2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 5 Quality Starters You Can Grab in Late Rounds

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 29, 2012

2012 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 5 Quality Starters You Can Grab in Late Rounds

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    All fantasy sports players know that it's the bench and late round players who deliver championships.

    Of course, past Cy Young award winners and strikeout leaders are going to dominate the early rounds of the draft.

    But what about the diamonds in the rough?

    What about the guys whose numbers don't tell the whole story?

    I already detailed eight starters to grab in the first 3 rounds, but now I'm here to tell you about five starters who will be sleepers in 2012.

Matt Moore

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    2011 Stats: Incomplete

    The Tampa Bay Rays haven't given us much of a look at Moore, but from what we've seen and what he accomplished in the minors, there's a lot to look forward to.

    In his only start, which came in game one of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers, Moore pitched seven innings of two-hit baseball, striking out six and walking two.

    During his five-year minor league career, Moore boasted a ridiculous K/9 of 12.7.

    He's young and inexperienced but definitely shows great potential as a late-round pick on.

Brandon Morrow

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    2011 Stats: 11-11, 4.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 179.1 IP, 203 SO

    Morrow has some of the filthiest stuff in the league as evident by his AL-leading 10.19 K/9 in 2011.

    He's struck out 381 batters in 325.1 innings of work the past two seasons and sports a fastball around 93 mph.

    Pitching in the AL East, Morrow dominated the New York Yankees, posting a 1.74 ERA and 22 Ks in 20.2 IP.

    Bottom line: Brandon Morrow is a sleeper.

Vance Worley

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    2011 Stats: 11-3, 3.01 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 131.2 IP, 119 SO

    Don't expect a sophomore slump for Vance Worley.

    He pitched surprisingly well for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011, posting a 7-2 post All-Star record, with 82 strikeouts in 82.2 innings.

    Thanks to Cole Hamels, Worley learned how to throw a cutter and then used it to dominate lefties all season long by holding them to .201/.271/.299 in 2011.

    Combined with a slider that keeps righties at bay, Worley is a worthy late-round sleeper.

Hiroki Kuroda

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    2011 Stats: 13-16, 3.07 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 202.0 IP, 161 SO

    Now a member of the New York Yankees, Hiroki Kuroda has the potential to earn some wins in pinstripes.

    Though he sports a career 41-46 record, the fact that he played for a weak offensive team in the Los Angeles Dodgers needs to be taken into consideration.

    He posted the lowest ERA of his four-year career in 2011 and should post similar numbers this season in New York.

    With an offense like the Yankees', expect Kuroda's win total to increase as well, making him a viable late-round fantasy option.

Doug Fister

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    2011 Stats: 11-13, 2.83 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 216.1 IP, 146 SO

    Like Kuroda, Doug Fister's career 20-31 record is misleading.

    He spent almost his entire career pitching for the Seattle Mariners without much run support.

    After being traded to the Detroit Tigers in 2011, Fister went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.

    He's not a strikeout pitcher, as he had a 6.07 K/9 in 2011.  The good news is that he doesn't walk a lot of batters as evident by his 37 walks in over 216 innings pitched.

    Grab this guy if you can—he's going to be a late round steal.  


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