In 2008, Jose Bautista was traded from the lowly Pittsburg Pirates to the lowly Toronto Blue Jays for Robinzon Diaz (currently with the Los Angeles Angels). Diaz isn’t a fantastic prospect, as he’s been inked to four different minor league deals in four seasons. Clearly, nearing the end of the 2008 season, the Pirates thought Bautista had reached his plateau, which at the time looked something like this: 75, 15, 50, 5, .240. He put up similar numbers with the Jays in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. With those 392 at bats he managed just 16 homeruns and a .232 BA. As a fantasy player, Bautista was irrelevant, if he ever even was relevant.
Since the 2009 season, no player’s stock has risen higher than appropriately nicknamed “Joey Bats”. In 2010, his year 29 season, he merely racked up 124 RBI and nearly hit more homers (54) than he had in his entire career to that point (59). To say Bautista’s 2010 value was Herculean would be an understatement. Going into the 2011 season, there were many skeptics, me being one of them, but he did it again: 43 HR and a .301 BA to go with it.