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Fantasy Baseball Chat Stew

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The second edition of my tribute to one of the top cable show's, E!'s Talk Soup, is here.  I have read through the week's baseball chats at ESPN.com and Baseball Prospectus to grab some information I believe will be helpful for the upcoming fantasy baseball season.

matt ny: how long will it take for matt weiters to become one of the best catchers in the game? also how good can he be?

Buster Olney: Matt -- I'm told that he probably won't be in the big leagues until mid-season, so he probably won't really establish himself until next year. But as we've seen with Mauer, McCann, Soto, etc... you can make a name for yourself pretty quickly at catcher. The only thing holding him back will probably be the competence of the Baltimore pitching staff. The better they look, then the better he will look, and it looks like they are a ways away from being good.

Sage-Chicago: Kemp or Sizemore next 3 years??

Rob Neyer: Sizemore, by a lot. He might be the most valuable player in the majors over the next three seasons. Certainly one of the top five. And Kemp's just not there yet.

Go the Distance: Who are your Top 10 fantasy players (in order) for 2009?

Brendan Roberts: I just turned in my Top 300 the other day. Here ya go: Hanley Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols, David Wright, Ryan Braun, Grady Sizemore, Miguel Cabrera, Mark Teixeira, Johan Santana.

Steve (Boston, MA): Jim - What's the ETA on BA's Top 100 Prospect List for 2009 on the website? Thanks.

Jim Callis: The issue with the Top 100 list goes to print on Feb. 19, so it will appear on the website right around then.

rf (g'town, md): Who do you see starting in the Minn OF. What do you see for Delmon Young in 09?

Eric Karabell : Delmon will start, play everyday, and probably hit for a bit more power than last season. He might not hit 20 homers, but at some point, a prospect this good will "get it." There's no way Delmon sits for guys like Span and Cuddyer. I laugh at that. Look up Span's minor league stats... you don't want him in 2009 for where you'd have to draft him.

Jan (NY): Aramis or Mauer more valuable, given the other choices at their respective positions? What about Mauer vs. Ellsbury?

Tristan H. Cockcroft: I see both Aramis Ramirez and Jacoby Ellsbury as more valuable than Joe Mauer, but I readily admit that I don't spend on top catchers. Read my columns over the years, I've never endorsed that strategy. Besides, I look at the catcher pool this season and see enough interesting mid-to-late round picks there that I don't see any need to overspend on a Mauer or the other top five. Now, if they slip in the draft, sure, I'll bite. But they almost never do.

Zach (Mpls, MN): Looks like the Twins are staying internal for their bullpen needs. I know they got a lot of #5 SP/LR/4A guys, but is there anyone that has a chance to outperform the rest?

Keith Law: Mijares is the potential standout.

Scott (DC): Why am I seeing no love for Grady Sizemore as a top 4 pick? He was not far off a 40-40 pace last year.

AJ Mass: Well, he's my #3, so I'm right with you, Scott. I'll settle for a 30-30 with 100 runs and RBI from my #1 pick.

Matt (Alexandria): Is Baltimore's outfield of Pie/Jones/Markakis the best defensive outfield in the Majors?

Joe Sheehan: I think it will be, yes. The Orioles' success last season, such as it was, was in no small part due to the Jones/Markakis combination taking doubles and triples off the board.

Nater1177 (Philly): The Rays massive improvement from '07 to '08 screams 'regression to the mean' for '08. Alternatively, the players ages (and swapping the Floyd for Burrel) screams 'more development ahead'. Which competing force wins out?

Steven Goldman: I think the latter, as long as they have so many pitching alternatives in front of them. Don't forget that David Price in the rotation should also be an upgrade over Edwin Jackson, Carlos Crawford should have a better year in him, and right field and DH weren't solid areas of production and they've taken steps to upgrade those. The D should also continue to be solid. They did overachieve, and maybe they won't be +5 on their pythagorean again, but they might not need to be.