Monday, September 15, 2008

Buying Low for '09

With the '08 season winding down, it is never too early to begin looking at who may do even better next season. It is easy to pay top dollar for Pujols or Braun, and expect solid across-the-board stats. But most leagues are won or lost by the in-between players; the players who are nothing special but overperform everyone's expectations. Here are some of my early batting favorites for NL-only leagues in 2009:

1. Corey Hart

He's at .276-20-83-23, so many people already know about his talent. But what people may not realize is that he has 43 doubles, which indicates he still has a lot more home run potential as he matures. 30 homers is not an unreasonable expectation next year.

2. Stephen Drew

Drew was drafted with a lot of hype, but has generally underperformed expectations. At .281-17-58-3, he's having a solid, if unspectacular year. With 37 doubles thus far, however, it is likely that Drew could eclipse 25 four-baggers next season.

3. Lastings Milledge

Plagued by injuries and a lineup meeker than Ohio State's offense against USC, Milledge still has tons of potential. So far this year he has hit .262-14-57-22 in only 478 at-bats. Expect improvements in every category next season. A season similar to Corey Hart's 2008 year is not unlikely.

4. Jayson Werth.

Werth is one of the most underrated players in the league. He helps you in both the power and speeed categories, and hits for a respectable average. Next year he should get more playing time, which should enable him to dwarf his 2008 numbers. Currently, he's at .276-22-62-17, but in only 370 at-bats.

5. Elijah Dukes

After struggling in the early part of the season, this Nationals outfielder has quietly put together a good year in limited playing time. In only 242 at-bats, Dukes is hitting .273-11-39-13, with 16 doubles. Equally impressive is his .375 on-base percentage. If Dukes wins a starting job next spring, he has the power potential to hit 25 homers with a good number of steals too.

1 comment:

Kevin Camp said...

Take a look at David Dejesus. He's been consistently getting better over the last few years. If he were on a team other than the Royals, his production would be much higher.