Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Top 10 Contract Year Players - Hitters
Jason's Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Top 10 Contract Year Players - Hitters
February 23, 2014
Top 10 Contract Year Players Hitters
1. Hanley Ramirez - Ramirez is set to be a free agent at the end of the year if he cannot get a deal worked out the Dodgers. Ramirez's time in Miami ended a bit rocky, but he has been outstanding since moving to the West Coast. If Ramirez can produce another season like he did last year, he will be offered a massive contract when he hits the free agent market. Motivation has been a problem for Ramirez in the past, but it should not be a problem for him this season.
2. David Ortiz - Big Papi seems to be the player that is in a perpetual contract year, and therefore the fact that he is looking for another contract after this season should have no impact on Ortiz. Big Papi gets written off every year, and every year he shuts up the critics. Ortiz is getting older, but his bat is still going strong, and he looks like he has a few more good year left in him.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
3. Pablo Sandoval - Sandoval is coming off a disappointing season and he has physical proven that he has changed his attitude by losing over 40 pounds this offseason. Sandoval's weight has hindered his ability to run and play defense, and now that he is on the verge of receiving a big payday, Sandoval has finally gotten into shape. Sandoval has a career batting average of .298 and a career OPS of .827. If he can surpass those numbers this season than he will be well on his way to earning that most desired payday.
4. Chase Headley - Headley is another third baseman that is coming off a down season, but unlike Sandoval, Headley does not have a strong track record of success. Headley had a breakout season in 2012, but he came crashing back down to Earth in 2013. Headley needs to have another breakout season in order to earn a big time contract.
5. Nelson Cruz - Cruz is one of those PED players that is out to prove he can play with any medical assistance. Cruz has finally found a home in a hitter friendly park in Baltimore and he will be part of what should be a very strong lineup. Cruz is in a great spot to prove he can play without PEDs and he should be very motivated to produce and stay healthy in 2014.
6. J.J Hardy - Hardy is another Oriole that will be on the free agent market at the end of the 2014 season. Hardy has rejuvenated his career since he started playing in Baltimore and he is now one of the games best power hitting shortstops. Hardy will look to produce another season with 20+ homers and 75+ RBI before the test out the free agent market.
7. Asdrubal Cabrera - Cabrera could be the contract year hitter under the most pressure since the Indians top prospect, Francisco Lindor, is a shortstop that is pressing to get into the majors. Odds are Cabrera will be auditioning for other teams this year and he needs to improve as his numbers have declined ever since his breakout 2011 season.
8. Jed Lowrie - Lowrie in another shortstop that will be entering the free agent market after this season. Lowrie's biggest problem has been his ability to stay healthy as last year was the first time Lowrie has managed to play in more than 100 games. Lowrie is very talented, but he will need to duplicate his performance from last season in order to earn a big time contract.
9. Norichika Aoki - Aoki has been a solid player since coming to America, and he will be a free agent at the end of this season. Aoki is 32 so he is starting to enter the decline of his career, but that does not mean he can't earn another nice contract for next season.
10. Mike Morse - Morse is a home run hitter who suffered a major power outage when he moved to Seattle. Morse will look to rejuvenate his career in San Francisco. Morse was very good for Nationals from 2010 - 2012, and he will look to regain that form in order to earn a long term contract.
Other Contract Year Hitters to Note:
Michael Cuddyer and Victor Martinez
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