Even with the injury, I am still taking Utley as my 1 overall second baseman in 2009 fantasy baseball drafts. Utley's consistency in all scoring categories combined with his place in a very potent Phillies lineup, makes him nearly a guaranteed commodity. Passing up 2025 homeruns, 90100 rbi, 100 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, and a .300 plus batting average wouldn't be wise.
While many fantasy baseball mangers will be tempted to take Kinsler as the 1 overall fantasy baseball second baseman, his injury history nearly guarantees you that he will miss at least 30 games during the 2009 season. When you compare that to Chase Utley's probable missed games total for 2009, Utley is the clear favorite at second base. However if Kinsler can manage to stay relatively healthy and play 150 games, his numbers could approach 25 homeruns, 30 stolen bases, 80 rbi, 115 runs scored, and a batting average around .300.
3. Dustin Pedroia Boston Red Sox (25)
Pedroia proved his doubters wrong in 2008 with career highs across the board. At age 25, Pedroia has plenty of room to continue to improve upon his numbers in 2009. Not to mention being in a high run producing Boston offense definitely helps Pedroia's cause as well. A 20 homerun and 20 stolen base season with over 100 runs scored and an outstanding batting average well over .300 is likely for Pedroia in 2009.
4. Brandon Phillips Cincinnati Reds (28)
While Phillips didn't come close to a 30 homerun and 30 stolen base season again in 2008, a 20 homerun and 20 stolen base season isn't exactly terrible either. If Phillips remains injury free, a 25 homerun and 25 stolen base season is likely, with great potential for another 30 homerun and 30 stolen base season in 2009.
5. Brian Roberts Baltimore Orioles (31)
Whether Roberts remains in Baltimore or not, it really doesn't matter in terms of his 2009 fantasy baseball potential. Something between 4050 stolen bases with 100 runs scored and a .290 batting average is a great bet for Roberts in 2009.
6. Dan Uggla Florida Marlins (29)
After three consecutive seasons of outstanding fantasy baseball production, I think Uggla may have finally gained the trust of fantasy baseball managers entering the 2009 season. While Uggla's batting average isn't great, it isn't a complete scoring category killer either. Take Uggla's 2530 homeruns, 8090 rbi, 100 runs scored and be thankful you have one of the best fantasy baseball second basemen in the league.
7. Alexi Ramirez Chicago White Sox (27) BUST
After last year's breakout, Ramirez will be high in 2009 fantasy baseball rankings entering the season. However just remember that last year was Ramirez's only major league experience, and it is possible that he regresses a bit in 2009. With that said, Ramirez still has plenty of potential to increase upon his 2008 numbers, but he clearly isn't a safe bet. There are always 'busts' in fantasy baseball drafts, and Ramirez could very easily be one of them in 2009. On the other hand, if Ramirez isn't a bust, 20 homeruns, 15 stolen bases, 70 rbi, 80 runs scored, and a batting average around .290 is possible.
8. Robinson Cano New York Yankees (26)
To say Cano underachieved and disappointed in 2008 would be a complete understatement. In all honesty, Cano was a major bust for every fantasy baseball team that took him high in their draft last year. Luckily however, the rebuilding of the Yankees roster for the 2009 season, could lead Cano to a career year in 2009 as he should have plenty of protection in the lineup. A .300 plus batting average combined with 1520 homeruns, 80 rbi, and 8090 runs scored seem likely for Cano in 2009.
9. Mark DeRosa Cleveland Indians (34) BUST
After posting a career year in 2008, the Cubs quickly bailed on the 34 year old DeRosa in hopes of getting good value for him while they still could. DeRosa's fantasy outlook for 2009 looks solid, but with a track record that includes just 13 homeruns as his career high prior to his 21 homeruns in 2008, I highly doubt DeRosa will come close to 20 homeruns again in 2009. Expect solid numbers, but not great numbers from DeRosa in 2009. His best fantasy baseball asset is definitely his versatility, as DeRosa should qualify at second base, third base, left field and right field in your league, and if an injury occurs to a starter, DeRosa can even play first base and shortstop if needed, which would give him even more position eligibility in fantasy baseball leagues for the 2009 season. 15 homeruns, 70 rbi, 8090 runs scored, 5 stolen bases, and a batting average around .285 seems realistic for DeRosa in 2009.
10. Howie Kendrick Los Angeles Angels (26) BREAKOUT
As usual, Kendrick once again succumb to his injury history in 2008. The potential and ability is there, but at this point, Kendrick is a huge high reward, high risk pick entering the 2009 fantasy baseball season. If you have a good starting second base option already and Kendrick is available late in your draft, he is a great sleeper pick with outstanding value and potential. 1015 homeruns, 15 stolen bases, 70 rbi, 80 runs scored, and batting average around .310.320 is a good bet for a healthy Kendrick during the 2009 season.
11. Jose Lopez Seattle Mariners (25)
At just 25 years of age for the 2009 season, Lopez has shown an increase in his power numbers over the past three years. A 20 homerun and 90 rbi campaign along with a good batting average around .290 could be in store for Lopez in 2009.
12. Mike Aviles Kansas City Royals (28)
Even though he is the Royals starting shortstop, Aviles will still qualify at second base in fantasy baseball leagues in 2009. While Aviles is anything but a proven commodity, he offers way too much potential to pass up at this point in your rankings and draft. With 500 plus at bats possible for Aviles during the 2009 season, stats in the range of 15 homeruns, 12 stolen bases, 80 runs scored, 70 rbi, and a .300 batting average is all very likely.
13. Kelly Johnson Atlanta Braves (27)
Johnson proved in 2008 that his 2007 numbers were not just a mirage or fluke. And best of all, Johnson actually improved his stolen base total and his batting average in 2008. If Johnson continues to progress in 2009, a final stat line could include 15 homeruns, 90 runs scored, 70 rbi, 15 stolen bases, and a .285 batting average.
14. Rickie Weeks Milwaukee Brewers (26)
Weeks has entered the past four seasons as a top sleeper and breakout pick on many fantasy baseball managers draft lists, and yet during each of those four seasons, Weeks has disappointed greatly. However with the potential and ability still there, it is astonishing as to why Weeks just cannot put it all together. Is it crazy to think that maybe, just maybe, 2009 will be his breakout year?
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