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Top 20 Players for 2013: ESPN Poll

Ray Guilfoyle recaps an ESPN poll which ranked the Top 20 players in baseball heading into the 2013 season.

Jason Miller

I am one of the few fantasy writers who is down on a few of the top fantasy players in baseball in 2013: Albert Pujols and Jose Bautista. I have advocated avoiding both in the first round of fantasy drafts, as I think they aren't deserving of being drafted there. Second round, sure. Just not the first round.

On Wednesday, in reading Dave Cameron's chat over at Fangraphs, he stated he expects continued regression from Pujols this season, but actually voted for Bautista as his 2013 AL MVP.

Yesterday, ESPN's Buster Olney published the results of his poll of 21 talent evaluators, including GM, scouts and other front office types, and here are the Top 20 players for 2013:

1. Mike Trout, LAA

2. Buster Posey, SFG

3. Justin Verlander, DET

4. Miguel Cabrera, DET

5. Clayton Kershaw, LAD

6. David Price, TB

7. Joey Votto, CIN

8. Robinson Cano, NYY

9. Ryan Braun, MIL

10. Andrew McCutchen, PIT

11. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA

12. Matt Kemp, LAD

13. Evan Longoria, TB

14. Felix Hernandez, SEA

15. Joe Mauer, MIN

16. Stephen Strasburg, WAS

17. Adrian Beltre, TEX

18. Bryce Harper, WAS

19. Troy Tulowitzki, COL

20. Chase Headley, SD

Some quick thoughts on the results of this poll:

  • I realize this list is not for fantasy purposes, but the list includes 20 of the top players in the game, and closely resembles top 20 fantasy rankings, just in a different order.
  • I have to say I was surprised that Pujols was not in the top 20, and I am sure he is just outside the top 20. Maybe I am not the only one who thinks he will continue to regress this season. Time will tell.
  • Joe Mauer isn't on many Top 20 fantasy rankings, but is a valuable player as he is probably the best hitting catcher in the game, but with little power. His presence on this list, along with Chase Headley made me do a double take, actually.
  • The fact that three of the top six are starting pitchers tells you how valuable they are to front office types. Maybe, we, as fantasy owners, should consider the same?
  • Jose Bautista is not in this top 20 ranking as well. I think it just goes to show that fantasy rankings are quite different than the rankings of front office types, but is a fun exercise to take a look that.