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2009 MLB Predictions

Mark Chamberlin

Scott Martin

Jim Bukowski

AL East

Rays – The division champs can only get better.  Carl Crawford is coming off a down year, Put Burrell is a significant upgrade at DH, their best players (Upton, Longoria, Price, Shields) are at an age in which they can only get better, and their pitching may be the deepest in the game right now (Boston’s in the conversation too).

Red Sox – You can never have enough pitching.  The Sox have a great pitching staff, and a great bullpen. If Ortiz is healthy, this team can do some damage.

 

Red Sox –  This is the toughest division to call, but I’ll have to ride the experience and depth of the Red Sox. 

The Rays will find out that it’s a whole different ballgame being the hunted as opposed to being the hunter and I have serious doubts about how C.C. Sabathia will perform under the pressure of his new contract with the Yankees and A.J. Burnett is an injury waiting to happen.

AL Central

Twins –  This comes with a disclaimer, assuming Joe Mauer is healthy. He won’t break camp with the team, but as long as he’s up by mid-late April and stays up I think this team is the slight favorite.  In what could be a very tight division race they need his offense and defense as many games as possible.

Indians – The Indians have a shot to make some noise this year, but it depends on their pitching staff.  Look for a bit of a drop from Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, but look for Fausto Carmona to bounce back.

Twins –   Pitching, pitching, pitching.  Add a healthy Francisco Liriano to a rotation that includes

Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey and the Twins should be in the driver’s seat in this division.

AL West

A’s – I get points for creativity, right?  Billy Beane’s eye for under valued pitching can’t be dismissed as luck anymore, I don’t know which of his no-name hurlers will breakout this year but I’d bet a few of them will.  Couple that with a significantly improved offense, the numerous questions with the Angels’ staff, and the Rangers’ poor  lack of a staff and I think the A’s are an interesting dark horse.

Angels – I had a hard time with this one, but the Angels still should hang on to this division.  They had better hope that they don’t bury themselves too deep in the first month of the year without their top pitchers.

Angels –   The Angels won the West by 21 games last season and I don’t see where Texas or Oakland made

enough moves to make up that much ground.

NL East

Phillies – As has been the case the last two seasons I can’t decide between the Phils and the Mets so I’m choosing the team that hasn’t choked away September each of the last two seasons.  I’ll probably be wrong this time, but I refuse to be burned by the Mets a third consecutive time.

Phillies – The defending World Series Champs still look strong this year.  If only Hamels’ arm was a sure thing, I’d say that this would be one division winner that I’d be sure of.

Mets –  Last year the Mets were second in the NL in blown saves with 29 and only finished three games behind the

Phillies.  The Phillies were tops in the NL with only 15 blown saves.  The addition of Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz will

close that gap and give the Mets the division.

NL Central

Cubs –  And I would be surprised if the race were close.  The Cardinals are the only potential threat I see and they need a lot of things to go right for that to be the case.  The Reds are the only other team in the division with good starting pitching, but their offense is bad and their bullpen is probably worse.  Lest we forget about Dusty Baker too!

Cubs – Can the pitching staff stay healthy?  If they do, expect big things from this group.  Great offense, and very good bullpen.

Cardinals –  The Cards led the NL in blown saves with 31 in 2008, but my ROY pick, Jason Motte, will

be the difference along with a healthy Chris Carpenter.  Also, look for Chris Duncan and Rick Ankiel to stay healthy and punish

NL Central pitching.

NL West

Dodgers – But the Diamondbacks are very intriguing.  Arizona played over their heads in 2007, regressed to the mean in 2008, but now their young guys are approaching their prime’s, the staff is good, and the pen is solid.  If the Dodgers struggle with pitching I can easily see Arizona taking this division.  It’s too bad San Francisco wasn’t a more serious player in the Manny Ramirez negotiations, had they acquired him I think they’d have a shot at this title.

Dodgers – The Dodgers will be a force this sesaon, as they have arguably one of the best offenses in the NL.  With Kemp/Eithier/Ramirez in the OF, they have one of the most talented sets of OF in the entire MLB.  This team should be fun to watch.

Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks were in first place for 160 days in 2008, but faded down the stretch to finish two games

behind the Dodgers.  The addition of Max Scherzer to the rotation and improvements by Mark Reynolds, Chris Young and Justin Upton

will give the D-Backs the division. 

AL Wildcard

Red Sox – Regardless of what happens there is going to be a great AL East team sitting at home come October.  I think all three teams are equally capable of winning the division, so my tie breaker is depth.  Fact is, the Yankees cannot afford many injuries to an already aging team.  The Rays and Sox can afford injuries at most positions and field replacements that won’t drag them down.  Same cannot be said for the Yanks.

White Sox – This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling that the other wildcard contenders are in for a massive collapse.  With a very good offense and a steady pitching staff, this team will be there throughout the season.

Yankees –  It was either the Yankees or the Rays for the wildcard spot and I give it to the Yankees based solely

on the fact that they are moving to New Yankee Stadium.

NL Wildcard

Mets – This could be a very exciting race to watch unfold.  I think the Mets improved bullpen will be the difference but could really see any number of teams stake their claim at this spot.

Marlins – Yes, the Marlins.  I learned my lesson from last year with this team, and I am a believer now.  There are surely a lot of holes to fill, but their starting staff could be very good, and HanRam might just be the best player in baseball

Phillies – They won’t win the East, but they are the second best team in the National League.

NL Cy Young

Tim Lincecum – He laughs at his critics of his unorthodox pitching motion.  I expect a near-repeat of 2008.

Johan Santana – Johan had a “down” year last year by his standards, and still put up fantastic numbers.  The small jump in WHIP may be cause for a bit of concern, but I’d expect those numbers to get back down to his normal rate.  Look for the K rate to pick back up, and expect Johan to get you close to 20 wins again.

Johan Santana – Santana had 28 quality starts last season in 34 starts, yet he won only 16 games.  The Mets won 22 games

that Santana started.  The addition of K-Rod and J.J. Putz should earn Santana more wins and a Cy Young award.

AL Cy Young

Josh Beckett – I think James Shields will be more deserving but he’s simply not as sexy in style and substance as Beckett.  I don’t vote for style and substance, but most voters do.

Jon Lester – I’ll admit it, I never believed Lester would be as good as he is.  I was begging Theo and the Boston brass to send him in the deal to get Johan.  Now, I’m glad they did not.  Lester’s stuff is fantastic, and he’s done a much better job of getting deep into games and helping his bullpen.  If only Matsuzaka would do the same….

Kevin Slowey  – I was tempted to go with Francisco Liriano, but Slowey is ready to take the next step.  His 22/3 K/BB ratio in

25.1 innings this spring should be a harbinger of things to come.  He only walked 24 batters in 27 starts last season.  But, Liriano

sholdn’t finish too far behind in the voting.

NL MVP

Chase Utley – I’m betting on a strong return from hip surgery.

Hanley Ramirez – Maybe the most talented player in the game today, HanRam does it all.  With an improved pitching staff around him, you may see the Marlins winning some more games, thus giving him more exposure

David Wright –The best 3B in New York even before A-Rod’s injury, Wright is poised to win his first MVP.  A .320 average

with 30+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases should be enough to convince the voters. 

AL MVP

Matt Holliday – Like the A’s being the division winner I get style points for Holliday too, right?  Seriously though, unless A Rod returns from injury, plays to his peak (possible), and the Yanks make the playoffs there isn’t a stand out player on any of the other AL teams in my eyes.  If the A’s win the division Holliday will likely be a big reason why, I think he’d get the default vote.

Grady Sizemore – Already a 30/30 player, Sizemore continually puts up fantastic numbers.  Add to his offensive numbers the fact that he has won consecutive Gold Gloves, and you’ve got a great all-around player.  Expect Grady to lead the Tribe into the playoffs in ’09.

Josh Hamilton – If the Rangers can avoid injuries to multiple players, then Hamilton should be able to get

enough protection to hit 40 home runs and drive in 140 runs while hitting well over .300.  This will add one more chapter

to his feel-good story.

Yankees

Xavier Nady (OF): it seems as though many are ignoring that this guy put up a .305 avg 76 r 25 hr 97 rbi line in 555 AB’s last year, more than half of which came with the hapless Pirates.  He’s also the full time starter.

Robinson Cano – Cano had a down 2008 season, and many fantasy owners are being scared away from him.  Hitting in a great Yankees lineup, he’ll have every opportunity to produce once again.  I’d expect more of his 2007 numbers this year, which will represent tremendous value for where he’s being drafted.

Robinson Cano – An intense off-season workout program has him poised for a big season as evidenced by his .51 batting average and four home runs this spring.

Red Sox

John Smoltz (SP): stash him on the DL until June and enjoy 100ish second half IP’s with solid everything in return.

Rays – James Shields (SP): he is not an ace, but I’d certainly want his reliability over a lot of the potential bust outs that will be all the rage.

Jacoby Ellsbury – Watch for this kid to put it all together this year.  Already a 50 SB threat, Ellsbury should see his offensive production only get better.

Jed Lowrie – He has a starting job in arguably the best offense in baseball and looked ready for the role with three home runs to go along with 16 RBI and a .343 batting average this spring.

Rays

James Shields (SP): he is not an ace, but I’d certainly want his reliability over a lot of the potential bust outs that will be all the rage.

Carl Crawford – A yearly first or second round pick, Crawford has fallen into the 3rd in most drafts this year.  That’s great value for an OF who, if healthy, will get you 15-20 HR, and likely around 50 SB. 

B.J. Upton – He’s going in the second round but should produce 20+ home runs and 40+ stolen bases. When all is said and done, he will

out-produce his draft position.

Blue Jays

Aaron Hill (2B): a popular sleeper before 2008 never recovered from an in-season concussion, he’s batting in the 2 hole and supposedly symptom free.  He’s being drafted as a backup in most leagues, that’s not right.

Vernon Wells – Injuries have slowed Wells, but when healthy, he’s been a fantastic contributor to fantasy teams.  Owners have continually been scared of these injuries, and he’s fallen in many drafts.  But an OF who can contribute the way that Wells can is worth a gamble, considering how far he’s fallen in some drafts.

Adam Lind – He’s been hyped for a couple of years and has disappointed meaning that he should come cheap.  If you need power, he should

be good for 20+ home runs.

Orioles

Adam Jones (OF): Pacman went through an expected up-and-down rookie campaign spending most of his time at the bottom of the order.  The elite prospect has been raking in March and will be batting between Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis to start the year, buy while you still can.

Adam Jones – Another immense talent, Jones appears ready to break out.  He’s a guy that I would expect to be another 20/20 player, with a huge increase in his SB and BA numbers.  I’m higher on him than most, but I would fully expect him to be a hot commodity in league by the end of the first month of the season.

Chris Ray – George Sherrill is listed as the closer, but it’s just a matter of time before Ray takes over.

Twins

Scott Baker/Kevin Slowey (SP): similar in substance, form, and draft value (bargain), I can’t list just one so I’ll just say which ever one is drafted second.  Although I would prefer to just get both of them, as I did in one of my leagues.

Francisco Liriano – Appearing to be healthy again, Liriano is ready to remind everyone how dominant he is.  Owners willing to take on the injury-risk here will be richly rewarded.

Kevin Slowey – He’s my pick for Cy Young.

Indians

Shin-Soo Choo (OF): the year of the Choo!  2008’s second half breakout was legit.

Shin-Soo Choo –

It’s no secret around these parts that I believe Choo will have a great season.  He’s got a great combo of speed/power, and exhibited some of that last year.  Look for him to be a 20/20 player that you might be getting off the wire in shallower leagues.

Kelly Shoppach – Should get enough at-bats to once again produce 20+ home runs, not bad for a guy you can get in the last couple of rounds.

White Sox

Paul Konerko (1B): his second half of 2008 shows he may still have something left to offer, I’m not convinced he’s still got something left but at his price I’m willing to buy and find out.

Josh Fields –

Going undrafted in most shallow leagues, Fields is a guy who can certainly help your team’s power numbers.  Your avg. ?  Not so much.  However, he’s a guy with lots of upside, and he can be had on the cheap.

Josh Fields – He had knee and LASIK surgery so there should be no physical reason that he won’t produce and his .391 batting

average this spring is a nice start.

Tigers

Curtis Granderson (OF): he’ll find it difficult to out produce his already high draft position, but I think he will.  The potential AL runs champion should steal even more bases this year.

Miguel Cabrera – Yeah, this is an obvious one, but Cabrera is just too good.  He may be a liability in the field, but he’ll pace your fantasy team if you’re lucky enough to draft him.

Curtis Granderson – After stealing only 12 bases last season the UIC alum should return to 20 steals to go along with 20 home runs.

Royals

Alex Gordon (3B): lots of potential under valued talent on this team, per usual, Gordon has shown improvements in his game and no longer commands a premium price.

Coco Crisp – Once again getting a shot to start, Crisp will show how valuable he can be for fantasy owners.  Look for a nice, solid BA along with good speed.  He’ll show off power every once in a while, too.  All in all, a great value at the end of your draft, or off the wire.

Alex Gordon – After underperforming the last couple of years Gordon is poised to finally fulfill his potential.  He hit .320 with six

home runs during spring training.  Look for 20+ home runs and 10+ steals.

Angels

Brian Fuentes (RP): he won’t be sniffing K Rod’s save record, but the Angels have made a habit of playing tight games.  Outside of Fuentes’ meltdown midseason 2007 he has been on fire the last three seasons, he doesn’t command a premium price, I’ve been targetting him.

Howie Kendrick –

Another guy that it’s no secret that I like, Kendrick has the ability to be a tremendous player.  Question is, can he stay healthy?  If he does, expect him to take the long-expected leap forward.

Kendry Morales – Tex who?  He definitely won’t give you the power of Big Tex, but he should hit for average and drive in a bunch of runs at

a fraction of the cost.

A’s

pick your sleeper SP!

Dana Eveland, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, or even the hobbled Justin Duchscherer!  Billy Beane has an eye for under valued pitching talent, you just have to trust him.

Matt Holliday – Ok, we all know that Holliday has been a fantasy stud for years.  I’m more interested in how his numbers fare in the move from Colorado to Oakland.  I don’t expect as much of a drop in the numbers as many do, but it should be fun to see.

Santiago Casilla – With Joey Devine making a visit to Dr. Andrews and Brad Ziegler listed as the closer, Casilla could be in line for a fair

amount of saves this season.

Rangers

Nelson Cruz (OF): the Rangers’ clean up hitter has continued his 2008 ways this spring, he is hitting the leather out of the ball.  With Kinsler, Young, and Hamilton hitting in front of him RBI opportunities will be a plenty.

Hank Blalock – Blalock is an injury risk, but he’s got a ton of power potential.  Playing in Texas certainly helps his value-and he’ll have every opportunity to produce for the Rangers. Can he stay healthy?  If he does, owners will get a great value pick.

Nelson Cruz – He hit .291 with six home runs in 55 spring training at-bats, which was a nice follow up to last seasons .330 batting average  with seven home runs in

115 at-bats.  Thirty home runs and 15+ stolen bases are not out of the question.

Mariners

Jose Lopez (2B): I don’t know where he’ll hit in the lineup, but if he continues to hit the way he has in 2008 and this spring expect it to be a premium position.  There’s still a lot of room for growth for the 25 year old, he should not be falling as far as he has been in most drafts.

Erik Bedard – Overvalued last year, and hurt throughout, Bedard frustrated and disappointed owners.  Now, he’ll have the shot to redeem himself.  He appears to be healthy, and ready to reward owners that draft him late.

Josh Fields –  

Seattle’s first round pick last year, it has taken them eight months to get him signed. Last year at Georgia he had 63 strikeouts

in 37 1/3 innings.  Given Seattle’s woes in the bullpen, Fields should be up by mid-season with a chance at 20 saves.

Phillies

Jayson Werth (OF): to summarize, he’s Corey Hart available half a dozen rounds later.

Jayson Werth – This guy did not put in a full season’s work last year, and still went 20/20.  Expect more of the same this year, and he’ll be able to be taken on the cheap.  In shallower leagues-you may even get this guy on the wire. 

Chan Ho Park – I’m basing this solely on his spring stats of a 25/2 K/BB ratio and a 2.53 ERA in 21.1 innings.  At this time last season Cliff

Lee was waiver wire fodder.

Mets

Daniel Murphy (OF): bats between Jose Reyes and David Wright? Has been raking at every level? Is available at the very end of all drafts?  Where do I sign up!

Ryan Church – Yes, the Sheffield signing will hurt Church’s value a bit, but I expect Church will solidify his spot early in the year.  Church was off to a very good start last year, only to have the year derailed.  Starting off strong will be key for him to keep his job.

J.J. Putz – I’m not picking PUtz so much for saves, although the history behind closers who set records is not that encouraging.  I’m picking

Putz because there could be 8-10 cheap wins in the offing as he will be the guy called upon in tied or close games to hold the

opposition in check until K-Rod time.

Braves

Javier Vazquez (SP): moved to the NL, moved from a hitters park to a pitchers park, and was unlucky in 2008.  Classic buy low.

Kelly Johnson –He’s not the super-stud 2B you may target for your team, but Johnson is a steady, solid roto contributor.  He’s capable of 15/15, and those numbers are fantastic value for where he’s been drafted.

Rafael Soriano – Mike Gonzalez has been named the closer, but can he stay healthy and/or effective?  Soriano battled a little injury of his own this spring, but

looks ready and if healthy should push Gonzalez for the closer’s role.

Marlins

Emilio Bonifacio (2B/3B): a month ago he was just cheap speed that projected to be a quality utility infielder.  Now he’s batting at the top of the order and has a full time job, he’s also available even later than Daniel Murphy.  Get him.

Jeremy Hermida –

A perennial bust, Hermida has the tools to be a very good MLB outfielder.  Problem is, every year that it appears he’s ready to break out, he disappoints.  After a good spring, Hermida is poised to reward owners with a solid year. 

Josh Johnson – He has a chance to finish as a top 10 pitcher and you can get him as your number three starter.

Nationals

Elijah Dukes (OF): unless you’re penalized for bad behavior he should provide a profit.

Lastings Milledge – Milledge has a great deal of talent, and broke through with a very productive 2008 season. I would not expect a monumental increase in his .268 BA, but his power numbers (14/61) I would expect to improve.  Look for a .265 20/20/80 season from him.  From someone you drafted in the mid-late rounds, that’s a steal.

Nick Johnson – He’ll come dirt cheap, but if he’s healthy and that’s a big IF, he’ll produce 20+ home runs with a near .300 batting average.

If you happen to play in a league that uses on-base percentage, then he’s golden.

Cubs

Mike Fontenot (2B): I still don’t know what the Cubs were thinking when they shelled out that much coin for Aaron Miles, at least they made the right choice on who to give the every day job to.

Mike Fontenot – Good fantasy 2B usually cost a pretty penny.  Fontenot may not be a stud, but he can be had for cheap.  Keep an eye out for him early, as he’s most likely on your WW.  You can probably get 15/10 out of him.

Sean Marshall – Started to show signs of life late last season and was named the Cubs’ fifth starter earlier this spring.  He has a great lineup

behind him and makes for a great sleeper pick.

Brewers

Carlos Villanueva (SP/RP): Trevor Hoffman’s old and already hurt.  Villanueva was a terrible starter, but excelled when moved to the pen.  He won’t be closing games when Hoffman is healthy, but even then his ratios, K’s, and the occasional win or save will return a nice profit.

Rickie Weeks – Yes, the Rickie Weeks.  I pick him every year.  And every year he disappoints.  This has to be the year….right?  He’s got too much potential not to have it click.  But again, we’ll see how healthy he can be.

Corey Hart – He’s going in the thrid round, but could very likely produce late first/early second round numbers.  He’s been sensational

this spring hitting .351 with seven home runs and is 3-for-3 in stolen bases.

Cardinals

Chris Carpenter (SP): all reports indicate he’s looking the former ace of old, the one that was a top 30 pick not too long ago.

Khalil Greene – He’s got a ton of power potential, even if it comes at the cost of ruining your team avg.  However, with the possibility of Greene hitting behind Pujols, his value jumps significantly.

Chris Duncan – Surprise, surprise, Duncan is looking healthy and mashing the ball.  He’s penciled in as the starter in left and should go for 30+ home runs.  Not bad for a guy going near the end of drafts.

Astros

Wandy Rodriguez (SP): always seems to be nicked up and is inconsistent away from home, but should turn a profit if he gets 30 starts and will turn a profit if you only use him in home games and easy road matchups.

Wandy Rodriguez – Rodriguez can be frustrating, but he can also richly reward a patient owner.  This may be the year he turns it around.  His strikeout potential is great, and can help any team who drafts him.

Michael Bourn – He stole 13 bases while hitting .261 during spring training.  If he can keep his average above .250 he should be able

to swipe 50+ bases and not totally kill your average.

 

Reds

Edwin Encarnacion (3B): I walked into my drafts this year thinking beforehand I would walk out with several Reds on my squad, as I had many pegged as under valued (Dickerson, Votto, Harang, Cueto, Bruce, etc.).  Instead, in my five leagues I ended up with only three Reds (Bruce, Dickerson, and Encarnacion), only one of which (Encarnacion) more than once.  I guess I wasn’t as high on them as I thought.

Edwin Encarnacion – Often overlooked in most fantasy drafts, Encarnacion is capable of good power numbers.  He had 26 last year, and should take another step forward this year.  Edwin also had good speed in the minor leagues, so there is some hope for a few steals sprinkled in.

Chris Dickerson – He’s on the good side of a potential platoon and should produce at least 15 home runs and 15 steals.  Not bad for a guy

that you can get dirt cheap.

Pirates

Nate McLouth (OF): he’s legit, 30/30 is a very real possibility.

Matt Capps – I find it hard to recommend a closer for a team that lost to a community college, but simply put-Capps is a very good reliever on a very bad team.  Even if he gets a small number of saves, he still will help your pitching ratios throughout.

Paul Maholm –

He’s not getting a lot of love in drafts as you can probably get him as your fourth starter.  Looked great in spring training

with a 14/2 K/BB ratio in 23.2 innings with a 1.52 ERA.  I expect him to build upon his nine wins and 3.71 ERA from last season. 

Dodgers

Andre Ethier (OF): let others overpay for Kemp, Ethier should provide similar value at a much cheaper price. There’s a reason he’s penciled into the 3 hole and Kemp into the 7 hole.

Janes Loney – In an offense full of studs, Loney may get overlooked.  However, a guy who will hit around .300 and drive in close to 100 runs deserves more of a look than he’s getting.  Watch for his power numbers to jump a little this year also.

Rafael Furcal – Hit .357 with eight stolen bases in 143 at-bats last season before going down with an injury.  He will definitely out-produce

his draft position as fears of another injury drive down his ADP.

Giants

Randy Johnson (SP): the gamble here is Big Unit’s back, he put up solid numbers in a hitters park last year, now he’s in a pitchers park?  He can only get better…if the back stays intact.

Matt Cain – I tend to take Cain every year, and I am usually very happy with what he does for my teams.  However, his lack of wins is a yearly problem, and I don’t expect that to change this year.

Emmanuel Burriss – Cheap speed.  He’s beaten out Kevin Frandsen for the 2B job and is hitting .341 this sping while going 6-for-8 in

stolen bases.  As a bonus he also has SS eligibility.

Diamondbacks

Chad Tracy (1B): healthy for the first time since 2006, his stat line from either 2005 or 2006 would turn a profit at his going rate.  I enjoy reading his ‘off days’ are scheduled to be played at 3B.

Felipe Lopez – Lopez has unreal position eligibility, and it appears he’ll be hitting leadoff for the D’Backs.  His speed makes him very intriguing, and he seems to be poised to revert back to his old form. 

Mark Reynolds – People are down on him due to his low batting average and that’s good for us.  He’s going to hit a lot of home runs and he’s

6-for-6 in stolen bases this spring.  He’s also hitting .323, let’s hope that carries over into the regular season. 

Rockies

Clint Barmes (2B/SS): in a jam with one of your middle infield positions? Is Colorado playing at home? is Barmes healthy?  He’s your guy.  I’m high on some of their pitchers too, but I’ve learned from past experience with Colorado pitchers to tread very carefully.

Todd Helton – Another injury risk, Helton is not being drafted in many leagues.  He’s still too good of a hitter not to produce-and he appears healthy.  Keep him on your radar early, and if he starts the season the way he’s hit this Spring, you may have yourself a nice little bargain.

Troy Tulowitzki – After going in the second round of a lot of drafts last season he’ll come relatively cheap in 2009 as he approaches

his 2007 numbers.

Padres

Kevin Kouzmanoff (3B): to be honest, this is by default, I can count the number of Padres I want on my roster this year on one hand.  Kouz should provide 22-25 HR’s at a deep discount, but he’s a free swinger that doesn’t run and there isn’t anyone behind him to consistently bat him in.

Adrian Gonzalez – Buried in a pitcher’s ballpark on a very poor team, Gonzalez still finds a way to produce fantastic numbers.  I’d expect his average to jump a bit this year, as he’s a better hitter than his .279 AVG from last year.  I just wish he’d have someone in the lineup to protect him.

Chase Headley – Better late than never as he should have been the Padres starting LF last season.  He’ll come a lot cheaper than he would have

last year and should be good for 18+ home runs.

Any questions or comments can be sent to thecornerofknowledge@yahoo.com

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