2008 Fantasy Positional Review

Dustin Pedroia was the best value for a second baseman.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - As we enter the final weekend of regular season play, let's take a quick look at each position to find our Fantasy All- Star. He is not necessarily the best player at the position, but the best player based on the dollars spent or the round in which he was selected.

Catcher - Rookie Geovany Soto has helped the Chicago Cubs to a division title and likely a run deep into the playoffs (please Steve Bartman, don't go to the ballpark this year). Soto posted 23 HR, 86 RBI, .286 batting average and a slugging percentage of .505. Ryan Doumit (14 HR, 66 RBI, .322 BA) and Bengie Molina (15 HR, 93 RBI, .294 BA) get honorable mention.

First Base - The Mets' Carlos Delgado (38 HR, 114 RBI, .273 BA) probably wasn't even drafted and was likely a free agent when he went on a tear that has some mentioning him in MVP voting. Kevin Youkilis earns honorable mention (28 HR, 113 RBI, .314 BA).

Second Base - Boston's Dustin Pedroia (17 HR, 83 RBI, .325 BA, 20 SB) wins this position, although a healthy Ian Kinsler would have been the favorite down the stretch. He was magnificent all season long both in fantasy numbers and as a leader for the Red Sox when David Ortiz was injured and Manny Ramirez traded. Honorable mention goes to Seattle's Jose Lopez (15 HR, 85 RBI, 295 BA).

Shortstop - Sure Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins get a lot of publicity and had better years, but J.J. Hardy was a key to the Brewers' run at the Wild Card. He was likely a late-round pick and posted 24 HR, 73 RBI and a .286 BA. Honorable mention goes to Orlando Cabrera, a free agent as the season began, who put up 89 runs, 8 HR, 56 RBI .283 BA.

Third Base - A-Rod had 35 HR and 101 RBI, but you spent a fortune for him and he wasn't worth it was he? You could have gotten almost the same production from our All-Star at third base - Jorge Cantu (92 runs, 29 HR, 94 RBI, .277 BA). Honorable mention goes to Melvin Mora (23 HR, 102 RBI, .282 BA).

Outfielder - This one's easy despite his second-half slump - Josh Hamilton. He collected 31 HR, 126 RBI and batted .304, although he did have 21 home runs and 95 RBI at the break. Maybe there is something to the "Home Run Contest Jinx." Honorable mention - Nate McLouth (26 HR, 94 RBI, 21 SB, .281 BA).

Starting Pitcher - Pitching for the weak San Francisco Giants, many though Tim Lincecum wouldn't reach 10 wins. His numbers 17-5, 2.66 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and league-leading 266 strikeouts make him the choice here and a possible Cy Young winner. He just edges out Cliff Lee because of a 266-170 K advantage, but Lee at 22-3 was also great.

Relief Pitcher - While people chose Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon and Joe Nathan early, it's Brad Lidge that gets the nod going 40-for-40 in saves with an ERA of 1.87. His 89 strikeouts is tops among closers. Honorable mention belongs to Joakim Soria who posted 41 saves with a 1.63 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.
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