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 our top fantasy baseball sleepers 2015 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.
With the numbers that Santana had in the minors and during his rookie year, it’s surprising to me that he isn’t getting more love. His ADP is well past the 100th pick and with his upside and position eligibility (2B/OF) I think he should be on everyone’s sleeper list. Once you get our of tier one at second base there is a huge decline in talent and I love the idea of waiting and just grabbing Santana in the late middle rounds.
Ozuna is one of the more intriguing young power hitters in the league and I am excited to see what this kid can do this year. The 24 year old from the Dominican Republic isn’t going to give you the best average, but it’s very possible he eclipses 30 bombs in 2014. If you are looking for some power in the later rounds then Ozuna is going to be one of your best options.
Before getting called up last year Soler was going nuts in the minors. Knocking 40 extra base hits in only 200 at bats while maintaing a .340 average. He brought that pop right into the bigs and had great success in limited at bats. Soler should be in line for a breakout year and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a top ten outfielder this year.
Blackmon had a breakout year last season, but I think he has the potential to do even better in 2015. He can do it all and I think he could easily be a 25/25 candidate this year with steals and home runs. The Rockies offense looks pretty amazing on paper and I expect they should have no problem scoring a good amount of runs. This bodes well for Blackmon and the arrow is certainly pointing up on his value.
We ranked Freeman extremely high in our first base rankings this year and that’s because we think this is the season that he breaks out. If you watched our videos then you know that I love young players that hit doubles when I am looking for potential breakout candidates. Freeman only had 18 home runs last year, but he had 43 doubles and 4 triples. This means he is hitting the ball hard and as he grows as a power hitter he will learn how to turn those extra base hits into home runs. I am expecting 30+ bombs from him this year and I think he will yield a great return on his investment on draft day.
When you look at the minor league stats from Dickerson you can’t help but wonder why this young star wasn’t called up earlier. Dickerson has star written all over him and this might be a stretch, but I think he could be a first round pick next year if he does what I think he is capable of. Draft Dickerson with confidence in the early middle rounds.
For the year that Harrison had in 2014 I feel like he should be on everyone’s sleeper list, but he isn’t getting the attention that he deserves. He hit over .300 for his entire time in the minors and after a few short stints in the bigs, he finally got his shot last year as a full time player and he took full advantage. Harrison had 58 extra base hits in 2014 and I think he will be a 20/20 guy this year.
Every year there is a proven big name player that comes from overseas and they often have an instant impact. Last year it was José Abreu and this year it’s Kang. His numbers were amazing last year in the Korean leagues and he is certainly an interesting shortstop to target in the middle late rounds.
I know the strikeout totals weren’t what people were hoping for out of Pineda last year, but he had an amazing season in limited work. The most impressive stat being his walk to innings pitched ratio. He averaged about one walk every ten innings, which is an amazing stat for any starting pitcher. Even without that added pine tar on his neck he has great control and I am expecting big things from the Yankees 6’7″ 260 pound starter in 2015.
I would love to hear why some experts don’t even have Cueto as a top ten pitcher heading into 2015. He has had a sub three ERA in each of the last four years and he was 5th in strikeouts last year with 242. Oh yea, and he was a 20 game winner. I am having a hard time understanding what’s not to like about Cueto and I have him in my top five for starting pitchers for this year.