omar Infante who can play more than one position.  That way if Kinsler is healthy those players will not go to waste and it will not cost you great picks to get them.  If Kinsler can finish this season without being injured, look for him to have a high .290 average and around 28 home runs and 33 stolen bases.  But even if he is injured again, he will still perform will for you in the time that he is healthy.

6. Brandon Phillips, CIN
7. Ricky Weeks, MIL
8. Martin Prado, ATL (Can also play Third Base)
9. Ben Zobrist, TB (Can also play First Base and Outfield)
10. Kelly Johnson, ARI
11. Chone Figgins, SEA
12. Aaron Hill, TOR
13. Brian Roberts, BAL
14. Howie Kendrick, LAA (Can also play First Base)
15. Gordan Beckham, CWS
16. Neil Walker, PIT
17. Omar Infante, FLA (Can also play Third Base, Shortstop, and Outfield)
18. Mike Aviles, KC
19. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, MIN
20. Ty Wiggington, COL (Can also play First Base and Third Base)

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day Two: Second Basemen Postponed

Hey everybody. I regret to inform you all that my second basemen rankings that were scheduled to be announced today has to be postponed. I am actually going to the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden today. And because I can't do proper research and give you readers my best analysis, I would rather postpone it until tomorrow. So, assuming that the team I am helping to cover does not advance, which will remain anonymous for now, I will release my second and third base rankings tomorrow. So tune in tomorrow for double the rankings. I'm sorry for screwing with the schedule this early in the rankings. But I will make it up to you with some great rankings. So until tomorrow everyone, stay Out of Bounds!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 1: First Basemen

First basemen are obviously the power sluggers of the MLB.  And because hitting will usually pay off more than pitching, with Starting Pitchers only pitching once maybe twice in a week, a power hitter is who you should spend your first pick on.  And the first name on this list is a person who will be drafted first overall in every league.  Seriously, if you have the first overall pick in your league and you don't pick this person, you should forfeit your league, because you don't know what you're doing.  So, without further ado, here is the list of the top 20 first basemen of the 2011 Major League Season.

1. Albert Pujols, STL
Seriously people, a hitter like this comes along only once in a generation.  Our grandparents saw Babe Ruth.  Our grandparents and parents saw Hank Aaron.  Our parents saw Ted Williams.  We see Albert Pujols.  Here's a man who hit 42 homeruns and knocked in 118 RBIs while hitting a .312 batting average.  Now he's in a contract year.  He's playing for his livelihood.  He is going out there to prove he is the best in the majors and get a huge contract next year.  Pick this man with your first pick if you get the chance because he will lead you to a league season win.

2. Joey Votto, CIN
The reigning NL MVP.  Does anything else have to be said? Coming off a year with 37 homeruns, 113 RBIs and .324 batting average.  This guy is a young guy who should have an even better year this year.  So, if you don't get the chance at Pujols, get Votto.  He'll do a just fine, and maybe even as well as Pujols.  Last year my girlfriend drafted Votto, and I'm not sure if she even knew who he was.  But he did so well for her, she came in 2nd in a league of 16 and kicked my butt every time I played against her.  Joey Votto is a great first baseman and should definitely be picked either 2nd or 3rd overall.

3. Miguel Cabrera, DET
Now a lot of people have told me that Miguel Cabrera should be the 2nd first baseman on this list.  And there is a good argument there.  Cabrera is a great slugging first baseman who also will hit for average.  I mean 38 homeruns, 126 RBIs, and a .328 batting average.  So there is no doubt Cabrera is great.  But his recent off the field antics drop him to 3rd.  With a possible DUI looming in his personal life, the question is how much of his mind will be on the game?  How much will this incident distract him.  Now he is a professional, and has been smacking balls over walls for years so he will still perform very well.  But I don't think he'll out perform Pujols or Votto this season.  But being ranked third on a list behind those two is not a bad place to be!

4. Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
The Boston Red Sox made huge news this off season with some great moves, none bigger than trading for Adrian Gonzalez.  This man has been crushing balls in San Diego's PETCO Park, which has very deep outfields for years.  Now he'll be playing 81 games in Fenway Park, baseball's smallest park in demensions.  He is notorious for hitting balls into left field, and it doesn't take much to get one to bounce off the Green Monster in left field in Boston.  So I see this man not only hitting homers over the four foot wall in right field, but off the 37 foot wall in left.  So he should succeed in power and average.  But with all good news comes bad.  He's coming off shoulder surgery, and still has yet to play in a real game in pre season.  He just started batting practice, so I question will he be 100% as of Opening Day. But whether he's ready on day 1, he will still be ready for the whole season at most after the first month, so he will do a great job for your fantasy team.

5. Mark Texiera, NYY
How can I have a list of great first basemen without this man?!  I mean, a switch hitting first baseman who hits homeruns and singles.  Texiera is a member of the Yankees, a team infamous for its power.  Texiera has had at least 30 homeruns and 100 RBIs in each of the last 7 years.  Those kind of numbers are the kind you can build a team around.  Having Tex on your team will definitely give you your power numbers over the course of the year.  Texiera hasn't had a bad year since signing with the Yankees, and looks like he will continue that trend this year with some great numbers.  Without a doubt, Texiera will go in the first round.  If you have a chance on him in the first round of your draft, don't pass him up hoping to get him in round 2, because trust me, he will not be there!

6. Prince Fielder, MIL
7. Ryan Howard, PHI
8. Kevin Youkilis, BOS (can also be drafted as 3B)
9. Justin Morneau, MIN
10. Paul Konerko, CWS - both will play every day, one as 1B and one as DH
11. Adam Dunn, CWS - both will play every day, one as 1B and one as DH
12. Buster Posey, SF
13. Kendry Morales, LAA
14. Billy Butler, KC
15. Derek Lee, BAL
16. Carlos Lee, HOU
17. Carlos Pena, CHC
18. Victor Martinez, DET (can also be drafted as catcher)
19. Pablo Sandoval, SF (can also be drafted as 3B)
20. Aubry Huff, SF (can also be drafted as OF)

Notable First Basemen Not on List:
Mike Napoli, LAA
Adam Lind, TOR
Adam LaRoche, WAS
Michael Cuddyer, MIN (can also be drafted as OF)
Lance Berkman, STL

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Begin Tomorrow

Starting tomorrow, I will rank players in the upcoming baseball season according to fantasy baseball points.  I have always been very successful in fantasy baseball, so you can trust me when it comes to my rankings.  I will start tomorrow with First Basemen and continuing all week with players based on the schedule listed below.  If you have any questions or issues with my rankings, please let me know, but I will do my best to ranks them properly.  Enjoy!

And here is the schedule:

March 7 - First Basemen
March 8 - Second Basemen
March 9 - Third Basemen
March 10 - Shortstop
March 11 - Catcher (On my birthday)
March 12 - Outfielder
March 13 - Starting Pitcher
March 14 - Relief Pitcher
March 15 - Closer