The designated hitter is typically only a position in AL-only fantasy leagues, but most of all fantasy leagues contain utility lineup spots and many DHs have extra position eligibility. In 2010 fantasy baseball, there are several strong designated hitters, with former position players like Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui adding to the depth of the position.
1. Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays
In 2009, Adam Lind established himself as a legitimate hitter for both power and average. In his first full season, Lind hit 35 home runs and drove home 114 RBI. He hit .305, got on base at a .370 clip, and scored 93 runs. Lind led all designated hitters in average, OPS, home runs, RBI, and runs scored and he is the top 2010 fantasy baseball designated hitter.
2. Jason Kubel, Minnesota Twins
In each of his four Major League season, Jason Kubel has increased his power output. His slugging percentage has increased from .386 to .450 to .471 and finally to .539 in 2009. Kubel hit .300 with 28 home runs and 103 RBI while getting on base at a .369 clip and scoring 73 runs. Hitting behind the likes of MVP winners Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau will continue to give Kubel ample run-producing opportunities making him a top 2010 fantasy baseball designated hitter.
3. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
David Ortiz is no longer one of the best hitters in baseball, but he remains a power threat and a top 2010 fantasy baseball designated hitter. Ortiz has seen his batting average drop from .332 in 2007 to .264 in 2008 and all the way down to .238 in 2009. However, Ortiz still posted 28 home runs and 99 RBI while scoring 77 runs in 2009. The bulk of Ortiz’s production came after an awful two month slump to start the season, so he could produce better overall numbers in 2010.
4. Hideki Matsui, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Hideki Matsui became a fulltime designated hitter in 2009 and he responded with his best power-hitting season since 2004. Matsui hit 28 home runs and posted a .509 slugging percentage. He drove in 90 RBI in just 456 at-bats. With the Angels, he should see more ABs and as such more RBI opportunities as their lineup is one of the best in baseball.
5. Vladimir Guerrero, Texas Rangers
Vladimir Guerrero has been in decline in recent seasons and in 2009 he battled injuries, amassing only 383 at-bats in 100 games. Guerrero hit 15 home runs and hasn’t broken 30 since 2006. However, in 2010 he moves to Texas, home of one of the best home run parks in baseball. Vladimir Guerrero is a question mark in 2010, but his upside makes him worth a mid- to late-round draft pick.