While the definition of a sleeper is open to debate and opinion, for the sake of this column we’ll define a sleeper simply as a player that will outperform their draft position. Let’s take a look at several 2014 fantasy baseball sleepers or undervalued players that are safe bets to provide good value for where you will be able to get them on draft day. If you have any draft day questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Baseball Forum.
It was extremely impressive what this young first basemen did in limited at bats last year and he should get a chance to be an everyday player in 2014. The whole fantasy world is excited to see what this big guy can do and I don’t think he will disappoint. You might have to pay a decent price for him on draft day, but I still think he is worth the risk.
Salazar is one of the more interesting young starting pitchers heading into 2014 and he really impressed me down the stretch last year. In September he had well over a strikeout per inning and he posted a 2.52 ERA. Even though he does have some hype around him he is still going late enough in drafts to where I think he is a solid investment.
Uehara had a season for the ages last year, but I feel it went slightly unnoticed. The almost 40 year old closer had over 100 strikeouts, an ERA just over 1, and a whip of under .6. The only thing he was missing was a good saves total. If Boston gives him more save opportunities in 2014 then he could be the best closer in the league.
I am a huge fan of Belt coming into this year. It typically takes young players a few years to get acclimated to the big leagues and it looks like Belt got over the hump last year. He hit close to .300 with decent power numbers, but what I liked the most was his 39 doubles. I fully expect Belt to hit over 20 home runs this year and for how late he is going in drafts I think he is a great value.
I think Masterson has a huge upside heading into 2014 and he is certainly a guy that I will be targeting as my 4th or 5th starting pitcher. Sometimes it takes pitchers a handful of years to finally figure things out and I think Masterson did just that at some point last year. I love how he finished the year in 2013 and if he can carry that momentum into 2014 I think he could be a top 20 fantasy pitcher.
Gattis is a big boy at 6′ 4″ 240 pounds and he certainly has the ability to hit for power. In only 354 at bats last year he hit 21 home runs and he has the potential to lead all catchers in that category in 2014. With McCann out of the way this should open the door for Gattis to get a lot more at bats and this makes him a very interesting catcher to target in the late middle rounds.
The catcher position isn’t super deep, but Gomes is a guy that has a huge upside. If you miss out on one of the top tier guys in the earlier rounds, then you should consider Gomes as your every day catcher. He was great in limited at bats last year and I am excited to see what he can do in a full season.
Before getting called up last year Calhoun was having an amazing year in AAA. He was batting over .350 with solid power and a little bit of speed mixed in. After getting called up he wasn’t able to maintain his batting average, but it was still solid at .282 and he had 17 extra base hits in only 195 at bats. He should be an everyday player in 2014 and this makes him a very intriguing fantasy player, especially if he ends up leading off for that high powered Angels offense.
I am a big fan of Eaton’s potential and I think this could be the year that he starts to make a name for himself. His minor league stats were ridiculous and once he puts it all together in the bigs he could be a top 10 fantasy outfielder. He is a great 4th or 5th outfielder to target later in your draft.
I have always been impressed with Frieri’s stuff, but he disappointed a lot of fantasy owners with his performance last year. His K counts were still there, but the rest of his numbers regressed from his previous seasons. Looking forward to 2014 though, he is a closer on a great team who has great stuff. Even though he is a gamble on draft day, I think it’s hard to pass up on his upside for how late you can get him in your draft.