As I continue with the top five players for each AL team, I arrive at the Tampa Bay Rays.
1. Evan Longoria- Most likely being drafted near teh second round, Longoria is a pretty good bet to hit 30 home runs, score 100 runs, drive in 100 plus RBIs, hit around .275 and tossing in a handful or two of stolen bases. Bill James Has Longoria projected to go 106/37/120/9 and .287.
2. Carl Crawford- After an injury ridden 2008 season, Crawford rebounded back to his normal form, with his value lying in his speed and ability to score runs. He probably won't ever hit 20 home run in a season, but he should hit about 15 and score around 95 runs.
3. Ben Zobrist- 2009 was probably a career year for Zobrist, but he should be the everyday second baseman. Call me slightly pessimistic when it comes to Zobrist's 2010 season, but I think he could hit about 20 home runs and put up a decent OPS. For a second baseman, I'll take that any day.
3. B.J. Upton- I was tempted to bump Upton over Zobrist but the position scarcity at 2B steered me away. I'm not the biggest Upton supporter (Unless we're talking Justin Upton) but I think his ability to steal 40+ bases comes at a good value around 50 overall.
4. Carlos Pena- I'll probably be blasted for this, but I'm a big fan of Pena. He'll be drafted around 100 overall and comes with 100 runs, 100+ RBI and anywhere from 35-40 home runs. In 2009, Pena's BABIP was .040 points lower than his career numbers so an improvement on his batting average is in the cards. In a healthy season, Pena could very well end the season being above average in three categories and see a batting average around .240.
5. Rafael Soriano- I could have put James Shields or Jason Bartlett here, but I think Soriano may provide the best value at his draft position. The Rays lacked a real closer in 2009 and Soriano took the closer job and ran with it. With a career ERA of 2.92 and a K/9 of 9.87, Soriano possesses the ability and skills to become an elite closer. If you're drafting him, you'll likely be getting him after all of the elite options have left the board and he has the ability to match the stats of those elite options, but be more powerful. Drafting Soriano does come with risk due to his durability over the course of his career.
Sleeper alert- Desmond Jennings. Jennings has elite speed and a career .391 OBP in the minors. If Jennings were to come up and play right field or if Upton or Crawford were to be traded, he could put up Carl Crawford-like numbers.