Feb 24, 2014; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays

Fantasy Baseball: Is Jose Bautista overvalued?

Chicks dig the long ball.

If that saying is true, Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista has likely done very well with the ladies over the past few years.

Feb 26, 2014; Clearwater, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) rounds third base after hitting a home run in the first inning off of Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez (not pictured) in a spring training exhibition game at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

However chicks aren’t the only ones who dig the long ball. Fantasy Baseball owners do as well, almost a little too much as they can fall in love with home runs so much that they can overvalue players in a big way.

Bautista could be one of those guys that is a bit overvalued based on the long ball.

When he’s smacking balls out of the park at an insane rate, there’s no denying that he is one of the top fantasy options in the game. That was the case in 2010 and 2011 where Bautista hit 54 and 43 home runs respectively.

But while he has been drafted among the top sluggers in the game the past couple of years, Bautista has hit only 55 bombs combined during the past two seasons.

With Bautista some of his struggles were due to his hip injury rather than his age.

So what should you expect from Bautista in 2014?

I would expect some good results but at the same time would also proceed with caution.

His ADP of 34 is a bit of a risk for my taste as I don’t know if I can pull the trigger on him in the third round, but if I could get him a round later I may be more inclined.

What I do like is the fact that his contact rate improved from around 80 percent in 2010-2012 to almost 84 percent in 2013. That typically doesn’t happen as players’ age as the trend tends to go in the opposite direction.

More good news is that he looks good so far this spring, having hit a pair of homers already.

However don’t fall in love with the long ball so much that you ignore the fact that Bautista appeared in only 210 games combined the past two seasons because of wrist, back, ankle and hip issues. His 2013 season represented his second consecutive year ended prematurely in August.

Those are trends that make drafting Bautista in the second or third round hoping for a 35-40 homer year a very risky proposition.

If you are drafting him early and only get 20-25 homers because of injury, you will be behind the eight ball from Opening Day.


Tags: Fantasy Baseball Jose Bautista Toronto Blue Jays

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