Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's been more than four months since the 2010 major league baseball season ended and most fantasy owners have been fully involved in football since then, so lets's take a look back to last year to remind us of what went down. Because if we forget the mistakes we made in the past, we are likely to relive them.
Josh Hamilton was a terror at the plate, batting .359 with 32 HR, 100 RBI and an OPS of 1.044, but as has frequently been the case, missed a major portion of the season due to injuries. Since 2007, he's played in more than 135 games just one time and averages 117 games per year. If you are going to draft him in the first round (ADP 9), make sure you have additional depth at the outfield position.
Joey Votto made a run at the NL triple crown, finishing the season with 37 HR, 113 RBI and a .324 batting average. He recently signed a huge three-year deal to stay in Cincinnati which should allow him to continue to post impressive numbers. He'll cost you a mid-high first-round pick (ADP 4).
Albert Pujols was, well, Albert Pujols. There is no player in baseball who is more consistent than "King Albert." He has never hit less than 32 HR in a season, batted in less than 103 runs or hit under .312. He's looking for an "Alex Rodriguez-type" contract and he might actually be worth it. Fantasy owners can never go wrong by selecting Pujols as the No.1 pick.
The No.1 power hitter last season was Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays (54 HR, 124 RBI). He's going in the fourth round in early drafts, but selecting him is a high-risk proposition. Looking at his past history, 2010 looks to be the definition of a "career year."
Prince Fielder had his usual "off" year in 2010 (32 HR, 83 RBI, .261), which is consistent with his past. In even-numbered seasons, Fielder averages .269 with 87 runs scored, 31 HRs and 88 RBIs. In odd years, his statistics make a drastic jump to .292, 106 runs, 48 HRs and 130 RBIs. Early drafts have him being selected near the end of the second round (ADP 19.6) which is simply too low for what history says he will produce.
Troy Tulowitzki was a better fantasy shortstop than Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez was significantly better in just one category - stolen bases. Ramirez's current ADP is 3.1 while "Tulo" can be had much later in the first round.
Many fantasy owners overestimated Joe Mauer's home run power after his 28 HR 2009 season and were disappointed in 2010 when he hit just nine long balls. This season will be much of the same, if you want batting average, pick Mauer, if you want home runs from the catching position, select Victor Martinez or Brian McCann.
Adrian Gonzalez hit 31 homers and knocked in 101 runs in the "offensive desert" known as Petco Park. In 2011 he'll be playing half his games in Fenway Park and in a lineup with Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Carl Crawford and Kevin Youkilis. Despite all that, his ADP has only dropped around three points, from 21 to 17.8. He should be a solid bargain.
Felix Hernandez didn't even win 14 games, but he was the best pitcher in the American League with an ERA of 2.27, a WHIP of 1.06 and 232 strikeouts. Roy Halladay was the best pitcher in the National League, although Ubaldo Jimenez was a "monster" over the first three months going 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Hernandez and Halladay will cost you second round picks, Jimenez a late third rounder.
Matt Kemp (2010 ADP - 6), Pablo Sandoval (2010 ADP - 28), Derek Jeter (2010 ADP - 33) and Aaron Hill (2010 ADP - 42) all under-performed based on their draft position.