With the positve press the Cleveland Indians receive from the mainstream baseball press, I thought the top five fantasy players would be easy to name. They were not.
I had no trouble with the top player Grady Sizemore. Despite a .270 AVG, he offers a 30/30 season along with 100 Runs. The second spot caused more hesitiation.
Reflexively, C Victor Martinez gets the #2 slot, but his age and the fact his legs caused him to miss most of 2008 give pause. A 29-year-old catcher coming off that kind of season makes me question whether it should be ignored - at my own peril.
By placing VMart at #2, I chose his expected production over similar production from SS Jhonny Peralta. Entering his Age 27 season, Peralta hit 20+ Hrs in three of last four seasons. If he remains in the clean-up spot, not a certainty with the returns of Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner, then I expect a 100+ RBIs. That would put Jhonny slightly ahead of VMart as the number of 100+ RBI SSs can be counted on a fingerless hand right now.
At the four spot, lefty Cliff Lee is an easy choice. His control last season makes me believe his breakthrough was for real.
The final spot was my worry. Normally, I look for a hitter or starting pitcher. Instead, I was forced to go with closer Kerry Wood. How he is going to wrack-up 40 saves with Fausto Carmona, Carl Pavano, Aaron laffey and Jeremy Sowers filling out the #s 2 through 5 spots in the rotation is tough to see.