2013 MLB Preview: Top 25 Hitters to Watch
25 MLB Hitters to Watch in 2013
The 2012 season seemed like the year of the hitter as many players showed their offensive prowess by shining bright throughout the season, some even contending for MVP awards.
The 2013 season is just around the corner and those hitters took spring training to prime themselves for the regular season and maybe even a strong playoff run. Guys like Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Ryan Braun are looking to duplicate their incredibly productive 2012 seasons and make a strong impact on their already-loaded lineups.
This list is not necessarily filled with just the top hitters in the league, but also those that need a breakout season, those that have already had great seasons or those that will have a solid season in 2013.
The MLB is peppered with solid batters and each team has a guy that they can depend on to be the No. 3 or No. 4 hitter in their lineup to knock in runs and keep a high batting average.
In 2012, we saw one of the best single-season performances of all-time as Miguel Cabrera achieved the coveted Triple Crown. He led the league in home runs, batting average and RBI. He is undoubtedly one of the top hitters in all of baseball and was rewarded with that with his first ever MVP award.
The Detroit Tigers are glad to have Cabrera for the long-term, but other teams aren't so lucky with top talent.
Let's take a look at the top 25 hitters to watch in 2013.
25. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Joe Mauer has consistently been one of the best hitters in baseball, but can he keep it up in 2013? The Minnesota Twins will need him if they want to avoid being the worst team in the Central Division.
24. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
A solid 2012 season in which Adam Jones took the Baltimore Orioles to the playoffs was one to remember. Jones hit .282 with 32 home runs and 82 RBI. Not bad for a budding star.
23. Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
Starlin Castro is one of the best young players in the league, but he is on a team that will likely struggle to win games. Can he change that with his bat?
22. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Bautista has been near the top of the league in home runs for the past few seasons. With an even better lineup around him in 2013, his numbers could be even better.
21. Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals
Billy Butler has been a solid run-producer for the Kansas City Royals for the past six seasons. Entering his seventh season in the league and coming off his best season as a professional, he is sure to up his numbers once again.
20. Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Holliday was a big reason that the loss of Albert Pujols didn't hurt as bad as many though it would. He hit 27 home runs and drove in 102 RBI, not quite Pujols, but solid production nonetheless.
19. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
The talented rookie came into the league with something to prove. Bryce Harper played 139 games and produced well for a first-year player. He hit .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI. He will look to live up to all the hype in 2013 and produce more for the amount of games he has played.
18. Hanley Ramirez, LA Dodgers
Hanley Ramirez was apart of the failed Miami Marlins project in 2012. He is one of the most talented young shortstops in the league and can put up huge numbers.
17. Adrian Gonzalez, LA Dodgers
Adrian Gonzalez has the potential to be the best hitter in the league. He had a tough year in 2012, but will he experience a rebirth in Los Angeles?
16. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Evan Longoria suffered an injury that kept him out an extended period of time in 2012. He is Tampa Bay's best player and they will need him to have a career season if they want to win the AL East.
15. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
As a baby-faced 26-year old, you would never think Buster Posey was a professional athlete. He is that and much more, however, and he led the San Francisco Giants to a World Series victory in 2012. He was also the league's MVP and will look to repeat both feats in 2013.
14. Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves
Jason Heyward has yet to hit for a solid average as a professional. Entering his fourth year in the league, he will look to add a high average to his solid power numbers.
13. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins were lucky to keep a top prospect in Giancarlo Stanton. He is a career .270 hitter and as he approaches 100 home runs entering his fourth season, he could have another breakout season in 2013.
12. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox
Paul Konerko had quite the resurgence in 2012, seemingly playing the role of the ageless wonder. It would be hard to imagine the aging veteran have yet another solid season like he has last year.
11. Albert Pujols, LA Angels
People thought the signing of Albert Pujols would make the Los Angeles Angels a world champion in no time. Well, the superstar got off to a slow start in 2012 but then turned into his old self. The Angels didn't quite reach their goal, but the 2013 season may be a bit different.
10. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
Although he missed a handful of games in 2012, Carlos Gonzalez produced like he missed no time. The sixth-year player will look to improve on his already-impressive numbers and take the Colorado Rockies out of the NL West cellar.
9. Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
Although Prince Fielder's power numbers weren't at their highest in 2012, he had quite possibly his best season as a professional. He hit over .300 for the first time in his career and added 30 home runs and 108 RBI. Oh yeah, his strikeouts were down, too.
8. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto is considered one of the best hitters in all of baseball. With an injury-riddled season in 2012, he could barely show his worth, but 2013 should be much different if he stays healthy.
7. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
With Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira being forced out of the usually-loaded New York Yankees luneup, Robinson Cano will be relied on heavily to lead the offense. How will he handle the pressure?
6. Josh Hamilton, LA Angels
Josh Hamilton experienced a bit of a falling-out with the Texas Rangers in 2012, but he has found a new home with the Angels. It will be interesting to see if the slugger will be as successful as he's been in year's past.
5. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
Andrew McCutchen was looking like the NL MVP at times last season, but with the Pittsburgh Pirates failing to contend, it was inevitable that he couldn't win the award. It could be different in 2013.
4. Matt Kemp, LA Dodgers
While missing nearly 60 games in 2012, Matt Kemp was the difference between a second place finish in the NL West and knocking off who turned out to be, the World Series champs for first place. Kemp will look to lead the Dodgers to a coveted title in 2013.
3. Mike Trout, LA Angels
Mike Trout was possibly the best rookie of all-time. The rookie sensation challenged for the AL MVP award and could do so again this season. For him to repeat, or even do better than what he did in 2012 would be quite the accomplishment.
2. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Braun is the early favorite for the NL's MVP award and living up to the hype is never an easy thing. Let's see if the National League's best hitter can do just that.
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Miguel Cabrera is approaching the ripe age of 30, but that won't slow down his production. He reached the seemingly unachievable Triple Crown in 2012, becoming the first player to achieve the accomplishment in several decades. He is the league's best hitter, but how will his 30+ year-old range treat him?