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. Giancarlo Stanton Miami Marlins OF
A pitiful April (.227/.341/.387 in 20 games) followed by a six-week stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury frustrated Stanton over the first half of the season, but the powerful outfielder got back on track down the stretch, posting a .272/.392/.558 line with 11 home runs over his final 41 games. Though 2013 will go down as a disappointment in the eyes of some, Stanton managed to put up a career-best 14.7 percent walk rate over 504 plate appearances, and his strikeout rate, contact rate and flyball percentage all remained in line with his career norms. Stanton sits with an impressive 117 home runs in his first four major league seasons -- an average of 39 long balls per 162 games played -- and at 24 years old, the 6-foot-6 slugger simply needs to stay on the field to remain a favorite for the NL home run crown. It doesn't hurt that he should also chip in excellent run production (thanks to the walk rate) regardless of who surrounds him in the lineup.
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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.