With the season less than 2 weeks away here is a list of sleepers:
Conor Jackson (ARI)
He should be a real steal in the final rounds. He may not be the most powerful hitter but he gets on base and can drive runners in. He is projected to hit clean-up.
James Loney (LAD)
He won’t have great run potential considering he won’t bat high up in the very talented line-up of the Dodgers but I would not be surprised if he batted 100 runners in. Try and get him if someone picked Conor Jackson.
Jose Lopez (SEA)
He should go in the same round Jackson and Loney will. Batting after Ichiro and before Beltre should give him opportunities to score runs as well as RBIs. His OBP makes him a big risk though.
Mark Reynolds (ARI)
Look out for him from round 13 on if you can afford a low BA. He should be in for 30 HRs, 100 RBIs and the occasional stolen base.
Mark Lowell (BOS)
I have him listed here because I think he is too good to go undrafted. He can still give you value as a low end option in a deep league. 20 HR are possible if he stays healthy.
Orlando Cabrera (OAK)
I drafted him against my principles when he was an unsigned free agent but he has now found a home in Oakland. His numbers wont improve compared to last season but he provides stolen bases and runs. Pick him up if he is still around in round 15. There aren’t too many good shortstops around and the A’s will be much improved this year.
Pat Burrell (TB)
He’s probably THE sleeper among sleepers. HE will be the DH and can focus on offense. He will produce more than 30 HRs and 100 RBIs in a very potent Rays offense.
Andre Ethier (LAD)
His numbers should be similar to last season’s but bear in mind that Manny Ramirez will be around from the start of the season and the team is highly talented. He will bat at the end of the line-up but expect 90+ runs, 20+ HRs and a .280+ BA from him.
Brad Hawpe (COL)
Here we have another classic sleeper. His numbers should be much improved. I see him surpassing the 100 RBIs mark and expect more than 25 HRs.
Jeff Francoeur (ATL)
He was literally worthless last season but he will have at least 20 HRs and more than 90 RBIs.
A.J. Burnett (NYY)
His trade to the Yankees will work in his favour and, as A-Rod said, Burnett learnt a lot from Ray “Doc” Halladay while playing for the Blue Jays.
I don’t think he will record 20 wins but his ERA should stay below 4.00 and he should give you more than 200 Ks. He could be drafted as the 8th SP.
John Lackey (LAA)
Hid ERA will be better than last season’s 3.75 and he should have one of the best WHIPs among SPs.
I’d take him if he is still available in the 7th round.
Scott Kazmir (TB)
If someone was faster than you at drafting Lackey then why not opting for Kazmir? His ERA will be below 3.50 and he will have more than 200 Ks. I don’t even think 15 wins are unrealistic.
Jon Lester (BOS)
I’m not quite sure he can repeat last season’s numbers but I expect an increase in wins and Ks. His ERA should still be one of the better ones among SPs. Look for him in round 8.
Justin Verlander (DET)
He had a horrible season last year but I would bet my mortgage – if I had one – that he bounces back to his usual standard. In two drafts I was faced with the choice between him and Ricky Nolasco, whom I’ll discuss further below, and on both occasions I drafted Verlander.
I expect 15 or more wins from him, an ERA of around 3.75 and nearly 200 Ks.
Ryan Dempster (CHC)
He’s not going to repeat last season’s numbers but pitching for the team that’s going to win the NL Central by a mile will get him approximately 15 wins. ERA and especially WHIP should be reasonably well. You may want to look out for him from round 10 on.
Adam Wainwright (STL)
It will be difficult to repeat last season’s ERA of 3.20 and WHIP of 1.18 but he won’t be much worse either. He should be good for 15 wins.
Chien-Ming Wang (NYY)
Don’t rely on him for Ks but he will provide you with very good numbers for every other category. He will not quite crack the 20 wins mark, his ERA should be close to 3.50 and his WHIP close to 1.20.
Ricky Nolasco (FLA)
He was a revelation last season and subsequently I added him to most of my teams at some point. This season the Marlins are a contender which could help his wins. ERA and WHIP may experience a decrease but his Ks shouldn’t be far off 200. I’d consider drafting him in round 11.
Ted Lilly (CHC)
The “Cubs factor” should make 15+ wins possible. ERA and WHIP should be at around 4.00 and 1.30 respectively.
Erik Bedard (SEA)
In each of my drafts I tried to get him as my last SP but someone was always faster than me. Playing for Seattle won’t help your wins much but he should be close to 200 Ks if he stays healthy. His ERA should be at around 3.75 and his WHIP should be close to 1.25.
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