The Cubs are the next NL Central team in the Top 5 series. Let's take a look at their Top 5:
1. Aramis Ramirez-Ramirez is the Cubs best hitter, when healthy. Last year he hit 15-65-.317-.389-.516 in a little over 300 ABs. Bill James project him to go 26-97-.292-.364-.514.
2. Derrrek Lee-Lee had a bounce-back year in 2009 after two sub-par power seasons in 2007-2008. Lee hit 35 HRs and drove in 111 runs with a .306-.393-.579 slash line. James projects him 30-98-.291-.378-.516 in 2010. I am a litle skeptical that he can hit 30 HRs again.
3. Alfonso Soriano-Soriano is coming off a sub-par season in 2009 where he went 20-55-.241 in 477 ABs. Bill James projects him to go 30-77-15-.263-.320-.487 in 2010. I have a hunch Soriano has a bounce-back season in 2010 as well.
4. Ryan Dempster-Dempster went 11-9 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 2009. His K/9 dropped from 8.14 to 7.74, but his BB/9 has dropped every year since 2004, from 5.66 in 2004 to 2.93 in 2009. So his peripheral stats are trending the right direction even though his K/9 dropped in 2009.
5. Geovany Soto -the 5th spot was difficult as I considered Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, and Marlon Byrd here, but decided to go with Soto as I feel like his 2009 was not really representative of him as a hitter, as he dealt with several injuries. James projects a 20-79-.273-.361-.469 season from Soto in 2010, and I think he can approach those numbers as well.
Sleeper Alert: Carlos Marmol-many of the experts will tell you to stay away due to his high walk numbers in 2009 (almost 8 per nine innings), but he still saved 34 games last year, and is not sharing the closer role with anyone to start the season, as of today. His 2009 season could be an aberration as his K/BB prior to 2009 were always around 3.00, so he still has the skills to return to that level. He will be one of the last closers drafted in mixed leagues and should out-perform some of his peers.