Tackling the top five fantasy players for the Minnesota Twins proved tougher than I had imagined. At the top of the list are the two MVP hitters of the club, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. After them, there are a slew of players who, for one reason or another, could have been listed.
SP Francisco Liriano could have easily been left off the top five thanks to a less than amazing return from TJS (1.39 WHIP and a k/9 of 7.9 that pales next to his 2006 breakout numbers of 1.00 and 10.7.) However, the upside of reaching those 2006 figures two years removed from TJS kept him in the top five. However, the downside risk kept Liriano from beign ranked ahead of the Mariano Rivera of the Midwest, Joe Nathan.
The 5th spot came down to a battle between young starters Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey. While Baker had slighty better strikeout and HRs allowed numbers, I went with the better control of Slowey. I tend towards WHIP over ERA when faced with a choice between the two.
Finally, a case can be made for either of the second-year outfielders, Carlos Gomez and Denard Span, as being more valuable in 2009 than any of the pitchers. Both players offer a power/speed combo similar to Johnny Damon - 15/30 with Carlos Gomez' SB upside being at elite levels. Right now the unrealized upside has both on the outside of the Top Five. Both could be there in one year's time.