2014 Preseason Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Hitters

CATCHER

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1. Buster Posey, SF - Likely the only catcher you’d be able to get 100 RBI from.

2. Joe Mauer, MIN - Won’t be here next year after the full-time move to 1st base, so get your fill.

3. Wilin Rosario, COL - He’s hit a HR every 17.2 AB over the last two years and has 30+ HR potential in that ballpark.

4. Brian McCann, NYY - Short porch in right-field and hitting in the middle of that lineup should provide big-time stats.

5. Yadier Molina, STL

6. Carlos Santana, CLE - It remains to be seen how much time behind the plate he receives this season, but no matter what he hits.

7. Matt Wieters, BAL

8. Jonathon Lucroy, MIL - Painfully underrated every year.

9. Salvador Perez, KC

10. Jason Castro, HOU

11. Yan Gomes, CLE – With Santana likely to spend time at 1B, 3B, and DH, Gomes full-time gig in Cleveland should lead to big results. This year’s Evan Gattis perhaps?

12. Evan Gattis, ATL - Speaking of

13. Russell Martin, PIT - Led all MLB catchers in stolen bases last season with nine. Yes, I’m aware that’s not that many.

14. Wilson Ramos, WSH

15. A.J. Pierzynski, BOS - Likely to regress in the power department, but he should have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs in that lineup.

16. Carlos Ruiz, PHI

17. Miguel Montero, ARZ - Struggled mightily last year, but he’s as good a bounce-back candidate as any.

18. Devin Mesoraco, CIN - Ryan Hanigan’s departure means a full slate of at bats for the former top prospect. Could this be the year he breaks out?

19. Alex Avila

20. Travis D’Arnaud, NYM - I’m all in on the Mets from a fantasy perspective this year. I know that’s a little concerning.

21. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, MIA

22. Dioner Navarro, TOR- Hit 13 HR in only 243 at bats last season and finished with a .300 average. Temper expectations, however

23. Mike Zunino, SEA

24. Josmil Pinto, MIN

25. A.J. Ellis, LAD

FIRST BASE

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks

1. Paul Goldschmidt, ARZ - Tough to find five category contributors. Goldy is even more than that.

2. Prince Fielder, TEX - Those balls that died in the right-center field gap in Detroit won’t do that it Texas. Expect a monster season.

3. Edwin Encarnacion, TOR - Proved he can put up big numbers in back to back years. Keep riding him.

4. Joey Votto, CIN - A top five overall option in OBP leagues.

5. Freddie Freeman, ATL

6. Chris Davis, BAL - I think his average finishes more in the .260 range in 2014, but the power is still MLB-leading.

7. Albert Pujols, LAA - One guy I try not to doubt. Bounce back candidate of the year here.

8. Eric Hosmer, KC

9. Buster Posey, SF

10. Adrian Gonzalez, LAD - You aren’t going to get that 35-40 HR power anymore, but he’ll still drive in 100+

11. Allan Craig, STL - Durability remains his only concern. When he plays, he hits.

12. Mark Trumbo, ARZ

13. Anthony Rizzo, CHC - Should hit much better than the .233 average he posted in 2013.

14. Brandon Belt, SF

15. Mike Napoli, BOS - If you can deal with the strikeouts, he’s a good bet for 20 HR and 80 RBI.

16. Brandon Moss, OAK - Ranked 3rd among MLB 1B last season in AB/HR with 14.9.

17. Carlos Santana, CLE - Eligible here, catcher, and possibly 3B by mid-season.

18. Matt Adams, STL

19. Ryan Howard, PHI

20. Mark Teixeira, NYY - Not big on Tex this season, wrist injuries tend to be power sucking, and he admitted himself it’s not 100%

21. Nick Swisher, CLE

22. Adam Lind, TOR

23. Adam Laroche, WSH - Hopefully if you draft him you get the 2012 version as opposed to last year.

24. Jose Abreu, CHW - I don’t know how the Dunn, Abreu, Konerko playing time quandary plays out, but he has big-time potential if he gets the at bats.

25. Justin Morneau, COL - Coors Field anyone?

SECOND BASE

www.nj.com

1. Robinson Cano, SEA - If someone comes up with a reason not to rank him the #1 2B, I’m all ears.

2. Dustin Pedroia, BOS

3. Jason Kipnis, CLE - An annual 20/30 candidate at 2B, Kipnis is locked in as a top 3 option at the position until further notice.

4. Ben Zobrist, TB

5. Ian Kinsler, DET - His place in the batting order will have a lot to do with his value this season.

6. Matt Carpenter, STL - Scored 35 more runs than any other 2B in baseball in 2013.

7. Jose Altuve, HOU

8. Chase Utley, PHI - Still producing, but he’s not getting any younger.

9. Martin Prado, ARZ

10. Brandon Phillips, CIN - Drove in 100 runs last season, but his peripheral stats scream that he’s in for a down year soon so beware.

11. Daniel Murphy, NYM

12. Howie Kendrick, LAA

13. Jed Lowrie, OAK

14. Aaron Hill, ARZ - Still productive, but down here because of durability issues.

15. Jedd Gyorko, SD

16. Neil Walker, PIT

17. Omar Infante, KC - If he bats 2nd in this lineup he jumps up a few spots.

18. Jurickson Profar, TEX - Playing one position should help him this year.

19. Nick Franklin, SEA

20. Brian Dozier, MIN - A sneaky good power source last season.

21. Anthony Rendon, WSH - Not much power, but should hit for a high average and steal a few bases.

22. Kolten Wong, STL

23. Dan Uggla, ATL - Power? Yes. Average? No.

24. Kelly Johnson, NYY

25. Marco Scutaro, SF

SHORTSTOP

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Colorado Rockies

1. Troy Tulowitzki, COL - The best offensive player at his position when he’s not on the DL. I’ll take the risk on a potential 30/100 guy at SS.

2. Hanley Ramirez, LAD - Maybe the best player in the NL last season when he played

3. Ian Desmond, WSH

4. Jose Reyes, TOR

5. Ben Zobrist

6. Jean Segura, MIL - He really fell off after a strong start last season, but Braun’s return will help tremendously.

7. Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE - Was miserable last season, but with Lindor pushing for his job I think he shows up this season.

8. Elvis Andrus, TEX - You get all you value from his legs and his ability to score runs in a good lineup, but he’s one of the best at both those categories at his position.

9. Everth Cabrera, SD - Would have led baseball in stolen bases had he not been suspended.

10. J.J. Hardy, BAL

11. Starlin Castro, CHC

12. Andrelton Simmons, ATL - Would have benefited more if he was batting leadoff, but it looks like Heyward will have that job for the near future.

13. Jed Lowrie, OAK

14. Jimmy Rollins, PHI

15. Jhonny Peralta, STL

16. Derek Jeter, NYY - Shortstop gets real ugly around this area. Sorry Jetes.

17. Alexei Ramirez, CWS

18. Erick Aybar, LAA - Better than he played last season. Good value here.

19. Brad Miller, SEA

20. Jonathon Villar, HOU - Stolen base machine last season, but struggles to get on base.

21. Stephen Drew, FA - He has to sign with somebody right?

22. Yunel Escobar, TB

23. Zack Cozart, CIN

24. Brandon Crawford, SF

25, Dee Gordon, LAD - Reportedly put on some muscle this offseason. We’ll see iF that translates into more extra base hits.

THIRD BASE

www.franklinbaseball.com

1. Miguel Cabrera, DET – By far the best hitter in baseball.

2. David Wright, NYM

3. Adrian Beltre, TEX

4. Evan Longoria, TB - Likely to improve on his .269 average from last season in addition to his good power numbers.

5. Matt Carpenter, STL

6. Ryan Zimmerman, WSH

7. Kyle Seager, SEA - Not a big name, but he can help you in a bunch of categories

8. Pedro Alvarez, PIT – Streaky, but when he’s going good he’s a lot of fun to own.

9. Pablo Sandoval, SF - In a contract year and reportedly in the best shape of his career, Kung Fu Panda could be a bargain this season.

10. Josh Donaldson, OAK

11. Brett Lawrie, TOR - He’s much better than he’s been in his career thus far, and he runs too which is a plus.

12. Aramis Ramirez, MIL

13. Manny Machado, BAL - We’ll see if he starts the season on the DL, but if he’s playing he has to be healthy with that training staff in Baltimore.

14. Chase Headley, SD - A great bounce back candidate this season.

15. Todd Frazier, CIN

16. Xander Bogaerts, BOS - He’ll be more of a value if he gains SS eligibility, which he’s poised to do currently.

17. Chris Johnson, ATL - He’s not a .320 hitter, but .280? Sure.

18. David Freese, LAA

19. Nolan Arenado, COL

20. Will Middlebrooks, BOS

21. Mike Moustakas, KC - Reportedly changed his swing and refined his approach. Could be in for a big year.

22. Juan Fransisco, MIL

23. Matt Davidson, CHW - Could be interesting with a full slate of at bats

24. Matt Dominguez, HOU

25. Trevor Plouffe, MIN

OUTFIELD

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1. Mike Trout, LAA – Amazing everything he’s accomplished already and he’s only 22. My #1 pick in drafts this year.

2. Ryan Braun, MIL - A lot of people have their doubts about him, but he’s got the best chance of a 30/100 season of any outfielder and he runs and hits for average. An absolute stud.

3. Andrew McCutchen, PIT

4. Carlos Gonzalez, COL

5. Bryce Harper, WSH - If he stays healthy he’s a top five option.

6. Adam Jones, BAL

7. Carlos Gomez, MIL

8. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA - One of these years Stanton is going to lead baseball in HR. Why not 2014?

9. Jason Heyward, ATL

10. Justin Upton, ATL - Love the Braves offense this year.

11. Jose Bautista, TOR - Check him out during spring training, but if his wrist is healthy he’s in for a big year.

12. Sin-Soo Choo, TEX - Only Choo and Trout finished last year with a 100+ runs scored, 20 HR, and 20 SB in 2013. Texas should be no different.

13. Jay Bruce, CIN

14. Matt Holliday, STL

15. Yoenis Cespedes, OAK

16. Allen Craig, STL

17. Matt Kemp, LAD - I’m banking on him having one of those “don’t doubt me” years.

18. Carlos Beltran, NYY

19. Starling Marte, PIT - Looks to run every time he reaches base and the power is developing.

20. Yasiel Puig, LAD

21. Hunter Pence, SF

22. Alex Rios, TEX - Don’t think people realize how great a fantasy player Rios really is.

23. Wil Myers, TB

24. Ben Zobrist, TB

25. Mark Trumbo, ARZ

26. Alex Gordon, KC - OBP was an uncharacteristic .327 last season, his plate discipline is much better than that.

27. Desmond Jennings, TB

28. Michael Cuddyer, COL - No way he repeats last year’s .331/20/84 line, but he’s still a good hitter playing most of his games at Coors Field. Buy.

29. Josh Hamilton, LAA

30. Billy Hamilton, CIN - If he get 450 plate appearances he leads baseball in stolen bases. It’s that simple.

31. Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY - I’m betting the under on 100 games played this season.

32. Curtis Granderson, NYM

33. Coco Crisp, OAK

34. Jayson Werth, WSH

35. Domonic Brown, PHI

36. Will Venable, SD - Broke out last year with a 20/20 season in only 468 at bats.

37. Brett Gardner, NYY

38. Brandon Moss, OAK

39. Shane Victorino, BOS

40. Michael Bourn, CLE - Needs his hamstring to be healthy for him to have value.

41. Leonys Martin, TEX - He would have been top 30 if Choo didn’t sign and he led off.

42. Austin Jackson, DET

43. Dexter Fowler, HOU

44. Nelson Cruz, FA - A 30 HR candidate wherever he lands.

45. Alejandro De Aza, CHW

46. Alfonso Soriano, NYY - He has to slow down sometime right?

47. Torii Hunter, DET

48. Josh Reddick, OAK

49. Eric Young Jr., NYM

50. B.J. Upton, ATL - Reportedly his change in approach has him feeling confident about a bounce back season. He has big-time sleeper potential.

Follow OPSN Lead Writer Shawn Ferris on Twitter @RealShawnFerris for more MLB news and updates and look for tomorrow’s piece Ranking the Top 50 Starting Pitchers and Top 25 Closers in Fantasy Baseball in 2014.

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