Top 20 Fantasy Baseball Players In 2013 World Baseball Classic
Top 20 Fantasy Baseball Players in 2013 WBC
2013 World Baseball Classic Schedule:
March 2-6: Pool A - Fukuoka, Japan
March 2-5: Pool B - Taichung, Taiwan
March 7-10: Pool C - San Juan, Puerto Rico
March 7-10: Pool D - Phoenix, Arizona
March 8-12 - Tokyo, Japan
March 12-16 - Miami, Florida
March 17-19 - San Francisco, California
The World Baseball Classic is finally back and fantasy baseball fanatics will relish the opportunity to see their favorite players get back on the diamond. The WBC is more popular than ever, so naturally fantasy baseball owners will be tuning in all over the world. This year will be one of the most exciting tournaments in the history of the Classic.
The United States will be bringing superstars like third baseman David Wright, slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, 2012 NL Cy Young winner R. A. Dickey, and perennial All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun.
The always-dangerous Dominican Republic team will be bringing an array of sluggers. The team will be led by Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, two players that have become popular first round picks in recent fantasy seasons.
These will be the two teams with the most fantasy baseball firepower, but there are also some other nations that will have some serious hitters. The Puerto Rican team has a couple MLB stars of their own, while Mexico and Italy are capable of surprising some teams.
A tournament like this almost has too many players to try to keep track of. However, I will go through each position this year, so make sure to check back in the coming weeks for my full fantasy baseball rankings for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. For now, here are the top 20 fantasy baseball players to watch in the WBC this year:
20. 1B Anthony Rizzo, Italy (Chicago Cubs)
1B Anthony Rizzo, Italy ( Chicago Cubs) - Rizzo clubbed 15 home runs in just 87 games last season and showed amazing power in a very small window. He will be the one heavy hitter in the Italian lineup, so expect him to carry the team at times during the WBC.
19. 1B Justin Morneau, Canada (Minnesota Twins)
1B Justin Morneau, Canada ( Minnesota Twins) - Last year Morneau saw over 500 at bats for the first time since his 2009 season. He showed glimpses of his power and will be one of the biggest question marks for fantasy owners heading into the 2013 WBC.
18. C Yadier Molina, Puerto Rico (St. Louis Cardinals)
C Yadier Molina, Puerto Rico ( St. Louis Cardinals) - Molina had a career fantasy season in 2012. He had a batting average of .315 and the catcher clubbed a very impressive 22 home runs. This backstop will be the backbone of the Puerto Rican team and will certainly make a difference in every game.
17. SP Ryan Vogelsong, United States (San Francisco Giants)
SP Ryan Vogelsong, United States ( San Francisco Giants) - Vogelsong is pitching amazing right now and his trip to the WBC is a huge step in his career. The 35-year-old has become an anchor in the Giants’ rotation and thus a fixture in fantasy rotations as well. This is his chance to prove that he can still be a fantasy starter and worth a spot as a third or fourth pitcher.
16. RP Fernando Rodney, Dominican Republic (Tampa Bay Rays)
RP Fernando Rodney, Dominican Republic ( Tampa Bay Rays) - No closer was more of a fantasy surprise than Fernando Rodney last year. He finished second in the American League with 48 saves and looked unhittable for a majority of the season. He struck out 76 batters in 74.1 innings along with an unthinkable 0.78 WHIP and 0.60 ERA. Rodney will be one of the best relievers in the entire tournament.
15. SP Yovani Gallardo, Mexico (Milwaukee Brewers)
SP Yovani Gallardo, Mexico ( Milwaukee Brewers) - Gallardo was a workhorse last year for the Brewers. The righty threw 204 innings, struck out 204 batters, and had a respectable 3.66 ERA. Look for him to get the Mexican team a couple wins this year and most likely get them into the second round of the tournament.
14. C Carlos Santana, Dominican Republic (Cleveland Indians)
C Carlos Santana, Dominican Republic ( Cleveland Indians) - Santana is one of the best backstops in all of fantasy. However, the 26-year-old only hit 18 home runs last season, which is down significantly from his 28 homers in 2011. He will be looking to improve his power totals this season, so the WBC is the place to start.
13. 1B Adrian Gonzalez, Mexico (Los Angeles Dodgers)
1B Adrian Gonzalez, Mexico ( Los Angeles Dodgers) - Gonzalez will be the heart of the Mexican team. He is coming off a very disappointing season in which he only hit 18 homers, but the veteran still boasted a .299 batting average and drove in 108 runs. Look for the WBC to be the beginning of his fantasy comeback.
12. OF Adam Jones, United States (Baltimore Orioles)
OF Adam Jones, United States ( Baltimore Orioles) - Jones was one of the key figures in the Orioles dream 2012 season, so it is only natural that he joins the US team for the WBC. He has one of the purest swings in the majors and makes hitting home runs look effortless. Jones is a top-10 outfielder in fantasy and will be one player to keep an eye on this year.
11. OF Carlos Beltran, Puerto Rico (St. Louis Cardinals)
OF Carlos Beltran, Puerto Rico (St. Louis Cardinals) - Beltran has looked like a different player over the last two seasons. Beltran hit 32 homers last year for St. Louis and it was his largest home run total since 2007. His fantasy career has been rejuvenated since moving cities, so he could be a great player to target in the 2013 fantasy season after a strong showing in the WBC this year.
10. SS Jose Reyes, Dominican Republic (Toronto Blue Jays)
SS Jose Reyes, Dominican Republic ( Toronto Blue Jays) - The Dominicans love to use speed in the Classic, so expect a team to finally use the speed of Reyes correctly. Reyes is one of the most dynamic shortstops in the game, so hopefully a strong WBC will be the prelude of a strong 2013 fantasy baseball season.
9. RP Craig Kimbrel, United States (Atlanta Braves)
RP Craig Kimbrel, United States ( Atlanta Braves) - If the United States is going to seriously try win the WBC in 2013, then it was smart to bring the best closer in the game along with them. Kimbrel has matured into the best ninth inning fireballer in the MLB and will no doubt close out any lead the team has in the tournament.
8. SP R. A. Dickey, United States (Toronto Blue Jays)
SP R. A. Dickey, United States (Toronto Blue Jays) - Dickey is coming off his first 20-win season and his first 2012 NL Cy Young Award. He had the most magnificent season of any knuckle baller in the history of the game and was easily the best fantasy pitcher of the 2012 season.
Now Dickey may not throw a Gyro Ball like most pitchers in Japan, but his knuckle ball was untouchable last season. After all, when was the last time a baseball player in the Netherlands or Chinese Taipei tried to hit a knuckleball? I bet it has been a while.
7. OF Giancarlo Stanton, United States (Miami Marlins)
OF Giancarlo Stanton, United States (Miami Marlins) - After the Marlins completely dumped all of their major leaguers on the Toronto Blue Jays, Stanton was confused why he was the one player remaining in Miami. Stanton is the best young power hitter in the game and has the ability to easily hit 50 home runs next season, so expect the WBC to be his chance to showcase his talent on the world stage. Stanton will also get to play some games at his home field of Marlins Park and the slugger will be looking to vent some frustration in front of his home crowd.
6. 3B David Wright, United States (New York Mets)
3B David Wright, United States ( New York Mets) - Wright will anchor the hot corner for the US team and will be one of the best American power hitters on the roster.
5. OF Ryan Braun, United States (Milwaukee Brewers)
OF Ryan Braun, United States (Milwaukee Brewers) - Braun had a phenomenal 2012 season and many feel that San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey robbed the Milwaukee outfielder of the NL MVP award. Braun crushed 41 home runs, drove in 112 runs, and still recorded a .319 batting average among all his power stats. He will be one of the biggest names in the entire 2013 World Baseball Classic.
4. 2B Robinson Cano, Dominican Republic (New York Yankees)
2B Robinson Cano, Dominican Republic ( New York Yankees) - Cano’s future may be uncertain right now, but the superstar 2B will no doubt be a premier fantasy baseball option this spring. Watch Cano closely this March, because you can bet all the MLB general managers will be.
3. 1B Albert Pujols, Dominican Republic (Los Angeles Angels)
1B Albert Pujols, Dominican Republic (Los Angeles Angels) - After a severely disappointing start to the 2012 season, Pujols quickly turned things around and started clubbing home runs at a record pace. Pujols is one of the most dangerous long-ball hitters in all of fantasy and will be worth watching every time he steps into the batters’ box in the WBC.
2. SP Felix Hernandez,Venezuela (Seattle Mariners)
Felix Hernandez, Venezuela ( Seattle Mariners) – King Felix happens to be the king of Venezuela as well. Look for him to dominate the WBC like he dominates the MLB.
1. 3B Miguel Cabrera, Venezuela (Detroit Tigers)
3B Miguel Cabrera, Venezuela ( Detroit Tigers) - Fresh off winning the AL Triple Crown, Miggy had the most exciting fantasy season in the history of the sport. He will no doubt be a first round pick in fantasy drafts and will once again lead thousands of fantasy squads to a championship.