The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has the Top Five Fantasy Players List that causes me hesitation. I want to put OF Vladimir Guerrero at the top, but his 143-game effort last season brought his production down to Jose Guillen levels - 27 HRs, 91 RBIs, 85 Runs, 5 SB. Is that really what we think of when we take Valdimir Guerrero in the 3rd or 4th round? My worry is last season will turn out to the the hindsight signal to downgrade Guerrero to the same place teammate Torri Hunter has fallen - the 9th or 10th round.
An alternative would be multi-position eligible speedster Chone Figgins, but this year, he only qualifies at 3B and missed a third of last season with a thumb injury. Additionally, Figgins' SB totals have decreased in four consectutive seasons while seeing his HR power all but disappear. At 31, should we expect a return to the 150+ games of 2005 and 2006 or are the 115 games of the past two seasons more reasonable?
On the mound, the Angels have three pitchers worthy of top five status - ace John Lackey, Ervin Santana and closer Brian Fuentes. The one who has the highest upside is Santana who finally put everything together last season to strikeout more than 200 batters and post a WHIP under 1.20. However, John Lackey has the track record of production.
The final spot was a battle amongst Fuentes, Torii Hunter and 2B Howie Kendrick. I fully expect Fuentes to be amongst the Saves leaders by season's end, but I can't look past Hunter's near 20/20 production at this spot. He gets the nod over Fuentes and Kendrick, whose ability to incite man-crush's amongst fantasy experts far exceeds his ability to stay healthy and produce.
|5||The Big Bat The Team Needs||1B/3B/DH|