Fantasy Baseball: Revisiting 2013′s Top-10, Part 1

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Since this is the last full week of 2013, we’re doing a little looking back.

Last March, we had an interesting discussion on our Facebook page centered around some of the preseason rankings, which led to this column from me, discussing the Top-10 from our Draft Kit. As a reminder, this is what our Top-10 looked like.

  1. Ryan Braun
  2. Miguel Cabrera
  3. Mike Trout
  4. Robinson Cano
  5. Matt Kemp
  6. Andrew McCutchen
  7. Albert Pujols
  8. Joey Votto
  9. Carlos Gonzalez
  10. Prince Fielder

This weekend, we’re going to review some of the things that I said back then, and see how they held up. We’ve got a lot to go over, so we’re going to break this into a few different posts. Today, we’re going to go over the Top-5 of Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, and Matt Kemp. Let’s do it.

 

1. Ryan Braun

– What I said then:

Ryan Braun is the most complete and bankable player in the first round, this is why he should go first overall in any snake draft, no matter your categories.  He will hit for near the same in Runs, HRs, RBI and AVG. as guys like Miggy, Pujols and Cano, and will steal 3 times the bags as those others.  Trout may steal more and score more runs BUT he will not get within 40 RBI of Braun.

– What I say now:

Ryan Braun is a lying, cheating little punk and Mike Trout is perhaps the greatest physical specimen to play major league baseball since Bo Jackson. I was right about RBI…kind of. Trout had 97, while Braun had 38, so they weren’t within 40 of each other. We’ll elaborate more on Trout in a second.

As for Braun, the reality is that he should not be considered a Top-5 option until he proves he is back on the field.

 

2. Miguel Cabrera

– What I said then: 

Miguel Cabrera hit for the Triple Crown last season, also did it as a 3B, which is terrific for Miggy owners, and in all honesty might get him to be my first overall pick if I had it.  He can mash, everyone knows that, and he is in a stronger lineup than last season.  It would be improbable for him to get back to back Triple Crowns, BUT, not impossible.

– What I say now:

Miggy is one of the greatest hitters of all time, and if it weren’t for Chris Davis he would have had back-to-back Triple Crown seasons. That is insane! Miggy also ran into some health issues down the stretch, so perhaps he is ready to move back to 1B and save a little wear and tear on those aging legs of his.

He’s nothing worse than the No. 2 guy off the board for 2014, which is likely his final year of 3B eligibility.

 

3. Mike Trout

– What I said then: 

Then we have Mike Trout, the kid that surpassed ALL the expectations last season, and they were not easy expectations to surpass.  He is a big, strong, fast kid who loves to play the game.  His numbers last year were down right amazing, and given another month in the show he would have probably accrued enough numbers to win the MVP trophy from Miggy, Triple Crown or no Triple Crown. So, what do we say about Trout that makes him not the number 1 overall pick?

First he is batting leadoff, which is great for his Runs, but not so great for his RBI total (even though he had an insane 83 last year), which matters a great deal because that is just about the hardest category to gain ground in later in the season. The only other reason you need to cool your jets on Trout is that he is still a possibility for a sophomore slump.  Call me negative, but he has created even higher expectations this year, he just might not exceed them. However I highly doubt he completely comes apart or anything of that nature.

– What I say now: 

Mike Trout has got to be the unanimous number one pick overall next season right?!?  His 2013 numbers were just sick: 

AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
589109279733.323

He did move around the lineup a lot, but still spent a lot of time as the lead-off hitter.

It’s time for him to bat in the No. 3 spot. He is the best hitter on the Los Angeles Angels and in that spot, will perhaps be the best hitter in all of baseball. Sorry, Miggy. It’s time to pass the torch.

 

4. Robinson Cano

– What I said then: 

Lastly for our big 4, we have Robbie Cano. Truly, I am a Yankee hater, as well as a HUGE Dustin Pedroia fan, but this kid is easily the most valuable 2B and belongs in the top 4 no brainer picks because he just hits the ball and drives in runs. We know what Robbie is going to do for sure, play in 160 games, hit over .300, rake in 100 RBI and I like his steady rise in HRs enough to say, hit 30 bombs. For a middle infielder that is about as elite as you can get these days.

– What I say now:

I was pretty darn right about what he was gonna do, aside from him not reaching 30 home runs.  Sadly I think that his shot at 30 home runs and 100 RBI and taking a hit going to the Seattle Mariners.  However, he still grades out as the top 2B option and should still be good for close to 25 bombs and 100 RBI, just not sure how close.  I would still be happy taking any time after the No. 6 spot.

 

5. Matt Kemp

– What I said then:

Now here is where the first round gets interesting.  The next picks are clearly subject to preference, perhaps unique league categories and sheer gut reaction.  For this article we are going to draft on the typical 5 categories:  Runs, HRs, RBI, Steals, AVG. and I am going to explain my preference of player.

Matt Kemp should be the next player off the board.  He contributes in ALL 5 categories, is in the prime of his career and has NEVER had a better lineup around him than he will next year.  I believe he will bounce back in a big way and probably take home another MVP in the process.  On our Facebook thread someone commented on injury concern, to that I say, he is starting to find his timing at the plate this spring after a slow start and has only had one injury weakened season to his name, so I am not sure there is pause for injury here.

– What I say now:

Boy was I wrong, I should have listened to smart reader who was concerned with Kemp’s health.  Kemp is now coming off two injury riddled seasons and he could even lose some at-bats due to a crowded outfield.  I highly doubt he will end up as the odd man out to in LA, but you just never know. I would still gladly take a flyer on Kemp late in round one.

Topics: Matt Kemp, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Ryan Braun

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