Emmanuel Burriss – 2B/SS – Moderate Sleeper
With a chance to win the starting 2B job, Burriss has the opportunity to emerge as a viable option for fantasy owners looking for a cheap source of steals. He swiped 13 bases in his abbreviated major league stint last season (240 AB), though that is just a hint of the speed he possesses. Between two levels of Single A in 2007, he stole 68 bases in 504 AB.
Of course, you better not grab him looking for any type of power numbers. The first round sandwich pick in 2006 (#33 overall) had 1 career HR in the minor leagues (820 AB) and 1 in the major leagues. In fact, his minor league totals don’t support much extra base power at all, with 25 doubles and 7 triples, which is awfully surprising given his speed.
He had just 62 AB above Single A prior to his recall, so it could take him some time to adjust to facing major league pitching. You wouldn’t have been able to tell last season, having struck out just 10% of the time. It would not be surprising to see him hit to an inflated BABIP, so it is possible he hits to a higher average then he’s shown (a career .285 in the minors) over time. That’s assuming he can continue to make contact, which is no guarantee. Just look at the average the speedy Carlos Gomez posted last season as evidence.
Still, he showed the ability to hit for a good average and with that speed, he is certainly a player worth considering.
Noah Lowry – Pitcher – Moderate Sleeper
With the addition of Randy Johnson to the rotation, Lowry seems destined to find himself in the bullpen (or Triple A) until an injury presents an opportunity for him. This is the same pitcher that has won 13 and 14 games in a season, as well as post sub-4 ERA’s on two separate occasions. On most teams that would assure him of at least an opportunity to break camp in the rotation, but not in San Francisco.
You have chiseled veterans and young studs mixed in with an albatross of a contract that you simply can’t shift to the bullpen for anything more then a short-term slap on the wrist. The opportunity just isn’t there, especially considering that he did not take the mound last season thanks to a nerve problem.
Sooner or later something is going to open up a rotation spot for him. Randy Johnson is 45-years old. Barry Zito just isn’t that good. Jonathan Sanchez still has to prove that he can stay healthy and perform for an entire season. That begs the question, can Lowry regain his form after missing so much time?
That is the million-dollar question and makes him a sleeper, rather then a pitcher I’d highly recommend targeting. It is impossible to expect him to simply walk onto the mound and return to form. He could struggle, in fact I’d almost expect him to, but time heals all wounds. Once he has all the kinks worked out, he could quickly become a pitcher you want to own.
I’d say that unless you play in a league with extremely deep benches, I’d keep my distance until he proves worthy, but the time could come sooner then we think.
Well, there you have my sleepers for the Giants. Are either of these players guys you’d want? Are there any other potential sleepers you see?