For years fantasy baseball experts have been predicting the breakout of the Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion. We finally got it in 2012 when he scored 93 runs, hit 42 HR, and drove in 110 runs, while hitting .280, and swiping 13 bases. The man who is known as E5 because of his poor fielding at the hot corner, will now permanently reside at first base, and I guess what once was a clever nickname of E5, will now have to refer to the number of characters in his first name. Don’t expect E5 to put up the monster numbers he did in 2012, but look for 80 runs, 28 HR, 90 RBI, 6 SB, and a .273 AVG.
So what can we expect from the man who told the Wall Street Journal that he is overpaid and could be entering the declining years of his career? The New York Yankees Mark Teixeira used to be one of fantasy’s top options at first base. Not anymore, as it is known to more than just Teixeira that he is in decline. Look for Teixeira to put up 84 runs, 28 HR, 86 RBI, 2 SB, and a .258 AVG. Not bad numbers, but you are correct Mr. Teixeira you are overpaid.
The Boston Red Sox signed Mike Napoli this off season, and have come out and said that Napoli will only see time behind the plate in an emergency situation. Napoli will still have catcher eligibility in most fantasy leagues, but be wary of him, as a hip problem caused a multi year contract to be cut down to a one year deal with the Red Sox. If the Red Sox are that worried about his hip, you should be to. Look at what happened to Alex Rodriguez last season due to a hip problem, and as good as Napoli was two years ago, he never was as good as A-Rod. Look for Napoli to put up 71 runs, 24 HR, 73 RBI, 0 SB, and a .250 AVG should he make it through the season fully healthy.
The Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis finally put up the numbers in 2012 that had been long expected of him. It’s nice to finally see Davis’s numbers going up besides his strikeout totals. Expect 68 runs, 27 HR, 79 RBI, 3 SB, and a .265 AVG along with a ton of strikeouts in 2013.
The Tampa Bay Rays have one of the best front offices when it comes to developing prospects. Too bad that doesn’t translate to signing free agents. See: Carlos Pena signing last season. Oh yeah, and the signing of James Loney to play first this year. Loney should only be drafted in the deepest of leagues. Look for him to put up 50 runs, 8 HR, 59 RBI, 2 SB, and a .269 AVG. Those numbers won’t even win you a fantasy title out of your middle infielder, let alone your first baseman.
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