Friday, February 19, 2010

AL Central Fantasy Sleepers

The AL Central underwent a lot of changes this off season, but there are still a bunch of guys that can help you in your fantasy draft if you draft them properly.

White Sox
Gavin Floyd/ John Danks SP I put these two together because they are very similar. They both had outstanding 2008's and sub-par 2009's. If you are the gambling type, there is no reason not to give them another shot. They are low in the rankings after the off year, but the talent is still there. I'm not a huge Danks fan, but Floyd has great talent and could be a big winner again if you regains command.
Gordon Beckham- 2B This is actually a warning as opposed to me telling you to draft him. I believe that everyone is prematurely drinking the Beckham koolade. He had a great impact last year after his recall. He hit 14 home runs, drove in 63 runs while hitting .270 in his first 103 major league games. However impressive these numbers are, I still feel he is vulnerable to a sophomore slump. He is currently a top 10 third basemen according to ESPN's rankings and will be even higher at second base once he acquires eligibility there, yet he is only 103 games into his career. I need to see a little more before I draft him in the first 10 rounds.

Nick Blackburn SP Over his last 7 starts, he went six plus in six games and gave up fewer than three in each of those starts. He is a low strikeout guy, but he will deliver wins and low peripherals. Definitely a guy worth taking late and holding on to to see if he develops into an ace.
Scott Baker SP He had poor stats for 2009 but he was dealing with injuries and was actually very good over the second half. I think that he has a similar value as he did going into last year but you can get him far later. Great value here with huge upside.
Joe Mauer C How can a second round guy be a sleeper? Because he should be a first round guy, thats how. He puts up great stats and considering position scarcity, I think he is going to be an enormous value. Plus, he will singlehandedly win you the average category or make up for a guy like Jack Cust or Mark Reynolds.
Also, Kevin Slowey and Francisco Liriano- I really like both of these guys to bounce back from injury in big ways. Liriano could put up fourth to fifth round value that you can grab late in the draft.

Grady Sizemore CF People seem to have forgotten exactly how good Grady is. After an injury-plagued 2009, people are dismissing him as a has-been. He is the 27th ranked player on ESPN. However, if you look at his 2008 and before, there is no reason to think he is done. In 2008, he hit 33 homers and swiped 38 bags. He also drove in 90 and scored 101 runs. He has scored as many as 134 runs in a season as well. He is still risky coming off injury, but if he gets back close to where he was, 27th overall is far too low.
Fausto Carmona SP Dont laugh. Yes, Fausto was wretched in 2009. He wasn't much better in 2008 if we're being completely honest. However, in 2007, he was very good. He posted 19 wins and stuck out 137. This is basically a lottery ticket pick, it he gets his form back, you look like a genius, if not, you're out a 25th round pick or less.

Ryan Raburn UTL He will probably give you several different positions of eligibility and he will get enough at bats to make a difference for you this season. He hit .291 with 16 homers in limited duty last year. More regular at-bats should help those numbers.

Luke Hochevar SP Luke has unbelievable talent and has teased it for a while now. He got 25 starts last year and is penciled in as the number three in KC this year. If hes going to stick its going to be this year. Honestly I think he is a year away from a Greinke like explosion and perhaps we can expect pre-breakthrough Greinke like numbers, 13-10, ERA around 3.50, and 150 K's. Great value in the last round or undrafted.

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