10 MLB Sleeper Keepers
Fantasy baseball leagues are coming to a close and unless you are in the hunt for playoffs spots the only important decisions you have to make are regarding keeper leagues.
I myself play in a very competitive dynasty league and am very annoyed with how little information there is available for those of us in leagues that last more than one year.
Keeper leagues force you to think not only about what a player is worth in the current year but also the following year where he might make an even bigger impact.
Everyone knows you have to keep guys like Pujols and Lincecum, but here is a list of ten guys that could make that jump to superstar next year and might be guys that don't cost as much to keep depending on how you got them this year.
Don't be afraid to do whatever it takes to squeeze these guys onto your roster for next year. Once the rankings reset you will be begin to see them going towards the top end of drafts and next year you'll have no choice but to spend to get them.
Act now while they're still Sleeper Keepers!
10) Dexter Fowler
Chances are if Fowler is on your team this year that you got him for cheap or with a very late draft choice.
Consider keeping him for such a low value because next year, having a year of major league service under his belt, Fowler might take a big step towards becoming the Jimmy Rollins type player everyone hopes he can be.
He showed that the speed is already there and if his HRs go up to where they were in the minors and his average is lifted a bit next year could be the year Dexter Fowler comes a great fantasy OFer.
With 20 HR/20 Steal potential the guy is a great value as a keeper since this year he was basically irrelevant. What is relevant is the look we managed to get at the kid this year, a look that proved he will be a force to be reckoned with in the major leagues.
9) Max Scherzer
This kid is no joke. Those of us who thought 2009 would be the year that Max became a legitimate stud might have to wait another year. The strikeouts were there but playing in that ball park caused for Scherzer's record to be a lot worse than his performances warranted.
He might need to switch teams to show his true potential but if next year he takes a couple more steps towards doing what Dan Haren does with that mediocre ball club than he is definitely worth stashing as a keeper.
8) Mark Reynolds
Everyone knows the awesome year Reynolds is having this year but does everyone really think he is going to keep it up?
They should because the dude is only 26, in a great hitters park, and a guy who gets you stolen bases as well. 2009 has been a fantastic fantasy year by anybodies standards, let alone a guy who wasn't even drafted in most leagues this year.
For where you got this guy this year you probably didn't expect to get a legit NL MVP candidate. He has what it takes to be an Adam Dunn type hitter with the addition of stolen basis. Stash him if you can.
7) Clayton Kershaw
It looked like Chad Billingsly was going to be the star in the Dodgers rotation but Kershaw has shown that he is a star on the rise.
He made a major jump into the top half of the fantasy pitcher spectrum this year and expect him to get even better as he spends more time in what has become a really good rotation for a really good ball club.
Best case scenario for fantasy owners is that the Dodgers don't go far into the playoffs this year because if this kid ends up playing all the way through October and doing so by adding up a lot of innings, next year will be a lot tougher on the youngster.
6) Derek Jeter
What a comeback year for the Yankees captain. Next year should not be looked at as a year where Jeter will be older and further past his prime, it should be looked at as the second year in the new hitters park and the first full year with A-Rod and Mark Teixeira in his lineup.
Jeter might have JUST played his best season ever and although a lot of people are going to use his age as a reason not to hang onto the leadoff king, I think you should keep him for next year cause 2010 should be the real coming out party for what could end up being one of the best lineups of all time.
5) Pablo Sandoval
Kung Fu Panda is definitely the coolest nickname in sports, let alone baseball at the moment. This guy is hitting over .310 in his rookie campaign and managed to put over 20 HRs on the board as well.
He looks like he could win a battle title and putting up such great power numbers in such a hitters park has to make you even more optimistic about a guy who looks to be a perennial all star in years to come.
Keep this guy for what should be a pretty low price and possibly have one of the top five hitters in the NL next year.
4) Brett Anderson
This guy has shown he can win games and as long as that team can get better he is going to have a chance to put up numbers in that park.
He should make the jump next year and for a guy who probably isn't even on too many people's keeper lists due to his lack of wins this year, he should definitely be considered as a cheap guy who can make room for expensive offensive players next year.
To be able to get a guy like this for cheap is valuable when you consider next year could be his year to make a Matt Cain like jump.
3) Joe Mauer
Now Joe Mauer should be considered an automatic keeper at this point and I am putting him here just to make sure everyone knows it. The power is legit. This guy is hitting over .360 and has over 25 HRs.
Those are MVP numbers at the catcher position. By keeping this position locked down you only make all your other positions better. Being able to keep a guy like Mauer in this position is something that may not last forever, as when he gets older he will probably move to 1B.
Keep this guy cause he is one of the very very best in the league. When you add in his position he might even be more of a keeper than A-rod or Pujols, who play the same position as over 10 guys with similar numbers.
2) Tommy Hanson
Tommy Hanson will be a top ten pitcher next year. In just his first real year as an MLB starter he has a fantastic record and has shown amazing control. He looks like he is going to be the next iconic Atlanta Braves pitcher and if you have him this year it's cause you took a chance on him late in your draft.
Hang onto this guy cause as good as he was this year, he will only get better next year. Hanson is a possible starter for the NL All star team, mark my words. Stash this guy and make sure you get a top 10 pitcher for next year.
1) Cliff Lee
It's crazy but even after winning the Cy Young last year Lee was still not really considered a top 10 guy this year. Well next year he better be. After seeing what he has done in Philly after finally getting a lineup behind him, it seems hard to believe he gets less than 20 wins next year in his first full year there.
Because he was so undervalued this year during his start in Cleveland, he is most likely a guy you can keep for a pretty reasonable price. Know that next year he is going to go a lot earlier and cost a lot more.
You will be happy you decided to keep him now before he officially became a top five pitching option for next year's leagues. Keep this Sleeper Keeper now and set up next years team a year in advance, a move that could win you your league next year.