Fantasy Baseball 2013 Super Sleepers
If you still haven't drafted your fantasy baseball team 10 days before the season starts, you've come to the right place. For the experienced fantasy owner, you know that a draft can be stressful down to the last pick. If you're looking for those players to target in late rounds that could help your championship hopes, I've got a few sleepers who could prove critical for your team.
Adam Eaton-OF Arizona
Eaton has steadily climbed up draft boards with major hype surrounding his rookie year. He got called up by the D'Backs late last year, hitting leadoff when he started. Eaton could be a serious source of runs and stolen bases, if he continues to hit leadoff all year, as he's expected. You can expect Eaton to be towards the lower side of your roster in home runs and RBI. As we've seen with speedy outfielders in the past, they can still carry significant value without the power numbers. If Eaton can keep his average around .280 all year, he could be a top-25 outfielder. Drafting him around pick 200 would be a perfect target range for the young OF.
Jedd Gyorko-2B/3B San Diego
With news of Chase Headley's thumb injury, Gyorko moves into an almost guaranteed starting role for the Padres. Gyorko has been working at second base since last season's conclusion, though defensive issues could cost him a few games. Gyorko's had a solid Spring so far and had 30 homers in Triple-A last year. Expect Gyorko to be a solid all around player. He might not reach 25 homers this year, but for a 3B drafted round 19 or later, he looks like a prototypical steal.
Chris Tillman-SP Baltimore
Tillman's 2012 season started late due to injury, but he performed better than expected when he arrived in July. Tillman has always had good 'stuff', but before last seasons he'd never pitched more than 65 innings. With an ERA under 3 and a WHIP of 1.05 over 15 starts last year, Tillman was one of the best pitchers down the stretch for the Orioles. While other fantasy owners may consider overdrafting other Baltimore starters Jason Hammel or Wei-Yin Chen, Tillman could possibly outperform them both. When taking pitchers late, many people will just take a shot in the dark. If you're playing to win, Tillman is a legit option late in fantasy drafts.
Domonic Brown-OF Philadelphia
Brown has been killing Spring Training pitchers hitting at a .397 clip. Though it's important not to put too much hope into Spring Training numbers, Brown's case may be different. Here's a guy who was much hyped two years ago, seen as the Phillies' future star outfielder. Injuries and offensive struggles have held him back, but he'll have a starting spot in left field to call his own this year. Brown changed his swing and approach at the plate this offseason and it has seemed to help significantly. We've seen post-hypers provide tremendous benefits to owners who take a chance on them. Considering Brown went undrafted in a few leagues of mine already, it wouldn't hurt to at least draft him in the final round. If he keeps his numbers up this Spring, his draft stock should climb up until Opening Day.
Alex Cobb-SP Tampa Bay
Cobb has been a highly regarded prospect in Tampa Bay's farm system for quite some time. The young pitcher is coming off of his first full season with the team, and posted a respectable 4.03 ERA with a 1.25 WHIP. Drafting Cobb should afford owners strikeout and wins potential. Cobb has tremendous Spring Training numbers with 23 k's in 19.1 innings. He's only had two walks also. For me, I'd much rather take a pitcher that keeps his walks low and provides less strikeouts, because I'm anticipating the pitcher to keep baserunners against him down and he'll pitch to a lower ERA. Cobb, like the rest of the players on this list, are climbing draft boards every day. If you can get Cobb round 20 or later, that would great value.
As a huge fan of sleeper picks, I'd have any to all of these players on my roster if I could. Don't worry about drafting potential over consistent numbers. Fantasy owners that succeed take risks, and better yet, you'll look like a genius when your 22nd round pick ends the season ranked top 50.