Top 5 Fantasy Surprises in 2009
We all knew Reynolds could hit plenty of home runs and strike out plenty of times, however an impressive .281 average, 21 steals and a career-high 38 homers has made Reynolds a sensational 3B option in 2009. He still strikes out a ton, however when owners get those numbers across the board it is hard to argue with anything he does.
Outlook for 2010: Likely to remain in the same spot in the lineup and hit in hitter's park. With better protection in the lineup, his RBI and Runs scored numbers should actually increase.
Jason Bartlett, SS, Rays
When Delmon Young was traded from Tampa to Minnesota 2 years ago it was Matt Garza who everyone spoke of in terms of what the Rays received. Well Bartlett's 2009 will change all that. A .343 average, .390 on base percentage, 24 steals, 58 RBI, and 11 homers make him a keeper in many formats. If not due to an injury during the middle of the season Bartlett could arguably be pushing Hanley Ramirez for the best season by a SS.
Outlook for 2010: Bartlett will be an interesting case in 2010 to see owners buy into his career year. In keeper formats he is probably a solid late round stashee depending on where you drafted him, while in re-draft leagues, he should slide into the 6-10 range of drafting SS's.
Ben Zobrist, OF/IF, Rays
Bartlett's teammate Ben Zobrist also makes the list. Never a starter, it took an injury to Aki Iwamura to give Zobrist an everyday job and he has not disappointed. A .290 average and on-base over .400 is impressive, as are his 74 runs, 23 homers and 15 steals all coming from a guy who has eligibility just about everywhere but Catcher.
Outlook for 2010: Zobrist may need a trade to force the Rays to give him similar at-bats in 2010. Aki Iwamura will be healthy and unless they can deal an OF bat, Zobrist may have to force their hand again with another solid campaign.
Edwin Jackson, SP, Tigers
Jackson burst onto the scene in 2009 and made himself an All-Star. Although his late season appearances have been somewhat shaky, his overall numbers are solid. 10-6, ERA under 3.00 and a WHIP at 1.21. Not bad for a guy not guaranteed a roster spot out of spring training.
Outlook for 2010: Jackson is a keeper and was always viewed as a talented prospect. His late season struggles may just be a dead arm or over use since this is more innings then he has ever thrown. Either way, playing for a solid offense, in a pitchers park, Jackson is a keeper for 2010.
David Aardsma, RP, Mariners
While Ryan Franklin is a possible choice here, he closed last year for the Cardinals and had to be looked at as an option out of spring training. Aardsma was not and his 30 saves are outstanding for a waiver wire addition. A 2.30 ERA does not hurt and considering he plays for a team meddling around .500, this is quite a performance.
Outlook for 2010: You can always snag saves so no need to keep Aardsma. The M's should resign him and bring him back. Given the fact the M's play plenty of low scoring, close games, and play in a pitchers park, if Aardsma is back, grab him.
Other players considered:
Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro, Heath Bell, Andrew Bailey, J.A. Happ, Andre Ethier, Nyjer Morgan, Kendry Morales, Asdrubal Cabrera