Throughout the 2010 Fantasy Baseball season, there will be MLB players that will change positions, sustain injuries, and go through unbelievable slumps or streaks (good and bad).
Come back weekly for top advice on the guys on the rise, as well as the main guys on the way down:
Jason Heyward (Owned in 88% of all leagues) – Who in their right mind is not talking about this guy. Owned in 88% of Yahoo’s standard leagues, Heyward is not exactly the steal he was before he was officially announced as a starter and hitting a home run in his first at-bat in the majors.
The hype that surrounds him, including comparisons to Albert Pujols and the fact that people are concerned with the possibility he may cause injuries because of how hard he hits the ball, is insurmountable.
If you’re in one of those leagues in which Heyward slipped through in the draft, I highly suggest you scoop this stud up quickly.
Plácido Polanco (78%) - Polanco should continue to be very productive throughout the season, batting in the very strong Phillies’ lineup. So far this season, he is batting .500 with two doubles, a home run, and six RBI’s. Polanco also has increased value, as he has second baseman eligibility in most formats.
Garrett Jones (78%) - Already with three home runs and 6 RBI’s thus far, Jones should bring a solid batting average, on base percentage, and stolen bases total to your fantasy lineup. Batting behind Andrew McCutchen, Jones will have plenty of opportunity to pile on the RBI’s throughout the season.
Martín Prado (66%) - Versatility is the key to Prado’s fantasy relevance, as he has eligibility at first, second, and third base. Starting this season off just as hot as he ended last season (batting .583 thus far), expect Prado’s batting average to be well above the .300 mark in 2010.
Vladamir Guerrero (80%) – Many people seemed to have jumped off of Vlad’s bandwagon after the worst offensive season of his career. In all honesty though, he managed to hit .295 with 15 homers, while playing in only 100 games. Provided he stays healthy this season, expect a spike in offensive productivity from Guerrero; it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to predict a .305 average, 25-30 home run, 100 RBI season from the veteran.
Vernon Wells (79%) - Off to a remarkable start this season, Wells has been the most productive player thus far. He is batting .600 and already has four home runs and seven RBI’s. After a down year in ’09, all signs point towards a bounce-back season this year.
Colby Rasmus (64%) - He’s off to a hot start this season, batting .500 thus far. If don’t you think that the guy that bats directly behind Pujols and Holliday in the Cardinals’ lineup will rack up in the RBI category this season, then you’re out of your mind. Colby Rasmus is that guy.
Jeff Mathis (2%) - He has taken the starting catching gig in Los Angeles from Mike Napoli. Especially at the catcher position, where there is very limited depth, Mathis could prove to be an extremely valuable pick. He is batting .300 with one home run thus far.
Also Noteworthy: Magglio Ordóñez (60%), Jon Rauch (66%), Ryan Doumit (75%)
David Ortiz (83%) - Big Poppi has started off the season miserably yet again, batting 1 for 11 (.091) with zero home runs and one RBI. With Mike Lowell looking over his shoulder from the bench for playing time, expect the leash to be short this year for Ortiz. At this point, the sole thing keeping him in the lineup is Boston’s sheer loyalty to their formerly clutch superstar.
Jake Peavy (93%)- Let me put something into perspective for you: U.S. Cellular Field, (Peavy’s new stadium), ranks among the worst three ballparks to pitch in, while PETCO Park, (his old stadium), ranks among the best pitchers parks in baseball.
This, coupled with the fact that he went from the NL to the AL, points towards a rocky year for Peavy moving forward. His less-than-stellar 5 IP, 3 ER opening day performance evidences this prediction.
Source: Homerun Park Factor
Brandon Webb (73%) – When healthy, Webb is as dominant as any other ace. Coming off of shoulder surgery and still no set time for a return, he’s too risky and there is far too much talent out there to take such a blind chance on him. Who knows?
He could return to his old self at any time throughout the season, but most likely, Webb will probably cause too much frustration for the rewards to outweigh the risks this season.
Mike Napoli (82%) – Jeff Mathis appears to have taken over starting catcher responsibilities as of late. As a result, Napoli will have little to no fantasy relevance for now.
Stephen Strasburg (73%) - If and when the Nationals bring him up from the minors, by all means he should be picked up.
There is no timetable for Strasburg’s major league debut, and a team like the Nat’s will at least wait long enough to avoid a year of salary arbitration with him, which will at least be several weeks.