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2012 Fantasy Baseball Breakouts, Busts, and Sleepers

Posted by on Saturday, March 17, 2012 (EST)

The title says it all...

I have analyzed my projections against the current Average draft Pick of each player in the database, and I have developed a short list players who I think will Breakout, go Bust, or be a potential Sleeper in 2012.  I could have listed another 50 players in this list, but I chose to focus on the players with the biggest discrepancy from my evaluation to the current 2012 fantasy baseball draft trends.

Breakouts

 

CL Jonathan Papelbon PHI (Age: 31) [SKEWP: S+P]  - Everyone expects Craig Kimbrel to be the first Closer drafted in their league this season, but I actually have Papelbon rated a few slots higher.  Papelbon has an ADP of 115, which is outside of Top 100, but the Phillies will try to maximize their ROI and use him often to protect their aging veterans and younger players at back of rotation.  If he stays healthy for the entire season, look for him to get 44 Saves and Top 50 value.  Draft him around pick 100.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

38

115

B+

67

95

1

1

3.090

0.970

44

 

SP Josh Beckett BOS (Age: 31) [SKEWP: P]  - When healthy, Beckett is a Top 100 talent, but injury concerns over his career has owners continually undervaluing him in fantasy baseball worth. With a current ADP of 124, you can target him around pick 105-110 and get a starting pitcher with less risk than guys like Josh Johnson and Adam Wainwright who are both being drafted before Beckett.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

58

124

B+

188

157

13

5

3.064

1.021

0

 

SS Zack Cozart CIN  (Age: 26) [SHARB: A]  - Cozart is a balanced hitter who hits in a good ballpark and is surrounded by talented hitters.  He could be the Jason Kipnis of 2012.  Target him anywhere between Pick 175-225 if you really need a SS or a hitter to balance out a pitcher heavy team. 

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

126

282

C+

494

0.291

16

72

36

13

0.663

 

OF Alejandro De Aza CWS  (Age: 27) [SHARB: S+A]  - De Aza was one of my sleepers 4years ago, but he has never been healthy at the right time to earn a full-time job.  Last season, the White Sox let him finish out the season and he showed off some of his skills.  This year he has been given a starting OF spot and if he stays healthy, he could post big Stolen Base numbers.  I originally had him in my Top 100 assuming he would get 550AB in 2012, but I dialed my projections down a little to prevent new users of RotoRank from selecting him too early.  I think he could be this season’s Melky Cabrera.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

164

250

C

466

0.288

10

77

41

24

0.792

 

OF Michael Brantley CLE (Age: 24) [SHARB: ]  - Brantley should get a full season of At Bats this year for the Indians, especially with Grady Sizemore dealing with another injury.  At 24, Brantley still has some upside since has shown a dominance in any one fantasy category, and if 2011 proved anything, a player who gets 550 AB during a season will almost certainly rank among the Top 200 fantasy baseball players.  I am not saying Brantley will be the key to a team winning a league, but if you can get him near Pick 250, you should get a good return on investment.  For comparison, guys like Josh Willingham and Ben Revere have similar RotoRank values to what I project for Michael Brantley, and they are being draft around Pick 180.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

179

278

C

595

0.274

9

85

61

16

0.714

 

SP Josh Collmenter AZ (Age: 26) [SKEWP: P]  -I don’t like betting on unproven players, but Collmenter put up solid numbers in 2011, and he is slated to be the 5th starter on a solid Diamondbacks team.  He is currently being drafted near Pick 300, so if he can put together another solid year in 2012, he could be a nice bargain around Pick 150.  Other pitchers being selected around Pick 250 that don’t have the same upside are Ted Lilly and Matt Harrison.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

187

311

C-

189

76

12

12

3.619

1.106

0

 

 

Busts

 

3B David Wright NYM (Age: 29) [SHARB: ]  - I was expecting David Wright to have a Top 25 season in 2012, then he tore an abdominal muscle.  Then I learned that this was the same injury that Ryan Zimmerman had in 2011 (who I drafted in 2011), and the only way I draft David Wright in 2012 will be if he slips to Pick 115 overall.  Let someone else take the risk on Wright and grab a 3B from the next tier of talent like Brett Lawrie who can be drafted 15 picks later but is more likely to finish in Fantasy Baseball Top 50 for 2012.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

104

27

B-

501

0.269

17

76

86

15

0.779

 

2B Dan Uggla ATL (Age: 32) [SHARB: H+R+B]  - You may question my selection of Dan Uggla as a bust, but he consistently hits below .250 each season, so it is hard to justify a Top 50 pick on him.  After Pick 90, I could be persuaded to select him for my team, especially if a lot of pitchers are being drafted and you want to solidify your 2B position.  I’d rather wait for someone like Jemile Weeks or Danny Espinosa who can be draft around pick 130 and have some upside potential.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

113

51

C+

555

0.240

34

88

92

0

0.772

 

SP CJ Wilson LAA (Age: 31) [SKEWP: W]  - CJ Wilson is an above average starting pitcher; however, he is being drafted before a lot of talented arms who post better ERA and WHIP.  This season, he will be facing the Ranger’s hitters versus getting their run support, but luckily the Angels lineup has been drastically upgraded for 2012.  If you can draft him after Pick 120, then I believe you’ll get fair value, but if you select him in the Top 100, then I think you will be overpaying for the results he will produce in 2012.  I’d rather draft Ervin Santana around Pick 175 then jump on CJ Wilson early in the draft.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

156

63

C

181

166

16

4

3.232

1.381

0

 

1B Freddie Freeman ATL (Age: 22) [SHARB: B]  - Freddie Freeman looks like he will be a good MLB baseball player, but I’m not convinced he is going to be a fantasy baseball stud.  He is currently being touted as a Top 100 player by many fantasy gurus, but I have him ranked at Pick 170.  I think Freeman is extremely similar to Gaby Sanchez who is being drafted around Pick 165.  I think the Marlins have a better lineup, so I’d rather wait for Sanchez.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

170

93

C

594

0.285

22

65

94

4

0.797

 

2B Dustin Ackley SEA (Age: 24) [SHARB: ]  - Dustin Ackley is one of many young middle infielders with potential; however, he plays is a pitchers park and tough division, so I don’t think he’ll post numbers equal to his ADP of 142.  I’d rather draft Neil Walker at Pick 130-135.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

227

142

D+

617

0.279

11

74

68

11

0.777

 

1B Carlos Lee HOU (Age: 35) [SHARB: B]  - I have always thought that Carlos Lee was a reliable bat, but at age 35, he is due to decline and the Astros aren’t loaded with hitters that will help Lee hit his numbers.  Lee is currently being drafted around Pick 172, and that is a little pricey for hitter with more down-side than up-side in 2012.  If he lasts until Pick 250 and you need a 1B, take a flyer if you still think he can post big numbers.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

272

172

D

595

0.271

18

61

99

4

0.775

 

SP Bud Norris HOU (Age: 27) [SKEWP: K]  - Bud Norris has a lot of potential and a great fastball, but in Roto leagues, his WHIP and ERA will always be a crap shoot.  Norris looks like a good pick in Fantasy Point leagues, but his current ADP of 227 is a little too pricey for me, especially since he have a hard time even getting to 10 Wins on the Astros.  Wait until at least pick 275 before taking a chance on him, especially since there are a few young pitchers on winning teams that may have more upside in the late rounds of the draft.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

323

227

D-

198

187

10

10

3.864

1.333

0

 

Sleepers

 

SP Dustin Mosely SD (Age: 30) [SKEWP: ]  - Any pitcher pitching in Petco Park has a chance to exceed expectations.  Aaron Harang was able to turn around his statistical slide in San Diego, so anyone who can stay healthy for an entire year has a chance to post Top 200 value.  Mosely is currently going undrafted in many leagues, but I think he has Top 300 value and could be a great 6th starter for your team.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

266

N/A

D

192

102

10

10

3.281

1.161

0

 

SP Phil Humber CWS (Age: 29) [SKEWP: ]  - The White sox were a mess last year, so the change in management may give a slight boost to every player.  He is only being drafted in larger or AL-only leagues at this point, so if you get an early SP injury, he may be worthy of a Free Agent move.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

271

452

D

193

137

10

10

3.777

1.15

0

 

SP Tommy Milone OAK (Age: 29) [SKEWP: P]  - Billy Beane knows how to pick and develop young pitchers and OAK is a great place to pitch.  However, facing the Angels and Rangers on a regular basis is a big concern with Milone.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

IP

K

W

L

ERA

WHIP

SV

288

423

D

160

93

12

10

3.825

1.119

0

 

SS Trevor Plouffe MIN (Age: 25) [SHARB: ]  - Plouffe has some upside, especially if he gets off to a hot start and ends up with over 500 At-Bats on the season..

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

316

999

D-

409

0.249

12

70

46

4

0.722

 

OF Andy Dirks (Age: 26) [SHARB: ]  - With a lot of older veterans being jettisoned from the team, some of the younger talent in Detroit has an opportunity to show their skills.  ESPN currently has Dirks slated as the starting Left fielder for DET, but Delmon Young may have something to say about that.  If Delmon Young slumps early in 2012, then Dirks may get 400 AB.

Roto

Rank

ADP

Grd

AB

BA

HR

R

RBI

SB

OPS

319

N/A

D-

438

0.251

14

68

56

10

0.698


 

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