With the baseball season just weeks away, I prepared a guide for your Fantasy Baseball success, providing draft strategies for the Top 20 Picks.
1. Alex Rodriguez
Producing sick numbers with 54 HR and 156 RBI, while maintaining a .314 BA, A-Rod racked up the AL MVP Award, the RBI and HR titles, and an enormous paycheck. The honor of being top pick for your fantasy baseball team is another thing A-Rod can check off his "To-Do" List.
2. Hanley Ramirez
Possibly one of the most underrated players in the league, Ramirez was one homerun shy of the 30-50 club. He produced 81 RBI as a leadoff man, with a .332 batting average. Ramirez looks forward to having an even stronger year in '08.
3. Matt Holliday
The NL MVP, Holliday quietly produced a wonderful season in 2007. He hit for 36 dingers, 137 RBI—and all the while, he produced a BA of .340. Did I mention he led his team to the World Series? Matt can do it for your fantasy team too.
4. David Wright
Although the Mets fell short of the playoffs last season, it was not David Wright's fault. He hit for 30 HR, 107 RBI, maintained a .325 average, and swiped 34 bases. David Wright is a five-tool player and a future star.
5. Jimmy Rollins
The leadoff hitter for the Phillies, Rollins led Philadelphia over the Mets and to the NL East crown. He scored 139 runs, hit 30 homers, had 94 RBI, and stole successfully 41 times. Rollins won the NL MVP and is a remarkable power-hitting shortstop.
6. Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera proved to be one of the league’s most dominant hitters in 2008, hitting .320 with 34 homeruns and 119 RBI for a team that produced very few runs. Miguel is sure to have an equally dominant season, but it is likely that he will be even better because he is now playing with the Detroit Tigers, who appear to be the team to beat in the MLB. He will have even more RBIs, and I look forward to watching Cabrera prove himself as one of the elite hitters in all of baseball.
7. Johan Santana
With the recent acquisition of Johan Santana to the New York Mets, I am sure that he will have a phenomenal season. He recorded 15 wins and 13 losses last season with the Twins, with a 3.33 ERA, and this was considered a weak season for Santana. With all of the motivation surrounding Santana and the Mets, I am certain that he will produce incredible numbers and clearly establish himself as the strongest pitcher in the league.
8. Chase Utley
If not injured late in the season, Utley may have won the MVP award in the National League. He hit 48 doubles, 22 homers, and 103 RBI in a season shortened by injury. Utley is sure to produce similar numbers this season.
9. Jose Reyes
Reyes finished the season with a dismal performance, showcasing a lack of maturity and effort. However, he is still one of the elite players of the Major Leagues. He produced 78 SB last season, and can help your team dominate the stolen bases category. He will be motivated and driven for success, and is deserving of a spot in the Top 10.
10. Magglio Ordonez
Magglio may even deserve to be listed higher than #10. He batted an incredible .363 with 28 HR and 139 RBI. Magglio will be tough competition for the AL MVP award in 2008, even against A-Rod.
11. Alfonso Soriano
Alfonso Soriano quietly batted .299 with 33 HR and 70 RBIs as a leadoff man. It was a disappointment to see Soriano so quiet for all of the season, but as the Cubs experience the 100th year since their last World Series victory, it is likely that Alfonso will provide solid numbers in ’08.
12. Jake Peavy
Peavy is a top pitcher in this season's Top 20, and he is very deserving of that honor. He went 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA with a WHIP of 1.09. It is clear that Peavy will produce similar MVP numbers in 2008. Just imagine the Cy Young race if Santana joins the NL.
13. Albert Pujols
Pujols hit .327 last season, with 32 dingers and 103 RBIs. And that was an off year. Albert is destined to have a terrific season in 2008, and reestablish himself as the best first baseman in fantasy baseball.
14. David Ortiz
Ortiz did not have his best season in '07, but he turned it on late to give the Red Sox a championship ring. Big Papi still produced monster numbers, however. He hit 35 HR and 117 RBI, maintaining a .332 average. Ortiz will be bigger and better in '08, so be prepared for ridiculous numbers.
15. Josh Beckett
The only 20-win pitcher in the major leagues, Beckett pitched his way through the playoffs and led his team to a World Series championship. With 194 strikeouts and a 3.27 ERA, Beckett will put up similar numbers in '08 and will be a strong candidate for the Cy Young.
16. Vladimir Guerrero
Vlad led the Angels into the playoffs, batting .324 with 27 homers and 125 RBI. He also won the HR Derby Contest, proving his remarkable power. Vlad should bring his best this season.
17. Ryan Howard
With 47 dingers and 142 RBI, Howard can really produce. I would have placed him higher, but because of his lack of speed and runs scored, he sits at the #17 spot. Regardless, Howard is one of the top power hitters in the league.
18. Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro is a uniquely dominant force in the Majors. He hit for seven triples, scored 111 runs, and best of all, maintained an astonishing .351 average. Ichiro will provide excellent speed, batting average, and health for your team.
19. Prince Fielder
Fielder is very young, and will continue to produce fantastic numbers as his career unfolds. He hit 50 home runs in 2008, along with 119 RBI. Fielder proved to be someone to pay serious attention to last year—and this year, he will be a star.
20. Carlos Beltran
Although age is beginning to creep up on Carlos, he will remain an All-Star centerfielder in '08. With 33 HR and 112 RBI, Carlos is a five-tool player who can even swipe your team some bases. Carlos deserves the 20th spot.
There it is: your Top 20 draft picks for Fantasy Baseball 2008.
I wish you a season full of homeruns, RBI, low ERA—and most of all, enjoyment.
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