It’s hard to win a fantasy championship without making a couple great late-round picks during the draft. Every year there are several players that get picked near the end of the draft that end up having huge fantasy value. Let’s take a look at a few deep sleepers that you may want to take a gamble on in the late rounds of your 2013 fantasy baseball draft.
The Phillies have a lot of depth in their outfield, but they are going to have to find a way get Ruf some more major league at bats. He is more than likely going to start the year in the minors, but I fully expect him to be a full time player at some point this year. The 25 year old hit 38 home runs with 104 RBIs last year in the minors and he did all that will maintaining a .317 batting average. Talent like that can only stay in the minors for so long.
There are a lot of red flags when you look at the numbers for Grilli, but it’s hard to discount too much what he was able to do last year with his 90 strikeouts in 58 innings. The thing that scares me the most about him is that he is 36 years old and in his 12 year career his numbers have been all over the place. He has had 2 solid years in a row however and at this point I am buying what Grilli is selling. He is going to be drafted pretty late in most drafts, making him a great gamble in my opinion.
I am a huge fan of Jansen and when I found out that League was going to start the year has the closer I wasn’t very happy about it. Jansen doesn’t have as much experience as League pitching in the 9th, but he proved last year that he can handle the job. I was looking forward to seeing Jansen close for the Dodgers for the entire season, but now it looks like we will have to wait until League slips up. The reason I think Jansen is worth a late round pick is because I think he will take over the job at some point this year, and when he does he could be a top 10 closer.
As it sits right now Madson is going to be the closer for the Angels when he is healthy, but it doesn’t look like he will be ready for the start of the season. This will open the door for Frieri to start the season as the closer and if he pitches well he might just hold onto the job the entire year. Madson is coming back from Tommy John surgery and there is no guarantee he will be the same pitcher when he comes back. Frieri is a great gamble in the late rounds and even if Madson does take back over the closer role you will still have a setup man that had 98 Ks in 65 innings in 2012.
There are a lot of things I like about this young shortstop for the Brewers. He is going to go really late in drafts so this makes him a low risk on draft day, he has proven that he can bat for average with his minor league stats, and throughout his career he has been right around a stolen base per 10 at bats. He is off to a hot start so far this spring and I am excited to see what this 22 year old can do as the Brewers everyday shortstop.
Typically you want a lot of power from your first base position and this isn’t an area that Alonso excelled at in 2012. However, there is still a lot of things I like about this young Padre. He is only 25 years old so obvisouly his biggest power numbers are probably in the very near future, he also had 39 doubles last year and I am expecting some of those to turn into home runs in 2013. Another thing I like about Alonso is he has proven that he can bat for average, in limited at bats in 2011 he hit .330 and his average was over .290 for his entire minor league career. I am not expecting huge things from Alonso, but I certainly think he can be a serviceable back up first basemen this year.
After Nathan left to go to the Rangers the Twins had some question marks at the closer role. It appears now though that they have found their man with Perkins. He has been all over the place with his production during the course of his career, but in the last two years he has pitched great. At this point it looks like he is the real deal, and he should be well worth a draft pick in the late middle rounds.
I am kind of surprised that Saunders isn’t getting more hype coming into the season. He is a 26 year old talented outfielder who is basically coming off of a 20/20 season. He was one of the top prospects in the minors a few years back, but it seems like the fantasy world forgets about players if they don’t have instant success once they get called up. I don’t think Saunders is going to be great with any one category, but he should be able to fill it up across the board and help a lot of fantasy teams this year.
The minor league stats for Eaton are out of this world and I find it surprising that he isn’t getting Trout or Harper type hype. in over 560 at bats last year in the minors he hit .381 with 58 extra base hits and 38 stolen bases. He did only have 7 home runs, so I don’t think he will offer much power. However, he could be an outfielder that can give you a great average and still help you out a good deal with steals and runs. He is going to be the everyday center fielder for the Diamondbacks this year and I am expecting big things.
Alejandro De Aza
De Aza was on this list last year as well for us and he didn’t completely disappoint. While he was lacking in the power department, he still hit for a decent average in threw in 26 stolen bases. I am expecting his numbers to go up across the board this year and since he was only mediocre last year I think people aren’t going to be thinking about drafting him until the much later rounds. This makes De Aza a great high upside value pick towards the end of the draft and I think he’s a solid gamble.