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Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Ryan Braun, Robinson Cano and Others

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 24:  Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers talks to the media prior to spring workouts at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 24: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers talks to the media prior to spring workouts at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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Ryan Braun was all the talk yesterday with people on both sides of the argument airing their views. I for one am still in shock he beat the system, and still question if the box would have made it to the doping agency in Montreal before Monday anyway.

If you want a solid read on the Ryan Braun case, check out this ESPN story by the guys who originally reported Braun's positive test.

Both sides in the Braun case stated they were not responsible for the initial leaks back in December, but someone did leak the results of the case, it appears. And somehow, THIS story was not publicized too much but am sure it will at some point. Check out the date of the post. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

Anyway, I released my Top 100 outfielders for 2012 yesterday, and ranked Braun as my second overall fantasy outfielder for 2012, and I would rank him as my 2nd overall pick in fantasy drafts this year as well. I think he might be driven to prove all his naysayers wrong. He's a talented hitter and is one of the more consistent hitters in baseball who just put up a 30-30 season and won the MVP.

The overturning of Braun's suspension prompted Grey Albright from Razzball and Eric Karabell from ESPN to update their overall rankings yesterday and both ranked Braun as their #1 pick for fantasy drafts in 2012. I chose to keep Kemp at #1.

More after the jump:

We heard yesterday that the Yankees will be moving second baseman Robinson Cano to the third spot in their lineup this season. Is it me, or is he due for a 30+ HR season? I think he is capable of going 30-100-.300 batting third in the Yankees lineup in 2012. No question he is the best fantasy second baseman in 2012.

OK. Opening Day is more than a month away, but somehow Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore must have been doing cartwheels when fielding grounders in the outfield two weeks ago, as he tweaked his back and will be the start of the season. How does one do that?

We are all rooting for Twins first baseman Justin Morneau to return from his post concussion syndrome, but he was talking yesterday as if he is tiring of fight. Jim Souhan has some quotes from Morneau in this article, and here is one of them:

`` Well, I don’t think there will be a career if it’s something I’m dealing with,’’ he said. ``That’s the reality of the whole thing. I’m obviously not going to continue to mess around with this if it continues to be a problem. There comes a point where you can only torture yourself for so long.

Souhan went onto to opine that this season could be Morneau's last if the post concussion syndrone symptoms not go away. It's a sad way to end a career.

The Cubs plan to take it slow with first base prospect Anthony Rizzo this season, and they had their way, he would spend the whole season in AAA, with Bryan LaHair manning first base all year. Plan accordingly.

The time might be approaching where we all might have to move Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales up our rankings before draft day. He is still on track to start participating in spring training games, assuming all goes well in his rehab. He has yet to run the bases, and that will be a huge test for him, but if he can pass that test, Morales could prove to be a sleeper on draft day this season.

For those of you who missed it, John Sickels published his first ever Top 120 Prospect Rankings yesterday, so make sure you head over to Minor League Ball to check out his list.

Lewis Pollis from Beyond the Boxscore published this piece on the Next Next Jose Bautista on Thursday, so click on the link and see who he thinks could have a breakout 2012 season in the power department. I am glad I own him in my AL-only league. Hint, he plays third base in Chicago.

Speaking of Matt Kemp, Yahoo's Tim Brown discussed Kemp's goals for 2012: 50 home runs and 50 steals. One can dream, right?

It appears the Nationals are working toward extendng third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a long term contract and today is the deadline. I guess they will figure out what to do with prospect Anthony Rendon in spring training. Davey Johnson has already stated he wants to see Rendon at third, second and shortstop in spring training.