The 2013 fantasy football season has come to a close and that means it is just about time to start preparing for the 2014 fantasy baseball season. While there will be plenty of released rankings, mock drafts and sleepers, we will start the 2014 season talking about just the top 12 players coming out of 2013 so everybody has an idea where to start for the 2014 fantasy draft.
The top two players are obvious picks, but after the top two there are a slew of nearly equal fantasy players, including one season wonders, injury problems and even a pitcher to consider in the first round of the 2014 fantasy baseball draft.
- Mike Trout – OF – Angels: Whether you go with Trout and his upside or Cabrera and his consistency at number one is a matter of how you feel at the moment of the draft, but a young .320 hitting, 30/30 player is hard to pass at #1.
- Miguel Cabrera – 3B – Tigers: Back-to-back monster seasons makes him an easy pick for number one, but the Tigers trading Prince Fielder seems to be enough to knock Cabrera to number two.
- Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – D’Backs: Goldschmidt comes in at number three because of his upside not to mention that he led the NL with 125 RBI’s. Batting .302 with 36 home runs makes him the poor mans Cabrera.
- Andrew McCutchen – OF – Pirates:McCutchen comes in at number four. He has averaged over 20 HR’s and 25 SB’s over the last four seasons and had an OBP over .400 for two straight seasons. His only weakness is he has yet to knock in or score a hundred runs in a season.
- Chris Davis – 1B – Orioles: Davis smashed 53 HR’s and knocked in 138 runs while batting .286 in 2013. The once wishy-wash prospect, finally hit it big, so risk of much lower output is there, but his strong finish in the 2012 season gives his 2013 numbers more credence.
- Hanley Ramírez – SS – Dodgers: Hanley Ramirez has had injury problems over the last couple years, but when he is healthy, he is the best short stop in fantasy baseball (.345, 20 HR’s, 10 SB’s with 304 at bats in 2013).
- Jacoby Ellsbury – OF – Yankees: Ellsbury is a very interesting player. He has hit 32 home runs, stolen 70 bases and batted .321 in different seasons. He has also missed quite a bit of time due to injuries. Now he will lead off for the Yankees. Big things are in order for Ellsbury if he remains healthy.
- Clayton Kershaw – SP – Dodgers: He was 16-9 in 2013, and while there are certainly better records in baseball, there are not better pitchers. The wins will come for Kershaw playing for the Dodgers, but a lifetime 2.60 ERA (1.83 in 2013) and more than a strikeout per inning, makes him the first pitcher in awhile to be worth a number one pick.
- Carlos González – OF – Rockies: If not for his almost guaranteed yearly stint on the DL, Gonzalez would be a the top three player. Regardless, he is a lifetime .300 hitter and has hit over 20 HR’s and stole over 20 bases in each of the last four seasons, and is a 30-30 candidate every year (.302, 26 HR’s, 21 SB’s in 2013).
- Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Rockies: With shortstop being such a weak position, even the often-injured Tulowitzki is to good to pass up and number ten. If healthy, he will batt around .300 and deilver 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI’s. Just draft a quality back up and you should be good.
- Adrián Béltre – 3B – Rangers: Adrian Beltre at number eleven may seem a bit high, but he simply does not carry the risk as most of the players ranked after him. He is as sure as it gets to hit 30 home runs, bat .300 and knock in 100 runs.
- Robinson Cano – 2B – Mariners: A tough call to say the least rounding at the top twelve with Cano. If Cano were still a Yankee, he would be back in the top five or six, but a player changing teams is always a risky proposition. With that said, he has been the best second basemen in fantasy baseball for years, and being the weak position that it is, drafting a potential .300 hitting, 25-30 home run hitting second basemen is a very solid move.