Surprisingly, the high-batting average club is the most exclusive one in the 5x5s.
There are a wicked number of players projected to hit .300 in 2010, but only eight of them are expected to hit .310 or better.
The elite batting average champs for 2010, listed with position, team and average draft position:
Joe Mauer, C, Twins (13.52) — Of the three sets of projections I reviewed to make this list, Mauer was expected to hit .330 or better on two of them and at least .320 on the other one.
Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals (1.09) — Pujols was only expected to hit .330+ by one of the projectors, but at least .320 on all three.
Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners (40.60) — Has three seasons of hitting .350 or better and one season, 2004, where he hit .372.
Hanley Ramirez, SS, Marlins (2.08) — Has a .324 average over the last three seasons.
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Giants (40.87) — Previous performance shows he’ll probably hit between .330 or .340 this season. Let’s say it’s only .320, that’s still pretty good and keeps him in the middle of this group.
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers (10.24) — Cabrera will be 27 in 2010 and has hit at least .320 in three of the last four seasons.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox (38.43) — Out of all the guys on this list, Pedroia is the least likely to make the cut. It’d feel more likely if it was .300 and not .310.
Matt Holliday, OF, Cardinals (21.63) — Holliday was the lone player to not make all three lists. He was also the only other player to be on at least two. That’s surprising because he’s a lock for .320.
It’s also surprising that there are so few players being projected to hit .310 in 2010. Twenty-two players reached the mark in 2009, 17 did it in 2008 and 32 did it in 2007.
So, don’t be surprised if some of the following players who thumped .310 in 2009, return to that realm in 2010:
Mauer; Suzuki; Ramirez; Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees; Sandoval; Pujols; Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies; Cabrera; Joey Votto, 1B, Reds; Michael Young, 3B, Rangers; Chris Coghlan, 2B, Marlins; Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees; Jason Bartlett, SS, Rays; Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers; Miguel Tejada, 3B, Astros; Holliday; Matt Diaz, OF, Braves; Erick Aybar, SS, Angels; Denard Span, OF, Twins; Magglio Ordonez, OF, Tigers; Felipe Lopez, 2B, Diamondbacks-Brewers
Out of that bunch, put Jeter, Cano, Votto and Braun at the top.