Shuffle Up: Jose Bautista owns the corner, chases the MVP

Now we know how old-school MVP voters think: if Adrian Gonzalez happens to lead the AL in batting average and RBIs on a glamour team, he's in a very good place. But we know how new-school MVP voters think: every fresh-from-the-oven, slide-ruler acronym will point to Jose Bautista as the proper choice. It almost makes you want to see the voters fight it out to the death, the fedoras against the propeller heads.

You want a fantasy corner, rest of the year? Give me Bautista by a shade … or fine, give me Gonzalez. I really don't care, they're both overlords.

You should know the rules by now, but to recap: what's below is the 5x5 projected value for every Yahoo-eligible corner in the current game (I added Ortiz, Hafner and Lawrie for fun; I'll add other DHs and significant coming attractions if you request them). What's happend to this point is an audition only; we're trying to figure out who will produce the best from this point forward. Assume rotisserie pool scoring, and players at the same price are considered even. Don't stress over the individual prices, but rather, how the players relate to one another.

I'll add comments shortly, and may tweak this list during the day. Your respectful disagreement is always welcome and encouraged, just make sure you defend your argument. Further the conversation, gamer.

To the bat rack:

$33 Jose Bautista
$32 Adrian Gonzalez
$31 Miguel Cabrera
$30 Joey Votto
$30 Mark Teixeira
$29 Albert Pujols
$28 Prince Fielder
$27 Ryan Howard
$24 Kevin Youkilis
$24 Lance Berkman
$22 Adrian Beltre
$22 Michael Young
$21 Evan Longoria
$21 David Wright
$21 Paul Konerko
$21 Aramis Ramirez
$21 Alex Gordon
$21 Michael Morse
$20 Ryan Zimmerman
$20 Ben Zobrist

Remember when Morse had that monster spring? He followed it up with a terrible April, which led to a bunch of wiseacres saying "Hah, guess the spring was once again meaningless." Well, was it? Morse has been a god from May forward. There is some evidence that a spring-training slugging spike is tied to potential breakout seasons (hat tip, John Dewan); Bautista fit this profile in 2010.

$19 David Ortiz
$19 Michael Cuddyer
$19 Billy Butler
$18 Alex Rodriguez
$18 Adam Lind
$18 Pablo Sandoval
$18 Jhonny Peralta
$18 Freddie Freeman
$17 Martin Prado
$17 Gaby Sanchez
$17 Emilio Bonifacio
$16 Neil Walker
$16 Eric Hosmer
$16 Mark Trumbo
$15 Mark Reynolds

That ugly K/BB rate with Trumbo jumps out, but we'll chase him for the category juice. It's a similar story with Reynolds: you love the pop and can accept the mediocre average given the current offensive context of the league.

$14 Howie Kendrick
$14 Ryan Roberts
$13 Daniel Murphy
$13 Brett Lawrie*
$13 David Freese
$12 Carlos Pena
$12 Todd Helton
$12 Edwin Encarnacion
$12 Travis Hafner
$11 Chase Headley
$10 Carlos Lee
$10 Mitch Moreland
$9 Derrek Lee

Encarnacion has probably marked his territory well enough; I don't expect him to lose significant time, if any time, when Lawrie eventually arrives (hey, cool — arrival date is today). Bautista is expected to head to the outfield then, with Travis Snider perhaps the odd man out.

$8 Ty Wigginton
$8 Omar Infante
$8 Danny Valencia
$7 Placido Polanco
$6 Aubrey Huff
$6 Casey Kotchman
$6 Garrett Jones
$5 Willie Bloomquist
$5 Jesus Guzman
$5 Paul Goldschmidt
$4 Justin Morneau
$4 Maicer Izturis
$4 Alberto Callaspo
$4 Lucas Duda
$4 Mike Carp

Generally I'm risk-adverse on players out with an extended injury, which is why you see Morneau buried down here. You'll remember that I was not overly optimistic on Zimmerman and Kendrys Morales earlier in the summer. Since then, Zimmerman has been treading water, somewhat, and Morales of course is out for the year. Maybe it's a question of style. Maybe I have no faith in medicine.

$3 Adam Dunn
$3 Casey McGehee
$3 Eduardo Nunez
$3 Wilson Betemit
$3 Chris Davis
$2 Chipper Jones
$2 Pedro Alvarez
$2 Justin Smoak
$2 Jamey Carroll
$2 Justin Turner
$2 Matt LaPorta
$2 Adam Kennedy
$1 James Loney
$1 Mike Aviles
$1 Jed Lowrie
$1 Sean Rodriguez
$1 Mike Moustakas
$1 Angel Sanchez
$1 Brandon Belt
$1 Conor Jackson
$1 Greg Dobbs
$1 Aaron Miles
$1 Lonnie Chisenhall
$1 Juan Rivera
$1 Jason Giambi
$1 Felipe Lopez
$1 Jimmy Paredes
$0 Scott Rolen


AP Photo/The Canadian Press

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