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Troy Tulowitzki a Top SS in 2010?

Troy Tulowitzki

With the playoffs around the corner and the trade deadline passed it is about that time to take a look back at the 2009 season as a whole. It has been a season full of injuries to top players (Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy just to name a few). So I decided to take a look at the most surprising stats from the season and also threw in 10 bold predictions for the upcoming 2010 season.

Top 2009 Surprises

Derek Jeter’s Comeback

At the age of 35, Jeter has put together his best season since 2006 by batting .331 with 16 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Many people pegged Jeter as a player who was in regression and no longer had any power, but that was before everyone realized what a bandbox the new Yankee Stadium was.

Joe Mauer’s power

There have been many theories on why Joe Mauer suddenly has 30+ HR power. He finally grew into his big build or it just took him a little longer to develop a power stroke (he is only 26 you know). Whatever the reason, no one saw this coming, especially after he missed the first month of the season due to a back injury.

Mark Reynolds batting average and steals

So Reynolds can do a whole lot more than just strikeout. We all knew about the power, but the speed and batting average are an extra special surprise. Reynolds could finish the season in the 30/30 club and if you add a not so bad .281 batting average you have a top-10 player in fantasy sports.

Aaron Hill’s power

It looks like the top of the second baseman chain has to make room for another link. After breaking out in 2007 Hill missed most of 2008 due to injury. This season he has come back with a vengeance and has hit 29 homers with more than a month to play. He has proven himself as a top second baseman.

Zack Greinke’s torrid start

Greinke probably put together one of the best first two months of any season in baseball history. Many knew he was a very good pitcher, but no one expected a start like this. He went 8-1 with a 1.08 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 82 innings. Since June 1, Greinke has been more like himself, which is 3-7 (not his fault) with a 3.65 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings.

Edwin Jackson’s emergence

Jackson has been this year’s version of Cliff Lee; top prospect that has had struggles in the majors and finally puts it all together for a great year. Jackson finally fixed his control problems and has posted a 1.17 WHIP to go along with a 2.86 ERA and .232 BAA. He turns 26 on Sept. 9 so look for this to be the beginning of something good.

Chris Carpenter on pace for 27 starts

Who would have thought that Carpenter, who had only started four games since 2006, would be on pace to finish this season with 27 starts? Not only is he starting games, but he is dominating as well. He had one DL stint, which has become the norm, but other than that instance he has been on of the best pitchers in the Major League’s.

Adam Dunn’s batting average

Meet Adam Dunn. He’s a sure lock for exactly 40 home runs and 100+ RBI every season, but it’s not all good. He comes with a .247 career batting average, but that was before this season. Now you can say hello to the Adam Dunn, who not only hits for power, but can also put up a very good batting average to go along with it. Who knows if this is for real, but Dunn owners have been enjoying it all season.

David Aardsma’s saves

Remember that mediocre middle reliever on the Red Sox last season? Well this year he got the opportunity to close in Seattle and has not disappointed. He has 28 saves with a 2.43 ERA and 10.51 strikeouts per nine. Amazing when you consider where he was just last year.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (all stats through Aug. 23)

  • Jason Bay’s .257 BA
  • Jayson Werth’s 29 HR
  • Hanley Ramirez’s .361 BA
  • Matt Cain’s 1.15 WHIP
  • Texas Ranger’s rookie SP
  • Joel Piniero’s 3.15 ERA

Ten Bold Predictions for 2010

  • Troy Tulowitzki will be the second best shortstop in fantasy
  • Brian McCann will be a better catcher than Joe Mauer because…
  • Joe Mauer will fail to reach 25 HR and a .320 batting average next year
  • BJ Upton will have a breakout year and hit at least .280 with 20+ home runs and 40+ steals
  • Matt Kemp will emerge as the best outfielder in fantasy
  • Billy Butler will hit close to .300 and slug 30 home runs
  • Francisco Liriano will be a top 20 starter
  • Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy will both finish in the top 15
  • 2010’s top pitcher will not be TimLincecum because…
  • 2010’s top pitcher will be Justin Verlander

Falling Fast

Rick Porcello (SP), Detroit Tigers

Word is that manager Jim Leyland is watching the number of innings that Porcello is throwing this season and with him already at 117 2/3, the leash could be short on the rookie pitcher. He has been slipping as of late and the Tigers could force him to skip a couple starts in September to keep him fresh for a potential playoff run in October.

On the Mend

Aaron Harang (SP), Cincinnati Reds

Harang was shut down for the season with an emergency appendectomy, which is really a shame because Harang was starting to turn his season around. Despite posting a 1-5 record in his last seven starts (due to poor run support), Harang has a 3.32 ERA while striking out 45 batters in 62 1/3 innings.

Down on the Farm

Brett Wallace (3B), Oakland Athletics

He was the main piece in the Matt Holliday trade and has been hitting the ball well in the minors this season. He has a .293 batting average with 13 home runs and 17 doubles in Triple-A this season. His strikeouts are a little high, but he could be worth a flier in September if the A’s call him up to play.

Slap Bet Update

  • C.C. Sabathia: 7-1 record, 3.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .242 BAA
  • Dan Haren: 3-3 record, 4.91 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .263 BAA

…for the Slap Bet story, click here.

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4 comments for “Troy Tulowitzki a Top SS in 2010?”

  1. Troy Tulowitzki a Top SS in 2010?: With the playoffs around the corner and the trade deadline passed it is about..

    Posted by Sports of Boston | August 24, 2009, 11:59 pm
  2. Two bad things I did in my fantasy league:

    – I needed pitching, so I traded Derek Jeter for Erik Bedard early on when Bedard was great…

    – I never traded Haren, and after he was pitching poorly, he became untradeable

    Posted by KC | August 25, 2009, 3:36 am
  3. I think my strategy every year will be to draft Dan Haren and then trade him at the All-Star break for C.C. Sabathia

    Posted by George | August 25, 2009, 10:00 am
  4. i still maintain i will win this slap bet. viva la haren!

    Posted by bryan | August 25, 2009, 5:26 pm

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