8. HANLEY RAMIREZ, SS, MILE HIGH MACKEREL
He's just one half of the Mackerel's superstar shortstop tandem, but his future keeper potential and status as an ex-Rated Rookie for the Sawx boost Hanley Ramirez's value over that of teammate Jimmy Rollins. Not to mention his hot start, which helped propel Mile High to the top of the standings for most of the first third of the season.
Currently in a near dead-heat for 2nd place among shortstops, Hanley is one of only five middle infielders with over 4 points per game. His performance during the summer, fronting an inconsistent Marlins lineup, could be the key to a Macks resurgence, or the gateway to a blockbuster trade.
7. FRANCISCO CORDERO, CP, CHICAGO TIGER ARMY
Its not often that a closer enters the MVP conversation. Only Eric Gagne's 2003 campaign for New Haven and Guillermo Hernandez's 1984 season with the Marlow Cracker Kings come to mind. Enter Frankie Cordero. He leads the league in points per week out the pen with 28.5, and had a stretch in late April and early May when he was getting saves every other game.
Adler's Army can attribute at least 2 or 3 wins directly to Cordero's arm. Those 2 or 3 wins could turn into 5 or 6 when Adler acquires Jonathan Papelbon from Speedway sometime in July for Hunter Pence, the rights to Jacoby Ellsbury, and a book from his baseball reading shelf.
6. CHIPPER JONES, 3B, BALTIMORE DEVIL JAYS
After years at the top of draft boards, Jones has fallen in recent years - none more than in the '07 draft, when Baltimore picked him up in the 13th round. And he may still be under the radar, playing in his 57th year in Atlanta, but Chipper's rebirth as a fantasy stud has helped Jon Grashow's Jays claim the top spot in the standings through Week 8.
At nearly 4.5 PPG, Jones trails only A-Rod at the position and is currently the 4th best hitter overall. Baltimore continues to dominate on the mound, so any surprises at the plate always cause concern for the rest of the league. If Jones can stay healthy, he and Prince Fielder could challenge A-Rod and Ortiz for corner infield supremacy.
5. JAKE PEAVY, SP, SPEEDWAY STARWIPES
Sure, keeping Victor Martinez would have worked out pretty well so far for the 'Wipes. But dumping him in favor of Jake Peavy just prior to Draft Week '07 has turned out to be their biggest victory of the year. After years of benching any and every pitcher without a 2-start week, including perennial ace Roy Halladay, Ryan Friedman has finally found a hoss he can ride every week.
At 25 points per outing, Peavy leads all starters by nearly 3 full points, and is a near-lock to strikeout 8-12 batters per game, making even a non-win a chance for big points. His most valuable contribution however, might be weaning Speedway off of their 2-starter habit, which has netted them exactly 1 playoff appearance in the last 4 years.
4. JOSE REYES, SS, WOOSTA PIMP ROOSTAS
The first of two MVP candidates for the Roostas, Reyes is one of many Woosta hitters trying to make up for the disastrous start on the mound. In an emerging pack of young shortstops, Reyes has used his speed and a great lineup to lead the position by nearly a half point per game. In just two short years, Reyes has gone from young bust to surprise keeper to coveted superstar.
If the playoff streak of GM Rich Gallup is to be extended to 19 for 19, Reyes will need to have more performances like Weeks 1, 2 and 3, when he totalled 102 points in just 16 games.
3. ALEX RODRIGUEZ, 3B, WOOSTA PIMP ROOSTAS
He'd be higher if I thought anyone would vote for him. Lots of home runs early in the season. Kind of slowing down lately. Leads all infielders in points per game. Is a Yankee. Here's a picture - let's move on.
2. VLADIMIR GUERRERO, OF, MILE HIGH MACKEREL
As many of Mile High's old guard have slowed down, Guerrero is having one of his finest seasons to date. Currently sitting at 4.27 PPG, Vlad is second among all outfielders, and was the best hitter for the first place team for much of the early season.
What makes Guerrero even more valuable is how awful the rest of Bielecki's outfield has been. What looked like a juggernaut on paper with two Yankees and a Red Soxck has mostly flopped. Now Michael Cuddyer is Mile High's 2nd best outfielder, and Ken Griffey Jr is their hottest of late. Through it all, the long-time Mack Guerrero has been the consistent force.
1. MAGGLIO ORDONEZ, OF, SPEEDWAY STARWIPES
Drafted in the same round and Chone Figgins and Stephen Drew, and dumped in favor of Ryan Church during the first week of the season, the fantasy career of Magglio Ordonez appeared to be heading for what we like to call Town Bikeland. 8 weeks later, he's the hottest hitter in the league and the leading candidate for most valuable player.
After not even playing in the first three weeks, Ordonez is still 12th among all outfielders in total points, ahead of Manny Ramirez, Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano, AND Jack Cust. All this, thanks to a per-game average approaching 6.00 in the middle of a potent Tigers offense. Ordonez might have all the makings of a sell-high candidate but, for now, he's the leader of a surprisingly solid Starwipe lineup and the current frontrunner for MVP.