Waking Up 30 Days Later: Checking Out Sleepers From a Month Ago

Colin ChristopherContributor IMay 11, 2009

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Chicago Cubs fan Annika King, 1-years-old, and her grandfather Tom Cowley, from Mesa, Arizona, take a nap under the shade of umbrellas on the grass in center field during a Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers spring training game at the Surprise Stadium on February 27, 2009 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Exactly a month ago, I wrote an article telling you to pick up a few sleepers, one for each position.

I'm nothing if not accountable (unless you ask my wife), so today I'm going to recount the guys I told you to get, and update their progress through the first month of the season.

Keep in mind that these are not the guys I said you should draft, but the guys who should be productive and widely available in case of injury to one of your studs.

Catcher: John Baker, Florida Marlins

So far, no catcher in baseball not named Victor Martinez has scored more runs than John Baker. Baker is batting close to .290 and his OPS is close to .900.

He won't continue this pace, but it's a very real possibility that Baker will wind up with a line somewhere near 75-15-75 to go with a .280+ average. The fact that you got him off the wire makes that even sweeter.

First Base: Nick Johnson, Washington Nationals

Johnson won't ever give you the power you want from your starting first baseman, but his OBP is .397, and good things tend to happen to guys who get on base about 40% of the time.

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Second Base: Chris Getz, Chicago White Sox

Getz hasn't exactly lit it up so far, but to be fair, he has missed some time because of a broken finger. Oh, and he's playing with the broken finger.

That should tell you about the confidence Ozzie Guillen has in Getz, and let's remember that this is the same Ozzie Guillen who has no problem calling his players out in public.

Mark my words...Getz will continue to hit and get on base, and he will steal more than 20 bases this season.

Third Base: Pedro Feliz, Philadelphia Phillies

In most leagues I'm in, Feliz is available on the wire, and I'll begrudgingly admit that the wire is probably where he belongs. He has power, and I don't know why it doesn't show up.

He's a decent RBI guy this season, but he's not going to score many runs batting seventh, and I expect his current .300+ batting average will eventually regress closer to his career norm of .250-260.

Shortstop: Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, formerly of California

Aybar is hitting, evidenced by his .309 average. He doesn't seem to be scoring many runs, however, and he's only attempted one stolen base.

Part of the problem might be that the top two RBI guys in the Angels clubhouse are Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick, whose combined RBI (40) total fewer than Evan Longoria (44) by himself.

OF1: Juan Rivera, Los Angeles...oh heck, see above

Rivera is a power hitter who is probably batting too low in the order. Regardless, he is someone I have been wrong on so far.

His batting average is okay, but there have been plenty of other outfielders worth taking a flyer on moreso than Rivera.

OF2: Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota Twins

The rain in April made it tough for Cuddyer to shake off the rust, as he batted only .224 with one home run for the month, but he's flowering in May.

In the last ten days, Cuddyer has batted almost .400 with two home runs and 10 RBI. With Joe Mauer back and Justin Morneau looking slightly MVP-ish, it's time to grab Cuddyer off the wire.

OF3: Colby Rasmus, St. Louis Cardinals

He's here to stay, folks. If you're in a keeper league and Rasmus is available, get him now while the price is still low. He's not setting the world on fire, but he will.

SP: Carl Pavano, Cleveland Indians

Before you skip this one, look at Pavano's season without that one disastrous inning in Texas to begin the year. In 30.1 innings pitched since then, he's allowed 34 hits and  10 earned runs to go with 22 strikeouts and only five walks.

Without that inning, his ERA is 4.15. His ERA for his first two May starts (against Detroit and Boston, two pretty good offenses) is 2.70. He's not a fantasy staff anchor, but he ain't chopped liver.

RP: Octavio Dotel and Matt Thornton, Chicago White Sox

At the beginning of the season, I said, "Between Dotel and Thornton, I wouldn't be surprised if you wound up with overall numbers close to those of an elite starting pitcher, but in only about 150 total innings pitched."

So far, Dotel and Thornton have combined to go 2-1 with seven holds. Between them, they've got 32 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched and have allowed a total of four earned runs (all by Thornton).

They're on pace right now to win 10 games and strike out about 150 through their first combined 100 innings.

Postscript: Aaron Hill

Back on April 9, I said that you should consider picking up "Aaron Hill, who offers nice power potential now that he appears recovered from post-concussion syndrome..."

I'd like to take this moment to thank Aaron Hill for making me look really smart.