Fantasy Baseball: Ranking the Biggest Available Sleepers at Every Position

Eric Matula@EricMatula11Contributor IIJune 20, 2012

Fantasy Baseball: Ranking the Biggest Available Sleepers at Every Position

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    Most head-to-head leagues are halfway done and most roto leagues are separating the contenders from the pretenders.

    It doesn't matter if you're in first or in last, you can always find ways to improve your team. Perhaps you just suffered a key injury, or maybe you're sick and tired of waiting for one of your guys to finally turn it around.

    Here's a look at three hitters at each position that have the ability to help your team.


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    1. A.J. Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers ... Owned in ESPN: 32 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 45 percent. Ellis has been a pleasant surprise to the 2012 campaign. He's hitting .302 with six home runs and 26 RBI. He's also available in more than half of leagues. His average should fall a little bit, but if you're in need of a catcher, Ellis is capable of finishing with a .280 average and 10 home runs.

    2. Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies ... Owned in ESPN: 7 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 16 percent. Rosario has a ton of pop. Out of all MLB catchers, Rosario is tied for fourth with nine home runs and tied for second with three stolen bases. If you need help in the power numbers, or you are willing to give up on average, then Rosario could be your guy.

    3. Ryan Doumit, Minnesota Twins ... Owned in ESPN: 6 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 27 percent. Doumit has been solid through his career. He does nothing spectacular, but if you're in a bind, he can certainly help you out. He's a guy that can hit .250 with 15 home runs.

First Basemen

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    1. Brandon Moss, Oakland A's ... Owned in ESPN: 29 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 20 percent. If Bryan LaHair and Chris Davis are already taken, then look for Moss. He's getting an opportunity in Oakland and he's not letting it pass him by. Moss has six homers and 11 RBI in 36 at-bats so far. He's also hitting .278.

    2. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants ... Owned in ESPN: 21 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 23 percent. After not hitting a home run until June 12, Belt recorded a homer in three straight games. And going into that June 12 contest, Belt was hitting .224. He's now up to .261. Belt is still young, learning to make adjustments. It looks like he's finally got it going now.

    3. Ike Davis, New York Mets ... Owned in ESPN: 29 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 40 percent. Davis looks to finally be turning his season around. On June 1, Davis was hitting .170. He's still on the interstates, but he's up to .196 now. His average has increased thanks largely to a nine-game hitting streak. If you're in desperate need, pick up Davis. He could turn it around for you.

Second Basemen

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    1. Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks ... Owned in ESPN: 93 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 42 percent. Hill, fresh off a cycle, is back to raking. Hill entered the month with a .263 batting average and five home runs. Now, almost three weeks into June, Hill is hitting .284 with eight homers. He's also a decent source for steals too. He finished last year with 21 stolen bases. I don't get the disparity between ESPN and Yahoo!, but if he's available, snag him.

    2. Elliot Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays ... Owned in ESPN: 8 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 8 percent. Johnson is the epitome of the Tampa Bay Rays. He doesn't do anything spectacular, but he's solid all around. He's hitting .275 with four home runs and 10 stolen bases. In the past two weeks, Johnson is hitting .333 (13-for-39). He's a guy that can help in a bunch of categories.

    3. Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals ... Owned in ESPN: 47 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 31 percent. Espinosa had a huge 2011 season, when he hit 21 home runs and swiped 17 bags. He got off to a terrible start in '12, but he's turning it around. In the last month, Espinosa has been hitting .267 with three homers and six steals.

    Just an additional note: Jason Kipnis is owned in 92 percent of Yahoo! leagues. 92 percent? How is he not 100 percent owned? He's arguably the best second baseman in the game right now.

Third Basemen

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    1. Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins ... Owned in ESPN: 97 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 67 percent. For ESPN users, this man is most likely not available, but for Yahoo! users, he can be your fix. The guy is on an absolute tear right now. He has 10 home runs in the last month and seven homers in the last two weeks, He's also Mr. Versatile, having eligibility at 2B/3B/SS/OF. Pick up Plouffe now, just hope you weren't too late.

    2. Mark Reynolds, Baltimore Orioles ... Owned in ESPN: 49 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 44 percent. What's good about a power hitter who doesn't hit home runs? Nothing. That's what has happened to Reynolds this year. His average was always terrible, but you drafted him for his bombs. He only has five home runs so far, but he has hit two in the last week. When Reynolds gets hot, he hits homers in bunches. If you need some power help, grab Reynolds. Keep in mind, Reynolds had just seven home runs heading into June last year before finishing with 37.

    3. Elian Herrera, Los Angeles Dodgers... Owned in ESPN: 3 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 3 percent. Most of you probably don't even know who this guy is. But, since getting regular playing time on May 15, Herrera is hitting .305 with 14 RBI, 17 runs and four steals. He's also versatile, having 2B/3B/OF eligibility. If you need help in average and runs, Herrera can help out hitting in the two-hole for the Dodgers.


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    1. Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals ... Owned in ESPN: 43 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 36 percent. Escobar is quietly having a good season. The power numbers won't be there (there aren't too many SS who provide that), but he's been a good source for average and steals. He's hitting .292 on the year with 12 stolen bases. Escobar is in the top five for MLB shortstops in both average and steals so far.

    2. Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds ... Owned in ESPN: 35 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 29 percent. Cozart is starting to heat up. He entered June hitting .236, but he's all the way up to .260 now. He's seems to be a streaky player, so now might be a good time to ride a hot streak. In the last two weeks, Cozart is hitting .340 with nine runs scored.

    3. Ryan Theriot, San Francisco Giants ... Owned in ESPN: 9 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 7 percent. Theriot isn't the flashiest player, but he finds a way to get the job done. Again, he's not going to help out with home runs, but he's been good for average and steals. He's hitting .275 with seven steals this year. He's been especially hot the last two weeks, hitting .340 with six stolen bases.


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    1. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, New York Mets ... Owned in ESPN: 24 percentowned in Yahoo!: 19 percent. Nieuwenhuis has been a consistent contributor the entire 2012 season. He's hitting .290 with 38 runs, 24 RBI, six home runs and four steals. His average hasn't been below .280 since May 20. Nieuwenhuis should get plenty of runs hitting atop the Mets lineup. He's a solid play for average and runs.

    2. Michael Saunders, Seattle Mariners ... Owned in ESPN: 62 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 28 percent. Saunders is a five-tool guy when he's hot. Right now, he's hot. In the last month, Saunders has been hitting .306 with three home runs, five steals and 15 runs scored. In the last two weeks, he hit .295 with two home runs and two stolen bases.

    3. Rajai Davis, Toronto Blue Jays ... Owned in ESPN: 14 percent; owned in Yahoo!: 11 percent. Davis was always known as a guy who could steal bases, but he only hit .238 a year ago. After getting off to another dismal start, Davis is starting to find his groove. He started May with a .185 batting average, but has seen it climb up to .265 today. The more hits Davis collects, the more bags he'll swipe. He already has 16 this season.

    Just an additional note: Adam Dunn leads the MLB with 23 homers. You think he would be 100 percent owned right? Well, in ESPN he is but he's owned in just 88 percent of Yahoo! leagues. If you're in a Y! league and Dunn is available, please pick him up.