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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who's In Your 5?

Jon Heyman of SI.com recently wrote an article in which he asked 14 baseball experts (GM, Assistant GM, scouts, etc.) to list the five players they would select to build a championship team around now and in the future. Since I know more about baseball than these experts (whoever selected Yadier Molina should be fired), I'll give you my five, in no particular order.

Johan Santana

At 28, he's not a youngster anymore, but he's still got 6-7 good years in front of him. He also happens to be the best pitcher on the planet, and it's not all that close. Every team needs an ace and a lefty. In Santana, I get both.

Jake Peavy

Here's my second and final starter. In my opinion, Peavy is the second best pitcher in baseball, and he just turned 26. His park and his league inflate his numbers a bit, but you can't argue with 3 of 4 sub-3.00 ERA years. Last year's numbers were more a result of injury than anything. Now I have two horses to ride throughout the regular season, and 1-2 punch that makes you the favorite in any playoff series.

Albert Pujols

It kills me to take a first baseman, because that's generally one of the easiest positions to fill, but I just can't pass on the best player in the game. Pujols is a near lock for an 1.050+ OPS and will anchor the middle of the lineup day in day out.

Joe Mauer

Here's where I go for the up-the-middle positions that are so difficult to get good offense from. Even with the recent influx of good catchers in the game, there's still only about 10 teams that have hitters with any kind of stick to speak of. In Mauer, I get a 24 year old catcher with an above .400 OBP and an amazing ability to control opposing teams' running games. He's simply one of hte most valuable players in today's game, and while his knee worries me a little, he can still be moved to 2nd base and provide nearly the same value. Having a catcher like Mauer definitely gives me a leg up on the rest of the league.

Jose Reyes

It pains me to leave Grady Sizemore off this list, but center field is an easier position to fill than short stop. Reyes give me a quintessential lead off hitter, speed on the base paths, and above average defense for a premium position.

Honorable Mention

Grady Sizemore
Miguel Cabrera
Justin Verlander
Jonathan Papelbon
Alex Rodriguez

Who's in your Top 5? Leave them in the comment section.

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