Fantasy baseball: Analyzing the 5×5 elite hitters

Completing the series highlighting the expected best players in the 5×5 categories — the final post on ERA contains links to all the other parts of the series — revealed some interesting facts.

Again, this project reviewed three different and highly respected sets of fantasy projections — CHONE, Marcel and FanGraphs fan consenusus — to pinpoint the “safest” picks in your fantasy baseball draft.

Now for the interesting stuff.

The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols is the best hitter and the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez is the second best. BOOM! How’s that for exciting?

Actually, Pujols was the only elite player listed in four categories (R, HR, RBI, AVG) and Ramirez is listed in three (SB, R, AVG). So if you were on the fence, Pujols is the side you want to fall on if you’re just going by statistics. Ramirez and Pujols battled about some other things here at Chinstrap Ninjas earlier in the year.

The first surprise

However, there was one other player listed in three categories and he was a bit of a surprise.

You might expect Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, Brewers OF Ryan Braun or Dodgers OF Matt Kemp, maybe Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury, but the other three-category elite player is Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is an excellent player and he puts up solid numbers every year, but maybe he deserves a “Why it’s not crazy to pick Miguel Cabrera third overall” post.

Cabrera is a lock for great HR (30) AVG (.310) and RBI (100) numbers in 2010.

30-100 players

Cabrera is also one of five 30-100players (home runs and RBIs).

Pujols and Cabrera are joined on the list by Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, Brewers 1B Prince Fielder, Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira and Braun.

Surprisingly, Rodriguez did not get universal praise in the RBI category, but Teixeira did. Adam Dunn, whose only hook is homers and RBI, was also not expected to get 100 RBIs by all three sets of projections.

No 30-30 locks in 2010

The only other multi-category elite hitter was Cardinals OF Matt Holliday, who is a lock for 100 runs and a .310 average. So, as that clever subhead suggests, there are no consensus 30-30 (homers and steals) players for 2010.

It is the post-steroid era, so that’s not terribly surprising.

Where are the 100 runs, 30 steals players?

Another surprising statistic: Ramirez was the only hitter to be a consensus lock for 30 steals who made elite status in any other category.

Typically, when you think of a 30-steal player, you expect 100 runs, too. And while several of the guys who made the 13-player strong 30-steals list might score 100, the experts couldn’t come to a consensus on who that would be.

Another reason to keep an overrated Ellsbury on your busts list.

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