By Michael Beller
April 10, 2014
Mark Trumbo's batting average may only be .250, but he already has five home runs this season.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings
1 Mark Trumbo
The new Diamondback has been a beast in the desert, belting five homers and driving in 13 runs already. Unlike some of the other unlikely hitters on this list, Trumbo has the ability to appear in this space many times this season.
2 Jose Fernandez
The season is young, but we may very well have a new starting pitcher championship belt holder. In 12 2/3 innings this year, Fernandez has 17 strikeouts and has allowed one earned run --- on a solo homer, no less --- and eight hits. The kid gloves are off this year, and Fernandez looks like the best the game has to offer.
3 Felix Hernandez
Thanks to his performance this year, Hernandez might have to quibble with the love thrown Jose Fernandez's way. The Seattle ace has allowed three earned runs and 10 hits while striking out 19 batters in 14 1/3 innings this year. Not surprisingly, he is 2-0.
4 Brandon Belt
The true Belt breakout may finally be upon us. The Giants first baseman is tied with Mark Trumbo for the league lead in homers with five. He has yet to draw a walk, and has struck out in nearly 30 percent of his plate appearances, so some of those familiar problems still remain.
5 Carlos Gonzalez
One of baseball's best per-game players is off to another hot start. CarGo is hitting .389/.450/.778 with three homers, 11 RBI and a pair of steals. He could produce at Mike Trout levels if he could ever play 150 or more games in a season.
6 Michael Cuddyer
Cuddyer, last year's NL batting champion, has picked up right where he left off. He's slashing .415/.444/.732 with three homers, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored. Given his consistent bat and spot in a great lineup, this could be his best year yet.
7 Chris Sale
Sale has been dominant for the White Sox this season, allowing three earned runs and nine hits in 15 1/3 innings. He has 14 strikeouts and has walked just two batters. He's likely the pre-eminent left-handed starter in the American League.
8 Gio Gonzalez
Gonzalez is off to a hot start in 2014, allowing one run on six hits and three walks in 12 innings. He has 11 strikeouts and is 2-0 for the Nationals. Not only does he put the Nats on another level when he pitches like an ace, he gives his fantasy owners a semi-unexpected No. 1 starter.
9 Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton is raking for the Marlins, hitting .324/.390/.568 with a pair of homers and 13 RBI. What's more, he has already added two steals, putting him one-third of the way to his career high. His first 40-homer season feels like a real possibility this year.
10 Jose Bautista
Bautista isn't doing much for his owner's in batting average, but that's not why they drafted him. He is coming through in the power department with four homers, and a 27.3-percent walk rate has helped him to a .447 OBP.
11 Tim Hudson
Hudson has thus far enjoyed his new home in San Francisco. The veteran hurler is 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA, having allowed two earned runs in 15 2/3 innings. He has 11 strikeouts and has yet to walk a batter.
12 Emilio Bonifacio
Bonifacio has taken advantage of his everyday role in the Cubs lineup, hitting .515 in his first seven games. He's 19-for-38 on the season, and while many of those hits are singles, the mere fact that he's getting on base so much allows him to use his legs, perhaps his greatest weapon. He already has five steals this year.
13 Josh Hamilton
Before suffering a thumb injury on Tuesday night, Hamilton was experiencing a rebound from his dreadful 2013 season. He's hitting .444/.545/.741 with two homers, six RBI, seven runs and a steal. Unfortunately, he's now out for 6-to-8 weeks.
14 Paul Goldschmidt
It's not surprising to see Goldschmidt's name on this list. He's off to another great start, hitting .381/.438/.643 with two homers, seven runs, eight RBI and two steals. There's true 40/20 potential here if all goes well.
15 Angel Pagan
The Giants center fielder has been red hot this year, hitting .462/.500/.641 with a homer, six runs, eight RBI and two stolen bases. He has had some useful fantasy seasons in years past, notably when he hit .288/.338/.440 with eight homers and 29 steals in 2012. If Brandon Belt and Buster Posey are raking behind him, he could score 90-plus runs this year.
16 Chris Colabello
I haven't made the exact calculations, but I feel safe saying it's highly unlikely that Colabello will sustain a .500 BABIP all season. That said, he has been one of the best hitters of the season thus far, amassing a .313/.353/.531 slash line. He's certainly worth owning in mixed leagues, but don't expect him to land in this space too often.
17 Dee Gordon
Gordon is living the post-hype life to the fullest, hitting .394/.432/.545 with three steals as the Dodgers' primary second baseman. He has already tied his career high in homers with one, to boot. He should be universally owned.
18 Mike Napoli
Napoli is still whiffing 30 percent of the time, but when he's hitting .333/.415/.528 with two homers, his owners can life with the high strikeout rate. He's not the 18th-best player in fantasy baseball, but he's a real asset given his home-run ability and slot in the Boston lineup.
19 Adam Wainwright
Wainwright is basically doing exactly what we all expect him to do. He's picking apart lineups one batter at a time. In his 14 innings this year, he has allowed two runs and eight hits with 16 strikeouts. He has surprisingly walked six batters, putting him more than one-sixth of the way to last year's total, however.
20 Mark Buehrle
The veteran Buehrle is off to his best start in years. He kicked off the season by missing a complete game by one out, striking out 11 in a win over the Rays. He came back down to earth a bit in his next start against the Astros, but still has allowed just one run, 12 hits and two walks in 14 innings.
21 James Paxton
Paxton appeared to be a steadying force in the Mariners' rotation alongside Felix Hernandez after striking out nine Angels in seven shutout innings in his first start, but he went to the DL with a lat strain.
22 Jacoby Ellsbury
Ellsbury has yet to hit a home run this year, but he's hitting .364/.417/.455 and has swiped four bags. The Yankees offense looks old and slow, but don't blame the new center fielder.
23 Max Scherzer
Last year's AL Cy Young hasn't recorded a win yet, but that's the only complaint his owners could have. He has allowed two earned runs and fanned 15 batters in 15 innings.
24 Johnny Cueto
It was important for Cueto to get off to a good start, and he has done just that, allowing three runs and eight hits in 14 innings, racking up 17 strikeouts. Don't worry about his 0-1 record. Cueto is healthy and dealing.
25 Ryan Braun
Braun's thumb had been an issue, but after belting three homers on Tuesday, it's safe for his owners to step back from the ledge. Do not consider him a sell-high player.
26 Justin Smoak
We've seen Smoak get hot for stretches at various points in the previous three seasons, so take his strong start to the 2014 season with a grain of salt. Still, he deserves inclusion in this list after hitting .300/.400/.600 with two homers and nine RBI in his first eight games.
27 Chase Utley
Utley has been healthy, other than a bout with the flu, and he has been raking. He's hitting .458/.536/.833 with a pair of homers and six RBI. He may be in the twilight of his career, but so long as he's on the field, he is going to produce.
28 Alex Rios
Rios has been steady in the first 10 days of the season, slashing .364/.405/.515 with a homer, six RBI and two steals. Look for him to move up in the order if Adrian Beltre has to go to the DL.
29 Dan Haren
Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke get all the attention, even when Kershaw is on the DL, but Haren has been huge for the Dodgers this season. He has allowed just one earned run and seven hits in 12 innings, fanning 10 batters and walking just one.
30 Yovani Gallardo
After a terrible 2013 season, Gallardo has shown signs of a bounce-back campaign in 2014. He has yet to give up a run in 12 2/3 innings, surrendering 11 hits and walking just two. If he can reclaim a measure of his old self, the Brewers could be a serious sleeper in the NL Central.

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