I am not from Cleveland. I have some family out there, but have never visited the city.
I have never really been a fan of the Indians, but I hold no grudges against them.
With those things said, I can comfortably state that my favorite baseball player in the Majors is a current member of the “Tribe”: Mr. Grady Sizemore.
I won’t let this outright bias affect my feelings towards what I believe he’s capable of in the 2010 season and beyond; I wish more fans could hold these two things separately.
Back to Sizemore. The guy was the definition of “studly” from 2005-2008. A fantasy baseball team’s dream. He was a lead-off hitter who could hit for contact, get on base and steal bags at strong rates, while also hitting 20 to 30 homers to boot. Grady had quickly blossomed into a fan-favorite and league-wide star on all-fronts. Although fantasy-irrelevant, I didn’t even mention his top-flight defense in Center.
2009 did not go so well for the (only) 27-year-old center fielder. Grady was absolutely riddled with injuries; He first injured his groin, only to be followed by elbow and abdomen surgery to end his season short. He dealt with problems throughout the entire year, and still managed to do some things right, but struggled nonetheless.
So again, any fantasy fan knows what Sizemore has done over the past 5 years. He has the ability to be one of the 3 or 4 most valuable pieces your league could have, yet he isn’t seemingly getting his recognition.
He’s not getting cast-aside very much, but he’s being ranked as a mid-third to fourth round pick by most fantasy analysts, but in many drafts he’s falling into even the 5th round and later.
I understand guys. His numbers may look pedestrian if only glancing at his 2009. Yet the man is at or very close to 100% health right now, and for all intents and purposes should be in for a very large rebound.
I repeat, if healthy and producing, Grady can almost carry your team offensively, both in reality and in the world of fantasy baseball.
Again, this isn’t some “Master-plan” of fantasy baseball, it’s just a simple reminder: If Grady Sizemore is slipping past the third round in your draft, you would be wise to draft him quickly.
I don’t think the Indians will be seeing the playoffs in 2010, but your fantasy squad could end up in your league’s Championship, carried in a big way by Sizemore.