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Prince Fielder, 2014 Texas Rangers
The regular season is closing in, and fantasy baseball is right there with it. Let's take a look at the Rangers roster and rank the top five in the fantasy world.
No. 1: Prince Fielder, 1B
2013 stats: .279 batting average, .362 on-base percentage, .457 slugging percentage, 25 home runs, 106 RBIs, 162 games
Pros: Everything seems lined up perfectly for Fielder to have a huge season. He's in a new, more hitter-friendly ballpark, he's got some personal problems behind him after dealing with a nasty divorce last season, he's getting a nice change of scenery after dealing with criticism from Tigers fans, and he's hitting in the heart of a great quintet of hitters. Fielder very easily could mash 45 home runs this year as a guy who's hit 50 and 46 previously in his career as a Milwaukee Brewer. He's going to get plenty of pitches to hit with Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios hitting behind him, and he's going to be hitting with Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus on base. We're predicting an MVP-caliber season for Fielder, which makes him the most valuable Ranger in fantasy baseball. Also, the big man has missed just one game since the 2009 season. He's going to play.
Cons: The numbers show Globe Life Park (formerly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington) was actually a worse park than Detroit's Comerica Park for hitting home runs last year. Comerica is probably the biggest park in baseball, deserving of its own area code. That stat is deceiving when you consider the Rangers' lineup last year other than Beltre. It's no wonder the Rangers didn't hit a lot of homers. Let's go out on a limb and suggest Comerica won't be better this year. So, it's safe to say Fielder will be.
Verdict: Fielder is worth a pick in the back part of the first round. We believe that much in what is in store for him this year.