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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Confidence in Jose Bautista

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One of the most frequently asked questions during the offseason was whether or not Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista could duplicate, or come close to, his 2010 season which saw him hit .260-.378-.617 with 54 home runs, 124 RBIs and 109 runs scored.

Some fantasy writers don't think he can repeat his 2010 season, and I am in that camp. But, with that said, I do think he can eclipse 30 home runs this season. Expecting Bautista to hit 50+ home runs again is a little far-fetched in the eyes of fantasy owners.

Prior to the 2010 season, Bautista never hit more than 16 home runs in any one season, and never drove in more than 63 runs. But in 2010, he more than doubled his career high home run production, and almost doubled his career high in RBIs. How did he accomplish that?

Well, in 2009, Bautista worked to change his swing, which allowed him to pull the ball more. After hitting just 3 home runs all year, Bautista hit 10 home runs in the month of September. Fantasy owners can't put too much faith in one month of stats, but those owners who did were rewarded in a big way.

In 2010, Bautista hit 11 or more home runs in 4 of the 6 months of the season. Coming into 2011, Bautista was ranked much higher in pre-season rankings than he ever has. Some think his 2010 season was his career year. All you have to look at is guys like Brady Anderson who came out of nowhere to hit 50+ home runs back in the 90's, to scare you away from Bautista.

Bautista has already hit 2 home runs this season, but has missed a few games to be with his family for the birth of a child.

My question to Fake Team readers is: how confident are you that Bautista can hit 30+ home runs in 2011?