Sports

Mike Valenti’s Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 04:  A.J. Pierzynsk #12 and Edwin Jackson #33 of the Chicago White Sox talk during a play against the Detroit Tigers on June 4, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 04: A.J. Pierzynsk #12 and Edwin Jackson #33 of the Chicago White Sox talk during a play against the Detroit Tigers on June 4, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

mike-valenti g) Mike Valenti
Valenti moved to Michigan at 17 and never looked back. A graduate of...
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I know you’ve all waiting for this…or not. Here are some simple assumptions for this blog. Let’s assume it’s a 12-team mixed league. Also assume this is for H2H. Standard scoring with nothing outrageous or silly. Also, I’m assuming you do an auction, if you don’t quit your league and join one that does. No other way to draft.

Some sleepers I like and or own in my league.

Edwin Jackson (WAS)—Yes good old Edwin is back and I think he lands in a very nice spot. Nats are a solid team with a quality pen and they need an innings eater to protect their young innings capped guys. Jackson can throw for days and switch back to NL should benefit him. I got him for $1, wouldn’t pay more than $3 in standard cap league.

J.P. Arencebia (TOR)—Good news/Bad news scenario here. The good? Arencebia mashes and has 30-HR potential. The bad? His OBP and BA. Are Dunnesque. I’m expecting his average to rise this season and at least get to .250 while his power should land him in the 25-30 range. Also love the Jays offense and opportunities it will present.

Emilio Bonafacio (MIA)—THIS is my guy. You get SS/3B/OF eligibility and 60-steal potential. Guillen loves to run and Emilio should be flying. No, he won’t hit .320 again but at a .285 clip and a .360 OBP? The guy could be money.

Cory Luebke (SD)—Who? Yes Cory Luebke. Guy sports a WHIP near 1.00 and pitches in one of the best pitchers parks on earth. He won’t rack up huge K-numbers but the guy eats innings, doesn’t walk a soul and pitches “clean” each outing. Real nice, cheap, back of your rotation guy.

Francisco Liriano (MIN)—Boom or bust right here. The guy is so hard to predict but I’d take a flier on him right now. Price is cheap; ability is that of a Top 20 fantasy arm. I think he bounces back and easily outperforms whatever you pay for him.

Freddie Freeman (ATL)—While everyone, including myself, is slobbering over Eric Hosmer, there is another young gun at first that warrants some love…I give you Freddie Freeman. How does .282-21HR-76RBI sound as a rookie? I’m expecting a reduction in his 142-strikeouts while his average and power numbers should see a slight increase. For what you’ll pay .290-26-88 doesn’t look bad at all.

Vance Worley(PHI)—If I told you a guy was 11-3 last year, plays for a world Series type team and was just 24-years old you’d want that guy right? Well that guy is Vance Wroley and nobody really does. It’s incredible. I got him for $2 in my league and the guy isn’t owned in a ton of leagues. Again, cheap and effective. Safe as well.

Jason Kipnis (CLE)—I often joke about Kipnis on the air with Matt Dery and my love affair with him has now reached bromance levels. Kipnis represents the nest class of big time 2nd basemen in the game. He was fantastic last season before getting hurt and he will be a great option for you if you miss out on and or don’t want to pay for the elite veteran guys like Pedroia or Cano.

Brett Lawrie (TOR)—While in keeper leagues Lawrie is an elite option, he’s likely some young kid your goofy friends haven’t heard of or don’t value. Simply put I think Lawrie will be a star and it could happen as early as…right now. The guy is crushing the ball, plays in a hitter’s park and has a loaded lineup around him. Did I mention he plays a scarce position at 3rd? Get him. You miss on a Top 5 guy, THIS is your man.

Michael Morse (WAS)—Morse is a boom or bust guy but I really like his chances and his eligibility. Morse gives you 1B/OF elig. And has possibility of going 35HR-100RBI. Now that projection is high and he does strikeout a ton, but for a few bucks you have little risk C’mon. Even if he goes 25-75 it’s a value play that gives you options in your lineup.

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