A list of the top overall to draft for 2014 fantasy baseball.
1. Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels OF
At the end of last season, many wondered whether Trout could repeat his fabulous 2012 campaign. As it turns out, the phenom outfielder actually improved upon his numbers in 2013, increasing his walk rate from 10.5% to an outstanding 15.4%, and finishing the season with a final batting line of .323/.432/.557, good for an almost other-worldly 179 OPS+. The main concern from Trout's 2012 breakout seemed to center on his seemingly unsustainable .383 BABIP, but he was able to defy logic once again, posting a .376 BABIP in 2013. While this number, too, seems like it should decline, it may be that his baseline is such that the number proves to be one of skill thanks to his combination of elite power and speed, rather than good fortune. Trout was once again denied the AL MVP award in 2013, but the 22-year-old looks like he's going to be the one of the best players in the game for many years to come, regardless of how much hardware he has to show for it. He will no doubt be among the first players taken in nearly all 2014 fantasy drafts.
2. Miguel Cabrera Detroit Tigers 3B
In what has become the norm, Cabrera put together another season for the ages in 2013, besting even his 2012 Triple Crown campaign. Cabrera finished last season hitting .348/.442/.636 with 44 homers, 137 RBI and 103 runs. His 1.078 OPS was easily a career best as he paced the rest of the majors by a wide margin in the category. His plate discipline improved dramatically, bouncing back from a dip in walk rate during the 2012 season (9.8 percent), to 13.8 percent last year. And the scary part is Miggy’s season could have been even better if not for a lingering groin injury, which sapped his production at the plate in September and during the postseason. After the Tigers were ousted from the playoffs, Cabrera was diagnosed with a groin tear. He underwent surgery in late October to repair the injury, but is fully expected to be ready for spring training. To help prevent future injury risk, the Tigers are expected to slide Cabrera back over to first base following the trade of Prince Fielder to Texas in November. At age 30, Cabrera is still in the prime of his career. Barring an unforeseen setback, fantasy owners will once again want to target Cabrera near the top of the draft.
3. Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates OF
McCutchen enters his age 27 season with a shiny new NL MVP Award under his belt. His league-leading 8.2 WAR in 2013 included 21 homers, 27 steals, 97 runs scored and a .911 OPS. He saw action in 157 games, making it four straight years McCutchen's played in at least 154 contests. Cutch wrecked left-handed pitching to the tune of a .388 batting average and 1.130 OPS, which was actually worse than his 2012 numbers (.392 BA and 1.141 OPS). After tailing off the past couple seasons, the Pittsburgh center fielder avoided a late-season collapse at the plate. McCutchen is in the prime of his career and could easily contend for a second straight MVP in 2014.
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2014 Fantasy Rankings
Who are the top players you should be considering in your fantasy baseball drafts this year? Find out by browsing our overall rankings for 2013.
Find out where Carlos Santana, Buster Posey, Matt Wieters, Wilin Rosario and other catchers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Goldschmidt and other first basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, Chase Utley, Jose Altuve and other second basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jean Segura and other shortstops are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Evan Longoria, David Wright, Pablo Sandoval, Brett Lawrie and other third basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista and other outfielders are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and other starting pitchers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Aroldis Chapman, Greg Holland, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen and other relievers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.