Chicks dig the long ball. I remember that commercial, I was 13 years old when it aired. By extension, I learned to love the long ball then, and have yet to stop. At least from a fantasy baseball perspective. I even made an all-time masher list.
So now, 14 years later, we’re still looking at the long ball. Some of the guys will be projected high, others in the late rounds. But regardless of where they are projected, I would go at least a round early on all.
Mike Stanton – OF, Marlins I just can’t help myself, this guy is perfect. I don’t care if Mike Stanton hitting .270 would be on par with someone else going about .600. That doesn’t matter when you look at his power numbers.
Also, for leagues that use individual outfield positions, Stanton stands out. There are a lot of right fielders that hit somewhere between 25-30 homers with 75-90 RBI, and a .265-.270 batting average.
Sure, some of those numbers are better than others, but there is nothing wrong with waiting a few rounds and going elsewhere. With Stanton, you have a true standout. A bad power season would be somewhere at around 30 homers, 90 RBI. All the while his average would be at about .260.
|2012 Mike Stanton Projection Range|
Dan Uggla – 2B, Braves Take a look at Mr. Uggla’s career numbers.
This is why you reach for Dan Uggla. He gives you power from the second base position that nobody else offers. That is an instant leg up. With him, you can forsake power in one of your outfield spots to draft a guy that steals a lot of bases.
If you get that, then you can take the .258 career batting average.
|2012 Dan Uggla Projection Range|
You reach for Reynolds because if he hits .240, 40 blasts is not even close to being a reach. Baltimore is a park that allows plenty of home runs, and the American League East is not exactly a pitching division.
The power numbers completely override the poor batting average (though not everyone agrees). Also, Reynolds even manages steals from the third base slot. It may not look like a lot, but six or seven steals from the No. 5 spot can make the difference between first and second place.
|2012 Mark Reynolds Projection Range|
Nelson Cruz – OF, Rangers Nelson Cruz does have a fluctuating average. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he hit .300, or .260. But regardless of what the average is, we know the power numbers will be right around 30.
The ball flies in Texas and there are always going to be men on base for Cruz to drive in. That lineup is also incredibly deep, so the protection will be there. Cruz had 29 homers and 87 RBI in only 124 games. Imagine what he could do with an extra 15-20 games.
|2012 Nelson Cruz Projection Range|
Jay Bruce – OF, Reds Jay Bruce is a masher on the rise. There is very little to not like about him. He’s already demonstrated a lot of pop (32 homers in 2011), hits in a good lineup, and is in a hitter’s park.
I love the fact that his power numbers have been improving every year since entering the majors. He’ll be 25 on Opening Day, so don’t expect that trend to go the other way any time soon. Cincinnati is a team to watch for this year and while we’re on the subject, Bruce is a sleeper NL MVP candidate.
|2012 Jay Bruce Projection Range|
Curtis Granderson – OF, Yankees The Grandyman can, indeed. For all of the power they have in the lineup, no Yankee had more homers in 2011 than Mr. Granderson. On top of that, he can steal some bases. I couldn’t care any less about a bad average with that.
Yankee Stadium is a goldmine for left handed hitters. The lineup is filled with talent to drive up Granderson’s numbers. If you concern yourself with his average, you’re being foolish. Do not Granderson go outside of the third round. Actually, consider taking him before.
|2012 Curtis Granderson Projection Range|
6 mashers worth reaching for. Check out the rest of our countdown to fantasy baseball season 2012 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12) and let us know your favorite masher in the comments or via twitter @FBCrackerjacks.