This a topic I have been meaning to cover for a while now. Since, I play most of my fantasy baseball in keeper and dynasty leagues, this is a topic that I spend a lot of time thinking about. A franchise bat, is a hitter that you can count on to put up elite numbers for the next two to three years and has shown pretty good durability. No matter your league size or stat categories, I think that the number of true franchise hitters is pretty small. I don't necessarily look for a hitter that will help you in every category but they shouldn't kill you in any category unless they put up elite numbers in almost every other category. In a standard (5x5 stats) league, I am looking for a guy who puts up great numbers in at least four categories. History is another important factor because I think it is very dangerous to rely upon a guy who explodes for one year. We have seen that before with guys like B.J. Upton, Prince Fielder and others. If they don't have some history, to support their 2010 numbers, I just can't put them on this list.
Albert Pujols (31 years old) 1b, Cardinals-no brainer, he is the standard. The only stat he doesn't thrive in is steals and he still gives double digits there
Miguel Cabrera (26) 1b, Tigers-Another no brainer here, Cabrera has been a first rounder for years and will continue to put up elite numbers across the board (except for sbs)
Hanley Ramirez (27) SS, Marlins-Hanley puts up great numbers in every category and is just entering the prime of his great career. He has been a top 5 pick for years and he should continue to fill up the stat sheet.
Robinson Cano (28) 2b, Yankees-While Cano has never been a first round draft pick before, he will be now. I like the journey that Cano took to get to this point. Aside from 2008, his numbers have gone up every year. He is now in his prime and should settle into the role of the best fantasy secondbasemen in the game.
Evan Longoria (25) 3b, Rays-Longo has already done a lot in his baseball career and is one of the best hitters in the game. What could make that better? How about the fact that, at age 25, we can expect a lot more. He is already the best fantasy player at his position and could become the best fantasy hitter in the game.
David Wright (28) 3b, Mets-After a down season in 2009, Wright rebounded with another stellar 2010 season. Another player in the prime of his career, Wright should continue to contribute across the board for fantasy owners.
Ryan Braun (27) OF, Brewers-Most players on this list would not complain about Braun's stat line in 2010. However, many Braun owners were very disappointed. I am certainly not off the bandwagon yet.
That is it for my list of Franchise bats. I would love to hear your list.