I love baseball.
Anybody who knows me or has talked to me during April through October knows I cannot get enough of America’s pastime.
But I don’t just like to watch, talk and scream (sometimes unmentionable things) until my lungs bleed baseball, I love crunching the stats.
So when I was introduced to a game called Fantasy Baseball, I thanked God for it.
Now I know the season is as green as the ivy walls at Wrigley, but some predictions do stick.
Those sleepers can lead to that waiver wire stud who might just win you that shiny imaginary trophy.
Josh Willingham OF - Minnesota Twins
OK, this guy cranks out 29 home runs last year and has three 20+ HR seasons under his belt and he is a sleeper? Yup. The ranking system is something I don’t understand, and I never will. But this year, he is tied for second in the league for bombs (4) and is sporting a tasty .514 OBP. Either draft or pick this fool up.
Yoenis Céspedes OF - Oakland A’s
Cespy hails straight from Cuba. He brings some hype, yet hasn’t been in the majors (or minors) at all, and the A’s gave him a 6-year multimillion dollar contract? He has come down to earth recently (.212). In the first week in the majors he was launching balls over 450 feet and hit HRs in three consecutive games. There’s no doubt he has talent, so snag him at the end of your drafts.
Aroldis Chapman RP - Cincinnati Reds
Second Cuban in a row? Ozzie would be proud. But as for his talent, he has plenty to spare. This guy doesn’t throw balls, he throws freaking bullets. He consistently tops 100 mph on the radar gun and has yet to give up an earned run this year. The Reds say they eventually want to move him to the rotation. There are rumors this might still happen at some point, but either way this guy is a good stash who can give you quality innings and K’s.
Mike Aviles 2B,3B,SS - Boston Red Sox
When I saw Boston snagged this guy, I cringed. On top of being a defensive stalwart at multiple positions. Whenever he has gotten at least 400 AB he’s hit for over .300 and with Boston not having any other decent options at shortstop and the injuries they could encounter in the infield, he is definitely looking at 500 AB. And in Beantown he is bound to have scoring opportunities.
Kyle Drabek SP - Toronto Blue Jays
When the Phillies traded him in the deal to land Halladay, he was their top pitching prospect. In his two starts this year, he has an impressive 1.42 ERA. It’s bound to go up, but with his potential and the run support in HR happy Canada T-town, he’s worth keeping an eye on.