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Monday, April 18, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCH: MICHAEL SAUNDERS GETS PROMOTION TO LEADOFF SPOT FOR BLUE JAYS

There was some mild surprise on Monday when Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons annonced that outfielder Michael Saunders would man the leaoff spot for the potent lineup for the foreseeable future in place of the struggling Kevin Pillar.  With the season just two weeks old and with Pillar having put up a quietly very good 2015 campaign, it was assumed he would get more leash.  However Saunders gets the gig and as a result he all of a sudden carries some interesting fantasy baseball value in an outfielder 3 sort of sense.  A longtime batting average struggle has clouded much of Saunders' earlier years but before missing almost all of 2015 with injury, he had shown some very good power/speed numbers during his time with the Seattle Mariners.  The highlight was Saunders hitting 19 home runs and stealing 21 bases in 2012 but with an ugly .247 average due to striking out 132 times.  Clearly Saunders has a decent amount of to offer in the power/speed categories to be worth looking into and this now is especially true leading off for the powerful Blue Jays.  Getting to hit half of his games in Toronto is also extremely appealing.  So while you will give back a lot in the average deparement due to the holes in his swing, Saunders is absolutely worth picking up where availabel due to a very good chance of reaching the 15/15 level and maybe better. 

 

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