It has long been said that baseball is a kid's game. We might as well take note and follow suit in fantasy baseball.
Mike Trout, 21, and his legendary WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in his Rookie of the Year season might not have been able to wrest the MVP from the Triple Crown champion Miguel Cabrera, but he does have another thing going for him: The No. 1 player in SI.com's initial Top 100 rankings for fantasy baseball 2013.
The top pitcher? How about 24-year-old Stephen Strasburg. We tried to justify leaving Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw ahead of the Nationals wunderkind, but if that right arm is allowed (and healthy enough) to go over 200 innings as promised, Verlander and Kershaw won't be able to touch his strikeout totals. Strasburg's wins potential, ERA and WHIP numbers are just as good. He looks like he can be the No. 1 pitcher off the board.
Yeah, baseball is a grind best handled by the young bucks in the post-steroid era. Picking the best young talents becomes of utmost importance.
Below is a rough draft of how the top of your fantasy baseball draft might go in March as we debut a tasty first piece in SI.com's comprehensive fantasy baseball preview. In the coming weeks, we will break down all the positions, the teams, the projections, the dollar values, the breakouts, busts and sleepers. Then, to cap off the series, we will outline the players who will best outperform their draft position well in advance of your own draft.
A new wrinkle this year is the projections below. The numbers are rough statistical estimates for each player in the traditional categories, in case you need to massage these rankings a bit differently to fit your scoring system.
Let the debates, and the fantasy baseball draft prep season, begin!