The Top 5 Fantasy Blue Jays: The Same New Look…For Now

J. Meric

While there’s talk that the Blue Jays could/would trade Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes or even Edwin Encarnacion and have interest in Gordon Beckham, here’s a look into their top 5 fantasy assets as is in order...

The top 5 Fantasy Blue Jays: The Same New Look Toronto Blue Jays…For Now

It was supposed to be an exciting 2013 with the acquisitions of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck (sent to the Mets) and Emilio Bonifacio (now on the Royals) from the Marlins and R.A. Dickey among others from the Mets.

Instead, they finished in dead last of the AL East behind the bounce-back World Series champions, Wild Card Rays, Crush Davis’ Orioles and naturally the New York Yankees…imagine me saying "Hanging ‘round, Hanging ‘round" like Teddy KGB from Rounders.

Despite losing top notch pitching prospects Justin Nicolino (MIA) and Noah Syndergaard (NYM) in addition to IF Adeiny Hechavarria, top-catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud and supplement P Prospect Anthony DeSclafani among others, they still have 3-6 translatable pitching prospects heading up their farm system.

For a better in-depth fantasy perspective into their farm system as is, check out This Post by the Fake Teams Prospect Staff…all must follows on Twitter:

Jason Hunt (@jasonsbaseball)
Andrew Ball (@andrew_ball)
Brian Creagh (@briancreagh)
Kevin Nielsen (@kevinnielsenmlb)

…Along with Ray @faketeams

While there’s talk that the Blue Jays could/would trade Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes or even Edwin Encarnacion and have interest in Gordon Beckham, here’s a look into their top 5 fantasy assets as is in order:

1. Edwin Encarnacion

2. Jose Reyes

3. Jose Bautista

4. Brett Lawrie

5. Casey Janssen

…Don’t stop here…

Let’s take a look at the 2014 Rotobanter projections for the above and others from the Jays that you should consider:

G

AB

AVG

HR

SB

R

RBI

Ct%

BB/K

HR/FB%

GB/FB

LD%

BABIP

xBABIP

BABIPdiff

EE

152

559

0.2712

36

8

95

113

0.8424

1.06

0.1725

0.84

0.190

0.2614

0.3050

-0.0435

Reyes

140

569

0.2948

12

27

88

57

0.8978

0.89

0.0720

1.45

0.218

0.3071

0.3246

-0.0175

Bautista

128

478

0.2556

30

7

84

83

0.8107

0.83

0.1780

0.91

0.160

0.2563

0.2710

-0.0147

Lawrie

130

482

0.2735

15

11

58

64

0.8248

0.48

0.1075

1.29

0.183

0.3002

0.3203

-0.0201

G

AB

AVG

HR

SB

R

RBI

Ct%

BB/K

HR/FB%

GB/FB

LD%

BABIP

xBABIP

BABIPdiff

Rasmus

140

479

0.2469

27

1

66

77

0.7101

0.35

0.1740

0.73

0.204

0.2873

0.3035

-0.0163

Lind

135

440

0.2565

19

0

58

60

0.7786

0.49

0.1650

1.42

0.200

0.2873

0.3204

-0.0331

Melky

101

399

0.2761

6

9

54

43

0.8605

0.50

0.0540

1.54

0.208

0.3065

0.3218

-0.0153

For projections prior to the 2014 Fake Teams projections launch, send me requests on Rotobanter.com. Our full list will be available in January. I can customize the ranking and associated $ values based on your league type and scoring.

My pitching projections are not yet complete, so here is the Rotochamp’s projection for Casey Janssen:

W

Sv

ERA

WHIP

K

Casey Janssen

3

34

3

1

58

Here are notes for each player. I highlighted the peripherals/ratios and 5x5 stats that are mentioned in the above matrices:

1) Edwin Encarnacion - BABIP only thing keeping him from top 5


a. Eligibility: EE played 10 games at 3b last year. If he’s 3b eligible in your league than I would project him to be the 6th most valuable asset in 2014. As a 1b, he comes in at #10. That’s not necessarily where I would draft him, but that’s what his output should provide up to $29 if you’re in a 25 man league meaning approximately 176 hitters are drafted

b. Elite BB/K and GB/FB ratios: I’m projecting EE to have the 5th best BB/K ratio (1.06) and 18th best GB/FB ratio (0.84) which bodes extremely well for a power hitter. For context, last year he had the 3rd best BB/K ratio after Aoki and Scutaro and 15th ‘best’ GB/FB ratio.

c. BABIP: The only thing keeping EE from being top 4 value is his consistently low BABIP. Based on his hit expectancy and BIP data I am projecting a positive regression to .2614 (it was .247 last year) so between this and his BB/K ratio we should see a .271/.272 avg. as a worse-case scenario. The BABIP differential (expected BABIP – actualBABIP) that I highlighted above is the 20th biggest BABIP differential I’m projecting next year further validating a lower than expected overall BABIP.

2) Jose Reyes - If he stays on the field, he stays in the top 20

a. In a 140+ games, there’s no reason not to expect 10+HR/25SB and 85+R/55+RBI and beyond meaning top 15 value with the 20th best contact for 2014 (90%) leading to a .295 avg.

b. If he does somehow get traded, I hope it’s back to the Mets ;

3) Jose Bautista - GB% and BB% getting back to pre-breakout levels. Balls in Play breakdown and at-bat total could prevent more than a 25-80-80-5 line

a. Injury Concerns: The contingency here is his AB total. In 2012, he only played in 92 games and last year it totaled 118. The above projection is based on 128 games/478 At-bats, which should ensure 30 HR and 80/80, but…

b. Balls in Play: His infield fly ball percentage (IFFB%) and bad-trending groundball rate (especially if his flyball percentage also continues to drop) could impede on such a HR total, but let’s hope the GB/FB rebounds without affecting his linedrive percentage/BABIP which would cause a avg. closer to .240 like 2012 (.215 BABIP and 13.6% LD rate).*Just keep in mind that his GB% and BB% is back to pre-breakout levels.

4) Brett Lawrie – He’ll meet expectations, but probably not yet this year due to GB/FB ratio

a. GB/FB & Age – At only 24, we could see another big skill jump. The last 2 years, his GB/FB exceeded 1.42. I projected 1.29 next year which is probably too kind. When I watch him, he hits the ball hard, and I think a lot of the groundballs will turn into line drives next year which could elevate his babip yielding an avg. closer to .290.

b. Staying on the field – like Bautista, Lawries AB total might prevent more Runs Produced. I don’t think a line of 20HR/15SB and 65R/75RBI would be out of hand at all. I just can’t draft that assumption yet. I’d still consider Lawrie a 4th tier 3b at this point:


Avg

HR

SB

R

RBI

Miguel Cabrera

0.3251

38

2

106

128

Adrian Beltre

0.3021

27

1

83

87

Evan Longoria

0.2737

32

2

80

94

Ryan Zimmerman

0.2792

25

4

83

90

Josh Donaldson

0.2795

23

4

83

91

Kyle Seager

0.2661

24

9

86

76

David Wright

0.2927

17

14

72

70

Pedro Alvarez

0.2460

34

1

67

95

Manny Machado

0.2809

16

6

78

67

Brett Lawrie

0.2737

20

12

64

71

Will Middlebrooks

0.2576

25

5

69

76

Pablo Sandoval

0.2807

16

1

64

82

Nolan Arenado

0.2762

14

2

66

72

Matt Dominguez

0.2544

22

0

59

79

Chase Headley

0.2602

15

7

64

67

Aramis Ramirez

0.2767

16

0

57

66

Alex Rodriguez

0.2523

19

9

60

56

Chris Johnson

0.2837

11

0

53

66

5) Casey Janssen – unless there’s a bad luck chain of games where he blows it, the CL job is safely his

a. Trifecta: The K/BB ratio approaching 4.0; 1.5 GB/FB ratio and expected ERA’s (SIERA/xFIP) that back up his surface ERA all point to continued success

b. BABIP/FB%: Two years running sub .255 BABIP and a HR/FB ratio with a sub 30% FB-rate will help keep the balls in the year and runners stranded.

c. Continued CL Success: He now has more CL success under the belt converting 34 of 36 saves last year dismissing all Delabar/Santos concerns. I don’t love projecting saves, and on the surface it seemed like there was less turnover than usual last year. I’d be comfortable making him my #1 closer (assuming others reach for the elite closers sooner than I’m ready to)

Dan Schwartz (@Rotobanter on twitter) owns Rotobanter.com - dedicated to your fantasy baseball requests and live discussions. He developed Rotobanter MAPPS's (Manual Approach Play Projections), which you can learn about through his 2014 projections, positional tiers and prospect impact pages.

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