Following a comment on my assertion that Tampa Bay Rays' CF (with 2B eligibility) B.J. Upton could be the most valuable player in fantasy baseball if he hits third in the Rays' line-up, I began to think about Upton's teammate, Carl Crawford. Crawford is one the most valuable players in all of fantasy baseball on the strength of 50 SB speed and .300 AVGs with the hope that his 10-15 HR power turns into 20+.
So far, Crawford has disappointed because that spike in power has not come. Is last season's drop in HRs and triples a sign that is won't or are the 37 doubles a sign that the HRs will jump this season as those doubles turn into HRs in 2008? I don't know, but I think BJ Upton can fulfill those dreams of a five-category stud who steals 50 bases while hitting 30 HRs. A realized dream like Eric Davis' 1987 season (37 HRs, 100 RBIs, 50 SBs, 120 Runs with a slash stat line of 293/399/593) would be sweet.
Wow, those were incredible numbers. I lost my train of thought.
Oh, yeah. B.J. Upton. He hit a professional-high 26 HRs in 2007 to go with another professional-high 86 RBIs. He did this in just 138 games. With 162, can the 23-year-old improve enough to get to 30+ HR and 100+ RBIs? He sure can as long as he hits in the heart of the Rays' order. If it is directly behind Carl Crawford, then I believe Upton is a lock to drive in 100+. Crawford will be in scoring position all the time!
Are the SBs unreasonable given BJ stole just 22 last year? Maybe, but remember Upton is just a season removed from stealing 57 between AAA (46) and the majors (11). 50 may seem unlikely, but 30 doesn't strike me as unreasonable.
If Upton continues to improve, he will be the top fantasy player in 2008.