Plenty of movement in the third version of my Top 100, but it is the same 100 from early February. At the top is the expected bump that Albert Pujols takes because of the increased injury worries. I’m absolutely a huge fan of his, but I can’t say the elbow isn’t troubling enough to take a 5-spot tumble. The four others behind him obviously get the one spot move and I also flip-flopped Carl Crawford and Grady Sizemore. Sizemore is more complete with the proven three-year base of power, while Crawford’s power remains filed under that fanciful “p” word. Granted, Crawford does offer more speed, but speed is more readily available than power on the landscape at large, so Sizemore gets the nod. Those were the only moves within the Top 20.
There was a bit of shifting amongst the bottom five of the next 20 with Carlos Guillen and Manny Ramirez being the beneficiaries with two and three spot jumps, respectively. Nothing too groundbreaking, but just some run of the mill shuffling that will continue to occur as I read more and Spring Training kicks into full force. In the 41-60 block, there was a lot of minor shuffling as a result of big moves down for Hunter Pence (7 spots) and Shane Victorino (11 spots). As I mentioned earlier, speed is more plentiful than originally thought making a jack-rabbit like Victorino a bit less appealing when viewed against the likes of mashers like Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe and Hideki Matsui. Pence’s drop was a combination of his journey through a plate glass window and the fact that I may have rated him a bit too highly out of the gate given the lack of sample size to judge him.
A group of middle infielders in the 61-80 group took a tumble with Michael Young taking the brunt of it (12 spot drop). Aaron Hill and Edgar Renteria joined him with four spot slides. Having been through more drafts since the last update, I’m seeing scarcity in the outfield if you don’t act early and often, so Vernon Wells and Jason Bay are beneficiaries. The same outfield scarcity issue took control of the 81-100 block as all but five players moved spots. Delmon Young, Matt Kemp, Jeff Francoeur and Andruw Jones all enjoyed strong gains in the latest Top 100.
Juan Pierre was the only outfielder in this group that took a hit and again, it is because his key asset (immense speed) is no longer as rare on the fantasy landscape. Rickie Weeks and Alex Gordon both saw upticks as they leapt over a group primarily contained of pitchers. Felix Hernandez took his second straight dip in the Top 100, but it’s not because I dislike him in the least. I actually like him a good bit in 2008 and no starting pitchers passed him this time around, instead it was the aforementioned hitters.
And now, for version 3.0: