Fantasy Baseball 2012: 5 Pitchers with Serious Sleeper Potential

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IMarch 11, 2012

Fantasy Baseball 2012: 5 Pitchers with Serious Sleeper Potential

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    Pitchers are tricky players to draft. That’s because, even with a fully healthy season, starters only play in 30-35 games.

    So, knowing which pitchers you can trust is a big deal in fantasy baseball.

    Things like pitching in a new ballpark, earning a closer job or coming back from an injury can have significant effects on stats.

    Let’s take a look at five pitchers who will perform better than they are projected to perform in 2012.

5. Erik Bedard, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Bedard hasn’t been able to stay healthy consistently throughout his career.

    But, when he is healthy, he’s actually a pretty good pitcher. His career ERA is 3.70 and he can pick up a ton of strikeouts when he’s on his game.

    If he’s around in the last round of your draft, he might be worth a look.

4. Edinson Volquez, San Diego Padres

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    Volquez is another guy that’s battled injury problems throughout his short career.

    In his one healthy season though, he had a 3.21 ERA, 17 wins and 206 strikeouts.

    If that’s what he’s like when healthy, he’s definitely worth a late-round draft pick.

    Plus, moving from Cincinnati to the spacious Petco Park will do wonders for any pitcher’s ERA.

3. Edwin Jackson, Washington Nationals

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    With the exception of one tough outing against the Milwaukee Brewers, Jackson was a great addition to the St. Louis Cardinals last season.

    He had a 3.58 ERA after the trade, and won five key games.

    And, he’s another pitcher that will benefit from a move to a more spacious ballpark. That will certainly help out his ERA.

2. Javy Guerra, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Guerra came from nowhere to seize control of the Dodgers’ closer role last season, amassing 21 saves and a 2.31 ERA.

    2012 will be his first full season as a closer, meaning he should improve his save numbers.

    His ERA should also go down as a result of gaining experience.

1. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Wainwright didn’t pitch last season, but don’t forget about him.

    This is the same guy who won 20 games in 2010.

    Plus, pitchers often gain a little bit of velocity after Tommy John surgery, so "Waino" could be even better.

    He’ll probably be on an innings limit at the start of the season, but he could be really valuable during the second half of the season.