Monday, May 22, 2006

Cantu, Part II

I love fantasy baseball. Fantasy football is great and fantasy hoops makes my favorite pro sport even better, but fantasy baseball is my favorite. I explained the five reasons why last year in a column that you can find here, but the point is that I love it so much that I have to indulge myself with a nerdy fantasy baseball post everyone once in a while. So if you are wondering why I am about to offer up a breakdown on a little-known second baseman when my coverage of the amazing NBA Playoffs has been spotty at best, well, that is why. Now, on with the show.

Every year it seems like a sleeper comes out of nowhere to become a key factor in fantasy leagues everywhere. In baseball, this is especially common at key positions like catcher and middle infield. So when Jorge Cantu exploded with 117 RBI at 2B, he became a vital cog in many a title team. Of course, because Cantu was an unkown youngster playing for the offensively challenged Tampa Bay Devil Rays, many owners waited too long before picking him up. My job is to make sure it doesn't happen to you again. Folks, meet this year's Jorge Cantu ... Jose Lopez.

Lopez is Cantu all around. He is a young second basemen that hits for a good average with moderate power and plays for a team that doesn't score a ton of runs. However, he personally has a knock for picking up RBI by the boatload. He's currently FOURTH in the American League in RBI with 37, while hitting .309 with 7 home runs. He's on pace to hit 25 home runs and drive in a whopping 130 runs, yet nobody owns him in fantasy. Do yourself a favor, pick him up.

Over and out.

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