Ranks 11-20: Justin Upton in, A-Rod out
Updated: January 11, 2011, 4:41 PM ETBy Eric Karabell
ESPN colleague Buster Olney blogged Tuesday about 10 young players who need to step up this season, and make no mistake, it's a good list, discussing players such as Mike Stanton and Aroldis Chapman. Those players matter, but they can't be trusted in fantasy just yet. When it comes to really mattering in fantasy baseball, we put the most stock in the early draft picks. Fantasy owners seek to minimize risk in Round 1, but Round 2 is when people start taking chances, picking players who could easily produce like a first-rounder.
And what better chance to take than on a young, toolsy, fill-the-box-score talent such as Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton? The fact is, Upton is all of 23 years old, and while 2010 was a disappointing season for him, it's way too early to give up now. Upton was the No. 17 option in ESPN average live drafts a year ago, someone being predicted for 30/30 numbers, at the very least. He fell well short of those marks; as such, most sets of rankings won't even have him in the top 30. Well, mine does. He's my No. 20 player overall.
To see why Justin Upton makes Eric's top 20, but Alex Rodriguez doesn't, you must be an ESPN Insider.