I was pumped for the start of this season. I can remember clicking the link to the league and swearing every time for a week-and-a-half when I saw the “Getting Ready for 2009” page pop up. Luckily my computer did not eat my fantasy baseball file for lunch so I can dig up exact records for that year’s league and show you why I was so pumped. I felt I had a great foundation of players just entering their prime that would continue to improve or at least hold their own for years to come. Deciding on my keepers was pretty cut and dry and once again I can say that I did not cut anyone that I latter regretted. My keeper list was as follows…
1. Jose Reyes: At the time this was a no brainer top five player.
2. Carlos Quentin: Hoping he finish an MVP season.
3. Derek Lee: Aging but still a solid first baseman.
4. Victor Martinez: Always a stud catcher when healthy and coming off an injury that was not career altering.
5. B.J. Upton: All depended on the progress after his shoulder surgery, but was ranked high this year. I had a feeling this year would be a wash because shoulder injuries are big problems for a power stroke.
6. Hunter Pence: Still waiting for his break out, but he was a solid number three outfielder in a league this size.
7. Shin-Soo Choo: Not only did he put up good number in his rookie season, but hot better every week showing me that he could cope with the majors.
8. Jorge Cantu: Solid option at either corner. Love multi position guys!
9. Mark Reynolds: After getting rid of batter KO’s his value jumped up quite a bit.
10. Aaron Hill: Hoping he would get back on the track he was on in 2007.
11. Alexi Cassilla: I figured I would take a flier here though his minor league history did not indicate a stud in waiting.
12. Josh Johnson: Came back from Tommy John strong in the last couple months and had regained his potential ace status.
13. Edinson Volquez: Assumed we would be solid this year and develop into a potential ace.
14. Jared Weaver: Was OK but Angles pitchers tend to take 4 years to develop so I hoped this would be the year.
15. Eric Bedard: Hoping he would return to dominance.
16. Rickey Nolasco: I expected huge things here.
17. Jason Motte: Not much major league experience, but there was talk of him getting the closers gig at the beginning of the year.
18. Chris Ray: Had a solid year in 2006 and was hoping he would beat out the shakey Sherril for the closer’s job.
19. Taylor Buckholtz: Was probably Colorado’s best reliever, and with weak competition I was sure he would get a chance once he was healthy.
20. Jose Arrenondo: He was dubbed the closer of the future and then the Angles promtly traded for a suspect Fuentes.
As you can see, Derek Lee was my only keeper that would not be considered to be in his prime. Martinez, Bedard, Cantu and Hill were just entering it. Almost all of the rest were former top prospects in their mid 20’s and could be found on almost every breakout or prospect list for any fantasy baseball publication. Of the few established players I had most were coming off injury. Talk about high-risk reward! Well, if you want to go from 15th to the money in two years you have to take chances. If you want to stay on top for a long time those chances should be taken on young potential studs. I felt that if my keepers matured at a normal rate I would contend. If I got lucky with the breakouts I might even have a shot a winning.
I had my hitting positions all filled except for second catcher (which I felt was flushable anyway) and utility. The only position I felt weak in was closer, well more then weak I was empty, which is why I kept four guys that would be competing for a closer’s roll. Do you think I could contend with this team?