When considering options for your fantasy baseball team, it is never a good idea to be a “homer”. In other words, be very careful about selecting players from your favorite team just because you follow them and would like to see them on your fantasy roster. My favorite team is the Toronto Blue Jays. Always has been. Always will be. However, I will never let my allegiance get in the way of winning my fantasy baseball league. Neither should you. That being said, it is worth a look at a few prominent Blue Jays and their potential fantasy impact in 2012. Some you will want to grab, others you’ll want to avoid.
Jose Bautista (OF/3B) –
It’s not just his multiple position eligibility that makes Bautista so valuable (although, it certainly doesn’t hurt!). Since overhauling his plate mechanics in late 2009, “Joey Bats” has become the most feared slugger since Barry Bonds. He is a leader in the clubhouse, on the field and on fantasy rosters across North America. A dip in production in the second half is a little worrisome but the Jays’ slugger remains top ten material on draft day. If he ever got any help in the line up, look out.
Brett Lawrie (3B) –
Call me pessimistic but I am a little concerned with the degree that so many fantasy owners have jumped all over Lawrie this season. With only 150 big league at bats to his name, Lawrie is being drafted like a 10-year veteran in some leagues. I for one would advise a little more caution at this stage of his career. There is no doubt that he is a special talent but he has shown a knack for being injury-prone at times and until he makes his way through the league a second time, I am reserving judgement. Ask me again in July. Until then, I am playing it safe and letting Lawrie go to another owner in the early rounds.
J.P. Arencibia (C) –
You’ll take the power (23 bombs and 78 RBI as a rookie) but that batting average (.219) and propensity to whiff make him the Mark Reynolds of the catcher set. With Travis d’Arnaud nipping at his heels, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arencibia the subject of trade rumors as early as this season. If you shore up batting average at another position, grab him for the home runs.
Sergio Santos (RP) –
I’m not letting the signing of Francisco Cordero worry me. I’m pegging Santos as a top ten closer in baseball for 2012. Cordero has been brutal lately and is around for his experience and will act as an insurance policy. Santos should be given every opportunity to succeed. Originally drafted as a shortstop, Santos is really coming into his own as a pitcher and should be dynamite in 2012.
Ricky Romero (SP) –
Sure, I’m a Jays fan but I know a number one, “ace” starter when I see one and Ricky doesn’t fit the bill. He has improved recently but a lack of command and a weakness for the big inning knock Romero down a few pegs in my book. There are safer bets at the draft table.
Brandon Morrow (SP) –
Morrow scares me more than just a little. We’ve seen this act in Toronto before and he was called A.J. Burnett. All the talent in the world with poor results. If you are in love with the strikeouts, by all means pick him up. However, you had better load up on the Tums if you want to watch him pitch. Also, say goodbye to any chances you may have at the WHIP and ERA categories while you are at it.
Another Jay to consider is Henderson Alvarez (SP) but he may be a few years from contributing anything of value in fantasy. Other jays to avoid include Colby Rasmus, Travis Snider and Brett Cecil. You’ll be better off with safer picks on draft day. Let other owners pray that these players will come through on their potential.
Just because you are a “homer” doesn’t mean you can’t call them as you see them. Fan or not, when it comes to fantasy baseball, the only allegiance you should have is to winning your league.
* Brett Lawrie photo by Keith Allison (Flickr: Brett Lawrie) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons* Ricky Romero photo by Keith Allison [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons