10. Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers (.277 BA, 22 HR, 88 RBI)
After missing basically all of the 2014 season with a neck injury, Prince Fielder (if healthy) will be a major power threat in Texas. Rotochamp has him projected to only hit 22 HR, but I believe he’ll be in the 30’s.
9. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles (.236 BA, 36 HR, 95 RBI)
Chris Davis was in the running for a Triple Crown in 2013, but performed horribly in 2014. Regardless of average, Davis’s power threat earns him a place on the top 10 list.
8. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (.268 BA, 28 HR, 77 RBI)
The 25 year old Rizzo had his best year to date in 2014 and I believe he will perform just as well with a better Cubs team in 2015.
7. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels (.271 BA, 25 HR, 93 RBI)
Since joining the Angels in 2012, Pujols’s power numbers have declined. Most of that you can attribute to old age. However, last year showed a piece of what he used to be in St. Louis and Pujols remains a top 10 1st baseman in MLB.
6. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays (.269 BA, 35 HR, 101 RBI)
A key part of the newly improved Blue Jays lineup, Edwin Encarnacion finds himself in a favorable spot. I expect Encarnacion to bat 5th in the Jays lineup behind Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Josh Donaldson, and Jose Bautista. These guys get on base and Encarnacion will be right there to drive them all in.
5. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves (.295 BA, 20 HR, 87 RBI)
Freeman played every game for the Braves last year and made the NL All-Star roster. He led the team in batting average, hits, and on base percentage. This blooming youngster expects to stay consistent as he has throughout his career up to this point.
4. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers (.284 BA, 23 HR, 104 RBI)
Adrian Gonzalez had his worst full season of his career in 2014. Even so, he still lead the National League in RBI with 116. He is a perennial Gold Glove candidate (won it in 2014) and a phenomenal hitter. We’ll see what the acquisitions of Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, and Yasmani Grandal do to his RBI numbers this season.
3. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks (.301 BA, 27 HR, 96 RBI)
Goldschmidt’s numbers dropped off in 2014 after his magnificent 2013 campaign, but part of that was due to his injury. He only played 109 games in 2014 in comparison to 160 in 2013. His average stayed about the same (.302 to .300 in 2014), so he has proven that he is as much a contact hitter as he is a power threat. For now, Goldschmidt remains a perennial all-star.
2. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox (.311 BA, 35 HR, 103 RBI)
Abreu’s rookie campaign was astounding. His ranks in the AL are as follows: 5th in batting average, t-3rd in home runs, and 4th in RBI. And he did this basically with no one else in the lineup that really posed a threat. In 2015, Abreu has the protection of Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera. Expect Abreu to not only have another great season, but also possibly win the MVP.
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (.325 BA, 31 HR, 113 RBI)
Miggy was hampered by an ankle injury for most of the 2014 season, but still managed to .313 with 25 HR and 109 RBI. With the newly improved power of Victor Martinez behind him in the Tigers lineup along with the bats of J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes, I see Miguel Cabrera competing for the AL MVP very easily.