OF Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins
Well, this one seems pretty obvious. Who would not want to own a superstar who hit 37 home runs last season at the age of 24? If you have the rare chance to draft Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout is not on the board, then grab the best right fielder in the game. In my mind, Giancarlo Stanton is just as obvious as the second overall pick as Mike Trout is for the first.
He is an absolute no-brainer pick for me at #2 overall, and I believe that he will be the top player in fantasy baseball this year. He could hit 40+ homers, find himself with triple digit run and RBI totals, and have an OPS upwards of 1.000. Plus, he even stole 13 bases on 14 attempts in 145 games last season. Giancarlo Stanton is coming for the king.
1B Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs
I have a strong feeling that I will end up with Rizzo in almost every league that I have a high pick in the second round. After my top ten players of 2015, I think only Adam Jones and maybe Felix Hernandez are above Anthony Rizzo in my early 2015 player rankings. He has an incredible high floor and will offer excellent contributions in R, HR, RBI, and OBP/OPS.
With the Cubs raring to compete in 2015, Anthony Rizzo should be afforded more RBI opportunities next season. Rizzo hit 32 homers in 2014 along with an elite .915 OPS. What is not to like about the 25 year-old slugger? I would take him over Robinson Cano, Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Desmond, Freddie Freeman, Jose Altuve, Madison Bumgarner, etc. because I think he has the highest floor and a ceiling only surpassed by Troy Tulowitzki.
SP Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox
Like the two sluggers above, Chris Sale is a very obvious asset that anyone would want on their fantasy team. However, I think he is a bit underrated. While everyone was captivated by the greatness of Madison Bumgarner in the MLB Postseason, Sale is the one who is the obvious top three SP. The only real downside of Sale is his injury risk that comes with his motion, but then again, all pitchers are injury risks in today’s game. Both Kershaw and Sale missed roughly a month in 2014.
Chris Sale finished second in the league with a 24.7% K-BB% that only trailed Clayton Kershaw. He also posted a 2.17 ERA (third best in MLB), 0.97 WHIP (fourth best), and a 10.76 K/9 (second best). Sale was also able to limit hard hit batted balls as he allowed only an 18.4% line drive rate that was eighth best among qualified pitchers. It seems patently obvious that Chris Sale is a top three pitcher right now in baseball. Draft him that way.
OF George Springer of the Houston Astros
This is just a quick refresher on why George Springer could be a fantasy baseball stud. In 263 plate appearances from May 8th to July 19th, Springer crushed 20 bombs. He recorded 51 hits, 42 runs, and 45 RBI’s in that incredible 59-game span as a rookie. Despite following master and teammate Chris Carter in the art of the excessive strikeout, Springer still posted a .354 OBP, .883 OPS, and 150 wRC+ in that stretch of ballgames.
Unless you play in a points league that penalizes for strikeouts, this kid is the truth. By the way, he should be even more valuable when he starts stealing bases. In the Minor Leagues, George Springer stole 37 bases in 2012 and 45 bases in 2013. You can probably draft him next year just outside the top 50 picks, sit back, and enjoy Spring Dings™ in 2015. (I am hoping the phrase Spring Ding catches on when he hits a home run).
3B or OF Yasmany Tomas of the Arizona Diamondbacks
I literally have no idea what to expect from Yasmany Tomas, but I want to at least gamble on him in a league. He signed a six-year, $68.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks without even playing professional baseball in the United States. The Cuban defector could offer serious power even if his glove is questionable. Luckily for us in the fantasy world, the lack of defense from Tomas will not matter as long as he is on the field.
Since the Diamondbacks felt he was worthy of that money, I have to believe he has an excellent bat. He has 30 HR and 104 RBI’s in 205 games in Cuba. Plus, the recent track record of Cuban sluggers has been insanely positive with Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and probably Jorge Soler playing at all-world levels. I have to pull the trigger on Tomas because the upside is too high for a guy who may go around pick 100.