by Will Overton
If you asked even the most devout of baseball fans to name all of the guys who hit 30 HR’s last year, Brad Miller is probably one of the last guys who they are going to mention. It’s hard to blame them, last year brought a surprising league wide power surge and there were 38 guys league wide who hit 30 or more. Also, the Rays were in obscurity for much of the season and Miller flew under the radar along with them.
Miller is still flying under the radar now, and that might be a mistake for fantasy owners. Miller was at one point a pretty hot name prospect when he first came up with Seattle, but he struggled to put it all together. The Mariners finally sent him to Tampa Bay and Miller suddenly became a very useful fantasy asset for the Rays. Read more
by Dave De Wit
Felipe Paulino hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since June of 2012. He has a career ERA of 4.93, is coming off of Tommy John surgery and will now be pitching half of his games at the hitter-friendly US Cellular Field since recently being signed by the Chicago White Sox. Yet, Felipe Paulino is a pitcher you should own in deep leagues.
The 30-year-old right-hander hasn’t had great success in his brief major-league career from a run prevention standpoint, but he has shown excellent strikeout ability. In just under 400 total innings, Paulino has had a 21.1 percent strikeout percentage (nearly a strikeout per inning), and peaked at 25 percent during his last MLB season before getting injured. That strikeout rate puts him in the neighborhood of what pitchers like Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, and CC Sabathia have done over their past 400 or so innings, making him a great source for super cheap Ks.
by Dave De Wit
In 2012 Ivan Nova was a “Super-Nova.” Not “super” as in good, but an actual supernova, the large stellar explosion. After a promising full-season debut in 2011 in which he posted a 3.70 ERA, Nova was a big star. Unfortunately this big star’s core collapsed, causing a huge explosion which blasted the star’s material out at speeds up to 10 times the speed of light! OK, the metaphor falls apart a little bit, but you get the picture—he sucked last year.
Nova was so bad that there have been early reports out of the Yankees camp that he would be competing with David Phelps for the final spot in the starting rotation. However, with Phil Hughes questionable for the start of the season with back issues and Phelps’ success last year as a reliever, Nova looks to be a shoe-in for a spot in the rotation in 2013. Unless of course, he repeats his horrendous numbers from 2012.
Here are his 2012 stats (with the 2011 stats for comparison):
A year ago many people were projecting Todd Frazier to be nothing more than a super sub for the Cincinnati Reds. He didn’t appear to have a true position, though his bat was good enough to justify plugging him a few times per week. After a few injuries hit (including Scott Rolen and Joey Votto), Frazier suddenly found himself entrenched in the Reds lineup.
Could we see another similar scenario play out in 2013, this time for the Los Angeles Dodgers? It certainly appears likely.
The team appears primed to open the year with Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, Luis Cruz at third base and Dee Gordon in the minors. Conventional wisdom is that, when Cruz’ bat proves inept enough, the team will shift Ramirez back to third base and call Gordon up to man shortstop. However, is that really the only possible scenario?
Sleeper is a term that is thrown around a lot, but how can someone be a sleeper if everyone is talking about them? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Well, we here at Rotoprofessor are going to do the best we can to actually uncover a few players that no one else has on their radars. Consider this series our “True” Sleeper series.
The Giants are obviously one of the elite organizations in developing starting pitchers. How many teams can trade a starter of Zack Wheeler’s caliber, yet not bat an eye? They just seem to churn out starters and their rotation is as good as any in the league, at least from a potential standpoint.
That said, if you look at their group there is a good chance that they need help at some point in 2013. Can they really trust Barry Zito? Will Tim Lincecum return to form or need to be ticketed to the bullpen? Can Ryan Vogelsong continue to produce?
The Giants top pitching prospects like Kyle Crick or Chris Stratton arestill at least a year away, but Chris Heston should be ready to make his debut. He spent the entire season at Double-A in ’12, posting impressive numbers.
by Will Overton
As I was working on my draft preparation I was doing some depth chart scanning, looking for some names that stood out. As I glanced over at the Milwaukee Brewers projected rotation I realized outside of Yovani Gallardo, there are a lot of unknown players in the mix. At the same time, though, there is also a lot of potential sleeper fantasy value, especially for those in deep leagues.
Now I am not going to spend time talking about Gallardo. We pretty much know what he ism and that’s a cut below the upper echelon of starters. He often times looks like one of the elite, but never seems to quite make that step into the group.
Instead I am going to focus in on the rest of the Brewers rotation, where the late round value may really lie. Outside of Gallardo I would argue there are really only two spots I would consider locked in. Let’s look at who those two are:
Mike Fiers: I’ve talked in depth about Fiers once this offseason already, and you can read that here, so I won’t go into much depth here. Up until the later part of last season Fiers was one of the best surprise pitchers in all of baseball. Read more