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Hawaiian Flyin’ Lower

Placido Polanco is a natural number two hitter.  Over his career, Polanco has struck out just once per 17.5 at bats which ranks him first among active major leaguers in being most difficult to strikeout.  Polanco’s contact ability is a great addition to a powerful Phillies lineup that can hit for power, but also strikes out…a lot.

Shane Victorino is the only major leaguer to wear a double ear flap helmet.

Shane Victorino is the only major leaguer to wear a double ear flap helmet.

With Polanco in the number two hole, Phillies all-star Shane Victorino moves to the # 7 spot in the high-scoring Philadelphia lineup.

“It is what it is,” said Victorino, 29, who is obviously not happy about his move down the lineup.  ”It’s going to be a year of adjustments for me.  I’ve batted second the last two years; why would I want to change?”

No doubt, Victorino is going to see a lot less fastballs in the # 7 hole hitting in front of catcher Carlos Ruiz and the pitcher.

“When I’m hitting second, I’ve got Chase and Ryan and the rest of the guys behind me, so of course pitchers are going to go after me,” said Victorino who is still nursing a sore shoulder.  ”I’m going to have to adjust as we go.”

One advantage to hitting in the # 7 spot is that Victorino will get to swing more freely than in the # 2 spot.  He’ll come up to bat more often with multiple runners on base which should help his RBI totals for fantasy baseball managers.  In the # 7 spot, there also may be more opportunities for the speedy Victorino to steal a base.  With the power of Utley, Howard, Ibanez, and Werth behind him last year, he often wasn’t able to steal per chance of making a pointless out.

Shane Victorino Fantasy Baseball Projection 2010 —  Expect Shane Victorino’s batting average to fall off a bit in 2010 as he faces pitchers being more selective to him.  His RBI totals, however, should take a big boost and his stolen bases should increase as well.  We look for Shane Victorino to project a 2010 batting average of .275 with 12 homers, 78 RBI, and 45 stolen bases.

It was a big off-season for Shane Victorino.  He married Melissa, his girlfriend of six years and mother of his 2-year-old Kali’a.  He also signed a 3 year $22 million contract with the Phillies.  That should make the move to the # 7 slot a lot more easy to swallow.

Shane and Melissa Victorino

Shane and Melissa Victorino

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