Grey: Wieters ready to be a star

"There's always next year," they say. Well, next year is here. We surveyed ESPN's fantasy staff to find out a bit about what they think is in store for fantasy owners in 2010.

Reality Check

Your fondest sports wish for 2010 is:
To be on the podcast more than one time per year. (Admittedly, I am using a very loose definition of the word "fondest.")

Why will this happen/not happen?
It won't because either (a) Nate thinks I bring too much of what he calls "baseball knowledge" to the show, or (b) he's nice enough not to ask me to get up at 5:30 a.m. Arizona time. Your pick.

Any sport, who is your biggest sleeper pick for 2010?
I have a lot to live up to after putting Tommy Hanson in this space last year. I'll go with Rays outfield prospect Desmond Jennings.

Any sport, which player do you fear will let you down, but you feel compelled to keep drafting him anyway?
Scott Kazmir.

Which player has let you down one to many times and is now "dead to you?"
Milton Bradley

Who will be ...

... The second player taken in fantasy leagues? Hanley Ramirez.
... The first starting pitcher? Tim Lincecum
... The first closer? Jonathan Papelbon
... The second catcher? Victor Martinez
... The AL MVP? Joe Mauer
... The NL MVP? Albert Pujols
... The AL Cy Young? Felix Hernandez
... The NL Cy Young? Tim Lincecum
... The AL Rookie of the Year? Scott Sizemore
... The NL Rookie of the Year? Buster Posey (I don't think Strasburg will get enough starts.)
... The fantasy baseball MVP (most value for draft position)?Wade Davis
... The highest-rated player on Player Rater? Albert Pujols

The Name Game ...
Which player would you rather draft in 2010?

Hanley Ramirez or Alex Rodriguez? Ramirez
Tim Lincecum or Zack Greinke? Lincecum
Roy Halladay or Chris Carpenter? Halladay
Ryan Braun or Matt Kemp? Kemp
Yovani Gallardo or Josh Johnson? Johnson
Prince Fielder or Ryan Howard? Fielder
Adam Lind or Josh Hamilton? Lind
Aaron Hill or Ben Zobrist? Zobrist
Evan Longoria or Mark Teixeira? Teixeira
Mariano Rivera or Jonathan Broxton? Broxton

Playing with Numbers:
Predict the 2010 stat.

Roy Halladay wins: 18

Cliff Lee wins: 17
Mark Reynolds home runs and batting average: 38, .254.
Joe Mauer's batting average and home runs: .335, 21.
Chone Figgins and Ichiro Suzuki's stolen bases: 35, 29.
Matt Capps saves: 24
Javier Vazquez wins, ERA and WHIP: 15, 3.86, 1.22
Stephen Strasburg's wins, ERA and WHIP: 9, 3.66, 1.25
Grady Sizemore's HR/SB: 24/25
Alfonso Soriano's average draft position: 70

Mad Gabs

Fill in the blanks to formulate 10 predictions for 2010. Do not limit yourself to football or baseball

In 2010, Garrett Atkins will fail miserably at third for the Orioles, and eventually be supplanted by prospect Josh Bell.
There is no way that Josh Hamilton will avoid the disabled list.
Chris Davis will be this year's best post-hype upside play.
If Andrew McCutchen has the kind of year I think he can then fantasy owners will regret not drafting him when they had the chance.

Curtis Granderson will be the next big sports star to not quite meet expectations for the Yankees.
There will be two players that drive in 100 runs for the Cardinals ...
... but only one player that was on the team's roster on New Year's Day. (Yes, I do think Matt Holliday signs with them.)
Matthew Berry will finally be selected to appear on a reality TV show.
This is the year that Howie Kendrick finally gets 500 at-bats.
2010 will forever be remembered as the year a fully armed and operational Matt Wieters was unleashed on American League pitching.

Have we missed anything?

What question do you wish you had been asked on this survey?
Is it true you were pimping Scott Feldman hard in early May last year?

And the answer is?
Yep, I saw early on that he was a different pitcher, thanks to a vastly improved cutter and a new full windup that improved his command, along with some help from Elvis Andrus at short.

What question are you glad you weren't asked?
"Hey Jason, so you won a second LABR title last year, but care to explain why you failed miserably trying to add a third Tout Wars championship? That team was horrible!

Sucker! Now you have to answer.
I can't even blame it on guys getting hurt. Sometimes you just have a bad draft and the wrong mix of players. I had a team with too many guys getting empty at-bats and not enough pop.