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Friday High Fives: 2009's Most Productive Players

Today marks the launch of a new weekly feature at Beyond the Box Score, Friday High Fives.  Each week we'll propose a question requiring an answer from each of our authors in list form.  Today's question is Who will be the most productive players in 2009?  Five points for a first place vote down to one point for fifth:

Player R.J. Sky Dan Graham Chris Harry Total
Albert Pujols 5 5 5 5 5 3 28
Grady Sizemore 4 4 3 5 16
Hanley Ramirez 3 1 4 3 4 15
Alex Rodriguez 1 4 3 8
Roy Halladay 2 1 2 5
David Wright 2 2 4
Tim Lincecum 4 4
Cliff Lee 3 3
BJ Upton 2 1 3
Chase Utley 1 1 2
Geovanny Soto 2 2

Some observations:

  • Two of us placed B.J. Upton in our top five, neither of whom were R.J.
  • Sky's top five all finished in the top six overall.
  • Harry's top three were the top three overall, but his bottom two were in the bottom two.
  • Roy Halladay was the only pitcher to receive multiple votes.
  • Chase Utley received two votes, even with his health questionable for the start of the season.
  • Albert Pujols is good.
  • Some of us need to control our inner homerism ; )

Comments by individual authors appear after the jump:


  1. Albert Pujols - far and away the best player in the game
  2. Grady Sizemore - does everything so well that he's often overlooked
  3. Alex Rodriguez - I don't think the steroids flack will affect his play too much (or maybe I'm just hoping it doesn't)
  4. B.J. Upton - flashes of brilliance in the playoffs, I think this is his year
  5. Hanley Ramirez - assuming the defensive improvement was real
  6. Honorable Mention: Chase Utley - would have cracked my top 5 if he wasn't missing the first few months


  1. Albert Pujols - No-brainer.  The only worry is his health.
  2. Alex Rodriguez - In his 2008 down year, he still posted the third-highest WAR of any AL position player. 
  3. Hanley Ramirez - Maybe I'm giving a bit too much credit to his improved 2008 fielding numbers, but a shortstop who can hit like HanRam is crazy good.
  4. David Wright - Still young, with the potential to put together a great hitting season along with a good fielding season.  How can a player in New York be underrated?
  5. Roy Halladay - I never like to count on pitchers from year to year, but with Halladay's efficiency, 200+ innings at a 3.25 to 3.50 FIP seems like a lock.  That's 6 WAR.


  1. Albert Pujols - Easiest choice to make for this list. Pujols is a freak of a nature. Not only is his bat insanely good, but he's chipping in near an additional win by playing defense.
  2. Tim Lincecum - I love me some Tim. He's a pretty solid bet to throw 200+ dominant innings in 2009. I'm not crazy with the way the Giants have handled him at times, but he's got a good chance to remain a +6-7 win pitcher.
  3. Hanley Ramirez - Plays a key defensive position while providing power, average, speed, and on-base skills. Just a really, really, really good player. And, if his 2008 defensive numbers are for real, he's not going to cost you on defense either. There's a ton to like about Hanley.
  4. Roy Halladay - I've always felt that Roy was criminally undervalued, which is pretty amazing for a pitcher that's racked up numbers like he has. For the last three years he's been a workhorse -- never throwing less than 220 innings in a season. He doesn't walk anybody -- BB/9 over the last three seasons of 1.39, 1.92, and 1.43 -- and gets groundballs. You could have made the case that he should have won the Cy Young for the AL in 2008.
  5. B.J. Upton - Upton is my dark horse pick. In his first season in CF, he was an above average defender. His power was down in 2008 but he battled a shoulder injury for most of the season. Even with a torn labrum, he was still an above average hitter. If he's healthy and ready to go at the start of the season (he had shoulder surgery over the off-season) and can hit like he did in 2007 while remaining an above average defender in CF, he's going to be quite the valuable player to have.


  1. Albert Pujols - he's the best and I don't expect any slowdown next year
  2. Hanley Ramirez - fielding has shown improvement both quantitatively and qualitatively
  3. Grady Sizemore - Age 27 season and I think could boost his average this year while holding other peripherals constant, increasing his value
  4. David Wright - Also Age 27 season, few have been better the past 3 years
  5. Chase Utley - Yeah he's coming off hip surgery and yes he may miss the beginning of the season. But 2B are so bad offensively and defensively that I'd still put Utley up here.

Are we crazy?  Can you put together a better top five?  Who should fill out spots six through ten?