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Fantasy Baseball Discussion on Designated Hitters and Composite Rankings

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 05:  Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Texas Rangers bats against the Kansas City Royals during the MLB spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 5, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010

Much like in real baseball, the designated hitter is a controversial subject in fantasy circles.

Like, what constitutes a fantasy DH?

Major fantasy sites couldn’t agree.

ESPN had Joe Mauer as their top fantasy DH, but everyone else considers him solely as a fantasy catcher.

ESPN and Sports Illustrated consider Adam Lind and Jason Kubel as fantasy designated hitters, but Yahoo!, CBS Sportsline, and FOX Sports didn’t concur, leaving them off their respective lists.

What we’re left with are players that, in my mind, are the true fantasy designated hitters, and the only reason to consider looking at the position. These are guys who likely will not be found in any other positional category, but could still provide some fantasy pop.

Factoring in all five sites mentioned above, here is a composite ranking of players who make the cut as “true” designated hitters. (Plus, check out posts covering composite rankings at these positions: catcher , first base , shortstop , and closer.

1. Vladimir Guerrero, Texas (11 composite points): Most baseball fan could easily tell you who Vladimir Guerrero is, but not many would thank him for helping their fantasy teams to any recent championships. A knee injury kept Vlad out nearly half of last season and his batting average slipped for the third consecutive season.

However, if you want a guy who will hit near .300 and produce around 20 home runs, then taking a late-round flier on Vlad may not be a bad idea—except that someone in your league will draft him thinking he still plays for the Montreal Expos and will hit the cover off the ball on a regular basis.

2. David Ortiz, Boston (14): Big Papi took a big step backwards last season. In fact, it is possible that he was the biggest first-half bust in recent fantasy baseball memory. He may whack a couple more homers than Vlad in 2010, but expect a much worse batting average and no speed to boot.

3. Hideki Matsui, Los Angeles Angels (17): Wonder how many people in your respective leagues will realize that Matsui doesn’t play in pinstripes anymore. Many will remember his super-human postseason performances and likely snag him higher that one here at chinstrap ninjas would comfortably recommend.

Check out the rest of these ranking and more talk on designated hitters by clicking here .

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