Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2012: Late-Round Steals to Lead You to a Championship

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterMarch 29, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Doug Fister #58 of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Ah, sleepers—the highly sought-after and oft-elusive major leaguer. We simply can't get enough of their prized and hidden production. 

I still can't believe that Doug Fister is just sitting there in most drafts, having an ADP of 151.1, according to ESPN's draft results

The Detroit Tigers pitcher was simply a marvel down the stretch, which makes it clear why he is reaching the 12th round or later in deep leagues. 

The stench of his days in Seattle is still making owners turn their heads in disgust. However, look at his time in Detroit, and he has ace written all over him. 

In 11 games in Detroit, he had a 1.79 ERA and eight wins, which makes him the perfect pitcher to take for your rotation. These are the success stories that we want on our teams to start the season. 

Fister is no doubt a sleeper that will make your fantasy team the deepest in the league, but here are some more.

 

1. Brennan Boesch

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 05: Brennan Boesch #26 of the Detroit Tigers drives the ball into right for a RBI triple in the first inning during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 5, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by E
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

With two seasons under his belt and a wealth of tumult to aid his maturity, 2012 will be the season that the Tigers' five-tool player breaks out. 

He suffered a dismal second half in 2010 and then an injury last season. This year, it's time he puts it all together and builds on a season in which he hit .283 with 16 home runs and 54 RBI in just 472 plate appearances. 

I expect a big season from the third-year player, who has now reached the magic age of 27 years old.

 

2. Lorenzo Cain

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 29: Lorenzo Cain #6 of the Kansas City Royals poses during photo day at the Surprise Sports Complex on February 29, 2012 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
Rob Tringali/Getty Images

What a difference a magical spring training makes. The Royals outfielder is the breakout star of the preseason, batting .431 with four home runs and eight RBI. 

The fact that he can also steal bases makes him a true late-round gem. Any power that you get from this budding star is pure icing.

 

3. Javy Guerra

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 08:  Javy Guerra #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 8, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The big headache for every fantasy owner is the perennial closer run that takes place, seemingly out of nowhere. 

This is a tough position to buy high because of the volatile nature of these pitchers. You are riding high one day and the next looking for a set-up man after another blown save. 

Guerra gives tremendous value for a closer that should get around 35 saves after a solid showing in the second half of last season. I like the sound of converting 21-of-23 saves down the stretch.