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One Player. Each Team.

Baseball, the floor is yours. The boys of summer have checked into their temporary homes in Arizona and Florida which means Fantasy Baseball season is right around the corner. I am here to tell you that if you could take just one player from each team, these are the guys you need to target.
(AL Version)


Anaheim Angels - Don't make me say it. Do I need to say it? Fine, I will say it. Mike Trout. And if you do not know why then you're in the wrong fantasy game. And please don't try and tell me why it should be Shohei Ohtani instead....

Houston Astros - The Astros are even better than a year ago. There are so many players to pick from. Dallas Keuchel, Justin Verlander, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman. The list goes on and on. However, the one guy you target is Altuve. He takes care of so many categories by himself. I am personally one person who feels for the first time in about 5 years, Altuve, not Trout, should be the number one guy off of the board in your fantasy draft. Average, power, steals, extra base hits. He is the little engine that could.

Oakland Athletics - So I am going to cheat a little and dance around a direct answer. You have one of two choices with Oakland. Who would have thought Oakland had 2 fantasy worthy players? The choice is between Khris Davis and Matt Chapman. Depending on what kind of league you are drafting for makes the picks more clearer. If you are playing in a 1 year league, Khris Davis is your pick. He has hit over 40 home runs each of the past two seasons and that cannot be ignored. However, if you are in a Dynasty style league and find a source of guaranteed power elsewhere, Matt Chapman becomes your pick. He is an up and coming star with third base all to himself this season with Ryon Healy departed for Seattle. Chapman himself has the tools and minor league track record that shows strong power numbers (36 homers last year) are in his future also. At only 24, hes the shot you take.

Seattle Mariners - Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager, and Nelson Cruz all are not getting any younger. Yes at some point in the draft those all can be viable picks. However, if there is just one I can take from Seattle, it will be Jean Segura. He still does not get the recognition he deserves. He hits for average and steals you bases. A guy like Segura lets you take a power bat somewhere else to balance out low average. Two years ago he swiped 33. Last year, in an injury shortened season, he still stole 22. If he stays on the field you can once again expect an average just north of .300 and 30 bags. Sign me up for that everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

Texas Rangers - Texas is a combination of the Mariners and A's. On one hand you have aging players like Adrian Beltre and Cole Hamels. On the other you have budding youth with Joey Gallo, Delino DeShields Jr, Willie Calhoun and Nomar Mazara. Again, if you're in a one year league, I lean towards Gallo. I know that average is heinous. I do. But this is again an easy, cheap source of power pick. Especially if you have already taken an Altuve, or a Blackmon, or a Votto, or a Murphy. Gallo then becomes a no brainer pick. Now if you're in a dynasty, I say take a risk here. Willie Calhoun. If you do not know him, start learning. He was buried in the Dodgers Farm system because he never truly had a defensive position and without a DH in the NL, he was left to tear the cover off of the ball in Triple A. Now in Texas (as part of the Darvish deal), he has the chance to take over the DH role while more than likely platooning in left field to get more comfortable playing the field. He had a career 69 Minor League home runs and now heads to a hitters paradise in Texas.

Chicago White Sox - Jose Abreu. At least 25 home runs, 100 RBI's, and a career .300 hitter since coming into the league. That's all folks.

Cleveland Indians - There is tons of talent in Cleveland, but if I had just one person I could take, it would be Corey Kluber. Over 200 innings 4 straight years and a career ERA just over 3. He is a work horse. He is a stud. He takes the ball and he wins. Kluber is your Indian to target.

Detroit Tigers - The Tigers are in full rebuild mode. They shipped Justin Verlander to Houston late last season and the rest is history. Upton is now with the Angels and Ian Kinsler joined him this off season. So what is left? Miguel Cabrera is still making his home in the Motor City, but it is clear that age and wear and tear is catching up to Miggy. That leaves Michael Fulmer. There was a lot of trade talk revolved around him this winter but as camp opens, he remains with the Tigers, and as their ace. Just scraping the surface of his potential he is worth the pick in any league even though a poor team behind him may hurt his win column.

Kansas City Royals - This is another team that is in full rebuild mode, making it slim pickings for the fantasy world. No more Hosmer, Cain, or Moustakas. Your safest bet becomes Danny Duffy. You can feel okay about leaning towards Kelvin Herrera too, but how many save chances will he really get? Duffy will be the teams ace and has shown more than enough to be a fantasy worthy starter.

Minnesota Twins - Twins are a team that you can argue is just about done their rebuild, and have a strong mix of youth and veterans. I feel there are two players you can choose from. Byron Buxton or Jose Berrios. I am probably the outlier here, but even after Buxton appeared to figure it out (finally) in the second half last season, I am still not completely sold. I want to see a full season of all the hype he's received play out. With that said, I lean towards Berrios. A strong, young, power throwing righty. Berrios came up for a cup of coffee in 2016 and flamed out fast. Last year though, he showed us that its only just begun by the tune of 14 wins, 139K's, and a 3.89 ERA in only 145 innings. He is a dark horse pick for the 2018 AL Cy Young.

Boston Red Sox - A lot of folks are handing the AL East (and AL Title) to the Yankees, but the Red Sox are a very talented team. Mookie Betts continues to keep himself in MVP discussions while Chris Sale stays in Cy Young discussions. They have Andrew Bentintendi and Rafael Devers coming both into camp with big league experience. And of course, the recent splash signing of JD Martinez to bring much needed pop to a lineup that finished dead last in home runs last season. When it comes to picking just one though, I feel its unquestionably Chris Sale. He is a monster who racked up over 300 strikeouts a year ago and has NEVER had an ERA higher than 3.41 in his entire career. Select him with confidence.

Baltimore Orioles - The Orioles just never seem to get better. They can be a nuisance, but never actually win anything and their window is just about shut as Manny Machado sprints into his walk year. He is the easy and obvious choice. As he moves to SS this year, he will provide many with the SS/3B flexibility and hopefully his best season yet as a massive contract awaits. Draft Machado at the tail end of round 1 without worry.

New York Yankees - Aaron Judge. Giancarlo Stanton. Gary Sanchez. Gleyber Torres. Masahiro Tanaka. Sonny Gray.  Luis Severino. Heck, even Didi Gregorious. You could pick any of these and feel good, but I am going to go out on a limb. You ready for this one? Greg Bird. Now that you have stopped laughing hear me out. Aaron Judge strikes out a lot and goes cold for long periods of time. Giancarlo Stanton strikes out a lot too and now needs to get comfortable in New York. I am not saying you pass on those guys if they fall to you, that'd just be foolish, but Greg Bird's ADP is sitting around 150 right now. He will be a steal if that stays the same because of multiple reasons. The first is (if he stays healthy) he hit 9 homers in just 87 at bats once he got to full strength. His power fits right into Yankee Stadium perfectly. Second, he walks a TON and in this lineup that means runs. Lastly, he is currently penciled in as cleanup in the Yankees order to break up Stanton and Sanchez where he will be able to rack up the RBI's. So, yes you can feel good about drafting all those other guys, but you'd be a fool not to target Bird.

Tampa Bay Rays - Evan Longoria! No. Corey Dickerson! Nope. Jake Odorizzi? Nope, he's not there either. Chris Archer by default. Come on down! Yes, the answer is Chris Archer, but don't sleep on Blake Snell, Brent Honeywell, or Willy Adames if your in a Dynasty League.

Toronto Blue Jays - The Canadian, poor man's version of Murder's Row is no more. Jose Bautista appears destined for retirement via unemployment and Edwin Encarnarcion is loving life in Cleveland. That leaves only the broken down pieces of Troy Tulowitzki remaining with Josh Donaldson. With little protection left around Donaldson and his injury history, you rightfully may see some risk with drafting him. However, it is a contract year and he appears to be headed out of Toronto. With his age of 32, he is looking at his final chance at a large pay day and he will be very hungry to perform to his highest ability to cash in. Donaldson remains the go to guy north of the border.

Be on the lookout for the NL version of "One Player. Each Team."

Follow Ryan on Twitter and ask your Fantasy Questions @RyTheFantasyGuy. 

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