Written By: Matt Vereb
The 2010 MLB Fantasy baseball season is quickly approaching. Avid fantasy fans are quickly preparing their rankings and weighing their options for draft day. The majority of publications have Cardinals First Baseman, Albert Pujols and Florida Marlins Shortshop, Hanley Ramirez interchangable as the top 2 draft picks. So where do Yankee sluggers Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira fit in on draft day?
Alex Rodriguez missed the first 29 games of the 2009 season. A-Rod also dealt with steroid admission which caused some distractions during Spring Training. Given the circumstances and games played(124), A-Rod had a productive year of 30 Home Runs, 100 RBIs, and .286 Batting Average. This marked the 12th time in his career that A-Rod has achieved 30 HRs and 100 RBIs. Given the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium and the offensive additions of Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez should far surpass his 2009 numbers. A-Rod’s hip is 100% so Yankee fans and fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief.
Projection: 115 R, 40 HRs, 123 RBIs, 17 SBs, .310 Batting Avg.
Draft Selection: 3rd overall; I’d draft Alex Rodriguez over Ryan Braun and Chase Utley, solely based on the fact that A-Rod will outproduce these players. One could make a strong case for Utley given his lineup protection and position scarcity, but Alex should outpace him in all categories.
Mark Teixeira had a slow start when he first joined the Yankees. Teixeira hit .194 during April before Rodriguez returned. After A-Rod returned, Teixeira caught fire and ended up leading the AL in Home Runs(39) and RBIs(125). The switch-hitting Teixeira plays in cozy Yankee stadium(24 of 39 HRs came at home). With Rodriguez offering the best protection in the game for a full season, Mark should see great pitches to hit and at least match his 2009 numbers.
Projection: 105 R, 38 HRs, 125 RBI, 1 SB, .295 Batting Avg
Draft Selection: Late 1st Round; Teixeira will be drafted after Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder at First Base. But Teixeira production and support in the Yankee lineup is the best in the game. I would draft Teix over David Wright of the Mets, Evan Longoria of the Rays, and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers.