The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Fantasy Front Office

February 27, 2014

The Fantasy Baseball Top 10 for 2014

— It should be easy to pick the 10 best players in the game, but it was actually pretty tough.

Yes, the top three guys are easy choices, but most everyone who knows fantasy sports knows at least half of these players aren't going to live up to expectations and some "mediocre hacker" picked in the 15th-round is going to get all the bounces and wind gusts and become the next overhyped one-season wonder.

But, we need to start somewhere -- and determining that 15th-rounder will be like picking a needle out of a needlestack -- so we'll start with the 10 players most likely to be the best in fantasy baseball in 2014:

1. Mike Trout – There’s nothing fishy here. He’s the catch of the draft, or the one that got away. Fish jokes. OK, Trout’s got a relatively high strikeout rate and a very high batting average on balls in play. That .323+ average these last two years might not be sustainable, but it shouldn’t stop you from reeling him in on draft day.

2. Miguel Cabrera – Toyed with McCutchening this spot, but it’s difficult to bump the best pure hitter in the game – a Triple Crown winner! — even for a power-speed combo.

3. Andrew McCutchen – I like cracker and cheddar Combos. They’re the best. Also, McCutchen’s got one of the best power-speed combos in baseball. Draft him.

4. Paul Goldschmidt – In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine yells “unlimited power!” as he uses Force Lightning to nuke Jules from “Pulp Fiction.” Goldschmidt doesn’t have that kind of power, but he’s one of few players in the game who’s a virtual lock for 40 homers, and at age 26 he’s the one with the most upside.

5. Robinson Cano — I wanted to ding Cano’s expectations because of the move to Seattle, but look at what he did last year with that disastrous Yankees lineup: 27 homers, 107 RBI, 81 runs, seven steals and a .314 average. Cano keeps on trucking.

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Fantasy Front Office