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2009 Fantasy Baseball: The Top Five Kansas City Royals

The top five fantasy players for the Kansas City Royals is more challenging to put together than any done so far. I don't see a dominating HR or SB total accompanied by a good AVG. Nor do I see a starting pitcher with dominating ratios or elite Ks.

The closest I come to a Royal meeting any of these criteria is 24-year-old starting pitcher Zach Grienke. Even his 1.27 WHIP is mediocre in mixed league formats.

After Greinke, closer Joakim Soria is the easiest choice especially given the fact he has the highest ADP (97). However, there is no reason to allow ADP to override the fact there are so many closers available many rounds later that the supply does not merit selecting a closer so high.

I like the fantasy upside of 2B/SS Mike Aviles, who can match the HR/SB combo of 2B Dustin Pedroia, and 3B Alex Gordon, who has disappointed in his first two seasons but has the ability to hit 20 HRs and steal 15 bases. Using ADP, each infielder, and Greinke, is being selected five full rounds later than Soria.

Rounding out the Royals top five is CF Coco Crisp. Expect him to approach 30 SBs. For a player available in the very late rounds, he could be an acceptable alternative to the high risk of fellow speedsters Carlos Gomez and Michael Bourn.

Finally, I want to note 1B Mike Jacobs. He was one of just 28 players who hit 30 or more HRs in 2008. The power is legitimate, and he looks like a great late draft pick-up as long as you have some AVG protection.