Below you will find The Fantasy Man's 2009 Fantasy Baseball Mixed League Top 50 Draft Rankings. How did I derive these rankings? I look at each player separately, I look at 2008 stats, I look at trends in stats from the past 3 -4 years, I look at age, I look at team and lineup, I look at stadiums, and most of all, I look at other mock drafts and real league drafts. There is no point in giving you rankings that in some way don't show similarities and/or differences to recent mock drafts. I personally think that Evan Longoria is only a top 35 pick, but if every draft I have seen so far this year has him going in the top 20, then we have something to talk about. However, I am not persuaded by other rankings from other websites and magazines. I make up the rankings on my own using the information listed above.
The rankings below will certainly cause some debate, especially with Evan Longoria. So bring it on! These rankings are not set in stone but I'm positive I'll probably leave them as is during the off-season as these are the rankings I believe in and the rankings I will use to win a bunch of fantasy baseball leagues in 2009. So where do we begin??
1. Alex Rodriguez - A-Rod has been a monster in odd years.... look it up!
2. Albert Pujols - Had a surgery to help his elbow problems (not TJ surgery), if it's good, Pujols will be a monster again!
3. Hanley Ramirez - If he leads off, I'd still pick Hanley here, but don't expect 50+ SB, more like 35 I'd say.
4. Jose Reyes - Reyes alone can keep you alive in the SB category, grab Reyes here and concentrate on power next 3 rounds.
5. Miguel Cabrera - Early season slump hampered BA but HR/RBI were best of career, add in .300+ BA and he's fantasy gold!
6. Ryan Braun - Some say he can be as good as A-Rod, I disagree but he is certainly top 10 fantasy talent.
7. David Wright - You can argue that Wright can be top 5 as he contributes in all 5 major categories.
8. Grady Sizemore - Still getting better with 30/30 potential but 125+R with a .280+BA potential is sweet!
9. Matt Holliday - If he's traded he'll drop into R2 and then you'll get a bargain! I think he can hit .300+/30/100/20 outside Coors.
10. Ryan Howard - Who doesn't like 40/140? I'll take the .260+ BA in the 1st round if it gets me these stats!
11. Chase Utley - I like Utley but 2B isn't as weak that you need to jump on Utley.
12. Jimmy Rollins - .290BA/125+R/20HR/85RBI/40SB is late first round material.
13. Carlos Quentin - Project his '08 numbers over 550+ AB and you'll agree with this ranking.
14. Johan Santana - I'll take the consistency of Santana over Lincecum or Sabathia any day!
15. Mark Teixiera - It doesn't matter where he ends up, will be a monster and probably better in the 2nd half.
16. Prince Fielder - '08 seemed like a down year, so expect better numbers in every category!
17. Josh Hamilton - Big 1st half, not so big second half, be careful here but the talent is insane!
18. Ian Kinsler - He was insane until he got hurt but if you passed on Utley, Kinsler could be better overall!
19. Tim Lincecum - Can easily put up slightly better numbers than Johan but may not get the wins.
20. Carlos Lee - Should be recovered from broken pinkie and is almost a sure bet for .290-.300/30/100/20
21. Manny Ramirez - Hype may have Manny fly earlier, but he's still aging and he'll be paid so might not match 2008.
22. Alfonso Soriano - No longer 40/40 but 35/25 more like it if he can stay healthy and get 500+AB.
23. B.J. Upton - He's oozing with potential but 2009 will produce more HR/RBI and hopefully a slightly better BA with those SB
24. Ichiro Suzuki - Ichiro is the most consistent, sure-thing, durable player in this draft, grab him at the end of R2 as you snake.
25. David Ortiz - I can't believe I have him ranked this low, but he's a bargain down here and will be healthy in '09.
26. C.C. Sabathia - If he ends up in NY, as a Yankee fan, I'm not expecting 2008 numbers. Think Johan and his first year in NY....
27. Dustin Pedroia - .300+/20/80+/20/100+R is fantastic if you're going for position scarcity.
28. Roy Halladay - He's as gritty as you can get and a rock on your staff for every category.
29. Carl Crawford - 40+ SB but I still don't think you'll see the 20+ HR that analysts have been waiting for.
30. Carlos Beltran - Same as Berkman, consistent numbers every year but new talent pushes him down.
31. Matt Kemp - Has superstar potential but he is virtually the same player as Alex Rios, just 3-4 years younger.
32. Evan Longoria - So much hype, has 30+HR power, but K's are a killer and he'll probably bat under .280.
33. Jacoby Ellsbury - Grady Sizemore with less HR, but more SB and BA.34. Jake Peavy - Down year, nagging injuries, crappy team, but still young, ton of potential so look for a big comeback.
35. Lance Berkman - So much talent in this draft pool that solid players like Berkman get pushed down for more hype.
36. Brandon Webb - An elite SP who is consistent and durable and contributes in every category.
37. Justin Morneau - Expect a slight increase in power and possibly a slight decreas in BA in '09.
38. Adrian Gonzalez - Has the power potential and talent to rank just below Fielder and Tex.
39. Brandon Phillips - Doesn't look like 30/30 will happen but if '08 turns out to be a down year, Phillips could be a bargain!
40. Cole Hamels - Has elite top 5 skill, but pitched deep into post-season, so he's a risk. Think Josh Beckett in 2008.
41. Vladimir Guerrero - He's getting older but last year everyone said Manny was done, I think Vlad is a bargain here.
42. Francisco Rodriguez - He won't save 62 again, but 40+ and studly numbers no matter where he pitches is expected.
43. Jonathon Papelbon - If you miss on K-Rod, you can't miss with Papelbon.
44. Russell Martin - These next 3 are are interchangeable but Martin adds 15+SB potential or 20/15 potential.
45. Joe Mauer - Mauer is your BA guy but if he hits for more power, that BA will drop. I think he sticks with the BA.
46. Brian McCann - .300/25/100 potential..... HE'S STILL ONLY 24!!!!
47. Joe Nathan - Just as talented as K-Rod and Papelbon, but with less hype!
48. Kevin Youkilis - He is emerging as a bonafide fantasy stud and he's only going to get better.
49. Dan Haren - Has top 5 talent but hype of others pushes him down slightly.
50. Geovany Soto - 2008 ROY has .280+/25+ potential.
The following players could easily be considered in the top 50 and as you look at rankings in other magazines or on other websites, you'll see the differences. These players are on The Fantasy Man's bubble....
Alex Rios - Instead of overpaying for the Matt Kemp hype, wait until the 5th and steal Rios who had identical stats in '08
Changes as the off-season progresses...
11.10.08 - I swapped Dustin Pedroia (now 27) and Jacoby Ellsbury (now 33). Players like Carlos Beltran and Carl Crawford should be gone before Ellsbury, or else you are reaching. Plus, it's unlikely Pedroia lasts past the 3rd round anyway in any draft!
Comments? Talk to me. Leave a comment below and let the debates begin...