This year in the 2011 fantasy baseball season, it has been really tough to pick out more than just one plausible triple crown candidate. In the Fantasy baseball world, a triple crown player is of the utmost value to a manager trying to make a push for the fantasy baseball title. A player that leads the league in average, RBI and home runs, is a player that can lead your team to the playoffs and finals by himself, or at least play a huge role in doing so! In this list of triple crown threat(s), honorable mentions after Jose Bautista and Jay Bruce will be of no shortage.
#1 – OF, Jose Bautista/Toronto Blue Jays: On the AL side of things, Jose Bautista is the main threat right now to take the triple crown award and even MVP honors as well. Not only is he crushing and leading the league in home runs with 20, but he is also tied for 6th in the majors with 40 RBI, which is only six behind the league leader of 46 from Adrian Gonzalez and Jay Bruce. The madness doesn’t stop there. Bautista is batting .360, right behind the league leader in average, Matt Joyce, who is batting .361. There is no doubt right now that the triple crown award is well within Bautista’s reach, and seeing how he’s swinging the bat and also seeing the ball well, it might just finally happen since Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox did it in 1967, batting .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI—Go Jose Bautista!
#2 – OF, Jay Bruce/Cincinnati Reds: At this point in the season, Jay Bruce is my second candidate to make a push for the elusive triple crown, on the NL side of course. Bruce is tied for the league lead in RBI (46) with Adrian Gonzalez and tied for second in the league in home runs (17) with Curtis Granderson, which is only three dingers behind Jose Bautista. Jay Bruce is batting a very respectable .292 on the year, so he does have a shot.
OF, Curtis Granderson/New York Yankees: Though Granderson has already hit 17 homers, I doubt he keeps that pace up all year long with Jose Bautista. He is up there in RBI with 41, but batting second in the lineup will see to it that he doesn’t take the Major League Baseball RBI lead over the course of the season. And let’s not even go there with his average (.278). That will have to go way up to even begin to be considered for the triple crown list. He is powering many fantasy baseball mangers’ teams though, so he gets an honorable mention for his surprising home run totals at this point in the season.
1B, Mark Teixeira/ New York Yankees: Teixeira gets an honorable mention on this list because he has already hit 16 home runs while being known as a slow starter. He has 38 RBI and that number can change dramatically with only a couple swings of the bat and runners on base. His average, however, sits at a mere .257 and that is exactly why he is not a triple crown threat at this point in time.
OF, Matt Kemp/L.A. Dodgers: Matt Kemp would be another good triple crown candidate. Kemp has 13 tag shots on the year to go along with 40 RBI and a .306 average. Of the honorable mentions, Matt Kemp is one of the stronger candidates to push for the triple crown, considering how well he is doing in all three of the triple crown categories. If he can somehow put together a home run surge, I will have to update this list rather quickly, and move him up to where Jose Bautista and Jay Bruce currently rest!
OF, Ryan Braun/Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun is much of the same story with Matt Kemp–12 homers on the year, 40 RBI and a .306 average. If Brauny can somehow pick up the home run pace with runners on base, and get an uptick in batting average, he too can make himself a strong candidate to take the award.
1B, Paul Konerko/Chicago White Sox: And last, but certainly not least, Paul Konerko is showing that he still has what it takes to make these kinds of positive lists. Konerko has 12 homers with 44 RBI and a .310 average. Paul Konerko is also in the same predicament with Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp—needs a home run surge with runners on base to take care of RBI, and then needs to see an uptick in batting average, while at the same time hoping Jose Bautista decides to come back down to earth at some point before the regular season comes to an end!
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