We begin a new offseason series today, where we will rank our top five fantasy players on each major league team, beginning with the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. The idea behind this series is to take a close look at each major league team and help you in preparing your fantasy rankings, whether it be your top 100-150 rankings or position rankings.
Some teams, like the Red Sox, Cardinals, or Dodgers, will have more than five players worthy of consideration in the top 5 and others may not (like the Astros), but the Fake Teams fantasy writing staff will provide a short profile for each of our top 5 fantasy players for 2014.
Here is our top 5 for the Boston Red Sox for 2014:
Pedroia is one of the top fantasy second baseman in baseball, and I have him ranked as my third ranked second baseman for 2014. Pedroia hit .301-.372-.416 with 9 HRs, 91 runs, 84 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 2013, but it marked the first time since 2007 that he did not reach double digits in the home run category. It was reported after the World Series that Pedroia will have surgery to repair a ligament in his left thumb in a few weeks, so maybe that contributed to the drop in power this season. His .416 slugging percentage and .116 ISO were the lowest of his career.
2. David Ortiz
Ortiz had one heck of a World Series, huh? Ortiz had a terrific year at the plate in 2013, hitting .309-.395-.564 with 30 HRs, 84 runs and 103 RBI. His 30 HRs tied for 11th and his 103 RBI tied for 10th in MLB this season, so even at the age of 37, Ortiz can still put up solid fantasy numbers for his owners. Ortiz will turn 38 later this month, but should still provide solid fantasy numbers next season, as he hits in one of the better lineups in the American League.
I know many of you are Ellsbury fans, but I rank him as the third best Red Sox hitter for fantasy purposes for 2014, with the caveat that we don't know where he will sign this offseason. Indications are the Red Sox will not resign him, and he will sign elsewhere. Ellsbury had a solid season at the plate in 2013, his walk season, hitting .298-.355-.426 with 9 HRs, 92 runs, 53 RBI and 53 stolen bases. Ellsbury won't hit for much power, but is a solid three category hitter for 2014.
Victorino had a very good year at the plate and in the field in 2013, as he won a Gold Glove, and hit .294-.351-.451 with 15 HRs, 82 runs, 61 RBI and 21 stolen bases. This season marked the sixth time in the last seven seasons that Victorino stole 20 or more bases, and the seventh straight season where he reached double digitis in home runs. Vic turns 33 at the end of the month, so one has to wonder how long he can continue the streak of 20+ stolen bases.
5. Jon Lester
Lester was very impressive in the playoffs and World Series, impressive enough that he should get a long term contract worth $100 million or more. This season, Lester went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and a 177-67 strikeout to walk rate in 213.1 innings of work. His strikeout rate has dropped in three of the last four seasons, and his ground ball rate has dropped in each of the last three seasons, so there are a few things to watch come draft day 2014.
HM: Xander Bogaerts
One can argue that Bogaerts should be included in the top 5 Red Sox for 2014, but I want to see a full season from him before doing so. It is possible that he will play shortstop for the Red Sox in 2014, with Will Middlebrooks playing third base.
So, who did I miss in the Top 5 Red Sox for fantasy purposes for 2014? Let's discuss in the comments section below.
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