Can anyone tell me why Yahoo! pre-ranked Carlos Pena at #58 this year? Perhaps more importantly, why was he rated #13 among first basemen? Stranger still, of first basemen with the first name Carlos, Pena still only comes in at number two (behind Carlos Guillen).
Granted, I fully realize that Pena had been a journeyman (at best) before his breakout season of 2007. However, when you go back and look at his numbers last year, he was remarkably consistent from month to month. After a poor April, in each of the next five months he had an OBP/SLG of at least .397/.571.
From the articles I've read over the past eight or so months, Pena's turnaround seems to come down to the simple fact that he has matured as a big leaguer and, after bouncing from team to team, finally found a "home" in Tampa Bay. Also, keep in mind that Pena was the MLB's #10 overall pick in 1998, so he's always had the raw talent.
The past few years I've been trying to rank the top 7 or so guys (in my opinion) at each position prior to the draft. This year I found myself really debating my 1B rankings. With the injury uncertainty surrounding Albert Pujols, I took him out of my top rankings. That left me to ponder three guys at the top: Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Carlos Pena.
Given Howard's regression last year, I chose to stay away from him. But choosing between Fielder and Pena was a little more difficult for me. I do think Fielder has more upside, but Pena seems to be the more seasoned hitter. In the end, I chose Fielder with the #6 pick, and since our league has two utility spots I took Pena in the third round at #30. Although, I do think Pena could end up with the best fantasy numbers at 1B when this season is over.
How about you? There are a lot of mashers at 1B. Who would your pick be for this season?