Checking in at number 11 on the Fantasy Baseball Fix is none other than Vernon Wells. Is it a bit strange that Wells is suddenly a popular pick to have a bounce back season in 2012? Absolutely not. Given his horrid 2011 virtually any line he could post would theoretically equate to a “bounce back” year , however there is more than just the “he cant be any worse” line of thinking for Fantasy owners to bank on.
First – Wells spent most of the off season working on his swing with renown hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo. The focus was on staying inside the ball and using the middle and right side of the field. This is something Vernon failed to do virtually at all last season. So far this spring Vernon appears to be sticking to that approach – which bodes well for his likelihood of a Comeback Season . (If you follow the link note that in 2008 Drake was still a lyricist and Vernon posted a .840 OPS and they were both repping Toronto).
The second factor is based on the fact that this is Well’s second year in Anaheim and he isn’t in the hot seat to produce like a star this time around. This is a human factor and as much as peeps will have you try to believe that baseball players are like robots these days, I can confirm that a human element to sports and life still does exist. With the focus, attention and ire of Angels fans less sharp than it was last season Vernon Wells could flourish.
Despite posting a god awful .218 batting average and .248 OBP. Wells did produce a standard Fantasy league useful: 25 home runs to go along with 66 RBI’s , 60 runs and 9 stolen bases.
So what can owners expect in 2012?
Here is what some experts say:
System Position Team AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG BB K Value RotoChamp OF LAA 470 55 21 66 8 0.245 0.287 0.438 27 75 $-4 FanGraphs Fans OF LAA 480 57 21 63 6 0.256 0.302 0.448 31 77 $-6 ZIPS OF LAA 533 66 19 69 9 0.255 0.298 0.422 32 77 $1 Composite-Fantasy411 OF LAA 486 60 20 71 8 0.251 0.297 0.435 31 74 $4
The Hangout View: Expect Wells to be solid in 2012. He has the re- dedicated approach, reduced pressure, improved lineup and the law of averages all working in his favor. He simply is not as bad of a hitter as we saw in 2011. Wells will likely still be on the board for you to snag in the late rounds of most deep leagues and has a chance to out produce guys taken long before him. Expect the following digits:
- .271/.321/.451/ , 70 R, 24 HR, 82 RBI, 9 SB, 488 PA