The Padres complete the National League Top 5 series, as Ian Youhanna is taking care of the Top 5's for the American League teams. The Padres have one of the top first baseman in the majors in Adrian Gonzalez, but everything points to him being traded at some point in the 2010 season. It is not a guarantee, but appears likely, as long as Padres GM wants to secure the best package possible.
Let's take a look at the surprisingly good Padres Top 5 for 2010:
1. Adrian Gonzalez-AGonz had another solid season in San Diego in 2009 going 40-99-90-.277-.407-.551. He drew 22 intentional walks in 2009, so alot of teams are pitching around him. Should he get traded, one would expect his numbers to increase a bit across the board just for the mere fact he no longer has to hit at Petco Park 81 times a year. Bill James has him going 35-106-97-.279-.372-.516 in 2010.
2. Kyle Blanks-Blanks is huge. I wonder who would win a steel cage match between he and the Dodgers Jonathon Broxton. Blanks displayed his massive power in 2010 hitting 10 HRs in just 148 at bats. Blanks will play left field until Gonzalez is traded. James projects him to go 25-93-79-.277-.362-.475 in 2010.
3. Evereth Cabrera-Cabrera has one skill-his speed, and fantasy owners will want him to run as much as possible in 2010. He had the green light last year, so there is no reason to be concerned, he just needs to get on base enough. Cabrera stole 25 bases in 33 attempts in 2009. James has him going 3-44-90-37-.268-.353-.378 in 2010.
4. Heath Bell-Does Omar Minaya stay up at night wondering what he would do with the money saved had he not traded Bell a few years back? Bell is one of the more reliable closers in baseball, as he saved 42 games in 48 chances. James projects 43 saves in 2010, but Bell is another candidate to be traded this season.
5. Chase Headley-Headley was handed the 3B job a week ago when Jed Hoyer traded Kevin Kouzmanoff to the A's. Manager Bud Black thinks Headley will have a breakout season in 2010, and fantasy owners should take a long look at him in the later rounds of drafts. Headley went 12-64-62-10-.262-.342-.392 in 2009, and James has him improving to 16-72-72-8-.284-.365-.455 in 2010.
Sleeper Alert: Mat Latos-Latos had a 10 start, 50 inning cup of coffee in 2009, going 4-5 with a 4.62 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Latos walked alot of batters (23) in his 50 innings, but has shown tremendous command and control in the minors. In 184 innings in the minors, Latos walked only 47, and struck out 216 batters. He will be the Padres 3rd or 4th starter in 2010, with the chance to be the staff ace come 2011.