The great actor Robin Williams humorously said-“The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me?’ ”. Clearly you can imagine how much Americans love their national game. And for those cricket fans out there willing to share their enthusiasm for this game, here’s what George Bernard Shaw had to say- “Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.” The fantasy league is to kick start very soon and we need to see the top 10 players going into this league season of 2013. Normally players need 10 games at a position to get included in the positional rankings, and the same procedure has been followed here. Anyway, here’s the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball:
10. PRINCE FIELDER
Fielder of Detroit Tigers is a well known high school power hitter. He was designated the AL Player of the Week for the April 8-14 period he very well deserved. He has a very high upper deck power and can hit the other way. In even years, his homers have been 28, 34, 32, 30, very low when compared to his performance in odd years: 50, 46, 38. However Prince is still good for 30 homers and has very nice counting stats to support his performance. He is big and bulky but moves athletically for his size. He hit .632 during the week (12 for 19) with 11 RBI and 22 total bases. He finished the month of April with a .301 batting average, 7 home runs and 27 RBI. Not outstanding but still very likeable for a person coming in at number tenth.
9. ANDREW McCUTCHEN
Come this January and you will see McCutchen as the cover athlete featuring on the cover of your favourite baseball video game MLB 13: The Show. Not to mention his fairly large fan following which made him feature as the third Most Valuable Player, behind San Francisco’s Buster Posey and Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. McCutchen who plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates gathered 108,147 votes in a week of fan voting via Twitter and Facebook. But few critics have already challenged his playing methods in the game, saying that he has already entered his prime years. his runs and RBIs might be a bit shaky due to the performance of Pirates, but McCutchen has the speed to steal more than 20 bags. He also needs to work on his caught stealing percentage which isn’t very terrific. McCutchen was also voted the “Player’s Choice National League Outstanding Player”.
8. CARLOS GONZALEZ
Carlos made the headlines in January, 2011 when he signed a seven-year, $80.5 million contract extension with the Colorado Rockies and also did a $3 million signing bonus and yearly salaries through 2017 that ramp up to $20 million. Not surprisingly it is the largest contract in MLB history for a two-year player. But Carlos justifies all that money being put on him. On May 14 2013 he went 5-for-5 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, hitting 2 home runs and setting a new career high with 5 hits in one game. One of his many records includes becoming the 22nd player in MLB history to hit a home run in four consecutive at-bats, during a two-game span against the Houston Astros. If you are putting your money on this lad, be assured you are not going to be laid down.
7. BRYCE HARPER
Bryce Harper was named the National League Rookie of the Year 2012.Harper became the youngest major league player, at age 20, to hit two home runs in his team’s first game of the season. For those of you who don’t remember this guy’s feat let me remind you that he hit two home runs on Opening Day of the 2013 season vs the Miami Marlins. He is heroic and a very aggressive player, one that devotes his all to the game. All his Washington Nationals fans were surely scared and worried when he ran into the right field fence at Dodger Stadium on May 13. He needed many stitches to mend his chin and reports of repeated nausea even didn’t stop this young man. Thankfully for all his fans and team members Harper did not suffer a concussion. The 20-year-old left fielder although did suffer some setbacks in his first three plate appearances against Padres starter Edwin Volquez, where he grounded out twice and stroked out once, but he fared just a bit better in his final plate appearance against reliever Tyson Ross.
6. JUSTIN UPTON
Justin Irvin Upton and his brother hit back to back home runs on April 23, 2013 against the Colorado Rockies, marking the first time that brothers hit back to back home runs since 1938. This feat was made possible when he shifted to the Atlanta Braves before the start of this season. Last year however, he had the worst season of his life with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is considered as a 5- tool player for his awesome performance at the plate and his athleticism which helps him immensely in the basepaths and the outfield.
5. JOEY VOTTO
This Canadian MLB first baseman who also plays for the Cincinnati Reds had an amazing 2010 season as he won National League MVP Award, the National League Hank Aaron Award, and the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year. The 2011 season made him win his first “Gold Glove award”. In late February of 2013, he was voted by fans as the “Face of the MLB,” in a popularity contest. Votto didn’t have a huge 2012, but that was due to an impending knee injury. Even after he had his operation done he didn’t hit a homer in his next five weeks. Even if he can’t power balls out at a 30+ homer pace, he’s a virtual lock for 100 runs, 100 RBIs, and a .320 average in a full season of at-bats. A fantastic defensive first baseman and a great clutch hitter Joey never stops impressing with his performance on the field.
4. ROBINSON CANO
This second baseman for the New York Yankees has garnered all the feathers in his caps. From being a 4-time All-Star, 2-time gold glove award winner and also a 4-time Silver Slugger award winner, this man has got all in him. Playing for the Dominican Republic during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 in the finals to win the World Baseball Classic and DR became the first undefeated team in the tournament’s history. Canó was named the Most Valuable Player of the Classic.
3. RYAN BRAUN
The Hebrew Hammer has achieved great heights since his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers. You name the awards and this guy is going to reply “tick” with a smile. From being named to 5 straight All-Star games and winning the Silver Slugger Award in all of the 5 past seasons to being the National League’s MVP in 2011, he has done it all. A 5-tool player due to his great ability to hit the ball powerfully along with great speed, athleticism and excellent fielding arm strength makes him among the 5 best baseball players to have ever walked the planet. While the Brewers have struggled as a team offensively in May, Braun definitely has not with a .366 average on the month.
2. MIKE TROUT
This guy is someone who makes the opposition’s throats dry every time he walks into the field. Still a novice in the game but he proved his mettle to every one by being the AL Rookie of the year, the silver slugger and also came second in the list of AL MVP after the great Cabrera. A great find for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as some critics of the game also acclaim him to be the best Baseball player ever. He seems to want to make sure that his name is synonymous with MVP each season. He has top echelon speed. He’s the fastest white boy I’ve seen since Jason Mewes stopped doing crank. A 20-ish homer, 50-ish steal season is still very valuable and aptly placed at second.
1. MIGUEL CABRERA
This Venezuelan professional baseball player with the Detroit Tigers is just a pure true hitter of the ball. A 7- time All-Star, he has done what was not done since 1967- being a Triple Crown Winner. He’s on a path to take a mammoth jump in every category. He has played right field, left field and first base. Posting at least 30 home runs in all of the 8 different seasons with a career average of .320, he became the 2012 AL MVP. With one of the best sluggish percentage in the game, this guy is surely much more than what he seems and is on the right path to unravel his destiny. Have a look at his fantastic projections and let the numbers impress you rather than my words.