As I did last week for the NL, here are some candidates for fantasy MVP in the American League:
Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC
Cain has developed into one the best players in the American League, hitting .312 with 14 HR's, 89 runs scored and 27 SB's so far this season. Many thought Cain's .301 BA from last year was a fluke as it was backed by a ridiculous .380 BABIP. Instead Cain has improved on his BA by cutting his K% to a career low 16.1% and maintaining a high BABIP at .353. While his current BABIP remains high, he does have a very good 23.6% LD% and a career BABIP of .347, so there doesn't have to be a lot of regression. The thing that's really turned Cain into a fantasy superstar though is that he has finally developed his power in his age-29 season and he looks to finally be the power-speed threat many expected him to become. As a five category contributor, expect Cain to be an elite fantasy OF once again in 2016.
Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
With 17 HR's, 50 RBI, 11 SB's and a .273 BA, Correa has put up very good numbers for a SS. Now consider that those numbers all come after his MLB debut on June 8th and it's likely he has actually been the most valuable SS since coming to the big leagues. As a rookie who didn't start the season in the big leagues, Correa went undrafted in most single-season leagues which means any team could have picked him up for free. It's fair to say that any fantasy team would have gained from having him on their roster due to the weak MI situation across baseball. Correa looks like a top-5 SS for many years to come.
Wade Davis, RP, KC
Setup men don't usually hold a whole lot of value in fantasy, but Davis is an exception. Despite having pitched under 60 innings so far, his ERA and WHIP have been more helpful (according to the ESPN Player Rater) than almost all starters. Besides for his unbelievable ratios, he has managed to pick up enough occasional wins and saves to actually have been more valuable than many full-time closers. Davis' value for next year obviously hinges a lot on whether or not he's used as a closer for whatever team he's playing for. As a setup man he still has value, but with ERA and WHIP being so volatile over a small sample size, he would still be a late-round choice. As a closer, he would automatically be in the top tier of relief pitchers.
Dallas Keuchel, SP, HOU
Despite finishing with a sub-3.00 ERA in 2014, Keuchel went fairly late in drafts this year mostly because of his medicore K-rate. That won't be happening next year though, as Keuchel has turned into a legitimate Cy Young contender for the Astros in 2015. His K/9 has improved to 8.30 this season, but perhaps more importantly he has shown a continued ability to generate groundballs at an elite rate (over 60% for the 2nd straight season). On top of that, the Astros' transition from dreadful team to playoff contender has made Keuchel into a potential 20-game winner. If Keuchel doesn't go as a top-10 fantasy SP next season, he'll certainly be pretty close.
J.D. Martinez, OF, DET
Martinez has been one of the top power sources in 2015 with 36 HR's and 91 RBI through 135 games. While his .315 BA from last year has predictably gone down, Martinez has more than made up for it for his owners with his power, and his .281 BA isn't exactly bad either. There will always be risk with his BA thanks to his high K%, but the homeruns are legit as Martinez leads the league with a 43.7% Hard% (Giancarlo Stanton doesn't qualify right now). Expect that to continue as we head into the 2016 season.
This is just a small sample of our daily analysis, join our member area for more premium content: http://www.fantistics.com/