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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fantasy baseball top 100: Nos. 51-75

Moving on to Part II of the much-anticipated four-part series (please save your applause until the end) ...

75. Dan Uggla, 2B, Marlins: He’ll bat for power, but not for average and strike out way too often (a combined 338 the last two seasons).

74. Scott Kazmir, SP, Rays: He struck out 73 fewer batters last season than he did the year before (239).

73. Bobby Abreu, OF, Angels: A change in leagues won’t stop him from hitting at least 20 homers, driving in 100 runs and stealing 20 bases.

72. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies: An injury-riddled 2008 could result in a draft-day bargain on a player who batted .291 with 24 homers and 99 RBI the year before.

71. Joakim Soria, RP, Royals: The Royals might be the only reason he doesn’t record more than 40 saves for the second consecutive season.

70. Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, Red Sox: He won 18 of 21 decisions overall and was 9-0 with a 2.37 ERA on the road last season.

69. Chad Billingsley, SP, Dodgers: At 24, he should have no problem following a 16-win, 201-strikeout season.

68. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners: If his average stays at .310 (down 41 points from 2007), his stolen-base totals aren’t quite as enticing.

67. Carlos Pena, 1B, Rays: He’ll topple 30 homers and 100 RBI, but be wary of his plummeting batting average (.247 last season and .251 for his career).

66. Geovany Soto, C, Cubs: He did it all as a rookie except score a lot of runs (66) or steal a base.

65. Nate McLouth, OF, Pirates: His first full season was impressive, but his .261 career average in 1,305 at-bats is anything but.

64. Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves: You know he’ll hit, and you know he’ll get hurt.

63. Garrett Atkins, 3B, Rockies: You would undoubtedly prefer to get the 2006-07 Atkins (54 homers and 231 RBI) than the 2008 version who had 21 long balls and 99 RBI.

62. Vladimir Guerrero, OF, Angels: He’s still productive, but at 33, he’s no longer a top-10 talent.

61. Josh Beckett, SP, Red Sox: If you know which Beckett you’re selecting – 2008 or 2007? – the decision would be much easier.

60. Carl Crawford, OF, Rays: Don’t overpay for his stolen-base potential, especially following a season in which he swiped only 25 bags and hit .273 with eight homers and 57 RBI.

59. B.J. Upton, OF, Rays: He’s only 24 and he stole 44 bases, which makes his 2008 power drop less of a concern.

58. Derrek Lee, 1B, Cubs: He’ll hit for average with decent power numbers, but he hasn’t had a big season since 2005.

57. Magglio Ordonez, OF, Tigers: Even in a year that didn’t live up to the season before, he batted .317 with 21 homers and 103 RBI.

56. Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees: You know he’ll bat at least .300, score runs and date starlets, but if his stolen bases continue to match his home runs (11 of both in 2008), he’s no longer a top-five shortstop.

55. Francisco Liriano, SP, Twins: He was great after the All-Star break and should approach 18 wins with 200-plus strikeouts if he stays healthy.

54. Alex Rios, OF, Blue Jays: If he hits 24 homers again, as he did in 2007, he deserves to be higher.

53. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Padres: You know first base is deep when he ranks ninth after scoring 103 runs, hitting 36 homers and driving in 119 runs a year ago.

52. Curtis Granderson, OF, Tigers: He’s a 30-30 threat who should rebound from a down year.

51. Carlos Quentin, OF, White Sox: He’s underrated on some sites after missing the final month of last season because of a broken wrist.


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