Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Ryan Raburn, Detroit Tigers Outfielder

Fantasy KnuckleheadsCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2011

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Ryan Raburn #25 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during Photo Day on February 21, 2011 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Ryan Raburn is NOT a young stud fresh from Triple-A ball. He’s got five partial years in the bigs, though until last year few had heard his name at all. Still, at 29 years old he still has the opportunity to do big things, or at least big enough to qualify for fantasy consideration in 2011.

Raburn quietly put together a decent season in Detroit last year playing a part-time role, similar to what he did in 2009. He saw action in only 113 games in 2010, but he gets his shot as an everyday player in 2011. The move to a full-time gig could pay big fantasy dividends for the youngster.

He is currently being nabbed around the 19th/20th round of most drafts based on these numbers:

2010 Season Stats


What most fantasy baseball players may not be aware of is that when it counted, down the stretch in August/September, Raburn was a monster. And this is why I believe he has serious sleeper potential. He hit .308 over his last 70 games, including .315 in August and .358 to finish out the year.  He hit 13 of his 15 home runs during that period.

Here is how I think Raburn’s 2011 season could shake out if he avoids an early slump and remains an every day outfielder for the Tigers:

Projected 2011 Season Stats


Add to all of this Raburn’s ability to play all three OF positions, if your league should differentiate RF/CF/LF, as many deeper leagues do. Depending on your league settings, he may also qualify at second base, as he played 18 games there last season. If he qualifies at 2B in your league, his sleeper factor multiplies significantly.