Recapping two positions in one day? I must be a madman! No, well maybe, but I’m just really excited about the upcoming baseball season. Only four months away!
We’ve already taken a look back at three positions, and we still have three ahead, meaning our look at how shortstop shook out in 2009 marks the halfway point of our seven positions in seven days. If you’d like (and we hope you would) take a look back at what we’ve already done:
We saw lots of variety in the top 5 in ’09 including a fantasy superstar (Ramirez), a veteran that defies Father Time (Jeter), an emerging slugger (Tulowitzki), a surprise performer (Bartlett), and an all-world fielder (Rollins). Was there any value to be had after those guys? Sure, but not much.
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MVP of 2009
Hanley Ramirez (FLA) – Hanley Ramirez is to shortstops what Denzel Washington is to movie detectives. They’re so good at what they do that no one else even compares. Ever since his move to third in the order, Ramirez has added the ability to drive in runs to what was already a fantasy owners’ dream. Barring injury, he will be a top 2 fantasy draft pick for a long, long time.
Honorable Mention: Derek Jeter (NYY)
Comeback Player of 2009
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) – I wasn’t a believer. I should have been. Before last season I seriously debated who I wanted heading into 2009: Tulowitzki or Stephen Drew. Honestly, at the time it was a legitimate question. Tulo was coming off a terrible, injury-plagued season and something about the whole 2007 Rockies team seemed like they had peaked. Plus Drew had a .502 SLG% in 2008 and seemed to be trending up. Wrong and wrong. Tulowitzki was Tulo-jit-2-quit (I saw that somewhere, but for the life of me I can’t remember where) and had the breakout year we all hoped we’d see sooner or later.
Honorable Mention: Jimmy Rollins (PHI)
Breakout Player of 2009
Jason Bartlett (TB) – Even after raking for a few months, many people still regarded his success as a prolonged hot streak. He had 11 HR in 1702 career AB before hitting 14 in 2009 (which is both the year and the number of AB it should have taken for him to hit 14 HR). He had a career high .393 SLG% entering last season and proceeded to slug .490. Nothing about 2009 made sense people lucky enough to own Bartlett (although it probably made less sense to those who didn’t), so advice for 2010 is to be cautiously optimistic.
Honorable Mention: Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE)
Most Disappointing Player of 2009
Stephen Drew (ARI) – The younger brother of Red Sox OF, J.D. Drew, and former 15th overall draft pick in 2004, expectations for Stephen Drew were understandably high. As it turns out, he wasn’t ready to break out as he parlayed a promising 2008 into a disappointing 2009 to the tune of 71/.261/12/65/5. If there is a positive to be found, it’s that he did increase his BB rate, but that was about it. Seriously. Check it out.
Dishonorable Mention: Alexei Ramirez (CHW)