Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012 First Base Sleeperz™

Sleeperz™ are players who should outperform their draft position.

My analysis is based on 5x5 roto, non-keeper, 10-12 team mixed leagues. ESPN Average Draft Position in parentheses.


Adam Dunn (ADP 203)
Yes, last year was an epic disaster, and he killed me personally in a big money league. But last year's failure is this year's discount. Over the seven seasons before 2011, Dunn's minimum was 38 home runs, and he plays in arguably the best hitters park in baseball. Everyone is in love with Paul Goldschmidt (ADP 190), but wait another round (or two) and get the guy who's already put up monster power seasons at the major league level seven times. If you can live with the low batting average, there is a lot of value here. Let Goldschmidt do it once before paying for it.

Kendrys Morales (ADP 212)
I loved Kendrys in 2009 and he rewarded me with a monster season. He continued in 2010 before his ridiculous fluke injury. The thought of him batting 5th every day behind Phat Albert has me drooling. The only thing that can derail it is health, so keep an eye on the latest updates. If Kendrys is healthy I don't see Vernon Wells or Bobby Abreu stealing many of his at bats. Kendrys gives you the power/batting average combo that is hard to find. The only player this late with a shot at .300/30/100.

Ike Davis (ADP 213)
Another guy whose value has been kept down because of fluke injuries. Forget the Valley Fever, he has experienced no symptoms and seems fine. At this price I like Ike and the new dimensions at Citi Field will help his power. His underlying numbers are so solid, and he has room to grow. .275/20/80 floor.

Lucas Duda (ADP 215)
Good stick and the shorter fences help. In certain leagues you may be able to handcuff him to Ike Davis. If Duda gets to play he is a cheaper version of Gaby Sanchez (ADP 170). His underlying stats aren't that different from Ike Davis, maybe with less upside, and his glove could hurt.

Brandon Belt (ADP 233)
Playing time is the issue but if he plays, he's the poor man's Goldschmidt - not the same raw power but going 40+ picks later. This might be a year early on Belt so don't reach for him, but you have to like his approach. He knows how to take a walk, which ends up translating into roto numbers sooner or later.

Justin Smoak (ADP 260)
Of all the first basemen going undrafted in 10 team leagues, The Smoak Monster has the best shot at fantasy relevance. Not much positive about his stats the last two seasons, but the pedigree is there and his lineup has improved. Textbook post-post-hype sleeper.

Overrated at first base:
Michael Young (ADP 81), Freddie Freeman (ADP 122) , Adam Lind (ADP 135), Carlos Lee (ADP 141), Ryan Howard (ADP 158)

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