By Lawrence Barreca.
Every year, a group of pitchers go into fantasy drafts unnoticed, whether it be due to injury or poor performance. Here, we help fantasy owners to re-locate this group, and below we have five names that may catch your eye come Draft Day. Let's see what sleepers we have in store today.
Jonathan O. Sanchez (SP) (SF)- Think back to last season and ask yourself, “Did Sanchez do anything great last season?” Does anyone remember the no-hitter he threw on July 10? Yes, that’s what he did. This San Francisco southpaw has fallen off the radar of many fantasy owners; however, there is no reason why he should be ignored when Draft Day rolls around. Sanchez, who went 8-12 last season with a 4.24 ERA and 177 Ks, comes into the year as the number four starter in the Giants’ rotation. This is no ordinary rotation, though. We are looking at one of the better starting fives in the National League, consisting of Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito, Sanchez and youngster Madison Bumgarner. That is one scary group. Any one of the names above could be reliable fantasy starters in the long run (well, that may be a stretch for Zito), and Sanchez is just a continuation of the potential success that each one brings to a fantasy owner. For Sanchez, his main issue is walks (88 last season) and high pitch count, yet his ability to record strikeouts and dominate the competition (at times) makes him a worthy option late in any draft.
Now, don’t expect Sanchez to go out and be a solid pitching option week-in and week-out, as he has been known to be erratic in the past. One can not doubt, though, his ability to be a game changer, and his uncanny ability to be able to take control of a game is rivaled by few. Grab Sanchez in the mid-to-late rounds of your draft if you get the chance, and expect him to be a steady fantasy starter as the 2010 season wears on.