Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2011: Seth Smith, OF, Colorado Rockies
Prior to being called up by the Rockies in 2007, Seth Smith's biggest claim to fame was being the backup QB to Eli Manning at Ole Miss.
He has since gone on to become one of the best pinch hitters in the game over the past three seasons.
With the exodus of Brad Hawpe, Smith is now penciled in to be the Rockies starting right fielder this season and this opportunity should have fantasy players taking notice.
Seth Smith -- OF -- Colorado Rockies
2010 Stats -- .246/.314/.469, 17 HR, 52 RBI, 55 runs, 2 steals
Average Draft Position -- 305
Sleeper Scale Rating (#1-5) -- 4
Smith is a big, strong guy who has waited patiently for his turn as a regular and appears poised be the Rockies everyday right fielder. He has a sweet left handed swing and is a lethal low-ball hitter.
He has a very mature, patient approach at the plate and waits for the pitcher to give him his pitch, then hits it with authority. Smith has demonstrated the ability to take walks, too, which gives him a chance to show off his above-average speed.
How many HR will Seth Smith hit in 2011?
Though he hasn't run much thus far in his career, I am sure he would steal 10-15 bases in full-time action.
The real potential here for Seth Smith is to be a run producing powerhouse in the middle of a pretty good lineup.
With players like Dexter Fowler, Ian Stewart, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez all coming of age, Smith will have plenty of protection and opportunities to drive in runs this year.
Smith's power stroke also plays very well in the thin air of Colorado and he projects to hit close to 30 HR's if given 500+ at-bats.
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His low batting average totals the past few years can be directly attributed to not getting regular at-bats.
It is damn near impossible to come into games ice cold and pinch hitting in the ninth spot in the lineup in place of the pitcher time and time again.
But Smith did so admirably, working counts, getting on base and hitting the ball out of the ballpark from time to time.
Coming from a football background also helps him in that he is a very team-oriented player who does whatever he needs to in order to help his club win.
Whether it is hit a deep flyball to score a run or hit behind a runner or even lay down a bunt, Smith has proven he will do whatever is asked of him.
Smith is the perfect sleeper candidate for fantasy baseball this season. Nobody is hyping him up and many of his teammates receive the bulk of the media attention.
While Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are star players and deserve their higher selections on draft day, it shouldn't surprise anybody if Smith posts better numbers than both of them in 2011.
There are a bunch of outfielders like Smith who we will be profiling throughout spring training, and that is a big reason why we suggest waiting awhile before drafting outfielders this year.
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