You all know the story, the Giants won the World Series, and the Dodgers sucked…again.
The 2012 Major League Baseball season was filled with ups and downs, young stars and aging icons.
Huge moves have been made this offseason: Josh Hamilton to the Angels, Jose Reyes to the Blue Jays and Kevin Youkilis to the Yankees, to name a few. I have heard that Josh Hamilton will be playing centerfield in order to keep him away from the white lines. That’s a cocaine joke.
With all the changes, there is no doubt the 2013 season will be full of excitement and heartache.
As exciting as the 2013 regular season will be, I know everyone out there is more focused on the upcoming fantasy baseball season. Whether you use ESPN, Yahoo, MLB.com or even Fox Sports, for God’s sake, we share one common goal: winning the championship.
This article will hopefully help you to gain that slight advantage over your opponents, although that isn’t likely seeing as though all your likely opponents will be reading this as well.
Let’s start by going from position to position and listing the top five at each spot.
1. Buster Posey – Aside from having the boyish good looks of a golden retriever, Posey also tears the cover off the ball. In two full seasons in the MLB, Posey has won rookie of the year, MVP, Comeback Player of the Year, two World Series trophies, and a Silver Slugger award…so yeah, he’s pretty good.
2. Joe Mauer
3. Victor Martinez
4. Yadier Molina
5. Carlos Santana
1 .Albert Pujols – With Josh Hamilton hitting behind him and Mike Trout at the top of the lineup, this guy will get pitches with runners on base. Seeing as though he hasn’t hit fewer than 30 homers in any full season so far in his career, that’s a good combo.
2. Joey Votto
3. Prince Fielder
4. Adrian Gonzalez
5. Edwin Encarnacion
1.Robinson Cano – Having Curtis Granderson out for the beginning of the season may hurt his RBIs a tad, but this guy is an absolute stud and will definitely bat above .300 with 25+ home runs. So draft him.
2. Dustin Pedroia
3. Brandon Phillips
4. Ian Kinsler
5. Dan Uggla
1. Hanley Ramirez – As a Giants fan it pains me to say the Dodgers are stacked. With guys like Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Gonzalez hitting in front of him, there will be players on base for him to drive in and the batting average will surely be better than last year.
2. Troy Tulowitzki
3. Jose Reyes
4. Starlin Castro
5. Ben Zobrist
1 Miguel Cabrera – Clearly the best at his position. Arguably the top player in all of baseball. The guy hasn’t hit under .320 since 2008 and has had 100+ RBIs annually since 2003. He’s a no brainer.
1. Mike Trout – The guy batted .326 in his first full season as a pro, while still posting 49 stolen bases and 30 homers. With Pujols and Hamilton hitting behind him he will also score a ton. His last name may be Trout, but there is nothing fishy about drafting him.
2. Ryan Braun
3. Andrew McCutchen
4. Matt Kemp
5. Josh Hamilton
1. Stephen Strasburg – Where do I start? He’s got the league’s best goat beard, not to mention Strasburg’s 197 strikeouts in 159 innings. Enough said. Last season he was limited due to a recovering elbow, and this year he will be good to go all season long, so draft him and watch the strikeouts pile up.
2 Justin Verlander
3 Clayton Kershaw
4 Felix Hernandez
5 David Price
1 Craig Kimbrel – By far the best closer in baseball. Last season he posted 42 saves, while striking out 116 batters in 62.2 innings. Are you kidding me? Arguably his best stat was the mere seven earned runs, giving him an astounding 1.01 ERA. With new power added to the Braves lineup (the Upton brothers) more runs are likely to be scored, which may not give Kimbrel as many opportunities for saves. With that being said, take this guy in any league; he will still get all the strikeouts while keeping a low ERA and WHIP.
2. Jonathan Papelbon
3 Jason Motte
4 Jim Johnson
5 Sergio Romo
1. SP Zack Wheeler – Wheeler is the No. 1 prospect in baseball, and even though he won’t be on the Opening Day roster, expect to see him in the big leagues sooner rather than later due to the absence of R.A. Dickey. Wheeler comes equipped with a filthy 91-94 MPH two-seam fastball, along with an elite curve that ranges between 72-78 MPH. Draft this guy.
2. OF Lorenzo Cain
3. 3B Kevin Youkilis
A little word of advice for your draft: don’t be that person that uses up all the allowed time in any of the first five rounds. No one likes that person.
Another word of wisdom: learn which players are injured before you draft them. If Curtis Granderson, A-Rod, Carl Pavano or Chris Carpenter is at the top of your draft queue, then you’re doing something wrong.
My last piece of wisdom for y’all: fantasy sports are not a hobby, they are a lifestyle. Nothing feels worse than losing your league. Live by the Ricky Bobby method: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Be cutthroat. If your conscience advises you against screwing over someone in your league to get ahead, do it anyways. Your conscience will get you a seventh place finish and no one wants that… Just ask Scott Robleski.