Its never too early to start thinking about the baseball draft. I looked at some of the AL East rosters looking for some sleepers, here are some potentials.
Nolan Reimold OF I think there is a good chance that Reimold emerges this year as a legitimate power threat. He brings a solid average, .279 last year and his power is developing. I look for 25 HR's and 75 RBI's over the course of the year. A lot of value for a late round guy.
Nick Markakis OF Last year he was consensus second round pick and I think there is still some talent left in this guy. I think he still is a second rounder. He is going to slide this year, but I think he is going to explode in his post hype year.
Brian Matusz SP Top pitching prospect for the Orioles. There is a lot to like about this kid, he is tall and lanky and averaged almost 5 strikeouts per start in his first year in the bigs, great potential for improvement there.
Daisuke Matsuzaka SP After pitching in only 12 games last year, I think there is a good chance that he bounces back this year. If you can get him late I think you should grab him. I would imagine he will be closer to his 2008 numbers of 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA than he would be to his stats from last year. This year's Chris Carpenter style lottery pick.
Clay Buchholz SP The much heralded prospect for the Sox finally arrived last year; this year he is here to stay. He is one of the most talented pitches in baseball and with an appropriate amount of innings this year, he could work his way towards ace status.
Travis Snider OF Classic case of wanting to grab a guy before he explodes. He is penciled in to hold down right field for the Jays and will have every chance to show what he can do. Another middle to late round guy that you cannot count on, but if you are filling your bench, you might as well give this talented youngster a look.
Brandon Morrow SP Another very talented youngster for the Jays. He came over in the Halleday deal and has the potential to be an ace. He has been wildly inconsistent so far in his major league career but I think if he realizes his potential this year you could be looking at 15-9, 3.50, 170K's. You could do worse in the late rounds.
Jeff Niemann SP Surrounded by such talents as Matt Garza and David Price, Niemann was overlooked lat year as was quietly the Rays best pitcher. There is nothing flashy about him, he just gets the job done. He lacked fantasy value last year with a low amount of strikeouts, but I think those will develop this year as he has another year of experience. He's not an ace, but you could certainly count of him to lower your ERA and WHIP.
Wade Davis SP In 6 starts at the end of the season, Davis was great. He recorded 2 wins, and ERA under 4 and a WHIP of 1.27. He figures to be the 5th starter this year and if he keeps his strong start up, I think he could be a top 20 pitcher. Definitely a guy you want.
Kelly Shoppach C He was aquired as a backup for Dioner Navarro but I have a feeling he is going to outhit Navarro and take the job. He only hit .214 last year, but his playing time was spotty. He hit .261 and had 21 bombs in 2008 so there still is hope for him. A great option if your looking for a backup catcher or are in a deep league.