We’ve discussed some fantasy baseball players who are overvalued, and we’ve discussed some players who are undervalued. Now let’s take a look at who we would rank as the Top 10 fantasy baseball players.
No. 1: Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
In 2011, Kemp batted .324, hit 39 home runs, stole 40 bases, scored 115 runs, and registered 126 RBI. Additionally, he played in 161 games. In fact, in the past four seasons, he has played in 155, 159, 162, and 161 contests. That kind of durability, plus outstanding stats all the way across the board make Kemp our favorite fantasy baseball player.
No. 2: Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
With the overturning of his 50-game suspension, Braun jumps back up near the top of our fantasy baseball rankings. Like Kemp, he is durable: 151, 158, 157, and 150 games played over the past four years. And like Kemp, he lights up the scoreboard across every stat: .332 average, 33 homers, 33 stolen bases, 109 runs, and 111 RBI in 2011.
No. 3: Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox
Ellsbury bounced back nicely from a 2010 season lost to injury after just 18 games. In 2011, he played in 158 games, batted .321, hit 32 taters, stole 39 bags, scored 119 times, and knocked in 105 RBI. Fantasy baseball managers love five-stat players like Ellsbury.
No. 4: Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
Cabrera’s 2011 line: .344 batting average, 30 homers, 111 runs, 105 RBI, two stolen bases, and 161 games played. Very consistent with his seven seasons preceding 2011.
No. 5: Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels
For the first time in his 11-year career, Pujols failed to end the season with a batting average of at least .312. He batted .299. Despite his “struggles” at the plate, though, he still managed to hit 37 home runs, score 105 runs, tally 99 RBI, and steal nine bases.
No. 6: Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees
The pool of second basemen is pretty shallow, and Cano is the cream of the crop—by far. He’ll go a tick higher than he probably should in fantasy baseball drafts, simply because of position scarcity at 2B.
No. 7: Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
Doc Halladay has been mowing down batters for years and should deliver another fine season for fantasy baseball managers, full of wins and strikeouts to go along with low ERA and WHIP.
No. 8: Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies
Car-Go could be good for 25-25, bordering on 30-30, potential to go along with a bunch of runs and RBI and a batting average hovering near .300.
No. 9: Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
As with Cano, position scarcity at shortstop in fantasy baseball drives Tulo’s value up. But you can still expect around 30 homers, double-digit stolen bases, and a batting average around .300.
No. 10: Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The NL Cy Young Award winner posted 21 wins, 248 strikeouts, a 2.28 ERA, and a microscopic .978 WHIP in 2011. We see no reason why he can’t do it again in 2012.
Now that you’ve got your Top 10 players in place, don’t forget to get a cool fantasy baseball team name for the season!