Here are a few NL players to ponder for 2012 fantasy team owners …
Justin Upton — Some would say the explosion has already begun, but I think we’ve only scratched the surface. I don’t think a .300 BA, 35 HR, 35 SB, 120 RBIs year is out of the question. Upton is still only 24, and it shouldn’t be long before he is the best fantasy player in the sport.
Starlin Castro — Another player where some would say the explosion has begun, but I think the power will catch up with the rest of his game sooner rather than later, and he could be a 20 HR, 20 SB shortstop as early as this year.
Pedro Alvarez — Pedro had a disastrous second season after an excellent first look. He’ll most likely never be a four- or even three-category player but the raw power is there. If he stays relatively healthy he could hit 25 HR.
Madison Bumgarner — He had a SO/BB ratio of 99/18 in the second half of last season to go with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. I think he’s ready to join the elite NL pitchers this year. Don’t be afraid to draft him high or spend a large sum of money on him on draft day.
Jason Bay — Don’t let the numbers deceive you, Bay was every bit as bad his second year with the Mets as he was in his first. The .300 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBIs, 10+ SB years are a thing of the past. Although the new dimensions at Citi Field will benefit left-handed hitters more, the shortened fence in left should provide more HR opportunities for Bay. I don’t think he’s quite ready for the “send them out to pasture” file.