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On the Roto Radar: Batting Leaders

Sometimes all it takes is some good old-fashioned poring over statistics to pick out some nice sleepers.  Here are a few players we're fond of for the rest of this year and 2006.

Anyone notice that Placido Polanco has the fifth highest batting average in baseball at .331?  He's no .330 hitter, but Polanco has hit over .300 every month this year except April.  We know he has 15-20 HR power, and he'll have the starting second base job locked down in Detroit for the forseeable future. 

When did David Dellucci become a 25 HR threat?  This year, now that he's developed incredible patience.  Dellucci is 19th in baseball with a .392 OBP.  He probably qualifies in the outfield now in your league, and wouldn't make a bad fifth outfielder for you in 2006.

Chicks dig the long ball, and All-Star Jason Bay has 22 of them.  But he's also third in baseball with 34 doubles.  If a few more of those go over the fence next year a la Brian Roberts, Bay could be a threat for .300-40-110 on a weak Pirates team.  What's more, he suddenly started stealing bags this year.

Brian Giles only has 11 HRs and he's getting into his mid 30s.  But he leads all of baseball in walks and is tied for 6th in doubles.  Giles is a free agent after this season, and pretty much any park besides Petco gives a nice boost to his power numbers.  In a better ballpark in a more potent lineup, Giles could see the 35 HR mark one more time before his real decline begins.

Could Scott Posednik be any more overrated in real baseball?  His OBP is just OK, and he has absolutely zero power.  He leads baseball in caught stealing with 18.  His stolen base success rate is exactly 75%, meaning the Sox would probably be just as well off if he never attempted a steal at all.  Before paying big to get Podsednik in your fantasy outfield, make sure you can really handle a surprisingly mediocre run total, a shaky batting average, no HRs, and a pathetic number of RBIs.  Do need his 70 steals that badly?

This post is getting long, so tomorrow we'll check out some of the sleeping giants on the pitching side.

Did anyone manage to hear what expletives Mark Grace accidentally said on the air Wednesday night?  Whatever he said, he shouldn't have to apologize for it.  Here's one vote for Grace as the next manager of the Cubs once we run Dusty out of town.  Hey, we can dream.

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