Toss-up between Montero and Ianneta for the top spot. Montero a better source for contact/average, Ianneta a better source of power....factor out the Coors bump and he goes in second. Buster Posey was the hardest one to project. According to the Baseball Forecaster, his Minor League numbers equate to a .836 OPS. With those numbers over a full season, Posey has an argument for being 1 or 2 but with the learning curve to adjust to Major League pitching and the likeliness that the Giants will insist he needs some time in Fresno to develop his game (say till late-May/Early June....regardless of whether or not said time to develop is needed).
As usual, a deep position. Gonzales gets the nod for now (Sandoval will probably get bumped to first when NOT if A-Gon gets shipped out of San Diego). I see Pablo Sandoval having a nice breakout season.......he was THIS close to being a member of Chedderhead but Ryan Zimmerman got the pick instead with the deciding factor being Pac Bell Park. Few things in life are guaranteed Death, Taxes and LaRoche struggling in the first half, surging in the second half and ending with a .270 average and 25 homers. Unlike Sandoval, LaRoche is a member of Chedderhead as he got drafted in the second to last round.
The wasteland. Clint "Sub .300 OBP" Barmes, Ryan "Didn't Get A Chance Till 28" Roberts and The King of Grit himself David Eckstein. Interesting thing about Barmes......it took me a few years of him in the bigs to realize that his last name was Barmes not Barnes. There were countless times where I would think things like why does Clint Barnes last name look different, why that n looks like an m and finally realizing that oh his last name is Barmes not Barnes.
2- Stephen Drew
Tulowitzki graduated from promising young player to Star last year. Stephen Drew has shown flashes of promise and hopes to join Tulowitzki at the top of the class in 2010. Furcal and Renteria are interchangeable 30-somethings who have seen better days and Cabrera is in last because I don't care for light hitting middle-infielders regardless of how many bases they steal why? Because you are more likely to score a run when you hit a home run than when you steal second.
Like Tulowitzki, Reynolds graduated to the top of his class at his position last year. Casey Blake and Mark DeRosa are interchangeable players that will give you between a .265-.275 average and 15-20 homers a year. The musical equivalent is Nickelback. They've been releasing the same album for the last decade with the same songs under but with only slight variations. This applies here because Casey Blake and Mark DeRosa are the same player with slight variations. The tie-breaker....Casey Blake is on Chedderhead so if he does better than expected, that would contribute to Chedderhead's inevitable title while DeRosa playing better than expected won't impact my life what so ever. Why is Ian Stewart last? Well when factoring in MLE equivalent numbers in the Forecaster, his contact rate has dropped 16 percent and in 3 straight years.......he doesn't strike me as a breakout candidate, he strikes me as a candidate for the Bill Hall All-Stars.
Well, Manny Ramirez may be a bit older his bat may be a bit slower after going on a 50-game maternity leave and Manny is still Manny which still means expect Manny to put up some crazy power numbers. Kyle Blanks....well he was the one that got away from Chedderhead. If it weren't for the fact that Chedderhead was drafted while I was hungover and functioning on 3 1/2 hours of sleep, we would have realized he was available in the last round and given him Mike Cameron's position instead of feeling like a complete idiot when he got picked a few picks later. We were even discussing using a pick on Blanks the night before when we were discussing who we wanted, who we didn't want and who we liked but knew they were going to get picked at least a few rounds earlier than we wanted to pick them....point being Blanks has 35-40 Home Run power written all over him.
Matt Kemp has graduated to the top of the class in 2009. OMG did you hear he's dating Rihanna. In a related story, TMZ needs to go away. Nothing about Young and Hairston inspire me too much. Dexter Fowler gets hype for having a breakout season coming up. I'm not one of those people.....not sure if his high BABIP from last year is sustainable, he could be in for a long year.
Look for Upton to break into the elite players section this year. Look for Andre Ethier to show that his career year in 2009 was no fluke. Look for Hawpe to quietly go yard 20-25 times this year.
Standings At The End Of Part I:
Just finished doing the NL Central preview that produced some unconventional results. After the first half of this preview we have a team (Arizona) on top that absolutely nobody thinks has a chance. Is this just a fluke of being early in the process or am I about to make another risky this may make me look like a complete moron type pick? If i've learned anything from being a fan of Lost, its to leave questions unanswered and to just end