David Oritz thumbs up
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Here’s the first look at the 2015 Lester’s Legends Designated Hitter Rankings.
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1. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
Edwin Encarnacion has averaged 86 runs, 37.3 home runs and 104 RBI over the past three seasons. He’s a great bet for power, but as a .265 career hitter he could hurt you in the batting average category. Encarnacion also has first base eligibility.
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2. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
David Ortiz just keeps raking. His averaged dipped to .263 in 2014, but Big Papi hit 35 home runs with 104 RBI. If he can match that home run total this year he’ll reach the 500 mark.
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3. Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers
Victor Martinez turned in the finest season of his career in 2014 despite being 35. He set career highs by hitting .335 with 32 home runs. Martinez scored 87 run and knocked in 103 RBI. It was the first time that V-Mart topped 25 home runs. V-Mart has first base eligibility as well, which helps his value.
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4. Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
Nelson Cruz hit .271 with 87 runs, 40 home runs, 108 RBI and four stolen bases in 2014. He will turn 35 this summer and has moved to Seattle, which should hurt his power numbers. Cruz has averaged 29.2 home runs over the past six seasons. Cruz has outfield eligibility as well.
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5. Chris Carter, Houston Astros
Chris Carter will do some damage to your batting average. He hit .227 in 2014 to raise his career batting average to .222. Carter smacked 37 home runs and posted 88 RBI. His two-year averages for 2013 and 2014 are 33 home runs and 85 RBI. If you can offset Carter’s average, you’ll appreciate his power.
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6. Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers
Shin-Soo Choo hit .242 in 2014 with 58 runs, 13 home runs, 40 RBI and three stolen bases. From 2009-2013 he hit .288 while averaging 80 runs, 17.4 home runs, 66.6 RBI and 19.2 stolen bases. Choo also has outfielder eligibility.
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7. Billy Butler, Oakland A’s
Billy Butler hit .271 in 2014 with 57 runs, nine home runs and 66 RBI. He has hit .295 in his eight-year career while averaging 62.8 runs, 15.9 home runs and 78.5 RBI. He doesn’t excel in any category, but Butler is pretty solid in four. He also has first base eligibility.
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8. Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees
Carlos Beltran hit .233 in 2014 with 46 runs, 15 home runs and 49 RBI while dealing with elbow issues. He underwent surgery and should return to form. From 2011-2013 he averaged 80 runs, 26 home runs and 88.3 RBI. Beltran also has outfield eligibility, which helps his value.
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9. Kennys Vargas, Minnesota Twins
Kennys Vargas hit .274 in 2014 with 26 runs, nine home runs and 38 RBI in 53 games. That put him on a pace for 79 runs, 28 home runs and 116 RBI. He likely won’t reach those numbers, but he should be able to put up solid power numbers.
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10. Kendrys Morales, Kansas City Royals
Kendrys Morales was limited to 98 games in 2014 and finished with eight home runs and 42 RBI. He averaged 22.5 home runs and 76.5 RBI in 2012 and 2013.
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Mike Trout
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Here’s the first look at the 2015 Lester’s Legends Outfielder Rankings.
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1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout has emerged as the premier fantasy baseball player. In the past three brilliant years he has hit .311 with 117.7 runs, 181.7 hits, 35 doubles, 8.7 triples, 31 home runs, 97 RBI and 32.7 stolen bases. Trout will turn 24 in August.  The sky is the limit.
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2. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen has hit .301 over the past five seasons while averaging 94.8 runs, 23.2 home runs, 81.6 RBI and 24.2 stolen bases. He’s a step back from Trout, but can easily be considered the second overall player in fantasy baseball.
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3. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Giancarlo Stanton has hit .273 over the past four seasons while averaging 76.3 runs, 33 home runs, 85 RBI and 6.3 stolen bases. In 2014 he stepped things up with a .288-89-37-105-13 line. If he can swipe double-digit bases, Stanton can challenge for that second spot.
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4. Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Gomez has hit .277 over the past three seasons while averaging 82.3 runs, 22 home runs, 65.7 RBI and 37 stolen bases. He’s a terrific power-speed combo option.
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5. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Bautista is one of the preeminent power options in the league. Over the past five seasons he has averaged 92.2 runs, 37.4 home runs, 93.6 RBI and 7.2 stolen bases while hitting .272.
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6. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
Adam Jones has been one of the most well-rounded fantasy options over the past four years. He has hit .283 with 89.8 runs, 29.8 home runs, 92.3 RBI and 12.3 stolen bases per year.
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7. Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
Michael Brantley hit .327 in 2014 with 94 runs, 20 home runs, 97 RBI and 23 stolen bases. Brantley does not have the track record of the top six, but his 2014 numbers rival all of them.
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8. Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees
Jacoby Ellsbury hit .271 in his first season with the New York Yankees with 71 runs, 16 home runs, 70 RBI and 39 stolen bases. Ellsbury has had 39 or more stolen bases in five of the past seven seasons.
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9. Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
Yasiel Puig has hit .305 in his two years while averaging 79 runs, 17.5 home runs, 55.5 RBI and 11 stolen bases per season. He has the talent to break out in a big way.
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10. Justin Upton, San Diego Padres
Justin Upton has hit .279 over the past six seasons while averaging 90 runs, 24.5 home runs, 80.3 RBI and 15.5 stolen bases. His move to San Diego hurts his value, but he’s still a high-end option.
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11. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Braun hit .266 with 68 runs, 19 home runs, 81 RBI and 11 stolen bases as he returned from his PED suspension. He remains a solid fantasy options even if he no longer puts up bloated numbers.
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12. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
Bryce Harper hit .273 with 41 runs, 13 home runs, 32 RBI and two stolen bases in 100 games. He remains a breakout candidate, but needs to stay healthy. Harper has averaged 119 games  per season during his three-year career.
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13. Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
Hunter Pence has hit .284 during his eight-year career while averaging 84 runs, 23.1 home runs, 86.1 RBI and 12.8 stolen bases. Pence does not excel in any one category, but he’s solid across the board.
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14.Corey Dickerson, Colorado Rockies
Corey Dickerson emerged in 2014 as a high-end outfielder hitting .312 with 74 runs, 24 home runs, 76 RBI and eight stolen bases.
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15. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez hit just .238 with 35 runs, 11 home runs, 38 RBI and three stolen bases despite a knee injury that limited him to 70 games. From 2010-2013 CarGo hit .311 while averaging 91 runs, 27 home runs, 91 RBI and 21.8 stolen bases in just 129.3 games per season.
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16. Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
Billy Hamilton is the preeminent speed option. He hit .250 with 72 runs, six home runs, 48 RBI and 56 stolen bases. With his speed he should improve on his .304 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which will increase his counting numbers. His stolen base total could easily climb to 80.
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17. Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres
Matt Kemp joins Justin Upton in San Diego’s revamped outfield. He hit .287 with 77 runs, 25 home runs, 89 RBI and eight stolen bases last year. If you throw out 2013, Kemp has averaged 89 runs, 28.2 home runs and 94.8 RBI.
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18. Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit Tigers
Yoenis Cespedes is hitting .263 in his three-year career while averaging 77.7 runs, 23.7 home runs, 87.3 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He should be able to build on those totals in Detroit’s potent offense.
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19. Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
Nelson Cruz hit .271 with 87 runs, 40 home runs, 108 RBI and four stolen bases in 2014. He will turn 35 this summer and has moved to Seattle, which should hurt his power numbers. Cruz has averaged 29.2 home runs over the past six seasons.
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20. Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte has hit .286 over the past two seasons while averaging 78 runs, 12.5 home runs, 45.5 RBI and 35.5 stolen bases. He’s a great option to bolster your stolen base category.
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Buster Posey
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Here’s the first look at the 2015 Lester’s Legends Catcher Rankings.
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1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey hit .311 with 72 runs, 22 home runs and 89 RBI in 2014. Over the past three seasons Posey averaged 70.3 runs, 20.3 home runs and 88 RBI while hitting .314. He’s a cut above the rest of the catching class.
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2. Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
Devin Mesoraco hit .273 in 2014 with 54 runs, 25 home runs and 80 RBI. Mesoraco led all catchers in home runs last year and finished second in RBI.
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3. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
Jonathan Lucroy hit .301 with 73 runs, 13 home runs, 69 RBI and four stolen bases in 2014. Over the past four seasons Lucroy has averaged 55.8 runs, 13.8 home runs, 67 RBI and 4.8 stolen bases while hitting .290.
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4. Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians
Yan Gomes hit .278 in 2014 with 61 runs, 21 home runs and 74 RBI. Gomes was sixth among catchers in home runs and fourth in RBI.
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5. Evan Gattis, Houston Astros
Evan Gattis hit .263 with 41 runs, 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 2014. He has averaged 21.5 home runs over the past two seasons in just 106 games per year. Gattis brings his power to Houston.
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6. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
Salvador Perez hit .260 in 2014 with 57 runs, 17 home runs and 70 RBI in 2014. He is a .285 career hitter and has averaged 74.5 RBI over the past two seasons.
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7. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
Yadier Molina hit .282 in 2014 with 40 runs, seven home runs and 38 runs in 110 games.  He hit .313 while averaging 16 home runs and 73.7 RBI from 2011-13.
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8. Brian McCann, New York Yankees
Brian McCann hit just .232 in 2014, but he finished second among catchers with 23 home runs and third with 75 RBI.
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9. Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies
Wilin Rosario hit .267 with 46 runs, 13 home runs and 54 RBI. Over the past three years he averaged 20.7 home runs and 68 RBI.
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10. Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays
Russell Martin hit .290 in 2014 with 45 runs, 11 home runs, 67 RBI and four stolen bases. Throughout his career he has averaged 61.1 runs, 13.2 home runs, 60 RBI and 10.3 stolen bases.
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Troy Tulowitzki
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Here’s the first look at the 2015 Lester’s Legends Shortstop Rankings.
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1. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
Troy Tulowitzki hit .340 in 2014 with 71 runs, 21 home runs, 52 RBI and a stolen base in just 91 games. Extrapolate that out to a 162-game season and you’re looking at a .340-126-37-93-2 line. Staying healthy has been an issue as Tulo has missed 281 games over the past five seasons. When he’s healthy he’s a five-category stud.
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2. Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals
Ian Desmond hit .255 in 2014 with 73 runs, 24 home runs, 91 RBI and 24 stolen bases. Over the past three seasons he’s averaged 74 runs, 23 home runs, 81.3 RBI and 22 stolen bases. Desmond is more of a sure thing than Tulo and could easily be considered the top shortstop option.
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3. Hanley Ramirez, Boston Red Sox
Hanley Ramirez hit .283 in 2014 with 64 runs, 13 home runs, 71 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 128 games. He returns to Boston where he made his MLB debut. If he can stay healthy he’s also a five-category stud.
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4. Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Reyes hit .287 with 94 runs, nine home runs, 51 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 2014. He’s a .291 lifetime hitter and has averaged 89.3 runs and 42.3 stolen bases over the past 10 seasons. Like three of the top four shortstop options, staying healthy is a key.
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5. Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
Starlin Castro hit .292 with 58 runs, 14 home runs, 65 RBI and four stolen bases in 2014. In five seasons Castro has averaged 67.8 runs, 10.2 home runs, 58.8 RBI and 14 stolen bases while hitting .284.
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6. Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
Alexei Ramirez hit.273 in 2014 with 82 runs, 15 home runs, 74 RBI and 21 stolen bases. In seven seasons Ramirez has averaged 72.7 runs, 14.1 home runs, 68.6 RBI and 16.9 stolen bases while hitting .277. He doesn’t excel in any category, but he’s a solid contributor across the board. Durability has also been a key for Ramirez.
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7. Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
Elvis Andrus hit .263 with 72 runs, two home runs, 41 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 2014. Andrus has averaged 84 runs and 32 stolen bases over the past six seasons.
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8. Jimmy Rollins, Los Angeles Dodgers
Jimmy Rollins hit just .243 in 2014, but finished with 78 runs, 17 home runs, 55 RBI and 28 stolen bases. He turned 36 in November, but he remains a solid home run and stolen base contributor.
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9. Ben Zobrist, Oakland A’s
Ben Zobrist is Mr. Utility. He is eligible at second base, shortstop and outfield. Zobrist hit .272 with 83 runs, 10 home runs, 52 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 2014. Over the past six years he averaged 85.8 runs, 16.5 home runs, 75.7 RBI and 15.8 stolen bases.
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10. Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar hit .278 last year with 77 runs, seven home runs, 68 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Over the past six years he’s hit .280 while averaging 70.3 runs, 6.8 home runs, 52.2 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
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Anthony Rendon
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Here’s the first look at the 2015 Lester’s Legends Third Base Rankings.
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1. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
Anthony Rendon hit .287 with 111 runs, 21 home runs, 83 RBI and 17 stolen bases last year. His main position is third base, but he played 28 games last year at second base to give Rendon positional eligibility and additional flexibility.
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2. Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson has averaged 91 runs, 26.5 home runs, 95.5 RBI and 6.5 stolen bases over the past two years. Those numbers were attained while playing in Oakland. Look for his power numbers to increase in Toronto. His .268 lifetime batting average keeps him just out of the top spot.
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3. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
Todd Frazier hit .273 with 88 runs, 28 home runs, 80 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He has averaged 22.3 home runs over the past three seasons.
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4. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
Adrian Beltre hit .324 last year with 79 runs, 19 home runs, 77 RBI and one stolen base. He’ll turn 36 in April, which makes him a little riskier than the top three choices. At what point does age catch up with him.
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5. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Evan Longoria hit .253 with 83 runs, 22 home runs, 91 RBI and five stolen bases. In seven years he has averaged 79.1 runs, 26.3 home runs, 90.7 RBI and six stolen bases while hitting .271.
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6. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
Kyle Seager hit .268 with 71 runs, 25 home runs, 96 RBI and seven stolen bases. Over the past three years he hit .262 while averaging 70.7 runs, 22.3 home runs, 83.7 RBI and 9.7 stolen bases.
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7. Pablo Sandoval, Boston Red Sox
Pablo Sandoval hit .279 with 68 runs, 19 home runs and 73 RBI. The move to Fenway Park should pay dividends for the Kung Fu Panda.
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8. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Nolan Arenado hit .287 with 58 runs, 18 home runs, 61 RBI and a pair of stolen bases. Already a two-time Gold Glove winner, look for him to take a step forward offensively.
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9. Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians
Carlos Santana played 26 games at third base last year giving him positional eligibility (along with first base). He hit .231 last year with 68 runs, 27 home runs, 85 RBI and five stolen bases. You’ll have to live with the .248 lifetime batting average, but he has averaged 23 home runs and 78.5 RBI over the past four seasons.
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10.  David Wright, New York Mets
David Wright hit .269 last year with 54 runs, eight home runs, 63 RBI and eight stolen bases in 134 games. Staying healthy has been an issue the past few seasons, but when he is Wright is a five category contributor.
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Print
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The sports world is currently in that weird place where the NFL is taking a rest and we’re still over a week from pitchers and catcher reporting to spring baseball. Basketball is King and March belongs to college basketball. Filling out your brackets and competing with family, friends and co-workers is a right of passage for sports fans. Don’t go into bracket season blind. Check out the College Basketball Betting Odds Now. Have a game plan when you put on your bracketologist hat.
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Which conference will reign supreme? UConn took home the crown last year in the American Athletic Conference’s first year in existence. Louisville closed out the Big East Conference with a win in its final year of existence. The Pac-12, thanks to UCLA’s dynasty, leads all conferences but hasn’t crowned a champion since 1997. The powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference hasn’t had a champ since 2010. Kentucky was the SEC’s last champion in 2012 and the odds-on favorite to bring a ninth championship home.
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Speaking of Kentucky, can they complete the first undefeated season since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers? They have a far more difficult task. If they close the regular season undefeated they will be at 31-0. They would then have to escape the SEC Tournament and the NCAA tournament unscathed.
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Will there be a Cinderella? If so, how long will she dance? Nothing generates more buzz than an underdog sticking around and knocking off perennial powerhouses.
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So much can happen in the next few weeks as teams jockey for position. Be sure to stay informed with Mybookie.ag.
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Robinson Cano Seattle
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Here’s the first look at the 2015 Lester’s Legends Second Base Rankings.
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1. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
Robinson Cano hit .314 with 77 runs, 14 home runs, 82 RBI and 10 stolen bases in his first year with the Seattle Mariners. His power took a hit, but he is a .310 lifetime hitter that has averaged 87.6 runs, 21.8 home runs and 90.4 RBI.
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2. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
Anthony Rendon hit .287 with 111 runs, 21 home runs, 83 RBI and 17 stolen bases. His main position is third base, but he played 28 games last year at second base to give Rendon positional eligibility and additional flexibility.
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3. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Jose Altuve hit .341 with 85 runs, seven home runs, 59 RBI and 56 stolen bases. He has averaged 41.3 stolen bases over the past three years. Altuve is a great option for your batting average, runs and stolen bases categories.
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4. Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers
Ian Kinsler hit .275 with 100 runs, 17 home runs, 92 RBI and 15 stolen bases in his first year with the Detroit Tigers. Over the past eight years he averaged 97.9 runs, 19.9 home runs, 72 RBI and 22 stolen bases. Kinsler played in a career-high 161 games last year.
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5. Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier hit .242 with 112 runs, 23 home runs, 71 RBI and 21 stolen bases. This after posting a .244-72-18-66-14 line. His batting average will sting a little, but he helps out in the four categories.
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6. Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
Jason Kipnis struggled to the tune of a .240-61-6-41-22 line. In 2012 and 2013 he averaged 86 runs, 15.5 home runs, 71.5 RBI and 30.5 stolen bases.
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7. Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins
Dee Gordon played a full season for the first time in his career and responded by hitting .289 with 92 runs, two home runs, 34 RBI and a league-high 64 stolen bases. He  goes to Miami where he’ll look to repeat as the stolen base champion.
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8. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia took a step back last year hitting .278 with 72 runs, seven home runs, 53 RBI and six stolen bases. Over the past eight seasons he averaged 89.8 runs, 13 home runs, 67.4 RBI and 15.6 stolen bases while hitting .301. Look for Pedroia to bounce back.
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9. Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
Kolten Wong hit just .249 with 52 runs, 12 home runs, 42 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 113 games. His BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was just .275. Given his speed, his luck should improve, which will boost his batting average and counting stats.
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10. Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
Neil Walker hit .271 last year with 74 runs, 23 home runs, 76 RBI and a pair of stolen bases. He has averaged 66.2 runs, 15.4 home runs and 69.4 RBI over the past five years while hitting .274.
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