Buy or Sell: Opening Day Home Run Heros

Yea, I know, we’re only one game into the season.  Still, there is no other day in baseball where people get more excited over a player’s single game production.  That could mean an opportunity to buy or sell some guys that had highlight home runs on Sunday and Monday.  Let’s take a look at who’s opening day home runs are a sign of things to come and who should see little repeat in such production.

Obvious buys

Albert Pujols
Ryan Howard
Adrian Gonzalez
Mark Reynolds (but not for 45-plus)
Solid buys
Adam Lind – Perhaps we see a slight regression from last season’s total, but clearly he has the potential to hit around 30.
Joey Votto – As long as he can stay on the field he should be a lock for 30. 
Nelson Cruz – Health will be the key, but he showed true 30-plus home run power last season.
Kendry Morales – I’m convinced he was just born to hit.  Early power from the right side is very nice to see as he struggled early last season batting right-handed.
Curtis Granderson – He’ll continue to crush righties and struggle against lefties, but that should still lead to 30-plus bombs given his new right field porch.
Dustin Pedroia – 15-20, but lean more toward the 15 side.
Paul Konerko – For his usual 25-30
Alex Rio – For close to 20 thanks to a fresh start in a new city and a great hitters park.
Colby Rasmus – This guy is way too talented not to improve on his rookie year.  Buy 20 homers.
Garrett Jones – I still don’t think the AVG will be there, but 25-30 home runs is a real possibility.
Ian Stewart – 25 home runs should be a lock, but there is potential for 30-35. 
Kyle Blanks – As much pure power as anyone.
Stephen Drew – This could be a great comeback season for Drew with 20-plus homers.
Delmon Young – I’m buying somewhere around 20 home runs as he brings his new attitude to the plate with as much natural ability as anyone.
Placido Polanco – He’s 34, which is getting up there, but not ancient. His career highs in home runs came when he was getting around 500 at bats with the Phillies back in 2003 and 2004.  He has been steady with the power numbers for the last three seasons (9, 8, 10).  I wouldn’t be surprised to see 10-15 given 580-plus at-bats in 2010.
Ryan Doumit – There is a decent chance that he can surpass his career high in home runs, but I’m not expecting 20 here (possible, but not expecting it).
Aramis Ramirez – Health is the key for 20-25 long balls.
Marlon Byrd – Same hitting coach (Rudy Jaramillo) that helped him break out in Texas.  Good ballpark to approach 20 homers once again.
Brian McCann – As steady as they come.
Jayson Heyward – Well, this one is a tough call because his expectations could vary greatly from one person to the next.  I think 20-25 is possible, but some might be looking for Ryan Braun rookie numbers.  I’ll buy Heyward for 20-25, but sell if someone is looking for more.
David Wright – Yep, I still don’t think we’ll see 30 home runs out of Wright this season, but at least yesterday was a good indication that he is no longer psyched out in Citi Field. (Buy 20 homers).
Hideki Matsui – Last season Matsui had the highest AB/HR rate of his career.  Oh yeah, and it just happened to be the first year of the new Yankee Launching Pad, er, Stadium.  I’ll buy around 20, but not 25-30.
Vernon Wells – 2006 was the last time Wells hit more than 20 home runs in a season.  I guess I’d buy him for a bounce back to around 20 home runs if he’s on the wire, but how valuable will that really be?
Scott Rolen – Age and injury history have changed his approach at the plate. He’s more line drive oriented these days, which means he may run into a homer every once in a while, but that’s about it. 
Jorge Posada – Could he really make me look bad two years in a row?  Not buying enough at-bats for 20 home runs.
Yadier Molina – He’ll deliver his usual 6-7.
Jeff Mathis – He has pop, but likely won’t get the playing time to make an impact.
Carlos Gomez - I could see ten home runs, but his speed speed should be why you’re buying.
Yuniesky Betancourt – Because he’s Yuniseky Friggin Betancourt…of the career .391 SLG and .117 ISO.