2013 Fantasy Baseball: Emilio Bonifacio a Viable Replacement for Jose Reyes

By Rich Arleo
Emilio Bonifacio - Toronto Blue Jays
Kim Klement – USA Today Sports

Fantasy baseball owners of Toronto Blue Jays SS Jose Reyes knew they were taking a risk when drafting the oft-injured star and it took less than two weeks for those concerns to become a reality.

Reyes was carted off the field after an awkward slide Friday night and he is expected to miss 3 months. The loss is a tough one, but many Reyes owners likely grabbed a valuable backup just in case this situation arose.

Fantasy managers also have some options on the waiver wire to turn to. Everth Cabrera is available in over 20-percent of ESPN leagues and can provide speed, but he is a drain on all other categories. Stephen Drew is healthy (for now) and is owned in just over 5 percent of ESPN and 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The 30-year-old is just two years removed from a production season. Another interesting option is the guy the Blue Jays themselves will turn to at shortstop: Emilio Bonifacio.

Bonifacio, known for his speed, had been seeing time in the outfield and at second base, but he was moved to short after Reyes left and will now man that position full time for the Jays. The 27-year-old has stolen 110 bases in five seasons in the majors. He was off to a torrid pace last season with the Miami Marlins and stole his first 20 bags safely before injuring his thumb. He returned mid-July and stole a few more before his season ended for good at the start of August.

He hasn’t stolen a base yet but this season but is bound to get it going and is coming off a 2-for-4 game with two runs and his second and third RBI of the season. He can provide plenty of speed and runs and also hit .296 in a full season in 2011, so he likely won’t be a drain on your average either like other speedy options. Bonifacio is currently owned in just over 30 percent of ESPN leagues and will shortly earn eligibility at shortstop. He is also eligible in the outfield and even second base in some leagues, which adds to his value. Those who lost Reyes may want to just follow in the Jays’ footsteps and replace him with Bonifacio.

Rich Arleo is a fantasy sports expert with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Rarleo, ‘Like’ him on Facebook and add him to your networks on Google.

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