Continuing with the NL West Top 5 series, today we discuss the Arizona Diamondbacks Top 5 for 2010. The Diamondbacks own the rights to future/present stud outfielder Justin Upton. They also have 2009 breakout hitter Mark Reynolds, and the question is who takes the first spot in the Diamondbacks Top 5.
Let's take a look:
1. Justin Upton: no surprises here, but I was really tempted to put Reynolds at 1. Upton had a solid season in 2009 going 26-86-84-20-.300-.366-.532. Upton does alot of things well, including striking out. But never fear, he did reduce his K% from 34% in 2008 to 26% in 2010. If he goes 30-100 in 2010, which I think is very possible, then we can live with the high K%. Bill James projects him to go 28-90-93-19-.293-.371-.534 in 2010, and I think he easily surpasses his projection.
2. Mark Reynolds: I will always remember making the worst keeper decision ever, by not giving Reynolds at least a $5 raise in 2009. It was the first of many bad decisions in 2009. Anyway, Reynolds went on to have a huge season going 44-102-98-24-.260-.349-.543. Reynolds also strikes out alot, with a K% of 38.6%. 38.6%!!! But he did raise his BB% to 11.5% from 10.4% in 2008. Bill James sees more of the same in 2010-40-107-103-18-.268-.356-.551. I can see the steals, but am not sure he will hit 40 HRs again.
3. Dan Haren: Haren is one of the more consistent starting pitchers in fantasy baseball, as he will give you 15-16 wins, low 3's ERA and low 1's WHIP, with a K/BB in the low 5's which is tremendous. James has him going 16-9 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a K/BB of 4.06. Haren should be drafted in the 4th-5th rounds of mixed league drafts, but keep in mind he is a first half pitcher as he had a 2.01/4.62 ERA split in 2009.
4. Adam Laroche: if you are willing to hang in there with Laroche, he will give you a consisten 25-85-.280 season in 2010. He went 25-83-.277-.355-.488 in 2009, but his first half split of 12-39-.250-.336-.447 turned into 13-44-.311-.377-.538 in the second half. James projects him to go 26-91-79-.271-.348-.485 in 2010. He could do better hitting in the ballpark once called The BOB.
5. Stephen Drew: yep. I think he bounces back in 2010, after he disappointed fantasy owners in 2009. In 2008, Drew hit 70+ extra base hits, going 21-67-91-.291-.333-.502, with 44 doubles and 11 triples. I proclaimed he was the 4th best shortstop in the NL for 2009 drafts, and we all know what happened after that. James has Drew coming back to life in 2010, going 17-71-80-.275-.335-.456.
Sleeper Alert: Conor Jackson: CoJack missed all of 2009 with valley fever, but appears healthy for 2010. Jackson will start in leftfield and play some first base as well. He won't hit for alot of power, but he will provide fantasy owners with double digit HRs and stolen bases, with a BA that will approach .300. James projects him to go 12-69-66-9-.285-.368-.438.