Drafting solid core players in the early rounds paired with the ability to pick players that will outperform their draft position in the later rounds is the formula for any successful fantasy baseball draft. While the definition of a sleeper is open to debate and opinion, for the purposes of this article, we’ll simply define a sleeper as a player who outperforms their draft-day value.
This 26 year old from Nicaragua could be one of the steals of the draft this year. He isn’t going to offer much pop with his bat, but he has the potential to lead the league in stolen bases. He also has dual position eligibility which is always a plus. Cabrera should be in line for a ton of playing time this year, and if he can get his average up then I think he could be a top 5 fantasy shortstop.
There are a lot of things that I like about Daniel Murphy. He has proven that he can bat for average, he has dual position eligibility, and I think for how late he will be drafted this year he could offer great value. I know his power numbers are lacking, but he did have 49 extra base hits last year. I think some of those doubles will turn into home runs this year and this makes him an attractive late round option.
I was shocked to see how low Romo was being ranked in a lot of other expert rankings. Once Kimbrel goes off the board on draft day there aren’t that many guys left that you can draft with confidence in the middle rounds. However, I think Romo is well worth a late middle round pick. True he doesn’t have much experience pitching in the 9th inning, but he has pitched in a lot of pressure situations as a setup man. Romo has a career 2.20 ERA and he has the solid strikeout rates that you would hope for from a great relief pitcher.
Brantley is a guy that I am excited about this year. He is going to go really late in drafts so he will be a low risk gamble, but I think he has a huge upside. When you look at his numbers you might not be blown away by his 6 HRs and 60 RBIs from 2012, but he had 47 extra base hits. Brantley is only 25 years old and I think the he will find more power this year.
This young catcher was on this list last year as well, but after being slowed by an injury he didn’t live up to his full potential in 2012. When healthy though Pérez was impressive, batting for solid power and keeping his average over .300 for the season. He is one of the most talented young catchers in the game and in my opinion he is easily a top 10 fantasy catcher for 2013. Hopefully he can stay healthy this year because I am excited to see what this kid can do with a full seasons worth of at bats.
In his first full season in the majors Moore wasn’t as impressive as a lot of us had hoped. However, the 23 year old lefty still had a pretty good year. He had issues finding the strike zone and pitching deep into games, but he was able to produce solid strikeout totals. I am expecting Moore to improve upon his numbers from a year ago and I think he could be in line for a great season. He has the potential of being a top 5 fantasy pitcher and while that might not happen this year, I think it will happen soon with this talented youngster.
Harvey was very impressive with his limited time in the majors last year. In 10 starts he had a sub 3 ERA and he struck out at least 7 batters in 6 of those starts. He is an exciting young arm that certainly has my attention and he could be a solid pick this year. The Mets have already said that he will not be on any type of innings limit, so you shouldn’t have to worry about him getting shut down towards the end of the season.
Bauer has a new home with the Indians and even though he didn’t pitch great in his time in the bigs in 2012, we still have high hopes for him. He pitched great in the minors before getting called up last year and he is one of the best young pitchers in the game. I think he will be streaky at times this year, but once it’s all said and done I think he will put together a solid season.
I can’t wait to get my hands on Chapman in my drafts this year. He has some of the best stuff of any pitcher in the game and he is moving into the starting rotation for the Reds. It’s always interesting to see how a pitcher handles moving from the pen to the rotation, but I think Chapman will have a smooth transition. He has the potential of being a top 5 fantasy pitcher and personally I think he could be the bargain of the year in the middle rounds.
When you look at the stats from Aoki last year you will notice a couple of things that could be better. However, when you look at everything else though, there is a lot to like about him. He had 30 bags and 51 extra base hits for the Brewers last year, and I think he will have similar success in these categories in 2013 as well. The reason Aoki is on this list however is because I think his batting average will improve this year. He was a career .329 hitter in Japan and once he gets the hang of MLB pitching I think he will have more success in that department.