Here's a quick list of players that I feel could make the biggest impact in 2010. These are my favorite cheap keepers heading into 2010 and should all be relatively cheap to acquire right now.
1. Billy Butler – All he’s missing is the power….and it will come. Believe think he'll hit 30HR as soon as next year. He's only 23 and with his fantastic contact making skills, it's only a matter of time before the doubles turn into HR's. Once the HR's come, they'll also be a huge potential for an increased OBP. He hovers in the .340 OBP range but once the power comes, he could certainly be a .400+ guy.
Why he's so cheap now? Butler hasn't shown off the power.
2. Ian Stewart – Multi position eligibility and 20+HR/100RBI potential could make Stewart a steal next year. He’ll have to cut down on the K’s but you can draft him as your primary 2B and expect a better BA in 2010. Looking at his swing and size, there is no doubt he can hit 30HR at some point too. Stewart originally came up as a 3B so you know the power is there. Stewart is 24, he hit 30 HR in Single A in 2004 as a 19 year old and has shown the ability to hit .280-.300 in the minors. He's got plenty of time to mature and the K's are alarming, but he got top 10 2B written all over him in 2010 at the draft but should have top 5 on his forehead by the end of the season. I'm thinking Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, Brian Roberts, Robinson Cano, Alexei Ramirez, Brandon Phillips, Ian Stewart.
Why he's so cheap now? Stewart been a K master and sports a .227 BA
3. Nolan Reimold – Here's a guy who came out of nowhere in 2009 to post some solid rookie numbers. If you've kept up with The Fantasy Man, you would have had Reimold on your radar in March though! At 25 years old and room to grow, you have a solid all around player with .280+/25HR/90+ potential in 2010 as the starting RF in Baltimore. While Matt Wieters gets all the hype, Reimold quitely has 10HR and 6 SB in 217 AB so far this season while sporting a .281BA/.368OBP/.554SLG. Those are some lifty numbers for a guy that no one talks about. He batted .284/25HR/84RBI/7SB in AA in 2008 and tore up AAA earlier this year before being called up. I mentioned the potential above. He's got 20+HR power right now, he's got .300+ potential next year, and he should steal approximately 7-10 bases a year. Anything more past that is gravy and he'll be available in the later rounds of your draft in 2010! Scoop him up as a keeper in leagues that keep 6 or more.
Why he's so cheap now? Matt Wieters gets all the hype.
4. Colby Rasmus – Not sure if he’ll ever have a .300BA but he’ll hit a ton of HR and steal a few bases. Right now his future looks dim because of the acquisition of Matt Holliday and the recent hitting of Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick. What you like about Rasmus is that he looks like a fully matured ball player. His minor league numbers blow when you look at them overall except for the monster year that he had in 2007 in AA but he seems like one of those guys that you can promote to the majors with instant success, a la Hanley Ramirez. Rasmus's stock is down at the moment but don't be discouraged. Look at this as an opportunity to scoop him up cheap. Rick Ankiel's contract is up after the season and who knows if the Cards will resign Matt Holliday, so its almost a definite that you'll see Colby Rasmus starting in the St. Louis outfield in 2010 with an expectation that he could be a .270+/20HR+/80RBI+/10SB type player.
Why he's so cheap now? Rasmus doesn't have a full-time position.
5. Ricky Romero – Currently 10-4/3.53ERA/1.38WHIP/87K in 109IP and for a minute, was about to be the ace of the Toronto staff if Roy Halladay were to be dealt. Romero is 24 years old and has been bouncing around the minors since 2005 with mild success, so I wouldn't look at his minor league numbers and frustrate yourself. I think looking at his work this year in the bigs is more beneficial. Romero has had a few hiccups as expected but he's got good overall stuff including a Johan Santana like change up. That right there is enough to sell me. You have to expect better numbers next year as he gains more experience so I like Romero as a sneaky keeper going into 2010.
Why he's so cheap now? Romero's minor league numbers weren't great.