Iso-Stars #1: Batting-average behemoths
Iso-Stars is a series of all-MLB teams composed of fantasy performers that represent each of the standard 5×5 roto categories (even though fantasy connoisseurs and statistical avant garders frown upon such leagues). Each list presents the top projected 2011 contributors at every position in a particular roto stat category, regardless of the players’ performances across other fantasy stat categories. Also, each “All-Stat” team will be coupled with an “All-Something-Ridiculous” team to lighten the mood. You’ll see.
The 2011 All-Average Team
In terms of average, these guys are well above average. Masters of frozen ropes, Texas leaguers, and hit-and-runs. They find the gaps and hit ‘em where they ain’t.
C – Joe Mauer: No contest. He’s a career .327 hitter and has, in fact, never batted below .327 in a season in which he’s had 500+ at-bats.
1B – Albert Pujols: Despite a “down” 2010 (.312), Prince Albert’s .350+ ceiling, contract year (yikes), and the fact that .312 is his worst full-season AVG ever give him the edge over Votto and Boozy Cabrera. He’ll be turning up on a lot of these lists.
2B – Robinson Cano: A hitter in his prime, it is now apparent that 2008’s .271 was an anomaly. Pedroia is too up-and-down, Prado is OF/3B now, and Infante is a flash-in-the-pan.
3B – Martin Prado: Though either David Wright or the spherical Pablo Sandoval could take the cake here with a comeback year, Prado is the most consistent guy right now, and should retain 3B eligibility on top of his new OF due to a still-gimpy Chipper.
SS – Hanley Ramirez: With a batting title and 4 straight .300+ seasons, Han-Ram is a steadier option than the improving Tulowitzki. No one else is really close, though Starlin Castro could challenge soon.
OF – Ichiro Suzuki: Come on, like this is debatable? In 10 seasons, Ichiro has never batted lower than .303 and has four .350+ years. Average-wise, he is the best hitter in baseball.
OF – Matt Holliday: He hasn’t batted lower than .312 in the past 5 years, and though his power numbers have dipped out of Coors, his contact ability remains superb.
OF – Ryan Braun: Magglio and Manny are aging, Josh Hamilton and Car-Go cancel each other out with their on-again, off-again AVG performance. Braun is slightly more consistent and has two .320 seasons in the past four years. I acknowledge this is up for debate.
and now for something completely different…
The 2011 All-Porn-Name Team
C – Buster Posey, Giants
1B – Steve Pearce, Pirates
2B – Kelly Johnson, D-Backs
3B – Chase Headley, Padres
SS – J.J. Hardy, Orioles
OF – Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs
OF – B.J. Upton, Rays
OF – Grady Sizemore, Indians
Please offer your outraged rebuttals and counter-proposals for members of both teams in the comments below. I also encourage you to come up with taglines for individual members of the porn name team.