The Fantasy Fix 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit is finally here and although it's dirt cheap, 99 cents, we felt our fans would want a sneak peak at some of the great content that the guide boasts. Not only did our writers rank players at every position, the guide also contains a mock draft with round by round & team analysis, sleepers, busts, closer report and more!
Here's a sneak at the 2011 Sleepers from our fantasy pro, Adam Ganeles...
Heavy hitters and ace arms put you in a position to win your league, but it’s the late round sleepers that put a competitive team over the top. In keeper and dynasty formats especially, the “sleeper” is the key to building a powerful foundation for the future. Let’s take a look at ten under the radar performers, five batters and five pitchers, for the 2011 fantasy campaign.
Catcher - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston
A career that appeared saturated with offensive potential has been derailed for the better part of three seasons. However, all is not lost for the 6’4 switch-hitter. Saltalamacchia, who will turn 26 in May, has fully recovered from off-season thumb surgery and, barring injury or total incompetence, is a near lock to open 2011 as the Red Sox starting catcher. The swing and miss has been his nemesis, but it’s not too late to unlock the puzzle and unleash his raw power. Boston’s talent evaluation is stellar, so they must believe a breakout is imminent.
2B - Sean Rodriguez, Tampa Bay
Rodriguez was extremely productive last season as a part-time starter and do everything reserve. This year he won’t have to fight for at bats. If we take his nine homers, 40 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases (118 games and 343 AB) and prorate them over a full season, that’s a mighty healthy looking stat line. His combination of power and useful speed make him a valuable second base or middle infield option. Expectations of .280, 15-18 HR, 70 RBI and 20 stolen bases are not unfounded.
SP/RP - Andrew Cashner, Chicago NL
Cashner is the definition of an electric arm. After closing games in college, the 6’6 fireballer made 53 appearances out of the Cubs bullpen last season with inconsistent results. He will be provided an opportunity to win a rotation spot in spring training, as Chicago is staying the course on their pre-designed plan for his development. With a fastball not foreign to triple digits (96 MPH on average) and a devastating slider, Cashner possesses massive strikeout potential. But does he have the control/command or tertiary pitches to manage his way through the batting order multiple times? The 2008 1st round pick might not be under the radar for long.
SP - David Hernandez, Arizona
The Diamondbacks are ecstatic to have this power arm on their roster. Acquired in the Mark Reynolds trade, Hernandez was never able to find stability of role in Baltimore. His arm is rocket-like, but failure to develop secondary offerings has forced him back and forth between the starting rotation and bullpen. His effortless 94 MPH fastball is tough to square up (72 hits in 79 1/3 IP), but he bailed out the opposition at alarming frequency issuing 42 free passes. Chase Field is not the optimal destination for a flyball pitcher with control issues, but Hernandez oozes talent and is worth the risk/reward gamble if he earns a rotation spot.