2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Top Targets at Each Position
Sleepers are one of the best ways to win a fantasy baseball season.
With deep positions like starting pitching and shallow positions like shortstop, it's hard to know who to draft and who to give to your opponents.
These are some of the best sleepers in fantasy baseball for 2012. If you can get a couple of these guys on your team, you're sure to be fighting for your league championship.
1. Wilson Ramos
2011 Stats: .267/.334/.445, 48 R, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 0 SB
Filled with names like Santana and Posey, Ramos has one of the brightest futures among major league catchers. He's got an ability to hit for average and has a high power ceiling. He'll be a middle-of-the-order bat with a lot of fantasy potential.
2. Salvador Perez
2011 Stats: .331/.361/.473, 20 R, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 0 SB
One of the lesser known Kansas City prospects, Perez has solid upside. There's not a lot of power potential (season high of 10 home runs in the minors), but he can hit for average (.285 minor league hitter). He made the best of his 2011 call-up, and that's won him the starting job for 2012.
1. Eric Hosmer
2011 Stats: .293/.334/.465, 66 R, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 11 SB
Entering 2012, Hosmer is one of the top sleepers in all of fantasy. His 2011 was phenomenal, easily out-shadowing teammate, and other Royals top prospect, Mike Moustakas. This kid can really hit, and he'll garner double-digit home runs and stolen bases while picking up a lot of runs and RBI. He oozes five-category potential.
2. Ike Davis
2011 Stats: .302/.383/.543, 20 R, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 0 SB
Davis was hurt for a lot of 2011, which means he'll be flying under the radar at as deep of a position as first base. He has top-10 potential at the position. He can hit for average, with some solid power potential. The changes to Citi Field will make his bat that much more lethal.
1. Dustin Ackley
2011 Stats: .273/.348/.417, 39 R, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 6 SB
Some fantasy players are weary of Safeco Field and are thus straying far from Dustin Ackley. Let their fear be your reward. Ackley has a sweet swing, no matter what kind of park he's in. He can hit for a high average, with 20-20 potential. It won't hurt having Jesus Montero watching his back.
2. Jason Kipnis
2011 Stats: .273/.333/.507, 24 R, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 5 SB
A highly-touted prospect, Kipnis has all the makings of a 2012 breakout candidate. He made the most of his 2011 cup of coffee, and he features a great blend of speed and power. There's five-category potential here, with easy double digits in home runs and stolen bases.
1. Dee Gordon
2011 Stats: .304/.325/.362, 34 R, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 24 SB
Gordon is a light hitter, but is an utter speed demon on the base paths. His 2011 stolen base rate would have garnered 68 swipes over 160 games. Not too far-fetched since he stole 73 in 2009 as a 21-year-old minor leaguer.
2. Erick Aybar
2011 Stats: .279/.322/.421, 71 R, 10 HR, 59 RBI, 30 SB
Aybar continues to develop, posting career highs in home runs and stolen bases in 2011. He's in a real good situation on top of that Angels lineup. He could easily have a 15 HR, 35 SB season in 2012, with a chance at 80-100 runs.
1. Brett Lawrie
2011 Stats: .293/.373/.580, 26 R, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 7 SB
One of the most underrated prospects of last season, Lawrie didn't disappoint. After his call-up, he refused to look back and dominated (slowly crawling his way up the Toronto lineup). Could easily be a 20-20 player in 2012, with even more upside to give.
2. Mike Moustakas
2011 Stats: .263/.309/.367, 26 R, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 2 SB
Moustakas was one of the top prospects heading into last season, but he disappointed. At just 23, there's a lot of room to grow in 2012, and Moustakas could become a stud. Don't overlook his September in which he hit four home runs with a .960 OPS.
1. Desmond Jennings
2011 Stats: .259/.356/.449, 44 R, 10 HR, 25 RBI, 20 SB
Demond Jennings is Carl Crawford 2.0, which means solid upside. He'll easily steal 40 bases and has the potential for double-digit home runs. The average might not be all there in 2012, but he should at least be north of .270.
2. Logan Morrison
2011 Stats: .247/.330/.468, 54 R, 23 HR, 72 RBI, 2 SB
Lo-Mo showed some promise out of the gate in 2011, but faded as the season went on. He still has a lot of potential and should get a lot of great opportunities in the middle of that Miami lineup. He has potential to hit for average with 20-30 home runs.
3. Lorenzo Cain
2011 Stats: .273/.304/.318, 4 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB
Cain was a centerpiece in last year's Zach Greinke deal, and he'll pay off big dividends for the Royals this season. A speed demon on the bases, Cain also has the potential for 10-15 home runs. He'll score a lot of runs on top of that Royals lineup.
1. Matt Moore
2011 Stats: 1-0, 2.89 ERA, 9.1 IP, 15 SO, 1.286 WHIP
The top pitching prospect in baseball, it'll be hard for any fantasy player to pass up on Moore. He's dominated the minors, has major strikeout potential and pitches for a club that's become the face of spitting out young pitchers.
2. Stephen Strasburg
2011 Stats: 1-1, 1.50 ERA, 24 IP, 24 SO, 0.708 WHIP
Strasburg is still on the mend from T.J. surgery, so it seems his innings will be limited in 2012. Nonetheless, there's a lot of late-round potential here. We all know what he can do, now we just have to sit back and watch it come to fruition.
3. Brandon Beachy
2011 Stats: 7-3, 3.68 ERA, 141.2 IP, 169 SO, 1.207 WHIP
Brandon Beachy has constantly been overshadowed by other Atlanta prospects, and it hasn't fazed him one bit. He turned in a spectacular 2011, striking out 10 batters per nine innings while walking less than 3.0.
4. Drew Pomeranz
2011 Stats: 2-1, 5.40 ERA, 18.1 IP, 13 SO, 1.309 WHIP
The Rockies' big lefty has a lot of potential, but he lacks seasoning. He could easily emerge as an ace in 2012 or be relegated to the minors for more experience. The big question: How will Coore's Field play into his development?
5. Chris Sales
2011 Stats: 2-2, 2.79 ERA, 71 IP, 79 SO, 1.113 WHIP
For two seasons, Sales has been solid out of the White Sox 'pen, posting a career K/9 of 10.6 and K/BB of 3.00. He'll finally be moving into the rotation come 2012. The potential is there, and he's got a big arm. His season depends on how well he takes to the move.
1. Sergio Santos
2011 Stats: 3.55 ERA, 30 SV, 63.1 IP, 92 SO, 1.105 WHIP
Had a solid 2011 as the White Sox closer. Now with the Toronto Blue Jays, there's a chance he'll see more save opportunities. Santos posted a beastly 13.1 K/9 last season, and he's only been pitching since 2009.
2. Brandon League
2011 Stats: 2.79 ERA, 37 SV, 61.1 IP, 45 SO, 1.076 WHIP
League had an up-and-down 2011, but he saw more positive situations than negative. He registered a low K/9 for a closer, but his 4.50 K/BB was very solid. Expect a lot of save opportunities and a low ERA supported by Safeco.
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