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In previous chapters of my 2014 fantasy baseball draft guide, I've been ranking players by position. This week, I put all the puzzle pieces together in what amounts to the first five draft rounds for a 10-team league.
You'll notice a couple of differences from my position rankings. For example, on the strength of a good spring, I've bumped Ryan Braun ahead of three guys I originally had him behind. I'm not going to go back and revise my position rankings from previous weeks, so time to get your red pencil out and make the changes yourself, since I will assume by now you have printed out the rest of draft guide, blown it up 200%, and have it covering the walls of your man cave as you prepare for your league draft.
The Fantasy Fix Top 50, round by round:
1. Mike Trout, OF, LAA: In terms of broad fantasy value, there is no one close, not even Miggy.
2. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, DET: Could earn another Triple Crown - and another, and another.
3. Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT: Having a great spring. Put money on him to win the NL batting title.
4. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI: He's starting to looking like a mini-Miggy.
5. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL: Almost Trout-like production if he can ever stay healthy a full season.
6. Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD: A lackluster spring, but he's the best SP on possibly the best team.
7. Hanley Ramirez, SS, LAD: In line for a career year, and his bat may help Kershaw to 20+ wins.
8. Chris Davis, 1B, BAL: If Miggy doesn't win another Triple Crown, his HR production is the reason.
9. Robinson Cano, 2B, SEA: Picking at the end, go with the best man at the thinnest position.
10. Ryan Braun, OF, MIL: Looks so lively this spring, I upgraded him just this week to my No. 4 OF.
11. Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX: Fielder in the lineup could mean either career-high RBIs or runs.
12. Bryce Harper, OF, WAS: Past hype has dissipated, and I think his power stats will blossom.
13. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, NYY: The short porch in Yankee Stadium must have him salivating.
14. Adam Jones, BAL: I'll shortly stop using the tag "mini-Miggy," but he's another one.
15. Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL: A few more HRs, and we'll be calling him Trout-like.
16. Yu Darvish, SP, TEX: A long wait for the second SP; don't be surprised if he goes earlier.
17. Prince Fielder, 1B, TEX: Another change from position rankings. Losing some pounds will help.
18. Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL: It's not that he's falling, it's that weight loss is helping Prince rise.
19. Joey Votto, 1B, CIN: I know no one agrees having Freeman ahead of him, but it's this close.
20. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, TOR: Okay, end of the second-round run on 1Bs.
21. Adam Wainwright, SP, STL: He's the NL Cy Young this year if Kershaw shows any weakness.
22. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL: I like the next three guys better, but I think he gets picked here.
23. David Wright, 3B, NYM: Wouldn't be surprised if he quietly achieves a career year.
24. Jason Kipnis, 2B, CLE: If your league drafts purely on hype, he's already gone by this point.
25. Evan Longoria, 3B, TAM: More than ever, he's the key to the Rays' offense.
26. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, WAS: People are starting to realize he won 19 games last year.
27. Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD: Huge potential, but enough concern to scare some away from picking him.
28. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA: I think his big bat ends up in NY, BOS or DET by the trading deadline.
29, Felix Hernandez, SP, SEA: There's a chance he's finally looking at a 20-win season.
30. Zack Greinke, SP, LAD: On most other teams he'd be the No. 1 starter.
31. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, TEX: Multi-category talent in a good lineup in a hitters park. Wow.
32. Jose Fernandez, SP, MIA: Great pitcher on a bad team. With LAD, he'd be five spots higher.
33. Cliff Lee, SP, PHI: Possibly the safest draft pick of all No. 1 starters. He's that reliable.
34. Max Scherzer, SP, DET: Looking sharp this spring. He'll be off the board sooner in some leagues.
35. Chris Sale, SP, WHITE SOX: Sox probably aren't good enough to win him 20, but he's that good.
36. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS: Not really comfortable with this spot, but probably the latest he'll go.
37. Jean Segura, SS, MIL: A guy with 50 SB potential available in Round 4? Count me in.
38. Ian Desmond, SS, WAS: Take him ahead of Segura if you want power stats more than SBs.
39. Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS: He's top 15 in some leagues. I want to see him reach 200 IP first.
40. Justin Upton, OF, ATL: The definition of streaky, but still an HR title candidate.
41. Jose Bautista, OF, TOR: I think he's got one more 35 HR year left in him. Is this it?
42. Justin Verlander, SP, DET: Looked great in first spring start this week, and may not miss time.
43. Alex Rios, OF, TEX: Multi-category threat at a fair bargain if this is one of his "on" years.
44. Allen Craig, 1B, STL: I think he's really a top 40 player, but can't figure out yet who isn't.
45. Jose Reyes, SS, TOR: Could be a steal this late if he's healthy, but that's a big if.
46. Buster Posey, C/1B, SF: Making an exception to my rule of no catchers or closer in the top 50.
47. Albert Pujols, 1B, LAA: History is the only thing keeping him top 50, but could make a comeback.
48. Anibal Sanchez, SP, DET: Overshadowed by Scherzer, but perhaps a dark horse for Cy Young?
49. Matt Holliday, OF, STL: No more consistent OF numbers-wise if you let the star Os pass by.
Just missed: Craig Kimbrel, RP, ATL: The top closer could go earlier in many leagues, but I would never draft a closer before Round 6.
Previously in the Draft Guide:
* The Pitchers & Catchers Report Report.
* The Big Fish.
* Closing Time.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
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Posted on Jun 24, 2017