2010 projected leaders: First baseman OPS

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
1. Albert Pujols – 1067
2. Prince Fielder – 976
3. Miguel Cabrera – 965
4. Mark Teixeira – 962
5. Adrian Gonzalez – 933
6. Ryan Howard – 923
7. Lance Berkman – 911
8. Kevin Youkilis – 898
9. Kendry Morales – 889
10. Justin Morneau – 884
11. Adam Dunn – 882
12. Joey Votto – 882
13. Todd Helton – 874
14. Billy Butler – 872
15. Derrek Lee – 871
– I don’t suppose there are any surprising names here. Everyone in the group besides Butler came in at 870 or better last year, and Butler finished at 853. The other two players I have projected for modest gains are Cabrera (942 to 965) and Teixeira (948 to 962). On the other side of the equation, I have Votto and Lee projected for 100-point declines, but that still doesn’t knock either off the list.
– First base is such a strong position right now. The first four players here received my four highest OPS projections for the year, followed by Joe Mauer at 958.
– I’m not going to run down the entire list of DHs, but Vladimir Guerrero topped that one at 879, followed by David Ortiz at 862 and Jim Thome at 851.

The Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.