A list of the top outfielders to draft for 2014 fantasy baseball.
1. Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
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. Andrew McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates
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.
3. Jacoby Ellsbury New York Yankees
Ellsbury once again proved to be an impact hitter atop Boston's lineup with game-changing baserunning skills in 2013. He did nothing to hurt the big payday he got this offseason. Everything he does will pale in comparison to his MVP-caliber season in 2011 - the 32 bombs he hit that season are an outlier - but Ellsbury slugged .426 and had a .781 OPS last season, second-best of his career in both categories. The Yankees inked Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million deal in December, and he will set the table for fellow free-agent additions Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann in pinstripes.
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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.
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