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New Teams, Same Fantasy Impact for These Fantasy Baseball Stars: Fan’s Take
The offseason between the 2011 and 2012 Major League Baseball seasons saw a lot of changeover between teams. Some of the changeovers poise a threat to any fantasy relevance a player could have (Hiroki Kuroda), while others are primed to continue their success with their new teams. Who are the top players competing in new cities that are still going to be fantasy stars in 2012?
Pujols is the most obvious of choices for fantasy stars that should be able continue their success, despite starting a new career in a new city. Pujols had a chance to be the greatest player in the history of St. Louis baseball, but instead opted to move to the sunny west coast. Despite getting off to a slow start in 2011, Pujols still finished with 37 home runs and 99 RBIs.
Fielder, the other most obvious choice for fantasy GMs did everything he could to try and bring a championship to Milwaukee. He wasn't able to finish the job, but he will get a lot of protection in the tough Detroit batting order. He should be able to continue his tear on opposing pitchers. A year ago, he hit .299 with 38 home runs and 120 RBIs and a repeat of those numbers should be expected.
The Phillies made the move to bring in the longtime Boston Red Sox closer to solidify the ninth inning. Since becoming the closer in 2006, he has recorded at least 31 saves in each season, including a career-high in 2008. A year ago, he pitched well, going 4-1 with 31 saves, 2.94 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and a batting average against of .207. In what is traditionally a weaker league, Papelbon should be able to finish with better numbers.
Marshall was traded from the Chicago Cubs to their division rival in the offseason. He was set to be an eighth inning guy primed to be a reliable option for holds, but an injury to new closer, Ryan Madson, will likely set Marshall up for ninth inning action and a major fantasy boost for 2012.
In the past two seasons with the Oakland Athletics, Gonzalez has become a star for fantasy GMs. He has thrown more 200 innings in each of the past two years, going 31-21 with 368 strikeouts and 183 walks. The American League West wasn't the toughest division during the past two years, but what Gonzalez was able to do was astounding. He has made the move to the competitive NL East, but could be able to see his ERA drop below the 3.12 mark he had a year ago.
For a look at Fantasy Projections for the 2012 season, go here.
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