Can you feel it? That excitement in the air. No, it’s not March Madness. Baseball is almost here. If you haven’t gotten your fantasy baseball draft prep done, what have you been wasting your time on? Filing your taxes? The only thing left to do is predict your American League 2013 Award Winners.
I am not sure why the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Josh Hamilton fell to a mid second round pick in most drafts. Maybe it’s his injury history, the off the field issues, who knows. There did seem to be a lot of fantasy backdraft for the contract he signed with the Angels. Only thing is, in fantasy, the long term contract he signed doesn’t affect us, so who cares. I am predicting Hamilton to put up 98 runs, 36 HR, 115 RBI, 7 SB, and a .290 AVG slugging his way to an AL Fantasy MVP.
If you want the Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander on your team, you will have to spend a first round pick in most leagues. If you listen to the fantasy experts, most of them will advise you to wait on pitching. I couldn’t agree more, as I never like to spend my first round pick on a guy who plays once every five days. While he’s no Verlander, the Tigers Max Scherzer is coming into his own and will provide you with fantastic value later in drafts. I am predicting Scherzer to win 19 games, strikeout 212, with a 3.36 ERA, and a 1.1g WHIP making him your AL Fantasy Cy Young.
Everyone wants to know who will be this year’s Mike Trout. Forget it, it isn’t going to happen again. Typically rookies are just that, rookies, and they don’t offer a ton of fantasy value. With the explosion of Trout in 2012, I feel there has been an over emphasis placed on rookies for 2013. Hey, I to am guilty of it in my leagues. While the Tampa Bay Rays Wil Myers is starting the season in Triple A, I expect him to be called up around June 1. It’s about time this former Minor League Player of the Year can show us what he can do in the show. Look for Myers to put up 52 runs, 15 HR, 61 RBI, 5 SB, and a .255 AVG as your AL Fantasy Rookie of the Year. Not exactly Troutian like numbers, but still solid from a rookie.
I still can’t stop laughing that the Texas Rangers Lance Berkman forgot to pack his glove when heading off to Spring Training this year. For a guy who has spent almost his entire career in the National League where there is no designated hitter, how do you forget to pack your glove. Berkman will head into 2013 as the Rangers every day DH, and should see a little time at first. I am projecting Berkman to put up 66 runs, 19 HR, 63 RBI, 3 SB, and a .276 AVG as your AL Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year.
As a New York Yankees fan, it saddens me to think this will be the last year we will get to hear Enter Sandman and see the great Mariano Rivera heading in from the bullpen. Rivera is coming back from a devastating knee injury that shocked Yankee Nation in 2012. I look for the greatest closer of all time to go out on top while putting up 35 saves, 46 strikeouts, an 2.47 ERA, and a 1.16 Whip as your 2013 AL Fantasy Reliever of the Year.
Brian Fischler can be found making Nostradamus predictions on Twitter.