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Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Primed For A Breakout Campaign in 2014

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Primed For A Breakout Campaign in 2014
By Michael Rapposelli on February 06, 2014

The key to winning your fantasy baseball league isn’t made by choosing between Kershaw and Darvish it’s understanding where the true value lies in the last half of the draft.  

The key is making that tough choice of passing up on Joe Mauer in the first five rounds for Wilson Ramos in the last five rounds.  

You will likely get more homeruns RBI’s and similar runs scored and can get Ramos 15 rounds later than Mauer.  If you have the awareness to pass up on a Mauer than you are well on your way to building a championship caliber team. 

 

10. Neftali Feliz Closer, Texas Rangers

Normally closers are low on my fantasy priority list, however Feliz is one to keep your eye on.  Feliz has had a full off-season to recover from Tommy John and is being clocked at 98mph which is very encouraging since he is a power pitcher.  With Joe Nathan now in Detroit and talks of becoming a starter finally subsided, the closer job once again belongs to Feliz, where he should once again flourish and save upwards of 40 games.

 

9. Scott Kazmir Starting Pitcher, Oakland Athletics

Scott Kazmir may be one of the best low risk, high reward players this upcoming season.  He’s a former strikeout champion and provided owners with a surprisingly useful season last year.  

Despite the 4.04 ERA Kazmir finished with last season he was actually very dominant the last three months of the season posting a 3.03 ERA and a career best 3.45 strikeout to walk ratio.  

Pitching in the generous coliseum there is no reason Kazmir can’t produce a sub four ERA and record over 150 strikeouts.  Draft with caution however as there is huge injury risk here, but is worth a late round pick if you have already secured a strong rotation. 

 

8.Billy Hamilton Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds

Unquestionably the fastest player in the majors right now Hamilton alone can provide your team with enough steals to win that category.  There should also be no problem scoring runs in that potent Reds offense, and with his speed alone could bat .280 for your team thus providing your team with some solid numbers for a guy that won’t get drafted until the late rounds.
  
 

7.Mark Teixeira First Base, New York Yankees

This may be the season Mark Teixeira remembers he signed a $100 million contract.  After missing most of last season with a wrist injury Teixeira comes back to a team that will have a combination of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, and Derek Jeter batting in front of him.  With the short porch in right field it will be an extremely disappointing season if Teixeira is unable to hit 30 homeruns and provide over 100 RBI’s.

 

6.Jurickson Profar Second Baseman, Texas Rangers

For years now Profar has been a highly touted and anticipated prospect.  He finally received his opportunity last season and with the departure of Ian Kinsler to Detroit the second base job is Profars’ to lose.  Profar should be able to provide average to slightly above average numbers in most categories and is eligible at shortstop as well as second base which is always useful in fantasy.

 

5.Danny Salazar Starting Pitcher, Cleveland Indians

While only pitching in ten games last season Salazar showed us just how dominant he can be by posting a 3.12 ERA and recording 65 strikeouts in only 52 innings. The Indians were a playoff team last season which should help Salazar to put up a respectable 14 plus wins to go along with the tons of strikeouts that he is sure to rack up.   

 

4.George Springer Outfielder, Houston Astros

George Springer is the highly touted outfielder of the Astros who just needs to make the team out of spring training so he can show the world his rare combination of speed and power.  Right out of the gates you should expect 20/20 numbers from Springer.  This is a player who showed 40/40 potential in the minors, but has one major flaw that has been holding him back.  At 26 percent, Springer strikes out far too frequently to maintain the .300 average from the minors.  If Springer is able to put the ball in play more frequently the sky is the limit for this young outfielder.  

 

3.Yoenis Cespedes Outfielder, Oakland Athletics

Cespedes is a player many may be afraid of drafting next season after watching his batting average drop to Adam Dunn like numbers.  Outside of his average though Cespedes was very consistent with the numbers he posted in his breakout 2012 campaign.  The main difference was that Cespedes strikeout rate jumped up from 19% to 24% coupled with a BABIP that dropped nearly 50 points.  If Cespedes can start putting the ball in play more resulting in less strikeout there’s no reason his batting average shouldn’t be at least .280 to go along with above average power numbers.

 

2.Wilson Ramos Catcher, Washington Nationals

2014 may finally be the season Wilson Ramos both stays healthy and gets the chance to start.  With the departure of Kurt Suzuki to the Twins, Ramos is the main guy for the Nationals.  In just 78 games Ramos was able to hit 16 homeruns and plate 59 RBI’s, and at only 26 years old, Ramos is in his prime and could hit 25 plus homeruns with at least 85 RBI’s.  Take your time drafting a catcher and land a gem in Wilson Ramos.

 

1.Brandon Beachy Starting Pitcher, Atlanta Braves

Brandon Beachy may be the forgotten guy on a deep Braves pitching staff that includes, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and young star Alex wood.  Don’t underestimate Beachy though he was dominant pre Tommy John Surgery and should regain his former glory in this upcoming season.  Expectations should be tempered as Beachy only managed to throw 30 innings last season so there will undoubtedly be an innings limit for him this year.  Just remember this is a player with a career 3.26 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 198 innings so this is surely a player you will want on your team.

 

Michael Rapposelli

Michael Rapposelli

Favorite Quote:
"You better cut that pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." -Yogi Berra
Favorite Athlete:
Mike Trout
Favorite Movie:
Dark Knight
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