The Fantasy Side of the 2010 Jays Hitters

Before the season gets under way, I thought it would be interesting to see what fantasy baseball values exist on the Jays and to analyze whether that has any implications for the real 2010 story.

The Jays lineup is predicted to be as listed below. Predicted stats (from CBS) and average draft position (also from CBS) are added beside each name:

  1. Jose Bautista 3B (drafted outside top 400 on average) 372 AB, 93 hits, 14 HRs, 50 RBI, .250 average, .338 OBP, .408 SLG
  2. Aaron Hill 2B (drafted 48th on average) 599 AB, 171 hits, 29 HRs, 106 RBI, .285 average, .337 OBP, .500 SLG
  3. Adam Lind DH (drafted 49th on average) 600 AB, 172 hits, 33 HRs, 114 RBI, .286 average, .367 OBP, .501 SLG
  4. Vernon Wells CF (drafted 186th on average) 546 AB, 153 hits, 17 HRs, 80 RBI, .280 average, .316 OBP, .468 SLG
  5. Edwin Encarnacion 3B (drafted 352nd on average) 500 AB, 130 hits, 22 HRs, 70 RBI, .260 average, .341 OBP, .448 SLG
  6. Lyle Overbay 1B (drafted outside top 400 on average) 477 AB, 133 hits, 15 HRs, 60 RBI, .278 average, .371 OBP, .450 SLG
  7. John Buck C (drafted 337th on average) 412 AB, 97 hits, 15 HRs, 55 RBI, .235 average, .298 OBP, .407 SLG
  8. Travis Snider RF (drafted 304th on average) 473 AB, 126 hits, 21 HRs, 67 RBI, .266 average, .331 OBP, .471 SLG
  9. Alex Gonzalez SS (drafted outside top 400 on average) 401 AB, 99 hits, 12 HRs, 49 RBI, .249 average, .286 OBP, .404 SLG

None of the bench guys that the Jays could have on board this season have been drafting in the top 400.

Sifting through the information CBS gives us on the subject, I can automatically notice 2 things: Travis Snider is more valued by CBS than by the Blue Jays because if the Jays believed this he wouldn’t be hitting 8th or 9th, and Lyle Overbay would make a better lead off guy than Jose Bautista due to his highest OBP on the team.  Neither really gives the Jays speed, so what’s the difference? Why not have Lyle Overbay leading off? Two more things you can take from this is that they don’t give much of a chance to Vernon Wells for rebounding with a strong season, and they also expect Edwin Encarnacion to regain part of his power and potential. I don’t agree with either, mainly because I believe Wells will bounce back with 25 HRs and Edwin’s power will be sapped by wrist problems.

It is interesting to me that Randy Ruiz got no love at all on CBS, but skeptics are right to worry that his 2009 performance was a 1 time thing and he qualifies at a very deep position, so it’s understandable.

Jays Fantasy Wild Cards:

  • JP Arencibia C – he could be called up mid season and have a serious impact on the catcher position;
  • Mike McCoy Utility – could wind up stealing 20-40 bases depending on how often he is used and whether he breaks with the team or not while also giving you position flexibility, great average, and even better OBP;
  • Randy Ruiz 1B/DH – he could give you 15-20+ HRs in a limited role and should be 1B qualified early on in the season; and
  • Brett Wallace - a must have if you have minor league space or even an underused bench spot. He’ll be 3B and 1B eligible by the time he has 2 weeks in the majors and could provide Ryan Braun‘s rookie season type stats.

So overall, I would say that the Jays have a few interesting guys that can boost your chances in terms of winning your fantasy league. Aaron Hill is a top 3 second baseman that should go in the first 3 rounds in most leagues, while Adam Lind‘s power potential makes him a top 5 round guy to be sure. After these 2 studs, I’d list Jays hitters in the following order in terms of value:

Travis Snider, Vernon Wells, Brett Wallace, JP Arencibia, Randy Ruiz, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, John Buck, Mike McCoy, Lyle Overbay, and Alex Gonzalez. Anyone not on this list, and possibly the last 3 on it, should not be taken unless you are in an especially deep league.

Best Value for your buck: Travis Snider

Best Late Pick: Randy Ruiz

Best Pick for the Future: Brett Wallace

Sleeper: JP Arencibia and Mike McCoy, as both could outperform any expectations, but both require a deep bench

Deep Sleeper: Adeiny Hechevarria – who could be called upon once the deal is finalized and if Alex Gonzalez is traded before the deadline (as expected). Hit bat and speed could play extremely well at the position and in all fantasy formats.

Final word of advice – go with the guys you can cheer for, because then even when you lose, you win. I took Adam Lind over others last year for that reason and he didn’t let me down. If you want to take Snider early because you’re a big fan, then do it. There’s nothing worst than drafting Milton Bradley instead because he may hit .320 and to end up being disappointed twice – once because he’s not someone most people cheer for, and twice because he’ll most likely under-perform. Draft who you like most, as long as value and potential are comparable of course, and you’ll never be disappointed!

Good luck in your 2010 Fantasy Leagues.

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