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Tip Drill: Raking the infield

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You need infield prices for the weekend, and I've got them. Assume 5x5 scoring, big-boy roto. Pass on your respectful, intelligent list disagreement and we'll sort through it together. Don't get too hung up on how any individual price matches up to your league; the key is noting how the players relate to each other. Season to taste.

I've tried to cover every infield option for Y! that's worth owning in a deep mixed league, but if I've missed anyone, let me know. For the sake of argument, I tacked on a price for the DH-only crowd (Ortiz, Thome, Hafner).

$35 Hanley Ramirez
$33 Albert Pujols
$33 David Wright
$33 Jose Reyes
$31 Miguel Cabrera

It's easy to pull the trigger on any of the five above in the first round. After that, it gets a little dicey.
$30 Ryan Howard
$28 Jimmy Rollins
$28 Ian Kinsler
$27 Chase Utley
$27 Mark Teixeira

It's too early to put the "injury-prone" label on Kinsler, he's mostly been unlucky with some fluke stuff. You know the drill with Howard, two monstrous categories, one strong one, and two question marks. So far, so good with Utley's return; if you want to bump him higher on your sheet, I get it.

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$25 Lance Berkman
$25 Brandon Phillips
$25 Evan Longoria
$24 Dustin Pedroia
$24 Prince Fielder
$24 Kevin Youkilis
$23 Alex Rodriguez
$23 Aramis Ramirez
$23 Adrian Gonzalez
$23 Brian Roberts
$22 Justin Morneau

There's no right answer to A-Rod, it depends on your context, format, ownership style, karma. I can't wait until Gonzalez is released from his Petco Penalty, someday (no offense to the Friar Faithful and the fine city of San Diego). Pedroia generally isn't expected to match last year's haul, but hitting No. 2 in Boston's lineup provides a very safe net.

$21 Chipper Jones
$20 Alexei Ramirez
$20 Dan Uggla
$20 *David Ortiz
$19 Russell Martin

Chipper will be great for the 400-425 at-bats you get, but you're kidding yourself if you expect a full season. Uggla remains the unsung hero in the middle, a safe three-category guy who brings a little average risk, but this isn't Rob Deer. Honestly, I have no idea what to do with Big Papi this year; bat it around in the comments.

$17 Aubrey Huff
$17 Carlos Pena
$17 Joey Votto
$17 Victor Martinez
$16 Adam Dunn
$16 Derek Jeter
$16 Derrek Lee
$16 J.J. Hardy
$16 Jhonny Peralta
$16 Rafael Furcal
$16 Troy Tulowitzki
$15 Garrett Atkins
$15 Ryan Zimmerman
$15 Stephen Drew

I must trust Huff far more than the general consensus because he keeps finding his way onto my roster. I'm expecting him to keep most of last year's grab and the multiple positions help. Not even Dusty Baker could get in Votto's way; that kid has a gigantic upside. The thin pool of shortstops gives an artificial float to the collection here, not that any of them really excite me. Zimmerman is probably a better real-life ballplayer than he is a roto collector.

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$14 Carlos Delgado
$14 Chris Davis
$14 Michael Young
$13 Adrian Beltre
$13 Alex Gordon
$13 Chone Figgins
$13 James Loney
$13 Jose Lopez
$13 Pablo Sandoval

I'd like to see more data on Davis, and the Young trend is going in the wrong direction, but Arlington provides a giant safety net. Maybe you'll pay for what Gordon might do some day; I need to see it first. Sandoval certainly passes the eye test, and the catcher eligibility (in Y!) is a nice perk.

$12 Rickie Weeks
$12 Conor Jackson
$12 Jorge Cantu
$12 Paul Konerko
$12 Robinson Cano
$12 Ryan Theriot
$12 Yunel Escobar
$11 Adam LaRoche
$11 Edwin Encarnacion
$11 Mike Aviles
$11 *Jim Thome
$11 Orlando Cabrera
$10 Carlos Guillen
$10 Mike Lowell
$10 Placido Polanco
$10 Khalil Greene
$9 Mark DeRosa
$9 Mike Jacobs

I'm glad I keep missing on Weeks in my drafts to this point; it looks like we're broken up for good. The Encarnacion breakout should have happened by now but he's still young enough to inspire some March dreaming. Anyone who disses Mike Aviles in this forum will have to arm wrestle with the entire Y! Fantasy Staff. Greene's 2009 price hasn't caught up to his very tangible upside; give a look at his home/road splits, it's as simple as that. The Cardinals will throw him at shortstop and leave him alone.

$8 Kevin Kouzmanoff
$8 Mark Reynolds
$8 Mike Fontenot
$7 Howie Kendrick
$7 Melvin Mora
$7 Miguel Tejada
$7 Orlando Hudson
$6 Felipe Lopez
$6 Kelly Johnson
$5 Casey Kotchman
$5 Cristian Guzman
$5 Jed Lowrie
$5 Kazuo Matsui

Tejada keeps flying off the board midgame because the position is thin and people have long memories, but he played his way off my radar, emphatically, last summer. I've never really understood the love affair with Kotchman and I don't think the Halos lose that much going with Morales this time around. Lowrie is an interesting sleeper, fully healthy, open at a few positions, and tied to a strong offense.

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$4 Alexi Casilla
$4 Edgar Renteria
$4 Hank Blalock
$4 Jason Giambi
$4 Mark Ellis
$4 Nick Swisher
$4 Ryan Garko
$4 Todd Helton
$3 Akinori Iwamura
$3 Clint Barmes
$3 Freddy Sanchez
$3 Ian Stewart
$3 Jason Bartlett
$3 Josh Fields
$3 Kendry Morales
$3 Mark Teahen
$3 Billy Butler
$3 Travis Ishikawa
$3 Troy Glaus
$3 Ty Wigginton
$3 Yuniesky Betancourt

Teahen's worth kicks forward a bit if he can grab the second-base eligibility. Ishikawa earned a job with a strong spring, but good luck keeping it going by the bay. Address your Billy Butler questions to Dr. Bradley Evans. I'm starting to reconsider my stance on Helton; let's go to Andy Behrens, reporting from Colorado.

$2 Aaron Hill
$2 Asdrubal Cabrera
$2 *Travis Hafner
$2 Casey Blake
$2 Chad Tracy
$2 Chase Headley
$2 Emmanuel Burriss
$2 Joe Crede
$2 Skip Schumaker
$1 Alex Gonzalez
$1 Andy LaRoche
$1 Bill Hall
$1 Brandon Inge
$1 Brendan Harris
$1 Cesar Izturis
$1 Chris Getz
$1 Dallas McPherson
$1 Elvis Andrus
$1 Erick Aybar
$1 Eugenio Velez
$1 Jack Wilson
$1 Jeff Keppinger
$1 Jerry Hairston Jr.
$1 Maicer Izturis
$1 Nick Johnson
$1 Scott Rolen
$1 Wilson Betemit

Hafner hasn't been driving the ball at all this spring; he's all yours if you want him. He was dropped in the Friends & Family league a few weeks back and no one cares. Hill will rocket up this list if he proves he's healthy and the Jays commit to him. Inge might have some deep-league value now that he's done with catching (he openly admits that chore affected his offense) but still qualifies behind the plate.

$0 Aaron Miles
$0 Anderson Hernandez
$0 Ben Zobrist
$0 Blake DeWitt
$0 Bobby Crosby
$0 Brandon Wood
$0 Chris Duncan
$0 Edgar Gonzalez
$0 Eric Chavez
$0 Eric Hinske
$0 Geoff Blum
$0 Jeff Baker
$0 Joe Inglett
$0 John Bowker
$0 Julio Lugo
$0 Lars Anderson
$0 Luis Castillo
$0 Lyle Overbay
$0 Mark Grudzielanek
$0 Mark Loretta
$0 Martin Prado
$0 Mat Gamel
$0 Matt LaPorta
$0 Nick Punto
$0 Omar Infante
$0 Pedro Feliz
$0 Ronnie Belliard
$0 Willie Harris

No comments on the Agent Zeroes yet, but maybe you can sway me in the comments.

This list was composed while listening to Dinosaur Jr. ($27).


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