It’s Opening Day in Major League Baseball. Well, technically last night was. Or was it last week in Australia?? Who knows. The most important thing is that baseball is finally here, and with that comes another year of fantasy baseball.
A grueling six-month journey begins for fantasy owners today, but have no fear, my player rankings should help you out with that.
To kick off 2014, I’ll be highlighting Toronto Blue Jays’ first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who has made a precipitous rise up my player rankings since the conclusion of the 2013 season.
All my rankings can be found on Fantasy Pros.com and will be updated on a regular basis — even when there isn’t an accompanying article.
Now, let’s play ball!
» No. 6 – Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays:
The nine-year vet is coming off a season in which he hit 36 HR and drove in 104 runs, and what makes him even more valuable is that he’s now got dual eligibility at first base and third base.
His new eligibility at the hot corner is ironic because that’s how he originally got his nickname. He was a third baseman coming up with the Cincinnati Reds and was so poor in the field (64 miscues between 2006-08!) that he was dubbed “E5″ — the abbreviation you write on the official scorecard when a third baseman makes an error. Encarnacion played 10 games there last year, just enough to have him qualify, but with Brett Lawrie back, owners shouldn’t expect him to be anything but a first baseman in 2014.
Not only does Encarnacion smash home runs, but he puts the ball in play nearly all the time. According to FanGraphs, his 10% K-rate was eighth-best in baseball last year and he was one of only six players in the top-40 of that category to hit at least 20 home runs. With a healthy-ish Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista batting before him, a big season could be in store for Edwin Encarnacion.