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Fantasy Baseball: NL Top 10 For 2010

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On Saturday, Eric posted his Top 10 for 2010 for mixed leagues over at, so today, I will give you my NL Top 10 for 2010. The consensus number 1 pick going into 2010 drafts will be Albert Pujols. But, I am going out on a limb with my NL number 1 pick in 2010.

I recently stated in the comments section of a previous post that I would pick Matt Kemp with the number 1 pick in my NL-only league should I land the number 1 pick, so Kemp is my number 1 pick in 2010. Here are the rest of my Top 10:

Pick Player Comment
1 Matt Kemp He can go 30-100-100-30-.310. Could bat cleanup in 2010.
2 Albert Pujols Could he hit 50 HRs in 2010?
3 Hanley Ramirez He won't hit .359 again, drop in HRs and SBs
4 Chase Utley Solid production at a scarce position
5 Justin Upton He could be top 3 by the end of 2010.
6 Ryan Braun I like Upton just a little better.
7 Mark Reynolds See Chase Utley.
8 Tim Lincecum Could win 20 with a better lineup.
9 Prince Fielder Proving 2007 was no fluke. Could hit 50 HRs again.
10 Ryan Howard Guaranteed 40-120.

Now the Kemp pick is certainly going against most expert's picks, but after watching him over the last few seasons, I have seen a major improvement with his approach at the plate. He is on pace for 27-103-96-35-.300 in a season where he hit in the 6th-8th spots in the Dodgers lineup. I think manager Joe Torre will bat him in the middle of the lineup in 2010, and with that will come more RBI and runs scored for those who play in 5x5 leagues. And we could soon see 30+ HRs from him year in and year out.

Another reason for the Kemp selection is when I compared him to Hanley Ramirez, who was the top pick in many drafts the last two seasons, Kemp provides just as much or more power, more RBI and more SBs. Like I mentioned in the list above, I don't see Ramirez hitting .359 in 2010, and his SB totals have dropped two seasons in a row from 51 in 2007 to 35 in 2008 to 24 in 2009. Hanley's HR totals are dropping as well, from 29 in 2007 to 33 in 2008 to 21 in 2009.

One last note, notice there are two Diamondbacks and two Brewers in my top 10. It is no coincidence that they were two of the better farm systems over the last few years.