2010 Fantasy Preview up and running
Player database features bios, videos, easy search capabilities
On days when the air is cold and the sky is bleak, it's hard to imagine that baseball is close to returning.
But make no mistake about it: Spring Training facilities are revving up and players are getting their arms into shape. For the fantasy-minded, now is the time to start thinking about the season to come.
The 2010 Fantasy Preview is filled with predictions and projections for more than 800 Major Leaguers and prospects in an easy-to-navigate tool. If a player is expected to contribute in '10, he can be found within the confines of this deep database.
Each individual player page features a full-color, retro baseball card, along with an overview of the player's outlook, projected stats and a suggested dollar value for auction drafts. The Preview also features video highlight reels of fantasy's top performers, giving you a chance to watch the stars in action.
There are many ways to navigate through this online player library. The default mode lists the Top 100 players, but you can also sort by position, team and projected stats, or simply focus on an individual by entering the first few letters of his last name in the search field.
As with recent editions of the Preview, there is a dropdown menu for printable cheatsheets that can be used to track and cross off players during the course of a draft, as well as an application that allows fans to post the Preview to Facebook.
One of the advantages the Preview offers over print publications is the daily adjustments made between now and the start of the regular season. If a player suffers an injury in Spring Training, then that will be reflected in his bio, ranking and projected stats.
In addition, we're rolling out our collection of draft tiers, so owners can get a sense of how players stack up against each other at each position.
So who's the cream of the crop heading into the '10 campaign? In what should come as no surprise to anyone who at least remotely followed last season's action, the player who tops our rankings is Cardinals first baseman and 2009 NL MVP Albert Pujols, who led the Majors in homers (47), runs (124) and slugging percentage (.658).
Florida's five-tool shortstop Hanley Ramirez is right behind Pujols after a season in which he compiled a career-high 106 RBIs, stole 27 bases and led the NL with a .342 batting average.
Rounding out the Top 5 are Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (.320 AVG, 32 HR, 114 RBIs, 20 SB in '09), Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (.286-30-100-14) and Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (.282-31-93-23). Giants ace Tim Lincecum, who went 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 261 strikeouts last season to win his second straight NL Cy Young Award, comes in tops among all pitchers at No. 12.
Of course, there are many quality players besides these superstars who can serve as valuable components to a winning fantasy team. All can be found within the 2010 Preview, so take the tour and start getting ready for another season of fantasy glory.
Tim Ott is a fantasy writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.