It's been a strange season for baseball so far. Who could envision that Kelly Johnson would lead the NL in home runs or that Casey McGehee would be second in baseball in RBI? With so many new players leading the league statistically, it's a good time to look at the top 5 offensive players surprises of fantasy baseball 2010:
5. Paul Konerko, 1B of the Chicago White Sox
2010 Stats: 21 R, 14 HR, 30 RBI 0 SB and a .262 BA
Konerko is leading all of baseball with 14 home runs and now has half of his 2009 total only 2 months into the 2010 season. I expect him to continue to hit home runs, but he will not hit 40 by the end of the season. Still, hitting 30 plus will make his fantasy owners pretty happy as he’s now 6 HRs better than Albert Pujols.
Konerko hits a home run against the LA Angels
4. Vernon Wells, CF of the Toronto Blue Jays
2010 Stats: 29 R, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, and a .301 BA
Wells hit only 15 home runs last year with 66 RBIs. He is only 5 shy of his 2009 total while hitting 40 points higher on his batting average. This is back to where he should be with his numbers, though his stolen bases are down as he stole 17 in 2009. I can see him keeping this up to 30+ HR and 100+ RBIs with double digit stolen bases. It might have just taken him this long to tweak his mechanics and recover from the injuries he’s had over the past few years.
Vernon Wells hits his first home run of the season
3. Kelly Johnson, 2B of the Arizona Diamondbacks
2010 Stats: 29 R, 12 HR, 25 RBI, 3 SB, and a .260 BA
Johnson also appears to be healthy once again and is benefiting from Chase Field being more of a hitters park than Turner Field in Atlanta. He’s currently hitting over his head as he is not a Chase Utley-type offensive second baseman, but remains a strong offensive player for his position. His power numbers will plateau over the course of the year, but the rest of his numbers should stay in line. He’s already surpassed his 2009 HR total and is hitting almost 40 points higher, just like Wells.
2. Casey McGehee 2B/3B of the Milwaukee Brewers
2010 Stats: 23 R, 9 HR, 37 RBI, 1 SB, and a .325 BA
The question often asked this off season was if McGehee would be able to replicate the numbers he flashed in his shortened 2009 season after he was called up. Most said no, but he is proving them wrong so far and I expect to see hit reach 25 HRs with 75 RBIs with a batting average well above .300.
Casey McGehee hits his first Grand Slam in 2009
1. Ty Wigginton 1B/2B/3B of the Baltimore Orioles
2010 Stats: 20 R, 12 HR, 27 RBI, 0 SB, and a .305 BA
Wigginton is playing mostly 2B with Brian Roberts on the 60 day DL. He has already hit one more HR than he did all of last year in a part time role and he should shatter his 2009 totals all around if he can stay in the line-up, but I don’t think he can keep up this HR pace and his average will eventually drop into the .270s. The biggest question is if Roberts returns in 2010, where do the O’s play Wigginton or will he have regressed into a back up role by then? I think they will have to find a place for him or trade either him or Luke Scott for them both to find playing time on this Oriole’s team.
*Legend: R = Runs, HR = Home Runs, RBI = Runs Batted In, SB = Stolen Bases, BA = Batting Average -- All stats current as of May 21, 2010*
Via PBH: The Top 5 Offensive Fantasy Surprises In 2010