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Friday, January 15, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: JOSE BAUTISTA/NELSON CRUZ

It is now time for another 2016 fantasy baseball draft debate and today we check out two of the premier power-hitting outfielders in the game in the Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and the Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz.  Both Bautista and Cruz have had similar career arcs, with both being late bloomers who flourished under a monster total of home runs and RBI.  This is especially the truth for both over the last two years as Bautista and Cruz have been as dominant as any slugger in the game during that span.  As we always do, let's compare the two using the five standard ROTO categories in order to determine who should be drafted ahead of the other.

RUNS:  The lineups are big factors here as Bautista is in a much more powerful and well-rounded lineup in Toronto then Cruz is in Seattle.  This bears itself out in the runs column as Bautista has gone for 208 runs over the last two years while Cruz has come in at 177.  Decent gap between the two and that should continue in 2016 as Bautista is in the much stronger lineup.
ADVANTAGE:  Jose Bautista

AVERAGE:  While Cruz was never considered a strong average guy earlier in this career, he has gotten better in that category as he reached his mid-30's.  Cruz has now hit .271 and .302 over the last two seasons, with the latter in Seattle of all places.  Meanwhile Bautista has always struggled with his average due to a very high K rate and he saw a major dip there in 2015 with his .250 mark.  While Cruz is the older player by a year, Bautista strikes out more and was so much worse then his counterpart last season.
ADVANTAGE:  Nelson Cruz

STOLEN BASES:  Both guys are not much help here but Bautista gets a very tiny edge has he has doubled Cruz' steals the last two seasons 14-7.  Again nothing major here separating the two but we need to figure out any edge one can get over the other. 
ADVANTAGE:  Jose Bautista

HOME RUNS:  Very tight here again but Cruz comes out slightly on top by a tally of 84-75.  Bautista can compete with any slugger in baseball but Cruz' overall has bested the Blue Jays outfielder in each of the last two seasons. 
ADVANTAGE:  Nelson Cruz

RBI:  The tiebreaker is in the RBI column where again the lineup advantage for Bautista wins out.  Bautista has driven in 217 batters during the last two years to Cruz' 201.  Slight advantage for sure but Bautista's stronger Blue Jays lineup will help him likely win this category again.
ADVANTAGE:  Jose Bautista

WINNER:  Jose Bautista

This one was very close but Bautista comes out slightly ahead and is the one to take over Cruz in the late second round area of your draft this season.  You can't go wrong with either guy but Bautista is the one who should have the better overall numbers. 

 

 

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