I wrote this article awhile back for a new up and coming website called SportsShare.com ( www.sportsshare.com ). It is a good site that is not as active as they wish but have some grand plans for it. Check it out!
Thought I would put it here with permission of the SportsShare.com staff.
A Look at the Top 20 MLB Fantasy Players for 2008
1. Alex Rodriguez– A .314 average, 54 homers, 156 RBI and 24 steals is hard to argue with. He may change teams over the off-season, he can hit anywhere, it won’t matter. Unquestionably #1
2. Hanley Ramirez – He finished the year one homer shy of going 30/50. That for years was a benchmark of a fantasy stud. Now we come to almost expect it, I don’t think the average will be there but the home runs will continue. Just don’t include defense in the stats.
3. Jimmy Rollins – Mr. Everything stat guy. Need something? Draft Jimmy.
4. Albert Pujols – Even in a down year, he smashed at least 30 homers (32) and collected at least 100 RBI (103) for the seventh straight season. Not only that, but he’s never hit worse than .314. My personal favorite.
5.. David Wright – He has worked hard to be a 30/30 man. Wright may never be a 40-HR plus guy, but he doesn’t have to be in order to be elite.
6. Matt Holliday – Maybe Coors Field artificially inflates his numbers somewhat, but who cares? Holliday hits in a great ballpark and steals bases.
7. Jose Reyes – Jose hit 19 homers in 2006 and then 12 in 2007. He isn’t a home run hitter but man oh man those 75 steals makes him a fantasy top 10 choice. His walk total the last three years has risen from 27 to 53 to 77 and that is good.
8. Alfonso Soriano – If you’re not convinced he’s a top 10 player, then find me someone else who’s gone at least 30/30 in four of the last six seasons. His owners were disappointed he only hit 33 homers. You get top numbers from this guy.
9.. Chase Utley – Some would argue this is too high for Utley, and I can maybe see moving him down a bit, but the guy hit .332 with 22 homers, 103 RBI and nine steals in just 132 games last year.
10. Vladimir Guerrero– When healthy he is a fantasy machine. This is probably the last year for his Top Ten inclusion.
11. Ichiro Suzuki – The guy hit .351 and everyone just expected it. However, only 6 home runs keeps him out of the Top Ten. A quiet top choice.
12. Prince Fielder – While it’s easy for us to compare Fielder to Howard, because of their great power, remember that Howard will be 28 when the 2008 season begins, while Fielder will be just 23, which is almost scary.
13. Carl Crawford – He basically had a ho-hum year – .315 BA, 11 homers, 80 RBI, 50 steals – yet was still a top 20 fantasy hitter. He’s reliable.
14. Miguel Cabrera -. Cabrera has yet to hit more than 34 homers in a season, but I still feel as though that first 40-plus homer, 130-plus RBI campaign is just on the horizon. Plus, he’s one of very few hitters you know will hit at least .320 every year.
15. Ryan Howard – Ok, maybe a stretch here. It was embarrassing to see him hit .268 and then to top that off he has the strikeout record. But with that power he has to be among this group. Maybe too high though.
16. David Ortiz – He dipped in home runs from 54 in 2006 to 35 in 2007 but he managed to hit .332 That he hit 17 of his 35 homers over the final two months of the season is a good indication that his knee issues are behind him, and that his power will return to an elite level in 2008.
17. Johan Santana– I’m an “offense first” type of guy, but Santana belongs in the top 20. He wasn’t the No. 1 fantasy pitcher in 2007, but he’s still the best, most reliable starter in the game.
18. Grady Sizemore – He once again flashed his 30/30 potential (24 homers, 33 steals), and he could eventually become a true five-category threat if the Indians ever move him down in the order.
19. Jake Peavy– Just the best pitcher in the National League. These last two spots are hard to decide. Still Jake’s number were impressive!
20. Magglio Ordonez – finished the 2007 season with quite a stat line, batting .363 with 28 homers and 139 RBI.
Best of the rest: Ryan Braun, Carlos Beltran, Brandon Phillips, Eric Byrnes, Manny Ramirez
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