NL 27 Year Olds Hitters -Primed and Ready To Go
We have all read about 27 being the magic number when it comes to hitters in baseball. There has been evidence year in and year out of players reaching their athletic peak and breaking out near the age of 27. It is not 100% accurate but if you were lucky enough to select Joey Votto last year (age 27) you may have taken the championship. Of course some of the players I will list are already elite players, but it could mean those players could post monster years. I don’t recommend going after all of the guys just because they are 27 this year, but target a few and hope you catch lightening in a bottle.
FIRST BASE – AGE 27
2. Prince Fielder – Brewers 1B – Here is my choice as the biggest 27 year old breakout. Not only is he coming off a down year for him, he is now in a contract year. We could be looking at 45 home runs and back to the 120 RBI. Draft him in the 2nd or even 3rd round and expect top 5 production.
3. Gaby Sanchez – Marlins 1B – He had a mini-breakout last year in his first full season after winning the starting first base job. He finished with 19 HR and 85 RBI. If you fail to get one of the big boys at the first base position, Sanchez could be had late in your draft and the potential of 25 HR and 100 RBI is there.
4. James Loney – Dodgers 1B – Is it me or does it seem like he has been around a while. Already entering his 6 season in the majors, Loney has yet to develop the power that has been expected of him. He has been a solid fantasy addition with a career .288 average and while his HR totals hover around 15 per year, he has been able to knock in near 90 runs in the past three season. Don’t be surprised if this is the year he finds the power stroke.
SECOND BASE -AGE 27
1. Martin Prado – ATL 2B – Actually broke out last season with 100 RUNS, 15 HR, 66 RBI while hitting.307. An improvement on those numbers will make him one of the elite 2nd base man in the NL.
THIRD BASEMAN – AGE 27
1. Ryan Zimmerman – Nationals 3B – Most people think of Zimmerman as a star already but if you break down his career stats, he has yet to put it all together in one season. He has shown fantastic production at times but has yet to hit .300 with 100 R, 30 HR, 100 RBI so maybe this is the season as he reaches the magic age of 27. He won’t come cheap on draft day but he will reward you whatever position you get him at.
2. Chase Headley – Padres 3B – He will be asked to step up his offensive production this season and a 20-20 season is not out of the question.
3. Chris Johnson – Astros 3B – Arrived later to the big leagues than most seem to do these days, but was very productive last year as a rookie – .308 BA, 40 R, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 3 SB in 90 games. He will be 27 years old this year with a full season’s worth of at bats. He could approach 20 HR and 90 RBI while hitting .300+.
4. David Freese – Cardinals 3B – He will be the everyday third baseman for the Cardinals and we could be looking at 20-25 home runs from a very late round choice.
SHORTSTOP – AGE 27
1. Hanley Ramirez – Marlins 27 – You have to be kidding me! This guy is only 27. Obviously, there is no stealing him in the draft as he will go 1st or 2nd overall. He had a down year in 2010 – .300 BA, 92 R, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 32 SB. Seriously, that is actually a down year!
2. Troy Tulowitzki – Rockies SS – Another first round choice here but he is just 27 so a big breakout could still be in the works. He has been streaky in his young career and contrary to popular belief, Tulo has yet to crack the 100 RBI mark and only batted over .300 last year for the first time. Bigger things are still to come!
3. Jose Reyes – Mets SS – Seems like an old 27 because he came up at such a young age and has suffered several injuries. Reyes was supposed to be the top shortstop in the league, not Hanley and Tulo, but that has not happened yet. He has the tools to put up a Hanley Ramirez stat line of .300 BA, 20 HR, 120 R, 80 RBI, 50 SB. If he can manage another healthy season, those numbers are very realistic, plus you will get him a couple rounds after the top two.
OUTFIELD – AGE 27
2. Matt Kemp – Dodgers OF – A lot was expected last season from Kemp and he failed to live up to the expectations. The shocking thing was his .249 average and poor base stealing percentage. Kemp may have let owners down last season, but you will get him much cheaper a year later and he is just 27. Not too many people would be entirely surprised if Kemp posted a line of .300 BA, 35 HR, 110 R, 100 RBI, 30 SB.
3. Chris Young – Diamondbacks OF – As shown the ability to get close to 30-30 but the batting average and inconsistancy throughout his career has been frustrating for NL Fantasy owners. Hopefully he could build upon his rebound season from last year where he drove in a career high 91 and career high 28 SB.
4. Hunter Pence – Astros OF – He has been very consistent in the 3 full seasons hitting 25 HR in each and hitting .282 in each of the past 2. At the age of 27, Pence might be ready to push past those number and reach 30 HR, 100 RUNS, 100 RBI 20 SB.
5. Drew Stubbs – Reds OF – In his first full season, Stubbs hit 22 HR and stole 30 bases even after his horrible start to the season. With more contact throughout the year, a 30-30 season is very much in reach. I like Stubbs a lot in 2011.