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Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2012: Deep Sleepers with Big Production Potential

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Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2012: Deep Sleepers with Big Production Potential
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I don't know how far down the rabbit hole of MLB your particular fantasy baseball league likes to venture, but if you're looking for some deep, deep sleepers—as in, like, Inception-style dream-inside-a-dream-inside-a-dream stuff—then we've got you covered.

To some extent, anyway.

Whether you're looking for cheap productivity in the draft or quick fillers off the waiver wire, these three late bloomers should be available when your fantasy squad needs a helping hand...errr, bat.

 

Which sleeper slugger will have the best season?

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J.P. Arencibia

Anyone who's willing to overlook Arencibia's low batting average (.219) and high strikeout totals (133) to pick him up would be wise to do so—not just because the kid does a killer Tim Kurkjian impression.

Arencibia does what so few catchers do these days—he hits with power, and plenty of it. The 26-year-old slugged 23 round-trippers and drove in 78 runs in 443 at-bats across 129 games last season, his first as a full-time major leaguer.

With his rookie campaign behind him and an age-26 season ahead of him, Arencibia only figures to improve on those numbers in 2012. You'll likely need to make up for J.P.'s low batting average somewhere else on your roster, though squeezing 25 or more homers and 70-to-80 RBI out of your catcher should be a big boost to your fantasy bottom line. 


John Mayberry Jr.

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Like Arencibia with the Blue Jays, John Mayberry Jr. has only recently ascended into an everyday role with the Phillies and should see his production spike this season as a result. The 28-year-old smacked 15 home runs with 49 RBI, 37 runs scored, 26 walks and eight stolen bases in just 296 plate appearances last season.

He figures to find his way to the batter's box many more times this season as Philadelphia's starting left fielder and should be eligible at first base as part of a platoon to fill in for the injured Ryan Howard.

With Mayberry's 6'6" frame and past productivity, don't be surprised if he challenges for a 20-20 campaign and drives in 60 runs or so along the way. 


Chase Headley

Rich Pilling/Getty Images

Once upon a time, Chase Headley was an primo prospect in the Padres organization—one with the athleticism to rack up steals and the pop in his bat to hit balls out of any park, PETCO included.

Headley's power has yet to shine through in the majors, with only 4.3 percent of his fly balls leaving the yard last season. However, he has shown some power in the past (12 homers in 2009, 11 in 2010) and figures to display even more now that he's healthy and fast-approaching his 28th birthday.

What's more, Headley should hit somewhere in the .270-.280 range with a patient batter's eye (52 or more walks in each of the last three seasons) and some speed on the basepaths (double-digit steals over that same span) to boot.

Not bad for a lightly-regarded third baseman, even if he plays in a ballpark where power goes to die.


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