2010 projected leaders: On-base percentage

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
OBP
1. Albert Pujols – .443
2. Joe Mauer – .420
3. Todd Helton – .417
4. Manny Ramirez – .409
5. Prince Fielder – .406
6. Hanley Ramirez – .403
7. Matt Holliday – .403
8. Lance Berkman – .403
9. Chipper Jones – .400
10. David Wright – .398
11. Nick Johnson – .397
12. J.D. Drew – .396
13. Alex Rodriguez – .394
14. Kevin Youkilis – .393
15. Mark Teixeira – .392
16. Miguel Cabrera – .391
17. Brad Hawpe – .391
18. Adrian Gonzalez – .391
19. Chase Utley – .390
20. Nick Markakis – .388
21. Conor Jackson – .385
22. Milton Bradley – .385
23. Dustin Pedroia – .383
24. Bobby Abreu – .381
25. Adam Dunn – .378
– There are three Yankees and three Red Sox in the top 25, but oddly enough, nine of the top 10 here are National Leaguers.
– The Rays aren’t represented, even though they had Ben Zobrist at .405 and Jason Bartlett at .389 last year. My top Ray is Carlos Pena at .370, followed closely by Evan Longoria (.369). B.J. Upton, Zobrist and Carl Crawford are also in the .360s.
– The Giants’ had baseball’s worst OBP at .309 last year (Seattle, at .314, was next to last). After Pablo Sandoval at .373, their next highest regular in the projections is Mark DeRosa at .335. I have Buster Posey at .358 in limited action.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.