Before we get into the rankings, let me put in a little disclaimer. These are extremely preliminary rankings for 2012 (prior to my projections being done) and have a lot of room for movement as the offseason progresses. They are done just on the surface, so as you look at them keep that in mind (and all numbers are prior to yesterday’s game):
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
- Aramis Ramirez – Chicago Cubs
- Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
- Michael Young – Texas Rangers
- Is anyone still doubting the power of Jose Bautista? Over the past two seasons he’s hit 97 home runs, by far the league leader (Albert Pujols is second with 79). Clearly, he’s no aberration and has developed into one of the premier players in the game. The fact that he plays one of the weakest positions is just icing on the cake. He’s going to be a first round pick this season, and it’s well deserved.
- So much for Adrian Beltre only performing in contract years. He was tremendous in his first season in Texas hitting .296 with 32 HR, 105 RBI and 82 R. Considering a .273 BABIP, there are plenty of reasons to believe that he can continue producing. Of course, using an early round pick on him is going to be a risky proposition given his history of poor seasons, so let’s consider his spot on these early rankings “tentative”.
- At this point I am just not sure what to make of David Wright anymore, are you? Has CitiField gotten that much into his head? It was nice to see the strikeouts down, though they still weren’t good (21.7%) and his power completely dried up once again. When he was at his best Wright routinely posted a line drive rate of between 23% and 26%. The past two years? He’s been at 18.9% and 18.0%. We’ll hear rumors of a trade all winter long and maybe it would be for the best if he was traded. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it will happen. At a weak position he is going to continue to have value (obviously), but he’s also clearly not the same player that he once was.
- Where will Aramis Ramirez land in free agency? The answer to that question will determine his ultimate appeal to fantasy owners. However, the fact that he proved capable of producing once again will go a long way for fantasy owners.
- No, Alex Rodriguez owners that’s not a typo. The fact of the matter is that the injury concerns have become extremely significant, as has his age. Obviously, he’s going to continue to be a viable option in most formats, but he’s not the superstar that he once was.
- Brett Lawrie proved quickly that he has the potential to be a must use option in all formats as soon as 2012. He may crack the Top 10 when all is said and done but for now he fell just short.
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Make sure to check out all of our preliminary 2012 rankings: