Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2012: Late-Round Draft Gems That Will Dominate

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterMarch 27, 2012

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 17:  Jose Tabata #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals during the game on August 17, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

We head into the final push for fantasy owners yet to take on the task of drafting a brilliant fantasy baseball team. You know all the marquee names, and now you have to take care of those sleepers lurking in the late rounds that will secure your season victory. 

We all know that the Robinson Canos and Matt Kemps of the world will fall to those lucky enough to be in line to take them. 

It really is all about position at the top, taking the scantest of skill, but the real joy comes in the later rounds, where the craftiest of fantasy owners shine. 

Here are the players who will make you look like a draft-day genius. 

For Average Draft Projection, we use the ESPN average of their fantasy leagues


1. Lucas Duda

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 02:  Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets poses for photos during MLB photo day on March 2, 2012 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

I will ask you a simple question: What's not to like about a big swinger who makes great contact on the ball?

Duda will man right field and get the green light, making him a power-hitting possibility to target in the later rounds. His current ADP is 208.9, so he will be around when most power hitters are gone. 

He is having a solid spring. Per USA Today he already has three home runs and seven RBI in the preseason.  


2. Jose Tabata

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Jose Tabata #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on against the Florida Marlins during the game on September 10, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Being well-rounded isn't a bad thing and is a blessing to find in the later rounds. The Pirates' outfielder has an ADP of 222.1, which makes him a steal. 

His batting average took a dip last season, but his walk rate increased and his OBP remained stagnant. This could be the year he puts it all together. 


3. Trevor Cahill

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Starter Trevor Cahill #53 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 27, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Here is an innings eater and is pitching for a solid ball club in the D-Backs. He should flirt with 15 wins as he continues to miss bats and induce ground balls. 

With an ADP of 223.7, Cahill should be a late starting pitcher who will solidify a staff with consistency.