Designated hitters are not exciting. I can’t recommend picking a single one of the players on this list.
In most leagues you’re stuck playing a DH in your UTIL slot and that’s it. There are better, more flexible options out there. However, some of you are going to draft a DH, this list is for you.
1. Vladimir Guerrero — Remember when Vlad was a 40-40 threat? It was 2002 and he was playing for the Expos. He’s now 35 and playing for the Rangers. Projections: 70/20/85/5/.300
2. David Ortiz — I don’t buy these projections, particularly the homers, runs and RBI, which pretty much includes all the stats you should care about from Ortiz. Projections: 80/30/100/1/.260
3. Hideki Matsui — Signed with the Angels at age 36. In new Yankee Stadium in 2010 he had 28 homers, the second best total of his career. He’s not in Yankee Stadium anymore. Projections: 70/20/75/1/.280
4. Travis Hafner — He started his preseason training early and should be on track for the start of the season. Where have we heard that before? In a different Hafner blurb, of course. Projections: 50/20/60/0/.260
5. Jim Thome — He’ll be a Twin in 2010, the same season he turns 40. He did hit 23 homers in 362 at-bats last year. Projectoins: 60/25/70/0/.240
6. Pat Burrell — I’ve called him a potential sleeper, but I’m not feeling good about it. Projections: 55/20/65/1/.230
We’ve got an interesting bonus round for the designated hitters, with two different lists.
First, there are a handful of players who could very well be DH-only in 2011. Look for an Adam Lind blurb in the Top 20 outfielders, Jason Kubel in the top 40 and Jack Cust and Luke Scott in the Top 80.
Some other options: The Blue Jays’ Randy Ruiz will be 32 for most of the season and could hit 20 homers with 60 runs, 60 RBIs and a .270 average … Jose Guillen could go 50-15-60 … Ken Griffey is on this list because to some of us he’ll always be The Kid. Griffey turns 41 in November and you’ll only pick him for nostalgia’s sake.