Previously, The Fantasy Fix reviewed and gave projections for the 2011 Blue Jays rotation. Now it's time to dive in and analyze these north-of-the-border bombers' positional players.
Mixed League Rotisserie Auction Values in Parentheses
The Blue Jays led the majors in slugging percentage and home runs last year with 257, and the next closest was the Red Sox at 211. In fact they hit 56 more home runs than the vaunted Bronx Bombers.
The 2011 Blue Jay's version is also loaded with possibilities and question marks.
Can Jose Bautista hit 50+ HR's again? Will Aaron Hill and Adam Lind regain 2009 form? Can rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia handle the pitching staff and show his minor league power at the next level? There is a ton of value here but at what price?
CATCHER: J.P.ARENCIBIA ($6) – The Blue Jays are giving the rookie a chance to start. He has shown big power numbers in the minors hitting .301 with 32 HR. His ADP is around the 14th catcher of the board in mixed league drafts. JP's flying under the radar and will be a good source for HR/RBI totals. Grab him in the late rounds as a sleeper catcher.
FIRST BASE: ADAM LIND ($19) – Keep an eye on your league's games played by position rules because Lind only played 11 games at 1B and 16 in the OF. He is slated to handle the first base duties this year. Adam struggled mightily last year with a .237/23/72 line. He did have a better second half though hitting .267 and clubbing 13 home runs. I am projecting him to be more like the 2009 version with .265/28/100 totals. He will need to improve on the .117 BA against lefties to get there though. He's a solid tenth round or later pick mixed league pick.
SECOND BASE: AARON HILL ($23) – I like Hill to have a bounce back year after fighting through a miserable 2010. Hill will never again match the 2009 totals of .286/36/108 but the power is there as well as the .270 career batting average. He has huge value pick potential here also because of his down year last year. His ADP for 2nd basemen has been 11th this year in ESPN leagues. He's a top ten second basemen you can wait awhile on.
SHORTSTOP: YUNEL ESCOBAR ($9) – Esco is a solid second tier SS with an ADP around 18th round. He is another player with bounce back potential and will be a solid contributor in BA with a mix in of some power and runs scored. The call is yours here although I'm not a fan. I feel he is strictly a backup on your fantasy roster.
THIRD BASE: JOSE BAUTISTA ($30) – Wow look at this stat line for 2010 .260/54/124, nine SB and 109 runs. Jose is a top three pick who qualifies as a 3B/OF in all formats. Temper your expectations on Bautista though; a regression in his production would be logical since season's like 2010 are tough to reproduce. ADP is end of third round being the fifth ranked third sacker off draft boards. I like him to have another solid year but I'm curbing my expectations to more like .250/38/100.
OUTFIELD: TRAVIS SNIDER ($12) – The kid is 23 and has proven he can hit at all major league levels. He played only a half season last year posting 14 HR while hitting .304 in September. With the chance for an every day job Travis' line projects around .265/25/80 making him a solid 12th round or later pick in mixed leagues.
RAJAI DAVIS ($15) – The move out of Oakland to a much more potent offense should boost Davis, who finished 2nd in the A.L. last year in stolen bases with 50. He is projected to lead off and will be a solid contributor in SB, BA and run categories. The knock on Rajai though is that he doesn't reach base enough. Will the move out of Oakland cut down on his stolen base attempts? He is the 39th OF taken in ESPN drafts this year three rounds later than Brett Gardner. Scott Podsednik is also looming on the Blue Jay roster so check The Fantasy Fix updates to see if Davis nails down the job. He is a bargain just do not take him too early.
JUAN RIVERA ($5) – Rivera came from Anaheim in the Vernon Wells trade. He posted pedestrian stats last year for the Angels .252/15/52. I see a possible 20 home run season in the making. Late round flier pick only.
SCOTT PODSEDNIK ($5) – Tough to assign value to Pods not knowing how much he will play. He has back to back 30 steal seasons but nagging injuries for the 35-year-old journeyman have hurt his value. The foot injury that sidelined him last year is still an issue this spring. He is going 20 spots higher in most mixed league drafts than fellow teammate Rivera. If he gets a starting gig, boost his value. I think his best years are behind him.
DESIGNATED HITTER: EDWIN ENCARNACION ($8) – Encarnacion is eligible at third base. He is having a decent spring and has some sleeper value IF he is guaranteed playing time. He hit 21 HR in only 332 AB last year. He's going in late rounds in many drafts. This is a late round pick that can win you a league if it pans out. Worth taking a chance on.
Written exclusively for www.thefantasyfix.com by John Marino
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