Over the next week, FSE will release rankings for each position in fantasy baseball. Top 10s will be provided for all infield positions while outfielders, starting pitchers and relievers will have an expanded set of rankings. In addition, we will highlight a few sleepers at each position and provide some honorable mentions if applicable.
#2 Hanley Ramirez - Ramirez is coming off a monster season hitting .338 with 29 homers, 51 SB and 125 runs scored. Ramirez even added 81 RBIs while putting up an OPS of nearly .950. Hanley is still only 24 and will continue to improve this season. A 30+ homer, 50+ stolen base season is a distinct possibility and he might even see more RBI opportunities if the Marlins decide to move him into the three hole.
#6 Carlos Guillen - The Tigers will be playing Guillen at first base this season in an effort to keep him on the field. Fortunately, fantasy owners will be able to start him at SS which means far less errors than you would usually see at the position. Guillen is a steady offensive producer hitting in choice spot in a deep Tigers lineup. 20 homers, 100 RBIs, 10 SBs and an average around .300 are likely as long as Guillen avoids the DL.
#9 Michael Young - You can always count on Young to hit for a high average; however, his power numbers have been steadily declining. Now 31 and hitting in a Rangers lineup that is less potent than it has been in the past, Young's fantasy value has regressed a bit. Although he can no longer get you 20 homeruns, Young is still good for a .300+ BA, 80-90 RBI and runs scored and close to double digit steals. Take him once the top SS are off the board.
Khalil Greene - Isn't going to hit for good average, but Greene quietly hit 27 homers to go along with 97 RBIs and 89 runs scored in the hitter's nightmare known as Petco Park. Entering 2008 at the golden age of 27, a 30 homer, 100 RBI season is a real possibility. Greene could be a real value pick later in the draft.
JJ Hardy -Hardy got off to a red hot start to the 2007 campaign before coming back down to Earth. After hitting 18 homers in the first half, Hardy only notched 8 dingers after the allstar break and was fairly average in the final months of the season. Regardless the 25 year old has the ability to hit 20 homers and drive in 80 runs, but don't expect too much in the way of batting average or stolen bases.
Jhonny Peralta - I've come across a bunch of people who are especially high on Peralta this season but I just don't see it. He is a one dimensional player with his only plus being an ability to hit homeruns. Peralta does not hit for average, drive in a ton of runs or steal bases. Basically he is a poor man's Dan Uggla.
Yunel Escobar - The Braves liked this kid so much they were willing to unload Edgar Renteria and hand him the starting SS job. At only 25, Escobar is still growing as a player however, he has the ability to make respectable contributions in fantasy this year. A .300 average with around 100 runs scored and homerun and steal totals in the low teens are a definite possibility.
Stephen Drew - Brother of Philadelphia's favorite son JD Drew, Stephen struggled in his rookie campaign in 2007 but showed flashes of good things to come. If he can get his strikeouts down and raise his average, Drew is a shortstop that can give you double digit homerun and stolen base totals. In addition, Drew should put up over 70 RBIs and runs scored if he gets over 550 ABs.