Here are 10 fantasy hitters who really helped their teams in the month of September/October, without any position factor considered. Hitters 4-9 could probably be arranged in any order you like, although the top three hitters seem set.
10. Victor Martinez .330-7-25-17-0
These are great numbers for anyone and they are spectacular for a catcher. Martinez is a free agent following this season and it will be interesting to see how many years a club feels comfortable giving him. Fantasy-wise, he is likely to move up from last year’s 48 ADP on ESPN.
9. Jayson Werth .300-9-22-23-4
A free agent at the end of the year, Werth did everything in his power to become one of the top players available on the open market. The Phillies have top prospect Domonic Brown ready to step in for Werth but it will be strange to see him on another team next Spring.
8. Andrew McCutchen .324-4-16-22-5
Coming into the 2010 season, many fantasy players wondered if McCutchen could be a consistent HR threat. While he will never be confused as a bopper, he seems very capable of putting up a 20-HR, 40-SB season in 2011.
7. Chase Utley .306-5-24-21-7
After suffering a torn ligament in his thumb that required surgery, Utley came back quicker than many people expected. He missed just six weeks of action and after a couple of weeks to play himself back in shape, Utley responded with production that fantasy leaguers have come to expect. Now the question remains if he is still a first-round pick or if age and injury concerns drop him lower.
6. Carl Crawford .360-4-19-16-6
Another free agent, Crawford did everything fantasy owners hoped he would do and finished the year as one of the Top 10 fantasy hitters, again. The big question for fantasy players is if Crawford moves to a new team, will he get more SB chances? With an 82 percent success ratio last season, owners would love to see him get even more opportunities than the 57 he had in 2010.
5. Mike Aviles .333-6-14-20-7
In the final month of the season, Aviles hit 6 of his 8 HR and had 7 of his 14 SB for the season. After going undrafted in many 12-team mixed leagues this year, Aviles undoubtedly will be a hot target for fantasy league players in 2011.
4. Drew Stubbs .316-7-18-19-6
With the Reds making the playoffs, Stubbs will be introduced to the wider baseball audience for the first time. Fantasy league players are already aware of the just-turned 26-year-old, who saved his best for the final month of the season.
3. Shin-Soo Choo .340-7-27-19-7
How’s this for consistency – last year Choo had a .300-20-86-87-21 line and this year it was .300-22-90-81-22 line. The only problem with Choo is that he has a two-year obligation to the South Korea military hanging over his head. Choo will be representing his country in the upcoming Asian games and if South Korea wins the Gold Medal, he will likely have the requirement waved. But what if they don’t finish first and Choo goes through with his duty? Is there any chance he could return to be an MLB-quality hitter after sitting out two of his late-prime years?
2. Carlos Gonzalez .378-5-26-24-6
Without a doubt, Gonzalez is this year’s fantasy MVP. He had a preseason ADP of 131.1 according to ESPN but finished as the top-rated player in fantasy, with a $43 12-team mixed value, according to Last Player Picked. Gonzalez had a terrific final month of the year, but it wasn’t quite good enough to be the best.
1. Troy Tulowitzki .303-15-40-30-2
In the last three years, Tulowitzki has played 101, 151 and 122 games. No fantasy player questions his talent, but how soon are you ready to pull the trigger on a player who has missed roughly 1/3 of the season in two of the past three years? And should we be even a tiny bit worried about the new chain of command in regards to the baseballs at Coors Field? Tulowitzki had a 1.034 OPS at home this year and an .863 mark at home.