Toronto Blue Jays Hitters: 2015 Team Preview

Sep 14, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) hits home run against Tampa Bay Rays in the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Tampa Bay won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

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About half of the Blue Jays lineup will be on fantasy teams, but my interest in Toronto Blue Jays hitters sharply drops off after the top three options.  Both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are first round picks and Josh Donaldson is a top 30 player in my eyes.

Edwin Encarnacion will probably go around seventh or eighth overall and he has averaged 37 homers in the past three years.  Nelson Cruz led the league last year with 40 homers.  Even though he is 32 and has never played more than 151 games in a career dating back to 2005, Encarnacion is the premier power hitter in the American League.  As you can read here, I think he is pretty remarkable.

I think Jose Bautista’s 30 homer projection may actually be a bit too conservative, but he is also an age and injury risk.  However, I think Bautista carries extra value in OBP and OPS leagues because of his elite walk rate.  In 2014, Jose Bautista had a 15.5% BB%, which only trailed Carlos Santana’s 17.1% walk rate.

Donaldson is one of the best third basemen in the Majors and he should go in the third round.  Anthony Rendon is a better option at the hot corner, but Josh Donaldson only otherwise slightly trails Adrian Beltre at his position.  A 3B with 25-30 HR power is a tremendous asset and Tanner’s projections give Josh Donaldson similar numbers to Jose Bautista.

I have already expressed my opinions about Jose Reyes here.  Do not draft him.  I will be let down if you do.

The Michael Saunders projection has me very intrigued, but he always seems to be injured.  However, he may have some streaming appeal, especially since Saunders moved from Seattle to Toronto.

While Colby Rasmus may not be with the Toronto Blue Jays next season, he still has intriguing power because he can absolutely crush the ball.  In his six-year MLB career, Colby Rasmus has 116 career home runs.  If you can stomach the low average, then Rasmus is a solid bench bat.

Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post.  You can read about how he develops his projections here.  His projections are invaluable to this site.  You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.