Fantasy Baseball 2011: Top 10 Sleepers and Stick-It-to-Thems
This time of year, America is buzzing over both March Madness and the fantasy baseball information superhighway.
In this show, I'll provide you with the broadband information you'll need to win a championship and get your coins in.
Join me as I get it in and let you know the under the radar players to roster.
10. LF-Scott Podsednik: His Batting Average and Stolen Bases Will Travel
Podsednik went 22 out of 23 picks in one of my mock drafts. He batted .297 with six home runs and had 35 steals last season.
If Toronto’s offense improves over last season—and it should because both Adam Lind and Aaron Hill had surprisingly down years—Podsednik could be a major steal.
If you need a boost in batting average and runs, Podsednik is your man.
9. RF-Angel Pagan: Is He the Next Mr. Met?
Pagan is starting to become a known commodity in the fantasy baseball world. He batted .290 with 11 home runs and stole 37 bases in 2010. The 29-year-old will turn 30 during the season and could have a really big year in New York.
While Pagan should be good, David Wright is officially the next Mr. Met.
8. DH-David Ortiz: He Loves It When You Call Him 'Finished'
"Big Papi” is in the business of proving his doubters wrong.
After struggling out of the gate last season, he finished strong and posted 32 home runs and 102 runs batted in. He also scored 86 times and batted .270. Those are extremely strong fantasy numbers—especially for a 35-year-old.
Ortiz could amazingly improve on his numbers with the lineup the Red Sox have this year.
7. 1B-Derrek Lee: A Resurgence Could Happen for the Orioles
As a utility starter on your squad, Lee could approach 100 RBI on an improved Baltimore offensive bunch.
Vladimir Guerrero, Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds and Luke Scott could help him score over 80 runs.
6. 3B-David Freese: Is He the Missing Link to 'MV3' in Saint Louis?
David’s added a lot of muscle and should be healthy all season.
He started out strong before going down to injuries last year—batting .296 with four home runs in 240 plate appearances. Listed at 6’2,” 220-pounds, Freese could physically resemble Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols more than any other player in the league.
Could Freese complete the Cards’ 2011 version of “MV3”—Edmonds, Pujols and Rolen? Yes.
5. SS-Starlin Castro: The Wrigley Field Phenom's Star Should Continue to Rise
Castro bears no relation to Fidel that I know of, but Starlin’s power numbers should increase this season.
The second year player will continue to improve and provide hidden fantasy value for experienced managers.
All of the Cubs, though, could struggle to produce fantasy numbers early. It’s a result of playing in the Windy City.
In 2011, however, Castro could become an elite offensive shortstop in the NL.
4. LF-Manny Ramirez: Tampa on the Plate and Swinging for the Hills
Like Vladimir Guerrero, Ramirez could have strong fantasy value after being somewhat written off. The Rangers benefited from Guerrero’s bat all of last season and knocked the Yankees off in the playoffs.
Could Ramirez provide the same punch and results for the Rays this year? Time will tell, but I believe he can.
3. DH-Vladimir Guerrero: Could the ‘Impaler’ Perform a Back-to-Back?
Written off as too old by many in 2010, Vladdy came out by scorching baseballs through the gaps of American big league parks. With the powerful Rangers, he also showed he could run the bases with adequate ease and stay relatively healthy.
If Baltimore’s manager, Buck Showalter, is smart—and he is—he’ll rest Guerrero during the middle of the season. Beware of that, but the Impaler should put up back-to-back outstanding seasons for potentially powerhouse offenses.
2. LF-Johnny Gomes: Will He Hawk Mo' Hits?
Playing on the vaunted Reds' offense, Gomes has the potential for a breakout season in 2011. He had 18 home runs and batted .266 last season. Look for his number to improve.
If I’m correct, he not only gets it, but he could become an All-Star this year.
1. 1B, LF-Luke Scott: May the Force Be with Him in Baltimore
Listed at two positions, Scott provides a manager with versatility in fantasy formats and in real life. He raked 27 home runs last season, drove in 72 and scored 70 on a woeful squad last season.
The additions Baltimore gained will improve his numbers, and he could become an All-Star.
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