April 4, 2020

2011 Fantasy Baseball Preview: Top Ten Sleepers (Part II)

January 25, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Different editors/writers have differing definitions of the term, “sleeper”. The concept has been watered down in the current fantasy baseball lexicon, probably because there are writers who can’t be bothered to do the analysis required to uncover real “sleepers”. In my opinion, rookies have no place on a sleeper list. They aren’t sleepers. They are prospects who are hoping to have a major league career. Thus, there aren’t any rookies on my list. [If you feel you HAVE to have a rookie on your sleeper list, start with Craig Kimbrel and/or Jordan Walden]

I also don’t consider guys like Drew Stubbs (CIN, OF) to be a sleeper. He had nearly 600 plate appearances, hit 22 HR and registered 30 SB last year. On what planet is a 20/20 guy a “sleeper”? Yet, I have read several lists on which he has been labeled a sleeper for 2011. IMHO, if you are playing fantasy baseball and you don’t know about what he has done, give up fantasy baseball… try fantasy legislators. Stubbs is not a sleeper! Ditto Brandon Morrow (TOR, RHP), who led all of the major leagues with a 13.01 K/9 in 2010, yet somehow still shows up on numerous sleeper lists heading into 2011.

I believe the guys on my list fit the classic definition of a “sleeper”. They are big leaguers who have not put up the kind of numbers that were expected of them. In most instances, their names are familiar to you, but you might look beyond them either because of poor performance, a lack of opportunity, or injury. For those reasons, they are guys who might otherwise fly under the radar at your 2011 auction / draft… thus, they are a “sleeper”. Don’t get caught napping on them in March.

Here are my Top Ten fantasy baseball sleepers for 2011, presented in five installments over five days (one batter and one pitcher in each installment). Part I was presented yesterday… after today, the remaining installments run through the end of the week:

Jed Lowrie, BOS: It’s hard to find a true sleeper on a team like the Red Sox or Yankees because of the exposure players on those teams typically receive and the hype surrounding the respective franchises… but I think “Jedi” is a sleeper for 2011.

He has spent much of his brief big-league career on the Disabled List, but the Sox front office l-o-v-e-s him. He will play frequently during the 2011 season. Initially he’ll be a super-utility guy while incumbent SS Marco Scutaro begins the year as the starter… but I believe Lowrie will finish the year playing between Pedroia and Youkilis. He missed the first half of the 2010 season, but hit 9 HR in part-time duty (171 AB) after being activated from the DL in July.

If you have a vacant MI position late in your auction/draft, you could do a LOT worse.

Justin Masterson, CLE: Disclaimer: As many of you know, I am friendly with Justin and therefore may not be the most objective analyst when it comes to his performance, but I am convinced he is going to have a breakout campaign in one of these years.

His 2010 numbers were somewhat ugly (6-13, 4.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP), but his peripherals suggest those numbers were more a product of bad luck and questionable defense than anything else. His BAA was league-average (.261), his OPS-against (.725) was 18 points under league-average (.743), his GB/FB (1.47) was nearly twice the league-average (0.79) and his BABIP (.309) was 10 points higher than league-average (.299).

Folks, there is some potential here! His FIP was 3.93 – more than three-quarters of a run lower than his Earned Run Average (that placed him eighth in all of baseball in differential). When you consider that the Indians scored a half-run per game less than league average in his starts, it is not difficult to imagine that he could have been 13-6, 3.93. Once again, you could do a LOT worse if you need a starter late in your auction/draft.


2 Responses to “2011 Fantasy Baseball Preview: Top Ten Sleepers (Part II)”
  1. mike says:

    your red socks are showing…..


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