Fantasy sports are known for sleepers and the people that follow those under the radar gems, usually end up in the championship. This year there is a sleeper at every position that could be the key to your team’s success. Some names are known and others may be new to you but take notes and you will be in the playoffs at seasons end.
C- Jorge Posada
We all know Jorge has been one of the top catchers taken off the board in years past and last year in limited time put up a respectable Avg . 248 HR 18 RBI 57. Now he isn’t the catcher that has his 30 home runs in the past any more but he has a good shot of 15-20 bombs. The main reason he lands on my list is because he is the perfect kind of catcher; one who never plays catcher. He will be a full time DH this season and has a great chance of making it without injury.
Others to pay attention to: Russell Martin, Jesus Montero, J.P. Arencibia
1B- Ike Davis
Davis burst into the Big Apple last year and provided a much-needed boost to the often-injured offense of the Mets. Despite hitting 19 homers and driving 73 runs in his rookie campaign, many owners will over look him. I fully believe he is a 25-30 homer threat and a potential 85-90 RBI season.
Others to pay attention to: Kila Ka’aihue, James Loney, Brandon Belt
2B- Dustin Ackley
You may have heard of him by now and if not, may god have mercy on your soul. Ackley is a hitting machine. Ackley was named the MVP of the 2010 Arizona Fall League, finishing .424/.581/.758 with four homers and five steals in just 20 games. While it is unknown exactly when he will arrive, when he does, you will be happy.
Others to pay attention to: Ryan Raburn, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Gordon Beckham
3B- Chipper Jones
While he may not be the Jones of old, he still can hit the ball like him. Jones is hitting .407 with 13 RBIs so far this spring. His knee has tested well and it looks as if all systems are a go. Watch his health though.
Others to pay attention to: Mike Moustakas, David Freese, Alex Gordon
SS- Ian Desmond
Most know Ian by now but for those of you that don’t; he posted a very useful line last year, batting .269 with 10 home runs and 65 runs batted in, while stealing 17 bases. I expect a slightly better line; .289 with 20 bombs and 23 steals.
Others to pay attention to: Mike Aviles, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Alcides Escobar
OF- Manny Ramirez
I will take Manny being Manny every year. Even better then any other year though is, he is the full time DH. He has something to prove this year and I expect him to hit .290 with 20-25 bombs and 75-80 rbi’s.
Others to pay attention to: Brett Gardner, Dustin Ackley, Michael Cuddyer
OF- Angel Pagan
Last year Angel got the chance to start with the oft-injured Beltran on the shelf. This is the first year guaranteed starting playing time and I expect him to flourish. I predict he will bat .305 with 15 homers, 90-100 runs scored, 75-85 rbi’s and 40-45 steals. Grab him while you can.
OF- Dexter Fowler
This could be the year he finally figures it all out. To say he is fast is an understatement. The Rockies are willing to give him the job and I expect nothing less then 90-100 runs scored and 40-45 steals.
UTIL- Omar Infante
Omar is the ultimate utility man. He is eligible everywhere but 1B and C in the field and who knows, he may add them too. He is a solid player who will give you .320 BA as well as 5-10 home runs, 50 rbi, 60 runs scored and 5-10 sb’s. He is the king of eligibility.
SP- Jeremy Hellickson
After a August call-up last season, Hellickson proved he was major league ready posting a 4-0 record with a 3.47 era with a fantastic 33:8 k:bb ratio. Anything but a 10-12 win season would be a major disappointment.
Others to pay attention to: A.J. Burnett, Michael Pineda, Jake Peavy
SP- Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes had a big overlooked season last year posting an 18-8 record with a 146:58 k:bb ratio. While his era was a quite high 4.19, he made up for it in the win column. I expect a similar season but a much lower 3.00 era. Grab him in the late rounds and reap the rewards.
RP- Aroldis Chapman
All I can say is, 105 mph fastball. He will be closing out games by mid-season and will be blowing away hitters like little leaguers. Draft and enjoy.
RP- Daniel Bard
If Papelbon falters prepare for the season of Bard. Last season he compiled a filthy 1.93 era with a 76:30 k:bb ratio in 74 2/3 innings pitched. On any other team this guy is an all-star closer. Sooner rather then later he will be just that on The Red Sox.
Tags:2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Picks