Fantasy baseball season is few months away, but its not too early to start thinking about your 2012 team.
Multi-position players are always a valuable commodity, especially those that can play both the infield and outfield positions. Catchers that play a corner spot are also valuable, as they will play 15-20 more games per year.
Here are 10 such players to pursue in 2012.
A great pickup for many fantasy players last year, Mike Napoli is a potential 30-100 guy who has catcher eligibility.
He's likely to split time between catcher and first and should play over 150 games. He should be considered a top-five catcher next year due to his durability.
Sandoval had a great 2011 at the hot corner and, surprisingly, his defense was very good (though that's usually irrelevant to fantasy owners). What is relevant is the fact that Sandoval, being on the Giants, could grant him any number of position eligibilities throughout the year.
He's a third baseman, but he will probably see some time at first base to keep him healthy. The Giants also only have three official outfielders on their roster and Sandoval could play there as well.
Also, he's a former catcher and the Giants have hinted about using him every now and then behind the plate.
If he could gain three or more positions, he's a dynamite pickup.
Michael Cuddyer is a powerful corner outfielder who also spends enough time at second to gain eligibility.
If he begins the season as a potential second baseman, he's a top-five at that position.
His defense isn't great, but it's fantasy, so that's not what really matters anyway.
Okay, so he's not a position player, but what he is is a potential top-notch starter, and/or closer.
Its not clear how he will be used for the Rangers, but if he starts having the RP designation he could be a big boost, and if he closes, the same holds true.
Hanley Ramirez has been the top shortstop for the past few years.
Those times are gone, but his eligibility will remain the same.
He will probably play some third, some short and some outfield next season, and after a down year, he could be a great second-round steal.
Don't get me wrong, Figgins was abysmal last year.
But he steals bases, can hit for average on occasion and can play any infield position and the outfield. Straight up, he's not the best, but for fantasy he's a viable multi-tool player.
Allen Craig is primarily an outfielder, but he played enough infield to warrant consideration for other eligibility.
I'm not sure it will happen, but as a potential second base candidate, he's worth a shot for his bat.
He's the only man to win Gold Gloves at different positions.
He's a great average hitter and drives in a number of runs, plus he can play the outfield, second and third in a pinch.
Buster Posey is an interesting case, in a few years he will probably be a first baseman, but now, time to ride the gravy train that is his catching eligibility.
Posey will spend a lot of time at first to keep himself healthy.
This will result in more games played and better offensive numbers.
Who woulda thought that Ben Zobrist would be a multi-talented multi-positional fantasy stud?
That was 2011; in 2012 Zobrist is the king of the multiple positions.
He's got second, short and third covered as well as the outfield.
When in doubt go with him at second; it's still and always will be a very weak position (apologies to Chase Utley and Robinson Cano).