Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Team Preview - Toronto Blue Jays
Jason's Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Team Preview - Toronto Blue Jays
March 10, 2014
Team Preview - Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays were one of the bigger disappointments last year as they were a favorite to win their division and instead they finished in last place. The Blue Jays did not make any big free agent moves this offseason, so their team is basically the same as last year. While the pitching on this roster is very suspect, the Blue Jays have some of the biggest bats in baseball and that is great for fantasy owners.
Can't Miss Picks: Edwin Encarnacion has finally emerged as one of the best hitters in baseball and fantasy owners should feel very happy to draft him in the first round this year. Encarnacion is one of the few power hitters that does not strike out a lot and that makes him worth even more in points leagues that punish hitters for striking out. The only risk with Encarnacion is the fact he is recovering from wrist surgery, but he has performed very well so far this spring and that should be enough evidence to remove any doubt from fantasy owners.
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Sleepers and Value Picks: Jose Bautista is a player that has suffered some unusual injuries over the past two seasons and those injuries have driven down his fantasy stock. Bautista is still one of the best power hitters in the game, and he can be an absolute beast at the plate. Right now Bautista is going in the 3rd round on average and that is great value for a player with the potential to lead the majors in home runs. Bautista is having a very strong spring and that could increase his draft price, but for now he represents great value.
Breakouts: Brett Lawrie has been a hyped fantasy player for two seasons now, but he has not lived up to expectations. Despite the slow start to his career, there is reason to believe that Lawrie is ready to put it all together for a full and productive season. Lawrie played very well last year after the all-star break as he hit .283 with a .763 OPS. Fantasy owners have been expecting higher power numbers and steals from Lawrie, but he is only 24 and that means he is still maturing as a player. Lawrie needs to the stay healthy all year and then he will be able to have his breakout season.
Busts: R.A Dickery should have a big sign around his neck that says "buyer beware" because he has not been able to handle the big offenses of the AL East. Dickey's biggest problem has been that his knuckleball has lost some velocity and therefore it has lost its effectiveness. The other problem is that Dickey has been suffering from back pain, and at 39 years of age, that is a big concern for fantasy owners. Dickey will not be able to regain his former knuckleball velocity with a sore back and that means Dickey will have a hard time getting batters out. Dickey did rebound a little in the second half of last season, but with the depth of starting pitching this season, fantasy owners should pass on the risk of an aging knuckleballer and gamble on one of the many young pitching prospects.
Bounce Back Candidates: Jose Reyes is the definition of an injury risk player, but his upside is still worth the gamble. In fairness to Reyes, he keeps finishing as a top 5 shortstop even if he only plays in 130 games, and that is because he represents a combo of power and speed from one of the thinnest positions in fantasy. The ankle injury that Reyes suffered last season happened on an unusual play and it should not hinder him this season. Reyes is still only 30 years old, and fantasy owners should anticipate a rebound year from the Blue Jays shortstop.
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