My Super Early Top 10 for 2014


Alex Kantecki looks to the future with his way-too-early top 10 for 2014.

Now that the season is over, I thought I'd look ahead with a *very* early forecast for 2014. Although two pitchers -- Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer -- finished in the top 10, you won't find any hurlers below. That's not how I roll.

Here are my top-10 players for 2014:

1. Mike Trout, Angels

Trout is No. 1 in my book, and it's not particularly close. No one else offers the upside of 30/30/100/100. And he's 22!

2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Miggy -- fantasy's No. 1 player in 2013 -- is a first ballot Hall of Famer, but he's no 22-year-old phenom. That's no knock against the 30-year-old Cabrera; I just want the younger talent.

3. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

Goldschmidt was an absolute monster in 2013, clubbing an NL-leading 36 home runs and 125 RBIs to go along with 103 runs and 15 stolen bases. Thirty-five home runs and 15 steals at first base? Sign me up. You won't find it anywhere else.

4. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

McCutchen is the all-around package, but I see him topping out at 25 home runs, not the 31 he hit in 2012. He turns 27 on Oct. 10, so there are plenty of MVP-like seasons ahead.

5. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies

Gonzalez had five more home runs than McCutchen in 192 fewer at-bats, but his inconsistency and injury history makes him a riskier pick. Playing in Colorado helps.

6. *Robinson Cano, Yankees

Cano could find a new home in 2014, but his elite skills up the middle play anywhere. He turns 31 later this month.

7. Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers

Drafting an injured Ramirez at a discount paid off big for fantasy owners, as the shortstop slashed .345/.402/.638 (!) with 20 home runs, 62 runs, 57 RBIs and 10 steals in 336 plate appearances. I trust Ramirez more than Troy Tulowitzki, who just misses my top 10.

8. Carlos Gomez, Brewers

I'm all-in on Gomez, who hit .284/.338/.506 with 24 home runs and 40 stolen bases. Gomez joined Trout as the only 20/30 players this season. That's elite company.

9. *Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox

Ellsbury is in line for a big payday -- he led baseball with 52 steals in 136 games, and he would have easily surpassed 100 runs if not for injuries.

10. Chris Davis, Orioles

I shrugged off Davis' stellar finish to 2012, so I missed out on the glory of 2013. He was the major-league leader in home runs (53) and RBI (138), but I don't see him sustaining a .286 BA with a 29.6-percent strikeout rate.

*Player is eligible for free agency.

Close, but no cigar: Troy Tulowitzki, Adam Jones, Edwin Encarnacion, Jason Kipnis

So there you have it -- my super early top 10 for 2014. Who's too high? Who's too low? Who did I miss? Who's hungry?


Alex Kantecki also writes for Vigilante Baseball and The Dynasty Guru. You can poke him on Twitter at @rotodealer.

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