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An early look at the 2015 first round

Ray offers his take on what the first round draft board will look like in 2015 fantasy baseball drafts.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, CBS Sports fantasy writer Scott White published his projected first round for fantasy baseball drafts in 2015. He included a few guys in his top 12 that I would hesitate to recommend that early in 2015, namely Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowtizki. I wrote my thoughts in a few recent Roto Roundups.

Here is a look at White's projected first round for 2015 for Head to Head Points leagues:

The number in parentheses is the player's Head-to-Head points per game average through Thursday:

  1. Mike Trout, OF, Angels (3.91)
  2. Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers (3.37)
  3. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates (3.81)
  4. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers (25.50)
  5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks (3.58)
  6. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies (3.74)
  7. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins (3.61)
  8. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Blue Jays (3.90)
  9. Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox (3.64)
  10. Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners (23.44)
  11. Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners (3.26)
  12. Jose Bautista, OF, Blue Jays (3.57)

Since Scott offered his projected first round for Points leagues, I will offer my projected first round for roto/fantasy leagues in 2015:

1. Mike Trout, Angels

2. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

3. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

4. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

5. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

6. Carlos Gomez, Brewers

7. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

8. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

9. Jose Abreu, White Sox

10. Felix Hernandez, Mariners

11. Adrian Beltre, Rangers

12. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

it's not often you see two starting pitchers in the top 10 picks, but these two guys are in a league of their own. In an era where pitching is dominating, these two pitchers are the favorites to win the Cy Young award in each league at this point. They both have put up double digit wins, ERAs under 2.00, WHIPs under 0.90 and strikeout rates and ground ball rates in the borderline elite levels.

There is no surprise, or argument, with who the #1 fantasy pick will be in 2015, and that is Mike Trout. No reason to discuss the reasons why. He is the best player in baseball even though FanGraphs reports that Alex Gordon has a slightly higher fWAR over Trout.

I could easily see Giancarlo Stanton being ranked over Miguel Cabrera in 2015. It might be a bit of a stretch, but in case you haven't noticed, Miggy is experiencing his worst power year of his career this season. Meanwhile, Stanton is on pace for 40 home runs and 100 RBI with double digit stolen bases.

There isn't much of a difference between Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gomez for fantasy purposes or in real baseball. Both can play the game very well in the field and at the plate, and both are annual 20 home run, 20 stolen base hitters capable of hitting .280 or higher. Not many can state the same.

I dropped Paul Goldschmidt here as the Diamondbacks lineup is not very good right now, and I don't expect it to be much better next season, so his RBI opportunities may be limited. And with the bad lineup, he could see less pitches to hit. In addition, even if he had not been hit with that pitch, he may have struggled to reach the 30 home run level this season. His season ended with him hitting 19 home runs and 69 RBI, so he was on pace for 28 home runs and 102 RBI, assuming he would have played 162 games.

The one guy who I might regret ranking in my top 12 is Jose Abreu as we don't know too much about him at this point. Sure he has 31 home runs, 89 RBI and a .300 batting average, but pitchers will adjust to him and we will have to see how he responds.

So, who did I miss in my projected first round for roto/fantasy leagues in 2015? Is Kershaw too high for your liking? Two starters in the first round too much? Let's hear it in the comments below.