2012 Fantasy Baseball: Bounce Backs vs Duds

Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford was the biggest disappointment in the 2011 fantasy baseball season.

Carl Crawford was drafted in the first round in the majority of fantasy baseball leagues last year, only to be the biggest disappointment in baseball.  He had a career worst of runs scored, stolen bases, batting average, and on base percentage.  Crawford collapsed under the high pressure of producing in Fenway Park and was eventually moved to the back of the order.  His stolen bases were a career low due solely to the fact that he hit 7th in the batting order behind David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis.  Looking at how he swung the bat later in the season would suggest that a bounce back season is coming. I would expect his average to hover around .290 and see a few more stolen bases since he will be on base more.  Unless Valentine moves him up the batting order, do not expect another 100 runs or 100 runs batted in season.

Will Mark Teixeira ever hit again like he did before coming to the Yankees?  His batting average has done nothing but drop since moving to the fierce city and slowly lowering his fantasy value.  When he played for the Rangers, he was consistently in the top five first basemen in batting average.  Over the last two seasons Mark has been hitting around .250 and had a significant drop in doubles. This is a bad news for a player whose position is the deepest in baseball.  I do not expect Teixeira’ s batting average to change,  so expect at least 7 or 8 first basemen to be drafted ahead of him.

Martin Prado came out of nowhere in 2009 to hit for over .300 and scored 100 runs in 2010.  That quickly changed for the 2011 season where he barely hit .260 and became a mere average fantasy player.  I feel like Prado will return to the .300 line, but he will never be able to steal bases or drive in many runs, he is best suited for a good player off your bench.

Ubaldo Jimenez

Ubaldo looks to return to his old self in the 2012 season.

Ubaldo Jimenez went from one of the top starting pitchers in baseball to having a terrible ERA of 4.68.  He was just awful, gave up a career high in home runs and appeared to be exhausted in many of his starts towards the end of the season.  I predict that he will have a bounce back season in 2012, potentially landing the Indians in the playoffs.

Ryan Dempster has progressively gotten a little worse each season since 2008.  Dempster looked like the Cubs franchise did last year, which was extremely subpar for their high payroll.  Dempster has dud written all over him.  This season will most likely be similar to his mediocre 4.80 ERA and more losses than wins.

Jose Bautista became a hero last year as he repeated his dominance of smacking home runs.  He also had a rare hike in batting average.  He never hit above .260 in his career till last year where it was just over the .300 mark.  I think Bautista will continue to hit homers and knock in runners, but last season’s batting average has dud written all over it.

Joe Mauer was expected to be the top catcher in baseball heading into the 2011 season.  His season was derailed by injury and fatigued knees.  With a whole offseason to rest, I would expect Mauer to return with the motivation to prove any doubters wrong.

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