Let’s take a trip around the web and see what some other sites are saying two-and-a-half weeks into the offseason…
Paul Singman of The Hardball Times believes 36-year-old first baseman Todd Helton is worth trusting in drafts for the 2010 season. As Singman points out, he has remained a consistent hitter well into his 30s and still delivers the kind of power rates that will lead to useful home run and RBI totals. Helton also holds a .328 career batting average and has shown no discernible signs of slowing down. As long as he can avoid the back problems that hampered him in 2008, the former Tennessee quarterback is primed for another stellar season.
Advanced Fantasy Baseball gives us an early preview of the 2010 Red Sox, and lists some Boston players that might hold strong fantasy implications. Clay Buchholz could be a hidden gem on a strong staff if he can make a few slight improvements. His K/9 was just 6.65 in 2009, a career-low on any level. It was 8.53 in the majors in 2008 and 12.80 at Triple-A Pawtucket in 2007. Buchholz has the potential to develop into a strikeout machine and he may reach full development sooner than later. The post also has a look at Jeremy Hermida‘s disappointing strikeout rates as a Marlin and how he might improve now that he’s with the Red Sox.
Fantasy Baseball Junkie thinks speedy outfielders will continue to go undervalued in drafts next season. Players like Michael Bourn, Nyjer Morgan, and especially Bobby Abreu, can often be had at a discount despite quality numbers all over the fantasy map. As FBJ notes, “There are only two players that have been top 50 fantasy hitters for the past eleven seasons. One of them is Alex Rodriguez; the other is Bobby Abreu.” He was ranked only the 20th best fantasy outfielder for 2010 by CBS and the 54th best hitter by ESPN. Of course, things could change by the time leagues begin drafting.
The fellas over at Razzball give a 2010 fantasy outlook for the Diamondbacks’ Brandon Allen. He should get an opportunity during Spring Training to win Arizona’s starting first base job and has shown enough power in the minor leagues to warrant selection late in drafts next season. That said, he needs to work on his strikeout rate, which stood at an ugly 38.5% in 116 plate appearances last season. The D’Backs already have enough whiffers.
One of the writers over at SB Nation’s Fake Teams had the sixth overall pick in a recent mock draft and selected the Brewers’ Ryan Braun. Here’s his justification: “I chose Braun as I feel there is some position scarcity in the outfield in 2010, and Braun provides you 5 categories in 5×5 leagues, and has increased his RBI totals in each of the last 2 seasons, and hit the 20 marks in SBs in 2009.”