|Hanley Ramirez versus Jose Reyes is the biggest debate entering the 2008 season. Ramirez should hit for a higher average and much more power, but heís coming off shoulder surgery and bats in a far inferior lineup, especially with Miguel Cabrera gone. Reyes was brutal during September, but his price tag should be slightly lower, can single-handedly win you the steals category and has shown an improved walk rate. In the end, the guess here is that if you end up with either player, youíll be quite happy.
Catcher is incredibly thin this year, even more so than usual. After the top-5, thereís a precipitous drop off. There are some decent sleepers to be had later on, but if youíre playing in a two-catcher league, you better address the position fairly early.
I could make a decent argument that B.J. Upton deserves to be a first round fantasy pick this year. Heíll be available at second base, posted an .894 OPS as a 22-year-old and nearly went 25/25 last season despite playing in fewer than 130 games. Sure, his high K-rate and BABIP from last year suggests a lower batting average is in store, but he also started to develop a keen batting eye after the All-Star break. When you combine his age with his power/speed potential, few can match that upside. I wouldnít be all that surprised if he were a top-3 pick next year.
Howie Kendrick and Casey Kotchman are going to seriously outperform their ADPs this season. Neither will be a big help in the power department, but average is the most underappreciated category, and both of these Angels have the ability to hit .310-.340 as soon as this season. In fact, neither have a batting average. They have a batting outstanding.
Travis Hafner is a confounding player, as thereís no telling whether Pronkís 2007 was the beginning of a decline or just an aberration. His OPS dropped a full .160 points from the prior season, and heís about to turn 31 years old. His body type isnít exactly conducive to aging gracefully. Still, his plate discipline remained strong last year, and he was arguably baseballís best hitter from 2005-2006. It would have been nice had an injury been to blame, but no major one was reported, and the huge decline in slugging is cause for concern. Draft him only if it comes at a significant discount.
Right now, Erik Bedard sits No. 3 on my SP rankings, and Iím closer to moving him higher than lower. After April of last season, he posted a 2.34 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He also limits homers and flashed an incredible 10.9 K/9 IP. His oblique injury also limited his innings, making him more likely to enter 2008 with a fresh arm. Moreover, a trade is a real possibility, and a move out of the AL East (into the NL?) would be a major boon to his stats as well. Go get him.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 1/24/2008 12:13:00 AM