Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers/Value Picks

We're about 1/4 of the way through the year, but there are still a lot of players that are undervalued at this point. Here's a few of them at C, IF, OF, SP, and RP.

Catchers

Josh Willingham - Florida Marlins - He's playing LF for Florida, but in most leagues he still qualifies at C, which is a good thing. He's batting .286, and he has 7 HR and 29 RBI. Florida's not that good, but Willingham is solid and batting behind Cabrera. He may be available in mixed leagues.

Johnny Estrada - Arizona Diamondbacks - Estrada's just a really solid hitter. The only reason Atlanta got rid of him of was to make room for Brian McCann, who's been excellent in his own right. Estrada is batting .314, has a few HR, as well as 25 RBI and 14 R. A nice option at Catcher.

Infield

Mike Cuddyer - Minnesota Twins - Qualifies at 2B, 3B, and OF, which makes him even more valuable. He has always had hitting talent, and always put up great Minor League numbers, but never really got comfortable in the Majors. Now, he's getting to play everyday in RF, and at age 27, is making the most of it. In May, he's batting .375 and he has 8 doubles. He's a nice option at this point as long as he continues to play everyday.

Mike Lowell - Boston Red Sox - Qualifies at 2B and 3B, and he is starting to play everyday and hit the ball well. In May, he's batting .340 with a couple HR, 11 RBI, and 9 2B. Also has scored 12 runs in the potent Sox offense.

Jose Lopez - Seattle Mariners - He's just been really, really solid, but not many people seem to know about him. He's got a solid .295 average, but he's also contributed 5 HR, 30 RBI, and 23 Runs. From a 2B, this is excellent production.

Bill Hall - Milwaukee Brewers - He doesn't really have a set starting spot, but he still gets a solid amount of playing time, and qualifies at 2B, 3B, and SS. Has a nice .291 average, and 8 HR when not playing everyday is very good. Also has scored 23 runs.

Outfield

Matt Murton - Chicago Cubs - His power hasn't really come much yet, with only 2 HR, but he's got a .271 average, 17 RBI, and 18 R, and he's even got a couple of stolen bases. Last year he hit 7 HR in 140 AB, so he has decent power potential.

Curtis Granderson - Detroit Tigers - Not playing really well right now, with only a .255 average, but he hits for decent power and he's fast. He has 6 HR and 3 SB, and has 20/20 potential. He's been batting leadoff for the Tigers, so he should score a nice amount of runs this year (21 so far).

Dave Roberts - San Diego Padres - He won't provide any power or RBI, but he hits for a nice average, and he'll steal a lot of bases. He's batting .284 right now, and has a very nice 14 SB in 15 chances. If you need steals and he's available, pick him up and he should shore that up for you.

Barry Bonds - San Fransisco Giants - He's obviously not a sleeper, but I do think he's undervalued. His numbers have not been good this year - .233 AVG, 5 HR, and only 14 RBI. Which is why he could be available for trade. I think he's still a very good hitter, just in a slump right now. I'd expect the average to be up around .270 at least by the end of the year, and around 30 HR. If you can trade for him at a reasonable price, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

Pitching

Fransisco Liriano - Minnesota Twins - He's set to make his first start on Friday, and that's a very good thing for fantasy owners. I've written about him here and here, and well, let's just say I'm high on his potential. He's got a great fastball, and absolutely filthy slider, and a good changeup. It will take him a while for his arm to get to the point where he can go deep into games, but he should provide quality innings and a good amount of strikeouts, without walking a lot of guys. If he's stll available in your league, stop reading and pick him up right now. You won't regret it.

Tony Armas - Washington Nationals - It seems like he's been around forever, but he is becoming a solid, reliable pitcher. He's got 4 wins, and his ERA is a paltry 3.02. With a over 2/1 K/BB ratio, and a WHIP of 1.12, while playing in the large expanse that is the Nationals home park, well, I can see him keeping this up.

Dave Bush - Milwaukee Brewers - His ERA is a shade over 4, but he has a K/BB ratioof almost 5/1. And with a WHIP of only 1.09, and an improving Brewer offense, he's a solid pickup.

J.J. Putz - Seattle Mariners - Now that he has emerged as the closer in Seattle after the disappointing start of Eddie Guardado, he's a must-own, and should rack up a good amount of saves. He has 4 of them already, but his WHIP is under, and his ERA is under 2. He also has 28 K in 19.2 innings.

Joel Zumaya - Detroit Tigers - This is pretty much for really deep leagues only, because he's still in middle relief. But, he's been excellent. He has 20 strikeouts and 7 walks in 18.1 innings. He has a 2.45 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and he's holding opponents to a 1.88 BAA. If/when Todd Jones gets hurt, Zumaya will take on a bigger role, and that coule make him very valuable.

Any other big ones I missed?

8 comments:

Ian C. said...

Excellent picks, my friend. I'm very grateful to Lowell, Roberts, and Putz for helping me along toward a respectable record.

I just hope none of my league-mates check out your post until the weekend. (No offense.)

Jason said...

Nice post.

I'm in a keeper - auction style league and feel very good about my draft of Bill Hall for $2. I expect to have him for a long time.

I hate BBonds, but I think you're right and I just might try and trade for him if I can get him for a steal.

JD said...

Nice picks! I would add Dan Uggla to that list of infielders. At first it looked like it wouldn't last but he has some serious plate discpline and can hit for power in all parts of the park. Currently sporting this line:

.320AVG 27R 5HR 20RBI 3SB

twins15 said...

Yeah, Uggla is another nice one. I did have him in one league, but then I dropped him in favor of Cuddyer, who I like a little more for the long run... but if Uggla continues to contribute in all 5 categories, I may have to reconsider. If he hasn't been picked up by that time.

The thing about the Florida Marlins is that as a whole they are not a very good team. But, they have good young pieces in place, and nice young offensive players that are sleepers because nobody knows about them.

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