Well, we’ve done Round 1 (click here to view), Round 2 (click here to view) and Round 3 (click here to view), giving us a solid Top 36. Today, we’re going to take a look at Round 4, plus an additional two players, rounding out my Top 50 heading into 2009.
So, with that said, let’s look at the list:
- C.C. Sabathia – New York Yankees
- Vladimir Guerrero – Los Angeles Angels
- Roy Halladay – Toronto Blue Jays
- Nick Markakis – Baltimore Orioles
- David Ortiz – Boston Red Sox
- Brian Roberts – Baltimore Orioles
- Jake Peavy – San Diego Padres
- Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies
- Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
- Jonathan Papelbon – Boston Red Sox
- Ichiro Suzuki – Seattle Mariners
- Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves
- Curtis Granderson – Detroit Tigers
- Geovanny Soto – Chicago Cubs
- The last two players removed from this list were Corey Hart and Alexei Ramirez. Both certainly have the talent to produce as a Top 50 player, especially Hart, who is among the games best this spring. Unfortunately, it is just Spring Training so time will tell if he can continue in the regular season.
- David Ortiz is a tough player to peg, due to his sub par 2008 campaign. While it is just Spring Training, he has shown signs of life (.313, 3 HR, 9 RBI), which is all fantasy owners could have asked for. We all know he’s one of the best hitters in the game, just one that now comes with a little bit of risk. He has the potential to be an absolute bargain at this point in the draft, which is why I wouldn’t shy away from him.
- Ortiz’ Red Sox teammate, Kevin Youkilis, is another tough player to slot in. He’s not one of the elite 1B, but in most formats he also has 3B eligibility, which certainly helps his cause. He’s likely to regress from last season, but with that positional flexibility, he still has plenty of value.
- Cole Hamels scares me. He really does, mostly due to the stadium he calls home as well as the potential for missing the first week of the season. He’s proven to be among the games elite starters and is certainly worthy of being drafted this early, but I’d be doing so with slight apprehension.
- While catcher may not be as shallow as it once was, especially in two catcher formats, McCann is too valuable of a player to pass up. Considering he hit .301 with 23 HR last season, he is a tremendous hitter in his own right. Obviously, the pitcher does help as well.
- The same could be said for Soto, who went .285 with 23 HR and 86 RBI last season. Obviously, the runs scored (66 last season) is a bit of a detriment, so you’d have to be sure to either have already secured a run scorer, or get one in subsequent rounds.
- I’ve discussed Ichiro in the past (click here to view), where I suggested to shy away from him early on. Still, if you miss out on the speed options earlier, he’s a good fall back option (as is Jacoby Ellsbury a little later on).
- I know, people don’t like taking closers this early (as we’ve been discussing a lot here), but when you have someone as dominant as Jonathan Papelbon, he is worth it. While it’s rare that I end up with him, if he were on the board at the end of Round 4 I’d have to consider him.
- For a team that is likely to struggle this season, the Orioles have two great players in Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts. Don’t let the team fool you, these two can put up tremendous numbers this season and can easily help carry your fantasy team to greatness.
Which players do you think shouldn’t be here? Who got left off?
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