Here is a look as to who I believe would be the best player available at each position from the AL West in 2010 Fantasy Baseball. There are only four teams in this division so there are not as many choices as is the case with the rest of baseballs division’s but there is still plenty of talent. Also included on the list are five close call players or quality backups worth having on your team from out west.
C- Mike Napoli/ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim– Top option at Catcher other than Mauer, Martinez, and McCann. Has hit 20+ homers in each of the past two seasons, which is very hard to come by for a catcher. One of the best hitting catchers in the game, hits in a great line-up and will see time at the DH spot which gives him more at bats.
1B- Kendry Morales/ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim– Time for an encore. He replaced Mark Teixeria and the Angels continued to dominant thanks to strong play from this 1B. Should hit around .300 and have 25+ homers with 80-100 RBIs.
2B- Ian Kinsler/ Texas Rangers– Hey All-Star! He will continue to produce at a high level, especially in the power department. (32 last year)
SS- Erick Aybar/ Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem- His time to shine. He takes over the spot at the top of the order for the Angels. He had the eighth highest batting average in the AL last season hitting .312.
3B- Chone Figgins/ Seattle Mariners (Most Speed)– Table Setter. He makes the offense go. Has the combination of speed, ability to hit the ball to all fields, and everything else you want from a hitter except power. If Figgins is on your team or a plan for it be sure to draft for power at 1B and in the OF.
OF- Ichiro- RF/ Seattle Mariners (Best Player In Division)– Count on 200+ hits from me. Always towards the top of the league in batting average, steals bases, and everything else you will want.
OF- Torii Hunter- CF/ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim– Consistent leader and gold glove winner. Great hitter as well.
OF- Josh Hamilton- LF/ Texas Rangers (Most Power)– Let him stay healthy for a season!!! This guy can flat out hit. Everyone remembers him launching balls at the All-Star game in New York and in the first half of the 2008 season. He needs to just stay consistent and try and not do too much. His average is superb, being one of the best hitters in baseball as long as he isn’t hurt.
DH- Hideki Matsui/ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim– Now “Godzilla” of the West. Rumors are that Torii Hunter has given him a new nickname but whatever the name this man produces. Proven professional who plays with great respect for the game.
SP- Felix Hernandex/ Seattle Mariners– Cy Young Winner? If not should finish in the top 5.
SP- Cliff Lee/ Seattle Mariners– Revenge on the Phillies!
SP- Jered Weaver/ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim– New Sheriff in Town
CL- Andrew Bailey/ Oakland Athletics– No longer a rookie and was the best one the AL had to offer last year, winning the Rookie of the Year Award. Only downfall is how many save opportunities will he get in Oakland?
Close Calls/ Worth having on the Bench
OF- Nelson Cruz/ Texas Rangers– Had a power surge last year. I don’t expect him to hit as many homers as he did last year (33) but even 20-25 is quite a few and worth having as a fourth outfielder or a backup on your team.
DH/ OF- Jake Fox/ Oakland Athletics- Coming over from the Chicago Cubs he looks to fit in with the other youngsters playing in Oakland’s everyday line-up. Tons of power and size, worth drafting in the late rounds because of the potential.
SP- Scott Kazmir- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Sleeper Pick)- Biggest risk, biggest reward pick. He could be the highly touted pitching prospect he was thought to be all along coming out of the Mets farm system or could be the overhyped player. Big question mark, but when the stuff is there it is top notch.
3B- Mike Young- Texas Rangers- Quietly does his thing. Young continuously hits for one of the best averages in the American League last year hitting .322, fifth best in the AL (tie-for 9th in all of baseball with Joey Votto of Cincinnati).
SP- Scott Feldman- Texas Rangers- The new ace in Texas. Had 17 wins last season, throwing 189.2 innings with a 4.09 E.R.A.