If you are a fantasy owner of either Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista and were wondering if they are indeed keepers, the answer is now a definitive yes, and we have the Miami Marlins to thank for that.
In case you’ve been under a rock, read the trade that was broken by Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonafacio, and John Buck are headed to Toronto. Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, Jacob Marisnick, Jeff Mathis, and Anthony DeSclafani are all Marlins.
Jose Bautista on the other hand is quite happy.
It’s also a good day to be fantasy owner of Encarnacion or Bautista. In the coming days, we’re going to explore this from many different angles. Right now, we’re going to look at Encarnacion and Stanton to see just how much better off they are now. Let’s do it.
I’m guessing he’s going to be batting cleanup in the Toronto order. Let’s look at the three hitters that will be in front of him.
- Reyes – A .291 career hitter with a .342 career OBP.
- Bonifacio – A .267 career hitter with a . 330 career OBP.
- Bautista – A .253 career hitter with a .362 career OBP.
What that will mean for Encarnacion is a lot of RBI and with that, a lot of RBI. When you consider that he already drove in 110 runs in 2012, the 2013 totals can be pretty exceptional.
I will grant that 2012 was something of a standout season for Encarnacion with 93 runs, 42 RBI, and 110 RBI. His previous career highs in those categories were 75, 26, and 76. Since he’ll be 30 on Opening Day next year, it’s a little hard to believe that those kind of numbers will come again, right? Wrong!
The only fear at this point with Encarnacion is whether or not he, Reyes, Bonafacio, and Bautista will play a full year, as injuries are a part of all of their pasts. It’s something to consider, but if Encarnacion plays even 140 games in 2013, you’ll be happy to have him on your fantasy team.
Another issue is that as a first basemen, there are plenty of other good ones in the majors, like Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, and Joey Votto, just to name a few. But here’s the problem with that theory. If you’re thinking about keeping Encarnacion, you’re probably in a league where those guys aren’t going to be available in the draft.
As for the pitches Encarnacion will see, he’s going to have some pretty good hitters behind him in Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie. Both are young and emerging and will give Encarnacion more than adequate protection.
Dixon’s Early Projection Range for Encarnacion
|Best Case Scenario||151||515||101||43||110||15||.299|
|Worst Case Scenario||134||545||79||24||76||7||.245|
Do you remember when I said that Stanton would be a more valuable fantasy player in 2013 than Bautista? I may have to take that back now, because I wasn’t exactly anticipating this.
Everything that applied to Encarnacion applies to Bautista as well, except that Bautista will likely have Encarnacion as additional protection. Also, as funny as this may sound, Bautista isn’t going to have many RBI chances taken away by Bonifacio clearing the bases right in front of him with a home run. That will happen to Encarnacion on occasion with Bautista in front of him.
The question with Bautista is, will he stay healthy? Coming off of a hand injury in 2012, that’s not an insignificant concern for a slugger. But I also wonder about this. How many games would Bautista have missed last year if his team was a contender? The Blue Jays were certainly in no hurry to get him back on the field and risk a greater injury. With this trade, the Blue Jays should at the least be a contender for an American League Wild Card spot all season long.
If Bautista’s on the field, he’s going to be a run producing machine. He’s not a great average hitter, but I don’t think he’ll be lagging in that category. The power numbers will be there and right now, he’s slightly above Albert Pujols as my favorite for the American League RBI champ for 2013. His fantasy owners everywhere will love this trade.
Dixon’s Early Projection Range for Bautista
|Best Case Scenario||166||545||114||51||149||10||.305|
|Worst Case Scenario||123||475||86||28||82||3||.259|