Fantasy baseball is almost here and it's time to talk about potential sleepers for the 2009 season. Last year, we saw more injuries to key players in a long time.
Players like Victor Martinez, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Rafael Furcal, and Hideki Matsui either lost their seasons due to injuries or poor performance. These players should be the type of players to target late in drafts. They can be bargains and can easily post numbers similar to what we are used to.
There is always a risk when taking players coming off injuries or poor seasons. But the same can be said for consistent players, because you never know when disaster will strike.
When considering sleepers, one has to take into account their career numbers and current situations. Age can also be a factor, because if a player is getting old (Posada) and getting injured, you might want to stay away from them.
Here is a list of catcher and first base sleepers for the upcoming 2009 season.
All you need to know about Wieters is that his upside is through the roof. This guy can make a Geovany Soto-type impact. Soto owners that were lucky enough to snag him late in the draft, saw him take off last year.
Wieters has even more potential than Soto and all he needs is playing time. Wieters hit .355 in the minors last year and the Orioles just traded their regular starter, Ramon Hernandez. Take a chance on Wieters and watch him rake.
Projection: .282, 23 HRs, 88 RBI, 77 runs
Sticking with catchers, Snyder also qualifies as a sleeper. He was injury-plagued last year and that saw his numbers dip to .237 and only 16 homers. If the D-Backs trade Miguel Montero, then Snyder should rise up draft boards. Snyder has a decent amount of potential and has legit power for a catcher. Add in the fact that he's in a good lineup and hitter's ballpark. He can be a bargain.
Projection: .266, 18 HRs, 87 RBI, 73 runs
Martinez had a lost season last year. He struggled for the first-half of the year then got injured and never came back. Martinez is a former All-Star catcher who may play first-base to give back up Kelly Shoppach more at-bats and give his body a rest. Martinez is usually a reliable catcher that always puts up consistent numbers. If he falls into the middle rounds then snag him, because the Indians have nowhere to go but up after a disappointing season last year.
Projection: .290, 24 HRs, 100 RBI, 85 runs
Votto's name may not pop out at you when you think of first basemen but it should. Votto had a solid season last year by posting a line of: .297, 24 HRs, 95 RBI, 75 runs. Votto will still be in a solid Reds' lineup despite the losses of Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn. Votto is a breakout candidate who can be a top-10 first basemen.
Projection: .293, 30 HRs, 100 RBI, 84 runs
I mentioned Davis in my list of breakout candidates and he can also be a sleeper. His potential is unlimited and showed us flashes of it last season. He will be in a stacked lineup and a hitter's ballpark so take a shot on Davis.
Projection: .283, 36 HRs, 104 RBI, 80 runs, 5 SBs
Jackson has loads of potential and will be in a solid lineup and hitter's park. He had a solid season last year and will be eligible as a first baseman and as an outfielder. If you're looking at a potential breakout at first base that you can get late in drafts, Jackson is your man.
Projection: .310, 23 Hrs, 100 RBI, 93 runs, 15 SBs
Swisher had a disappointing season last year after showing signs of stardom in 2007. Swisher got traded to the Yankees in the offseason and if he stays with them, he can be a solid sleeper pick. He is in a stacked Yankees lineup and will have multiple position eligibility as an outfielder and first-baseman.
If your league count OBP, Swisher can be very valuable, because he walks so much. Take a shot on Swisher for his potential alone and also the fact that he plays for the New York Yankees.
Projection: .240, 27 HRs, 87 RBI, 90 runs, 5 SBs