As MLB clubs wind up Spring Training 2010, several players have positioned themselves as 2010 sleepers for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft.
David Wright, Mets, 3B – He’s an all star so he’s not your typical sleeper pick, but he’s
coming off of a horrible season for power. Many think that Citi Field hurt Wright’s power numbers last year, but we think it’s just a blip of a year for Wright. After seeing his power production drop to just 10 home runs last year after hitting 33 and 30 the previous two seasons, David Wright has gone yard 5 times already during Spring Training. Wright lost a month and a half of the 2009 season after taking a fastball to the melon, but he looks ready for 2010.
Roy Oswalt, Astros, SP — If you remember the Roy Oswalt of the early 2000′s, you remember his league leading ERA and 20 win seasons. Last year, however, Oswalt was 8-6, although he still pitched 181 innings. He had back pain during the last month, but fought through it. While it was the first year he didn’t register double digit wins, we are encouraged by his solid 2009 WHIP of 1.24–just slightly above his career WHIP of 1.20. Oswalt’s back is still not perfect; he’s already taken injections this spring to help it, but he’ll be making his eighth straight opening day start for Houston in 2010. You just might be able to get Oswalt, 32, at a bargain price in your draft.
Jake Fox, Athletics, DH — Jake Fox belongs in the American League where he’s as good defensively as the others at his DH position. The Athletics acquired Fox from the Cubs for pitcher Jeff Gray and others. Manager Bob Geren has told Fox that “he won’t get too many days off” and he hopes to use him at the corners and at the DH position. So, he’ll likely qualify at several positions for you. Fox, however, has to compete with Jack Cust at the DH position so it’s unclear yet how often he’ll see action. Fox has pop and with 11 homers in just 218 at bats last year, he could be a bargain basement pickup for $1. Of course, a lot depends on where he will play, because his glove sucks.
Colby Lewis, Rangers, SP — Colby Lewis will start the season as Texas’ # 4 starter. If you
look at his career stats, you’ll likely run the other way as fast as possible. Lewis has a career ERA of 6.72 and a career WHIP of 1.81 in 72 MLB appearances with Texas, Detroit, and Oakland. But, he hasn’t been seen in the MLB since 2007. Lewis has pitched the last two seasons with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan. In ’08, Lewis was second in the league in wins and second in ERA. We like guys with light WHIP’s and Lewis has outstanding control as he’s walked just over 1 batter per 9 innings in Japan. His WHIP in Japan the past two seasons has been just 1.00 both years. His WHIP in spring training was just 1.18 this year.
Ryan Rowland-Smith, Mariners, SP — One of my rules is to never take a player with a hyphenated last name, but Ryan Rowland-Smith might be my first exception. Rowland-Smith, an Australian of all things, got a call up last year from the M’s and didn’t disappoint as he went 5-4 in 15 starts. We like the 1.18 WHIP and the fact that he’ll be on the mound after Hernandez and Lee and pitching at Safeco.
Julio Borbon, Rangers, OF — Julio Borbon quickly moved through the minors and his late season call-up to Texas was fabulous. 19 stolen bases in just 157 at bats and a .312 batting average! Don’t wait too long to pick up this future star. He’ll be at the top of a potent Texas attack and will score runs for you as well.
Curtis Granderson, Yankees, OF — We’ve already written about Curtis Granderson’s move to Yankee Stadium and how it can be nothing but positive for him. This guy is going to have a big big year in New York.
Why did Pittsburgh let him go? His 41 stolen bases last year will likely not go unforeseen in this year’s draft, but he only got 390 AB’s last year! What can Rajai Davis do with 600 at bats? Do I hear a 60 stolen base season!