Is your Fantasy Baseball draft coming up soon? Most leagues will be drafting in the next two weeks and I’m here to help you out with late-round sleepers and guys that you should take a flyer on. These are guys that I feel are extremely undervalued and could help your team’s depth. Most of these guys are currently going in the late 200s or completely undrafted. There are certain baseball players that aren’t “sexy” to have on your team, but there’s value in those players. If you are in a league with a lot of bench spots, this post will be even more helpful to you. These are guys that you can stash away and wait until their playing situation is more established.
Ryan Doumit – Minnesota Twins
Devin Mesoraco – Cincinnati Reds
John Buck – Miami Marlins
Miguel Olivo – Seattle Mariners
Rod Barajas – Pittsburgh Pirates
Doumit will be platooning at catcher with Joe Mauer and playing a lot of designated hitter. He can be an offensive force when he just has to worry about hitting. Mesoraco has to beat Ryan Hanigan out for the starting job, but he’s the more talented player. Buck will give you power and will benefit from the high OBP guys batting in front of him. No one will be excited about owning Olivo or Barajas, but they consistently produce. They aren’t sexy picks, but these guys can help you get production from the catching position.
Ike Davis – New York Mets
Adam LaRoche – Washington Nationals
Brandon Belt – San Francisco Giants
Bryan LaHair – Chicago Cubs
Mike Carp – Seattle Mariners
Davis, LaHair, Belt, & Carp will find out if they are MLB starting first-basemen or if they are 4-A players. If Davis struggles early, he could end up in a platoon situation Lucas Duda. Belt and Carp are guys that rake it up in the minors, but haven’t been given a fair opportunity in the Majors. These guys have a little risk attached to them, since they are going late or undrafted, but they have high reward. The Cubs have made it clear that they will be patient with LaHair. They could have went out and signed a cheap 1B replacement, but they will be sticking with LaHair for the long haul. Adam LaRoche is another pick that isn’t “sexy,” but he’s a nice 6th outfielder that you can play to fill in on a day off.
Mat Gamel – Milwaukee Brewers
David Freese – St. Louis Cardinals
Lonnie Chisenhall – Cleveland Indians
Danny Valencia – Minnesota Twins
Ty Winnington – Philadelphia Phillies
This is a make or break year for Gamel. He is a popular sleeper this year and it is his turn to produce or his value will drop off of the map. David Freese could go higher in some leagues than others, but if you see him drop to pick #230-ish, snatch the World Series MVP for your team. Chisenhall will hit for a nice average and he’s a guy that could surprise you with his power. I was a Valencia fan last season and he helped me out a lot. He’s a nice guy that you can use to fill in. Lastly, Winnington is the guy that a league member is always “stuck with,” but by June, he’ll be thankful for drafting him.
Mike Aviles – Boston Red Sox
Dustin Ackley – Seattle Mariners
Daniel Murphy – New York Mets
Alexi Casilla – Minnesota Twins
Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
You aren’t sure which Aviles you’re getting, but he’ll be in front of a lot of offense. He’ll score runs and get on base for the Red Sox. Ackley and Altuve are nice young players that will receive more playing time in 2012. Ackley had some moments last season when he looked like a future All-Star. Altuve could be the fastest player in baseball, he’ll get you steals on a really bad Astros team. Murphy and Casilla will be that in the late rounds and are consistent as they come, they will surprise you with their productivity.
Zack Cozart – Cincinnati Reds
Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
Emilio Bonifacio – Miami Marlins
Alex Gonzalez – Milwaukee Brewers
Stephen Drew – Arizona Diamondbacks
It’s Cozart’s time in Cincinnati. He can get you above average power for the position and not a bad batting average. Desmond won’t get you amazing stats in any one position, but above average across the board, minus home runs. Bonafacio hit the cover off the ball for most of the season last year. He’ll benefit from the new additions to the roster and will have a high batting average and stolen bases. Gonzalez is a guy that gets an opportunity year after year, because he can give a team power. Drew was a Top 10 shortstop in 2010, but after a couple disappointing seasons, he is going late or undrafted this season. It looks like he will start the season on the disabled list, but if you have room to stash him, do it. At where you can draft him, Drew could have the most value in this draft.
Peter Bourjos – Los Angeles Angels
Colby Rasmus – Toronto Blue Jays
Yonder Alonso – San Diego Padres
Marlon Byrd – Chicago Cubs
Alex Presley – Pittsburgh Pirates
Jason Bay – New York Mets
Denard Span – Minnesota Twins
Andres Torres – New York Mets
Bourjos will benefit from being in a lineup with Albert Pujols. There is a lot of speed on the Angels this year and they will run. After Rasmus was traded to the AL, he had a nice run with Toronto…expect more of that. Alonso was traded to the Padres in the Mat Latos deal. He has all kinds of power, but PETCO Park will limit him a little. Byrd, Bay, and Span are guys that fell a bit short in 2011. Byrd will give you above average stats across the board and Bay will benefit from the walls being brought in at Citi Field. Span is another Minnesota player that is consistent. Presley is trying to eat a spot in the outfield and he could be a future star for the Pirates. Finally, Torres will be a starter and hit lead-off for the Mets. Even if he struggles, New York doesn’t an adequate replacement, so he’ll get steals for your team.
Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
Trevor Cahill – Arizona Diamondbacks
Brandon McCarthy – Oakland A’s
Erik Bedard – Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm – Chicago Cubs
Rick Porcello – Detroit Tigers
Edinson Volquez – San Diego Padres
Josh Collmenter – Arizona Diamondbacks
Drew Pomeranz – Colorado Rockies
Homer Bailey – Cincinnati Reds
Sale was a relief pitcher last season, but is being converted back into a starter. He was a former top pick for the White Sox and is better suited as a starting pitcher. Cahill and Collmenter are going to benefit from playing against the NL West. They will get you wins, but the WHIP may be a little high. McCarthy has fallen in the draft due to injury concerns, but he’s healthy and will produce for you. Bedard will get you some wins in a below-average NL Central, the same goes for Maholm. Porcello struggled last season and his K/9 rate fell. He is due to bounce back, if anything he’ll be a 5th starter for a very good team. Pomeranz was the key piece in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. Coors Field could hurt his stats a little, but he’s worth a late-round pick. Finally, Bailey has the “failed prospect” tag, but he showed promise last season. If he can corral his control, he’ll be an amazing late-round pick.
Serio Romo – San Francisco Giants
Tyler Clippard – Washington Nationals
Joe Nathan – Texas Rangers
Addison Reed – Chicago White Sox
Vinnie Pestano – Cleveland Indians
Jim Johnson – Baltimore Orioles
All of these guys are either closers or guys who will get save chances. If your league has a “Holds” category, these guys will go higher than in leagues without that category. Romo’s stock is very high, because he’ll give you a fantastic ERA and WHIP and he’ll be in line to save games if Brian Wilson’s arm fails him. Clippard is a guy who would be a closer on any other team, but Drew Storen is in his way. If anything, Clippard will give you holds, a nice ERA, and WHIP. Joe Nathan and Jim Johnson are slated to be closers, but undervalued. Nathan has some other bullpen guys breathing down his neck and Johnson could be this year’s “closer on a bad team, but leads the league in saves” guy. Addison Reed and Vinnie Pestano are “closers in waiting” and they may not wait that long in the season before their numbers are called.
Good luck to everyone playing fantasy baseball this season. If you are doing a live draft with your buddies, don’t be the shirtless, drunk guy who is trying to draft Tim Tebow by the 9th round.
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