Picking up solid sleepers is always great foundation for fantasy success. Obviously, the problem here is identifying the right sleepers.
After all, if these guys were a sure thing, they wouldn't be sleepers.
Below, I've pulled three infielders who enter the season below the radar, but have the greatest chance to be valuable sleeper picks.
Kyle Seager, 3B, Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a good place to turn for sleepers this year. In hopes of boosting their anemic offense, the team has moved in the fences at Safeco. Kyle Seager stands to receive a nice boost as a result.
Last season, Seager hit .259 with an OPS of .739. He also hit 20 home runs with 86 RBI.
The 25-year-old's numbers should improve as he embarks on his third season in the majors. The Mariners have upgraded their offense to go with the closer fences.
Last season, Seager hit just .223 at home compared to .293 on the road. Also, and this is key, he had a 5.0 home run/fly ball percentage at home as compared to a 12.8 percentage on the road.
Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres
This selection comes with a giant caveat. The 24-year-old Jedd Gyorko is a third baseman. However, the Padres have Chase Headley at third.
As a result, the Padres will hope he can handle second base.
The reason San Diego is entertaining this hope is because Gyorko is a natural hitter. For his career in the minors, Gyorko carries a .319/.385/.529 batting line. Last season, between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson, he hit 30 home runs and 100 RBI.
The key with Gyorko is how well he handles second base. If his defense is good enough to allow him to stick with the Padres, he will produce at the plate.
Josh Rutledge, SS, Rockies
Rutledge is another sleeper with big potential, but needs to be monitored to make sure he has a place in the Rockies lineup.
It is likely he will be the Rockies' Opening Day second baseman, but it's certainly not set in stone.
Rutledge was solid last season while filling in for the injured Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop.
He will bring a little pop to the middle of the infield. In his 73 games in the majors last year, Rutledge had eight home runs. The 23-year-old is also averaging 17 home runs per 162 minor league games.
This isn't the only way Rutledge can contribute. Rutledge had a .306 OBP last season in the bigs in 277 at-bats. He had seven steals and was not caught stealing once.
In the minors, he has averaged 24 steals per 162 games.
If Rutledge plays a full season in Colorado, he is a legitimate 20/20 threat.
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