What if Dustin Pedrioa would have fouled off another pitch? What if Jacoby Ellsbury would not have had the green light to steal a base on this particular play? Question like these are stumping fantasy owners and Red Sox fans a like. If the outcome had been slightly altered, Ellsbury would not be looking to miss a reported 6-8 weeks with what appears to be a dislocated shoulder.
Last year, when healthy, we saw what Ellsbury has the ability to do. He is a five-tool player in the peak of his prime. The hardest part will be finding a replacement for the 6-8 weeks. You are not going to replace .300 batting average, 20 homeruns, 40 stolen bases, 100 runs and 100 RBIs. The best thing would be to either address your weakest areas and patch them up as best as we can do or beef up on your areas of strength and punt a category like batting average or home runs. Let’s break down each of these categories and see what we can come up with.
J.D. Martinez — Batting average could be tough to get in most leagues, but this guy is one of the best out there. He should be good for a .280-.300 average but is currently hitting .364. He has no speed and some power (could be good for 10-15 home runs). He is playing every day and is owned in roughly 45% of leagues. Next best: Ryan Sweeney.
Alfonso Soriano — This guy could already be gone because he is owned in 82% of leagues, but I feel he could be the best guy to grab. He has 20+ home run power but does not steal bases anymore. He is currently hitting .304, but that should come down. He generally hits in the .250 range. Next best: Matt Joyce.
Peter Bourjos — He could easily steal 30+ bases this season while providing a little bit of pop (8-12 home runs). His batting average is not good, but it is not bad either (.270 on the high side, currently hitting .294). He is owned in 52% of leagues. Next best: Ben Revere.
Dexter Fowler — If this guy gets on base, chances are he is going to score. He is hitting in front of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, which is some serious fire power to be hitting in front of. He has limited power (5-8 home runs) not much speed (12-18 stolen bases) and is not going to help your batting average (.260s). Nevertheless, he could score 80-100 runs easily this season and is owned in just 29% of leagues. Next best: Denard Span.
Soriano — with power comes runs batted in, so Soriano is the obvious choice here. He should be good for 80+ RBIs this season. In the quest to replace Ellsbury, you may want to punt this category. Next best: Martinez.
I would be picking up would be Martinez, if I did not need speed. He could fill in nicely for a couple months as long as he continues to produce.