1. Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera had historically good season in 2013 and 2012, and anything less than that was going to be disappointing. Last year Cabrera sported a .313 average with 25 homers, and 109 RBI. Those are great numbers, but not exactly what owners were expecting. While Cabrera may never reach the gaudy numbers of two years ago he is still baseball’s best hitter. While there are a lot of other great first basemen none offer the combination of average and power that Cabrera does. People may be down on him because he is getting a bit older, 31, but draft Cabrera with the expectation of a .315 plus average, 30 home runs, and over 110 RBI.
2. Paul Goldschmidt
Only playing 109 games severely limited Goldschmidt, but heading into 2015 healthy he should be set to reproduce elite numbers. The one downfall to Goldschmidt is that the D’Backs lineup is lacking in general aside from Mark Trumbo and the potentially great Yasmany Tomas. Pitchers could pitch around him, but he should still get his when he gets something to hit. Also, Goldschmidt offers the ability to steal bases, and a 30/20 season isn’t out of the question.
3. Adrian Gonzalez
A lot of owners may be falling out of love with Gonzalez and Cabrera due to age, but there was never a better time to embrace them. Gonzalez has been one of the best runner producers for the past decade, and there is no reason to doubt that he won’t surpass 110 RBI easily. Though his power numbers were consistent with his yearly average, 2014 was the first time in six years that Gonzalez hit below .290. The .276 average should be an anomaly, and he should regain his usual batting average in 2015.
4. Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo proved that he isn’t just a power hitter with his .286 average last year, but has yet to drive in more than 80 runs in a season. That could partially be due to a struggling Cubs lineup, but it appears the team will finally be giving their young talent a shot. With Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, and Dexter Folwer in the lineup Rizzo should get close to 100 RBI.
5. Albert Pujols
Maybe I’m crazy for having 4 ‘old’ hitters that are considered to be on the decline, but like Cabrera and Gonzalez, Pujols is one of the best hitters of the past 15 years. Over the past couple of seasons Pujols has dealt with a variety of nagging injuries that made him a chore to own, but it appears those injuries are finally behind him.
6. Jose Abreu
Abreu took baseball by storm, and many were predicting a 50 home run season before he fell off the map. Over the course of the last two months Abreu only hit five of his 36 home runs. Despite the decrease in power numbers, Abreu still maintained a healthy average and finished 2014 at .317. Abreu had a great rookie year, and that may actually be his ceiling and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t draft Abreu expecting him 50 homers, but draft him expecting a more well-rounded year all together.
7. Prince Fielder
Fielder has essentially never let fantasy owners down until he only played 42 games last year. Many expected Fielder take Texas by storm, but even in the 42 games he played it was still an underwhelming performances. However, Fielder is supposedly healthy, and it isn’t wrong to assume he should take advantage of hitting in Texans. As long as he stays healthy it should be another 30 plus homer season.
8. Edwin Encarnacion
Encarnacion has just been plugging away the past few years as one of the best power hitters in baseball. There really isn’t much to say about him. He is going to get you home runs and RBI, his average will be a little low, but everything else will be what you normally expect.
9. Freddie Freeman
At 6’5, 220 lbs many expect Freeman to be a big time power hitter, but maybe he isn’t. Freeman only hit 18 home runs last year, but had a career hight 42 doubles. It wouldn’t be crazy to expect some of those doubles to turn into home runs this year. Also, Freeman will hit for a decent average, and probably get around 100 RBI.
10. Todd Frazier
Frazier is somewhat of a poor-man’s Paul Goldschmidt with the ability to go 30/20 as a corner infielder. Frazier missed a 30/20 by one home run, but if he keeps running he may get close once again. Frazier isn’t the flashiest of hitters, but 30 home runs aren’t anything to laugh. While he isn’t flashy, with Joey Votto returning, and Jay Bruce hopefully back to normal it should give Frazier to opportunity for more than 80 RBI.