Yesterday, Jon Heyman ran a column at SI.com about five guys you would use to start a franchise. Heyman polled executives from around the league and, lo and behold, Jose Reyes was the leading vote getter. Jonathan Papelbon was second, though he actually garnered the same number of first place votes as Reyes. I love Paps as much as the next guy, but.... huh?
Anyway, this is always a fun exercise, so here are the five guys I would use as the cornerstone of a new franchise:
- Albert Pujols -- He's having an off season, right? He's hitting .298/.401/.527 and rising. The best hitter in baseball.
- Jose Reyes -- Love the guy, and it doesn't hurt that he plays for the Mets. The scary thing is that he likely hasn't reached his ceiling yet.
- Grady Sizemore -- Walks more than Reyes, has more power right now than Reyes, steals bases at a higher percentage than Reyes. Strikes out more and plays a slightly less valuable defensive position, so he's one slot below.
- Alex Rodriguez -- Love him, hate him, he's still a beast at age 31. He's been such a bust for the Yankees that he will win two MVP awards in his four years there.
- Johan Santana -- I almost took teammate Joe Mauer here, largely because I hate the volatility of the starting pitcher market. Still, Santana is as good as they get.
- Chase Utley -- I passed because of his ridiculous home/road splits. .396/.473/.674 at CBP, .261/.350/.464 this season.
- Joe Mauer -- Will be super valuable as long as he stays healthy and stays at catcher. Will still be plenty useful if he eventually changes positions, but he is superlative behind the dish.
- Jake Peavy, Justin Verlander, Brandon Webb, some other pitchers who I am too afraid will get injured to start my franchise with.