We finish our countdown today with two fairly straight forward pieces. Who will be the top fantasy pitcher, and who will be the top fantasy hitter, both brought to you by Nash. Here’s the top hitter — Mike Trout — and we’ll have the best pitcher later today.
One year, I made the mistake of selecting my fantasy baseball offensive MVP based on value: I thought that where he could be drafted and what he would produce would equal the boost my team would need to win a championship.
Needless to say, not one of my brighter moments. Forget that fact that the player selected was Hunter Pence. What can I say? I like to take risks! Nevertheless, that is a mistake I will not make again.
A true fantasy MVP needs to be a lock to start in the Top-5 and make a push to finish at least Top-3 on your league’s player rater—hopefully number 1. More importantly they need to land above the mean stats of the Top-5 guys. This year, there are five candidates to be the fantasy MVP.
We have of course the king of the hitters for the past few seasons in Miguel Cabrera. The burgeoning face of the major leagues Mike Trout. The reigning NL MVP in Andrew McCutchen. The oft injured but very effective Carlos Gonzalez. As well as a small surprise from 2013, Paul Goldschmidt.
Top-5 2014 Projections
So as we look at their projected stats, we also calculate the Top-5 mean for each stat and measure out players to the mean. Clearly if we had one player that topped each stat mean, he would be without a doubt the most valuable player available and thus our MVP.
Well we don’t have one guy that beats the mean in each category, at least not based on projections. But we have two guys that are 4 out of the 5 standard stats. Miggy and Trout, shocker I know.
These guys were the top two for most last year, and well, you’d be happy with either. The thing to focus on is that Trout is really competing with the rest of the Top-5 in a weird stats for a lead-off hitter, RBI. Competing with four middle-of-the-order guys, he comes in third. Well behind Miggy, and trailing Goldschmidt in this category as well, but it is crazy that he is even so close.
This kid is a freak, and given what he offers and given more RBI opportunities he will most likely make a run at the Triple Crown. I think that Trout is basically Miggy with freakish speed, so he’ll blow the Detroit slugger out in steals.
I am willing to call the runs and RBI categories a wash for these two players as is, it is close enough to accept that, and average could be closer to a wash by the end of the season, certainly given the extra at bats Trout should earn he will have nearly the same positive impact on your average as Miggy will. So it comes down to HR’s and steals. Miggy has Trout by 8 projected and I think that is a safe bet. So Trout is only going to give you 78% of the stats that Miggy will.
Now when we look at steals, Miggy is pegged for 2, and Trout is at 37, putting Miggy at 5% of what Trout will offer. This is a HUGE advantage for Trout, and really should tip the scales in his favor as the MVP available in drafts.
Trout is close enough to Miggy in the stats that Cabrera is best at, and has the lead in far-and-away the most lopsided stat. Because of that, I am sure he will be the top ranked hitter at the end of 2014 and with that, he’ll be the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Offensive MVP.