Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2012: Will Venable and 4 Versatile Value Picks

Nick HouserCorrespondent IIMarch 24, 2012

Fantasy baseball owners hoping to sneak underrated players with quality power and speed need look no further than Will Venable.

The San Diego Padres right fielder will likely be overlooked, as is the case for three other similar players on this list.

Your opponents' misses are your gain.

These late-round steals offer fantastic versatility. They'll produce home runs and provide plenty of points through stolen bases.

Patient, risk-taking owners will profit from Venable and more, while friends mistake bigger names as better talent.

Here are the four guys who will be available and will round out your squad nicely.


Will Venable

Venable will be disregarded merely because of the team he plays for—the Padres are awful.

Awful teams must be filled with awful players, right?


Venable hits a consistent .250, nothing overwhelming, but he'll still give you around 15 home runs and 50 RBI.

Better yet, he'll net you 30 stolen bases.

Decent numbers for a mid-round guy. Great numbers for a player who will fall to the later rounds.


Jordan Schafer

In just 82 games last season, Schafer hit two home runs and stole 22 bases.

At just 25 years old, Schafer has found a home as the starting center fielder with the Houston Astros.

Now that he finally has the opportunity to play a full season with one team, he will benefit and so should fantasy owners.

He has the speed to steal 30 bases and enough pop to hit around a dozen home runs.

Schafer, like Venable, plays for a bad team—the Houston Astros—so he'll likely be forgotten by many when they're putting together their draft boards.

If you're daring enough to acquire Schafer, you won't be sorry.


Tyler Pastornicky

The 22-year-old shortstop finds himself starting for the Atlanta Braves.

When considering players from the NL East, most fantasy owners will look at the big names on the Philadelphia Phillies and the Miami Marlins.

Even those who look at the Braves will likely pass over Pastornicky for Brian McCann, Jason Heyward and even Martin Prado, yet Pastornicky has the stuff to garner Rookie of the Year consideration.

In the minors, he averaged about six home runs and 35 stolen bases. The minor leagues haven't provided him an opportunity to play in more than 125 games though.

His power and speed should continue to develop, and given 30 more games a season, Pastornicky can produce eight to 10 home runs and 40 stolen bases.


Dexter Fowler

In his fifth year, Fowler will benefit from consistency as the everyday center fielder.

Like Pastornicky, Fowler will be passed up by owners reviewing the Colorado Rockies lineup for bigger names such as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

Fowler averages about five home runs each season, but hitting at Coors Field, there's always hope he can produce more.

If he can stay healthy and start in 30 more games than he normally does, his numbers can easily rise.

Though he stole a low number of bases the last two seasons, he has the speed to steal over 25, as shown in 2009.

He's only 26 years old, so he has youth on his side. Consistency and development will make him worth a look in 2012.


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