With the NFL, and fantasy football, kicking-off tonight, there is no better time to begin looking forward to the 2009 fantasy baseball season. The first thing I do is look at the data from the current season. Whose hitting HRs? Stealing bases? Hitting for AVG? Striking out batters?
By getting a general sense of who is producing, I can begin to form some preliminary analysis of who the top players are going to be in the 2009 fantasy baseball drafts. And I am not excited.
This season looks to have collapsed in terms of power. With just Ryan Howard of Philadelphia as the only "sure" thing for 40 HRs and a couple others fewer than six from the mark (Whie Sox OF Carlos Quentin and the Diamondbacks' Adam Dunn at 36 and 35 respectively), there isn't the clear cut delineation of production needed to easily rank the top players.
Does this mean position scarcity takes a more prominent role? Maybe. Here is a Top 10 that does include scarcity more than one would normally see.
At the top of the list is Florida Marlins' SS Hanley Ramirez. His across the board skills combined with his position make him an easy choice as the top-ranked player going into the fantasy baseball off-season.
ARod is an easy choice at #2. After that? Let the debates begin! (Never mind the bottom portion of the Top 10.)
1. SS Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins
2. 3B Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
3. 2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
4. SS Jose Reyes, New York Mets
5. 3B David Wright, New York Mets
6. 1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
7. OF Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
8. OF Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies
9. OF Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox
10. 2B Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers