Fantasy baseball draft prep: The top 100


It will be March before the work week ends, meaning fantasy baseball is just around the corner. Let’s get the draft prep started with a look at the top 100.

Keep in mind that this is based on a standard scoring system that includes the following 12 categories:

Offense: Batting average, OPS, home runs, RBIs, runs, net steals (stolen bases minus caught stealings)

Pitching: Wins, Innings, ERA, WHIP, K/9, net saves (saves minus blown saves)

The Top 100

1) Mike Trout -- (Angels CF)
    NOTE: Finished sixth in baseball in BA, third in OPS, first in net steals, first in runs, 22nd in homers.
2) Miguel Cabrera -- (Tigers 3B)
    NOTE: Won the Triple Crown, most feared hitter in the game, barely strikes out.
3) Ryan Braun -- (Brewers LF)
4) Robinson Cano -- (Yankees 2B)
    NOTE: Cano’s positional value could put him ahead of Braun.
5) Joey Votto -- (Reds 1B)
    NOTE: Best hitter in the National League. Missed 51 games in 2012 and still finished seventh in doubles (44).
6) Carlos Gonzalez -- (Rockies LF)
    NOTE: When deciding between CarGo, Matt Kemp and Andrew McCutchen, go with the guy who plays 81 games at Coors Field.
7) Andrew McCutchen -- (Pirates CF)
8) Albert Pujols -- (Angels 1B)
    NOTE: Hit .307 with a .941 OPS after May last season. Will put up gaudy stats with Trout and Josh Hamilton around.
9) Josh Hamilton -- (Angels LF)
    NOTE: Loses benefit of 81 games in Arlington, gains benefit of Trout and Pujols. Has eligibility in LF and CF.
10) Matt Kemp -- (Dodgers CF)
    NOTE: Top-three potential when his hamstring is healthy.
11) Justin Verlander -- (Tigers SP)
12) Clayton Kershaw -- (Dodgers SP)
    NOTE: Toss-up between these two, who should each win 20 with sub-2.60 ERAs and 230 strikeouts.
13) Prince Fielder -- (Tigers 1B)
    NOTE: His season flew under the radar, but Fielder hit a career-high .313 and struck out just 84 times.
14) Giancarlo Stanton -- (Marlins RF)
    NOTE: Lack of lineup protection is scary, but so is the sound every pitch makes off his bat.
15) Jose Bautista -- (Blue Jays RF)
    NOTE: Supporting cast is much, much better than in years past.
16) Adrian Beltre -- (Rangers 3B)
17) Stephen Strasburg -- (Nationals SP)
    NOTE: Won’t be shut down in the fantasy playoffs this time.
18) Troy Tulowitzki -- (Rockies SS)
    NOTE: One of the most overrated fantasy players, but can’t discount positional value at shortstop.
19) Jose Reyes -- (Blue Jays SS)
20) Buster Posey -- (Giants C)
    NOTE: Far and away the best player at a position that, if you don’t fill with a reliable bat, you’ll spend the entire season wishing you did.
21) Felix Hernandez -- (Mariners SP)
22) Cliff Lee -- (Phillies SP)
23) David Price -- (Rays SP)
24) Cole Hamels -- (Phillies SP)
    NOTE: Any of these guys could be the No. 1 pitcher in fantasy.
25) Zack Greinke -- (Dodgers SP)
    NOTE: Insane contract. He has a 3.83 ERA the last three seasons.
26) Adam Jones -- (Orioles CF)
27) David Wright -- (Mets 3B)
    NOTE: Crappy lineup. Plus Wright hit .260 with nearly a strikeout per game over his final 83.
28) Jered Weaver -- (Angels SP)
29) Matt Holliday -- (Cardinals SP)
    NOTE: Consistently gives you .300, 30 homers, 100 RBIs and a .900 OPS.
30) Evan Longoria -- (Rays 3B)
31) Justin Upton -- (Braves LF)
32) Dustin Pedroia -- (Red Sox 2B)
33) Hanley Ramirez -- (Dodgers SS/3B)
    NOTE: This has to be the bounce-back year, right?
34) Ian Kinsler -- (Rangers 2B)
35) Bryce Harper -- (Nationals LF)
36) Adrian Gonzalez -- (Dodgers 1B)
37) Matt Cain -- (Giants SP)
    NOTE: Missed zero starts the last six seasons. Gives you a 3.20 ERA in 215 innings every year.
38) Jason Heyward -- (Braves RF)
39) Edwin Encarnacion -- (Blue Jays 1B)
    NOTE: The most efficient run producer in all of baseball last season based on RBI opportunities.
40) Paul Goldschmidt -- (Diamondbacks 1B)
    NOTE: A player to watch this season. Has 40-home run potential and could out-produce several other prominent first basemen. Was 18-for-21 in stolen bases last year.
41) Ryan Zimmerman -- (Nationals 3B)
    NOTE: Falls in this range but gets hurt every year. You can likely find a more reliable value-pick at third base later.
42) CC Sabathia -- (Yankees SP)
    NOTE: As safe as they come.
43) Madison Bumgarner -- (Giants SP)
44) Gio Gonzalez -- (Nationals SP)
45) Yoenis Cespedes -- (Athletics LF)
    NOTE: Hit .311/.376/.533 in the second half with 14 home runs.
46) Jacoby Ellsbury -- (Red Sox CF)
    NOTE: Has to re-prove himself, but he was a first-round pick a year ago.
47) Jay Bruce -- (Reds RF)
    NOTE: Will have positional eligibility at CF and RF.
48) Chase Headley -- (Padres 3B)
49) Roy Halladay -- (Phillies SP)
    NOTE: Someone is going to get a fourth-round steal.
50) Joe Mauer -- (Twins C)
51) Chase Utley -- (Phillies 2B)
    NOTE: If he plays 130 games you’ll have one of the top-three picks of your draft.
52) Starlin Castro -- (Cubs SS)
53) Jimmy Rollins -- (Phillies SS)
    NOTE: May seem early, but he has the homers and steals and you’ll need a SS.
54) Asdrubal Cabrera -- (Indians SS)
    NOTE: Once the run on shortstops starts, you won’t want to be left without one.
55) Aramis Ramirez -- (Brewers 3B)
56) B.J. Upton -- (Braves CF)
57) Brett Lawrie -- (Blue Jays 3B)
58) R.A. Dickey -- (Blue Jays SP)
59) Brandon Phillips -- (Reds 2B)
60) Aaron Hill -- (Diamondbacks 2B)
61) Billy Butler -- (Royals DH)
    NOTE: Gives you the numbers of Adrian Gonzalez with half the name appeal.
62) Craig Kimbrel -- (Braves RP)
    NOTE: Taking a closer this early is silly. Until you remember that Kimbrel struck out more batters last season (116) than he didn’t strike out (115).
63) Ben Zobrist -- (Rays RF)
    NOTE: He’s eligible at 2B, SS and RF. The positional value alone is worthy of a sixth-round pick, and he had a .848 OPS last season.  
64) David Ortiz -- (Red Sox DH)
    NOTE: Can only be your utility guy, but you’re never going to bench him.
65) Pablo Sandoval -- (Giants 3B)
66) Allen Craig -- (Cardinals 1B)
    NOTE: Hit .307 with a .522 slugging percentage last season, and has eligibility at first base and right field.
67) Kris Medlen -- (Braves SP)
    NOTE: He won’t come close to his second-half in 2012, but he’s worth the risk given the similar talent of the next group of pitchers.
68) Chris Sale -- (White Sox SP)
69) Yu Darvish -- (Rangers SP)
70) Jordan Zimmermann -- (Nationals SP)
    NOTE: A quality start machine
71) Johnny Cueto -- (Reds SP)
72) Max Scherzer -- (Tigers SP)
73) Ian Desmond -- (Nationals SS)
    NOTE: Don’t have a ton of faith in him, but after Desmond come the J.J. Hardys and Jhonny Peraltas of the world.
74) Shin-Soo Choo -- (Reds RF)
75) Michael Bourn -- (Indians CF)
76) Adam Wainright -- (Cardinals SP)
77) Matt Moore -- (Rays SP)
    NOTE: Struggled with control as the Rays had him throw more sinkers. If he gets back to using his dominant four-seam fastball most of the time, he’ll make the leap.
78) Mat Latos -- (Reds SP)
79) Yovani Gallardo -- (Brewers SP)
    NOTE: Latos and Gallardo are the same pitcher.
80) Aroldis Chapman -- (Reds RP)
    NOTE: Would have been higher if we knew definitely he’d close. If he starts, he won’t be as dominant. But he’ll help you win either way.
81) Victor Martinez -- (Tigers DH)
    NOTE: Many will forget about him after he missed all of last season. But has catcher eligibility and will have a ton of RBI chances.
82) Austin Jackson -- (Tigers CF)
    NOTE: He’s not Mike Trout, but he might score as many runs.
83) Paul Konerko -- (White Sox 1B)
84) James Shields -- (Royals SP)
85) Yadier Molina -- (Cardinals C)
86) Carlos Santana -- (Indians C)
87) Carlos Beltran -- (Cardinals RF)
88) Alex Gordon -- (Royals LF)
89) Matt Wieters -- (Orioles C)
90) Martin Prado -- (Diamondbacks 3B)
91) Ryan Howard -- (Phillies 1B)
    NOTE: Ninth round is the right value for Howard.
92) Mark Trumbo -- (Angels LF)
93) Derek Jeter -- (Yankees SS)
    NOTE: The right time to take a risk on the recovering Jeter.
94) Mariano Rivera -- (Yankees RP)
95) Jonathan Papelbon -- (Phillies RP)
    NOTE: Saves may be overrated, but Papelbon is a safe pick for 38-40.
96) Shane Victorino -- (Red Sox RF)
    NOTE: Eligibility at CF and RF, could be dynamic at Fenway Park.
97) Josh Johnson -- (Nationals 3B)
98) Curtis Granderson -- (Yankees CF)
    NOTE: Value will plummet with the 10-week forearm injury.
99) Jason Kipnis -- (Indians 2B)
    NOTE: Really tailed off in the second half last season.
100) Alex Rios -- (White Sox RF)

Next five hitters: Mark Teixeira (Yankees 1B), Elvis Andrus (Rangers SS), Wilin Rosario (Rockies C), Nelson Cruz (Rangers RF), Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays LF).

Next five pitchers: Tim Lincecum (Giants SP), Jake Peavy (White Sox SP), Brandon Morrow (Blue Jays SP), Jon Lester (Red Sox SP), Matt Garza (Cubs SP).

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