Monday, April 2, 2012

Blue Jays – From a Fantasy Baseball Perspective

Can the Toronto Blue Jays finally play meaningful ball in September?  This will probably be the year.  Could they win 90 games?  If they played in any other division, then yes, but since they don’t, they will probably win 85 or so.  It’s fun to talk about how the team will do in 2012; it’s been exciting this spring training.  What if we were to look at each position and break down how they stack up against other teams, you know for fantasy baseball purposes. 

I have been playing fantasy baseball for over 10 years now and have loved every minute of it.  this is the first season in a while where I am putting trades out there where I am trying to purposefully trade for Blue Jay players.  There are a few who are valuable for fantasy teams, and will help Toronto get to 85 wins in 2012 as well.  Below is a breakdown of each position, with projected stats, and how they rank against others at that position

C – JP Arencibia – I still can’t believe the guy hit 23 HR and 78 RBI’s in his rookie season.  He should put up similar numbers in 2012, and I actually have him and the majors 8th best catcher.  2012 – 60-25-80. 

1B – Adam Lind – I would love to have his 2009 numbers where he hit 35 HR and 114 RBI’s.  He has the ability to do that again, but injuries stand in his way.  He could be one of the top-15 fantasy first basemen.  2012 – 80-30-90.

2B – Kelly Johnson – is one year removed from 93 runs and 26 HR’s.  He could bat either 1st, 2nd or 6th and steals bases as well.  His value is flying under the radar as a top 10 2B in 2012.  2012 – 85-25-75-15.

SS – Yunel Escobar – 2009 was also a good year for Yunel.  SS is traditionally a weak position offensively, and Yunel’s spot in the order, is primed for another solid season.  He could be a top 12 SS offensively at the end of 2012.  2012 – 90-15-70-5.

3B – Brett Lawrie – it’s a surprise to see he is only 21.  This is the type of player you build a team around.  Who is Shawn Marcum again?  His rankings at 3B are skewed only because of his teammate – Jose Bautista, who also qualifies at 3B in 2012 for some reason.  He will finish as a top 10 3B in baseball.  2012 – 90-30-90-15.

LF – Eric Thames – wants us to all remember he is only 25 as well.  Last year he began the season in the minors.  In his first full season, he could put up good numbers in the #7 slot in the batting order, and will be in the top 100 for outfielders.  2012 – 65-20-60.

CF – Colby Rasmus – he also is only 25.  Even though there is some negativity surrounding him, he had a great  2010.  He has potential for a great season, with everything behind him now.  He should be a top 50 OF but could be much higher.  2012 - 85-25-80-15. 

RF - Jose Bautista – is one of the best players in all of baseball.  I have him down as the 3rd best OF in baseball behind Kemp and Braun.  I took him ahead of Pujols in one mock draft a week ago.  2012 – 105-45-110-10. 

DH – Edwin Encarnacion – like Lind and Johnson is a question mark but could produce this year.  He needs to put up great numbers if the Blue Jays have hopes of improving on their 81 wins from last year.  Most teams have had more production from their DH who make the playoffs.  2012 – 70-20-75-10. 

Bench – Rajai Davis will steal 40 this year in a limited role.
Pitching Staff
  1. Ricky Romero – the Ace of the staff has come a long way from the emotional rookie who learned how to be a big leaguer from Roy Halladay.  He has won 14 games on average over the past 3 seasons.  2012 – 16-9 185 K’s. 
  2. Brandon Morrow is doing things right this spring.  He has allowed just 1 ER and John Farrell has predicted big things from Morrow in what he calls his 3rd season as a starter.  I expect big things from him this year.  2012 – 14-12 215 K’s.    
  3. Henderson Alvarez – is like Lawrie in that he is only 21.  It is hard to believe when you see him pitch a game; he is what they call mature beyond his age.  2012 – 12-9 150 K’s. 
  4. Dustin McGowan just resigned another great deal for Toronto.  He is the big question mark heading into 2012.  He has the stuff to win 15 games, but might not win 5.  He is 30 now and no one really knows what 2012 will bring, but anything will be a plus.  2012 – 8-10 120 K’s. 
  5. Brett Cecil – is can be hard to believe that he won 15 games in 2010.  He fell off the map last year and is needed to have a great season if the Jays will move ahead in the standings this year.  Again, who knows what 2012 will bring?  2012 – 12-11 130K’s. 
  6. Kyle Drabek – is on this list because he has looked good all spring and will begin by spelling McGowan who is on the DL.  He like McGowan has the stuff to win 15 games, but is only 24.  He is on the upswing.  2012 – 7-5 80K’s. 
Closer – Sergio Santos – besides having the best contract in all of baseball, was one of the biggest suprises all off-season.  He is a converted SS and was a former Jays prospect.  I am glad to have him back, that’s for sure.  2012 – 35 saves, 95 K’s.  He could end up being a top 3 closer in the AL. 

The Blue Jays have at least 10 guys now who are reasonable fantasy players.  There are only 4 real question marks, offensively in 2012.  Could the Jays win 90 games?  They will need more than a few things to go their way.  But this is one year where they will have a few players on their roster put up some good stats.  Whether you’re watching the Blue Jays for the wins, for fantasy purposes, or for both, 2012 will be a fun year.

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