Today we cover the Top 5 New York Yankees that you need to know for draft day 2010. The World Series winners probably have the most productive fantasy options out of the entire MLB and today, I'll be basically pointing out the obvious. Ya gotta start somewhere though.
1. Alex Rodriguez- My early pick for 2010 AL MVP missed the first month of the season recovering from surgery on a torn labrum in his hip. A-Rod returned with a bang, hitting a home run on the first pitch of the season. Rodriguez finally ended the season with 30 home runs and a slash line of .286/.402/.532. Rodriguez clearly has the ability to return to 40+ home run seasons and I think he very well could break that mark in 2010.
2. Mark Teixeira- A strong candidate to beat out Rodriguez in the MVP voting could be the teammate across the diamond. Mark Teixeira has been one of the most consistent players in fantasy baseball over the last six years and is nearly a lock for 35 HR, 100 runs, 100 RBI and a batting average hovering around .290-.300.
3. CC Sabathia- I struggled with this for a bit but ultimately decided I'd take the consistency/upside route over position scarcity route. Sabathia signed a mega deal with the Yankees before the 2009 offseason and was expected to carry the Yankees through the regular season and into the playoffs, which he did. Many drafted Sabathia near the upper echelon of pitchers in hopes that a move to the high octane Yankees offense would boost his win totals, which it did. If you're drafting Sabathia, you're likely to get 18-23 wins with an ERA hovering in the low 3's and near 200 K's.
4. Derek Jeter- I will go on record as saying I will never draft Derek Jeter. Not because I'm jealous of his future marriage to "actress" Minka Kelly, but simply because I don't feel like drafting him when guys like Grady Sizemore and Adrian Gonzalez are being drafted. While he's no lock to repeat his 2009 numbers, he can be counted on to score 100 runs and hit over .300. If you're looking for a consistent shortstop in 2010, Jeter ranks as one of the best. But I don't blame you if you don't think using a third round pick is too pricey.
5. Mariano Rivera- This was another tough one because I don't usually care to draft the elite level closers. It's hard (nearly impossible) to find anything negative about Rivera. I could have gone with Curtis Granderson here in hopes of a 30/20 season, but Rivera being one of (if not) the best closer in the game bumps him above Granderson. If I were a betting man, I'd take the over on 38 saves for Rivera in 2010 with an ERA in the low 2's and likely as many strikeouts as innings pitched.
Sleeper Alert- Phil Hughes. Now, I'm not sure of the Yankee's plans for Hughes or Joba, but personally, I think they'd be most valuable if they flip-flopped roles. Hughes domination showed that he has what it takes to get Major League hitters out while keeping his peripherals looking decent. CHONE and Bill James have Hughes at around 120 innings for 2010, so my guess is that they see him as a reliever and a spot start for the club. If Hughes starts, he could be the best #5 pitcher in the game. He could also get bombed in a few starts and be relegated to bullpen duties. I would like to point out that Hughes could be on an innings limit like Joba was, so if he does in fact start, I would not hesitate to sell him off for a player that can provide value until the end of your fantasy baseball season.