Fantasy baseball nuggets: Nelson Cruz, Alex Rios vs. Jose Bautista

      February 25, 2014 @ 12:26:43 PDT

I think the Baltimore Orioles are the about the best organization Nelson Cruz could have joined, for his fantasy value, barring a then potential return to the Texas Rangers. Another great environment for home runs. Another good offense. Plate appearances available. Regular visits to Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and the Rogers Centre.

Toronto Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista
Bautista to rebound in 2014?

Cruz's ADP will probably rise now that he's signed. Which alludes to something I don't understand but also upon which I have rarely acted in order to capitalize: If pretty much all it takes is his signature on a contract, then what are we waiting for?

Of course, he could have signed with the Seattle Mariners, and some folks wouldn't have liked that. (It's not so bad.) He could have been willing to sit out beyond the 2014 First Year Player Draft, like Kendrys Morales, Stephen Drew and Ervin Santana state they're willing. (Although that would seem like an unwise move, wouldn't it?) And there may be doubts about Cruz's production because of his 2013 PED suspension. (But he was under the microscope last season, which was on schedule to be his best since 2009.)

Fantasy owners may be concerned about how Cruz will perform now that he won't spend half of his time in Arlington. Before last year, it was a legit issue, and so it still may be.

AVG/OBP/SLG (home)
AVG/OBP/SLG (away)

But what do home-road splits really mean? Plenty of players exhibit this trait in a similar manner. Doesn't mean Cruz will suck except during the O's three-game trip to Texas in June. More than three-quarters of Baltimore's schedule is comprised of play in offense-aiding yards, anyway.

It doesn't hurt that Cruz will have pending free agency (with "more to prove") as a potential motivator again.

Alex Rios greater than Jose Bautista?

Ray Flowers, aka the driving force behind BaseballGuys (now part of Fantasy Alarm) and a participant in the KFFL BAD league (drafting now), posited this to the Twitterverse yesterday and stirred things up for a half hour or so:

Tim and I both sided with a selection of Rios, as did Schechter, author of "Winning Fantasy Baseball," (in bookstores now) and some others. But there was also, naturally, some support for Joey Bats, who seems like a great guy, is tweeting his tail off to be the #FaceofMLB and will follow you on Twitter if you make him aware of your existence.

~25 HR
~15 HR
~40 HR
~25 HR
~35 SB
~15 SB
~8 SB
~4 SB
~.300 BA
~.250 BA
~.260 BA
~.235 BA
~155 GP
~140 GP
~150 GP
~105 GP

I hope that the toe injury that sidelined Rios for a few days in ST is unrelated to the arthritic condition in his big toe that had to have had some effect on his production in 2011.

How likely are those outcomes? Which would you take first?

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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