Bold predictions for 2012 fantasy hitters
October, 28, 2011
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Insider
Baseball is awesome, as if this World Series isn't enough proof. But when one season ends, it's time to look ahead to the next. The St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers have certainly given us a classic championship round to send us into November, but in 100 or so days it's time for spring training and a new season. I can't wait. So let's get a jump on the fantasy baseball season with bold predictions on offense for each of the 2012 teams.
1. St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols has led my preseason baseball rankings for each of the past five seasons, and while I realize it's hardly bold to choose him again, I have to. I don't see Ryan Braun running as much, and having Rickie Weeks following in the batting order for 130 games isn't the same as pending Los Angeles Angels first baseman Prince Fielder. I've got Pujols, Jose Bautista, Braun, Miguel Cabrera and Matt Kemp as my top five. Pujols, who turns 32 in January, comes off easily the worst of his 11 MLB seasons statistically, but I say he returns to St. Louis and "normally bold" numbers. He did hit .319 in the second half, after all. I say he hits .329 with 42 home runs, 122 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 2012.