Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2013: Players Who'll Rebound After Tough 2012 Seasons

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 31, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 17:  Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox bats against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

As battle-tested fantasy baseball owners know, you don't win championships simply based on a couple of high draft picks.

If you can find diamonds in the rough or overlooked producers late in the draft, you stand a much better chance of coming away with the title in your league(s).

It's always a risky preposition to put your faith in a player who struggled the previous season, but fortune favors the brave, as they say.

If you simply play it safe all season long, you probably won't win it all.

Here's a look at five players I see rebounding in 2013 after disappointing 2012 campaigns.


Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox

It's only natural to feel a bit wary of Jacoby Ellsbury in 2013 given his injury history (he played in 74 games last season), but we've seen what the former first-rounder can do when he's healthy.

The 29-year-old had an unbelievable year in 2011, batting .321 with 32 home runs, 105 RBI, 119 runs and 39 stolen bases. He still has the talent. He just needs to stay healthy.


Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Roy Halladay says he's healthy now and that's good news from a two-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star.

Those concerned about Halladay's age drastically affecting his numbers in 2013 shouldn't be. You don't become a two-time Cy Young Award winner by simply blowing fastballs by people.

The fact of the matter is, Halladay knows how to pitch. He's probably not going to rattle off Cy Young-caliber numbers anymore, but you can expect his ERA to be respectable with a good WHIP and double digit wins.


Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, Texas Rangers

Lance Berkman, like Ellsbury, needs to stay on the field to make a significant impact, but the fact that he won't be asked to play defense in Texas should help in that regard.

Sandwiched in between the duos of Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz, there will be plenty of RBI and runs at Berkman's disposal.

Even at 36 years of age, Berkman still has plenty of power. He's in a hitter-friendly park and faces the dreadful Houston Astros 18 times in 2013.

Sign me up for the switch-hitter.


Ricky Romero, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

In 2012, Ricky Romero posted awful numbers. He registered a 5.77 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP while going 9-14 in Toronto.

Then again, Romero was coming off procedures on his throwing elbow and both knees. 

With a healthy offseason this year, I expect Romero to get back to the form he once displayed. Remember, in 2011, he posted a 15-11 record with a 2.92 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 178 strikeouts in 225 innings.

The left-hander certainly has the talent on the mound.


Peter Bourjos, OF, Los Angeles Angels

First of all, Peter Bourjos is still young at 25 years of age and still has room to improve.

Second of all, with Torii Hunter out of town, he will get the opportunity to show off his stuff again, like he did in 2011 when he batted .271 with 72 runs and 22 stolen bases.

Bourjos may just be scratching the surface of his potential and he could be in for a big year with the Angels. He certainly has an impressive lineup surrounding him in 2013.


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