Who were the best fantasy options in the National League in 2009? There are names that certainly jump to mind, guys like Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez, but there were also a couple of tricky calls as I filled out my ballot for the best that the Senior Circuit had to offer in 2009.
If you want to catch my thoughts on who I filled out my American League team with, click on the link to 2009 AL All-Star Team.
Whether or not he could see at what he was swinging at (he will undergo another LASIK procedure for his eyes this offseason), McCann made enough loud contact to lead NL catchers in homers (21) and RBI (94) while hitting .281, He also managed to lead all catchers with a .834 OPS. This was the fourth straight year that he has knocked in at least 87 runs.
FIRST BASE:Albert Pujols
It’s not a tough call at all when you are talking about the best right-handed hitter of our generation, and flat out the most dominating offensive weapon at the dish in baseball in 2009 regardless of position. Pujols hit 47 homers, knocked in 135 runs, scored 124 times and even swiped 16 bases. He also finished third in the NL in average (.327), first in OBP (.443) and first in SLG (.658). That pretty much says it all.
SECOND BASE:Chase Utley
Though his average slumped to .282, Utley was one of just two second sackers in the NL who went 20/20 (the other was Brandon Phillips) as he socked 31 dingers while swiping a career best 23 bags. Utley also crossed home plate 112 times while knocking in 93 on his way to while posting a .905 OPS. That’s a hell of a season no matter where you play defense.
THIRD BASE:Mark Reynolds
I was this close to going with Pablo Sandoval. After all, the Kung Fu Panda bettered Reynolds in AVG (.330 to .260), OBP (.387 to .349), SLG (.556 to .543) and OPS (.934 to .892). Still, Reynolds went 40/20 while scoring 98 runs and knocking in 102, so he won out in the end.
There is no debate here whatsoever. Hanley hit a league leading .342, socked 24 big flies, knocked in 106 runs, scored 101 of his own and swiped 27 bags as he posted a .954 OPS. No one, other than Troy Tulowitzki (.297-32-92-101-20), was even considered.
OUTFIELD:Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Jayson Werth
Braun hit .320 and led all NL outfielders with 114 RBI and 113 runs. Kemp went 20/20 while hitting .297 with 101 RBI and 97 runs. Werth also went 20/20 as he hit .268 with 36 homers with 99 RBI and 98 runs. Michael Bourne, an extremely unlikely name, almost made the cut with his 61 steals, a .285 average and 97 runs scored.
STARTING PITCHER:Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter
That’s the order these top-3 should be ranked in as well, a fact I discussed previously in The NL Cy Young Race .
RELIEF PITCHER:Jonathan Broxton
Really, is there any doubt here? Sure Heath Bell (42), Francisco Cordero (39), Ryan Franklin (38), Brian Wilson (38) and Trevor Hoffman (37) each had more than Broxton’s 36 saves, but Broxton led the group with seven victories while his 0.96 WHIP was third. However, it’s the 114 Ks that set him apart – no on else in the aforementioned group recorded even 85 punchouts.
By Ray Flowers