MLB

Fantasy baseball: Last minute outfield and pitching sleepers

3/28/14 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

Feb 21, 2014; Ft Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Grady Sizemore (38) at bat during spring training at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsYesterday, we discussed some late-round (and potential free agent) sleeper infielders. Today, it's on to the outfielders and the pitchers.

Let me preface this by saying this: You better make sure that you have at least one superstar at both of these positions. You shouldn't be looking for sleepers as your first (or even second outfielder. These are guys you want to use as emergency replacements, or as a backup utility player.

As far as pitching goes, some drafts go through runs on pitchers early. If your draft is one of them, you might need to take a look at some of these guys.

Shall we begin?

Outfielders:

Adam Eaton - He'll lead off for the White Sox, and he should be a great option for teams needing runs, steals and a solid batting average. He has some pop as well, but won't get you elite power numbers by any stretch. He's available in 32% of Yahoo leagues and is going around 200th overall in drafts. He might not be a free agent, but if you're drafting late, he's a great option.

Mar 25, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) doubles during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsNick Castellanos - Right now he's only OF eligible, but he'll be 3B eligible as well, before the month of April is over. He's having a great spring, and he has hit well at every level so far. The Tigers were confident enough in his bat that they traded away Prince Fielder and moves Miguel Cabrera to 1B. He should put up great numbers, and will be a solid starter this season for your fantasy team.

Grady Sizemore - He was just named the Red Sox' Opening Day center fielder over Jackie Bradley, Jr. after a monster spring training. Don't count on a repeat of his numbers from 2006-2008, when he averaged 28 HR, 81 RBI, 118 runs, 31 steals and a .279 average, but he could give you solid steals and runs in a very good Red Sox lineup. If he stays healthy (which is a big if), he could be a great 2nd or 3rd outfielder. Right now, he's available in 71% of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues. You better pounce quickly, because that will change soon.

Junior Lake - He recently had a 3-HR game in spring training, but he'll also hit for a good average and show some good speed. He has been compared to another former Cubs outfielder, He's available in more than 85% of leagues both in ESPN and Yahoo, and he'll definitely provide you with solid bang for your buck in almost every fantasy category across the board.

Pitchers:

Mar 2, 2014; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Alex Wood (40) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsAlex Wood - He'll get plenty of starts for the Braves, who are reeling after the loss of both Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen. He's 222nd in average draft position on ESPN, but he's a guy who will get you a strikeout per inning, a good amount of wins, and he'll keep his ERA in the low 3s. He's definitely worth taking a look at in the later rounds of your draft.

Michael Pineda - Remember when he was a can't-miss prospect for the Mariners back in 2011? He has fallen on hard times since then, but if his spring training performance is any indication, he's back. He'll keep his WHIP low, which means his ERA should be better than the 3.74 he had in 2011. He'll get plenty of strikeouts, and the rejuvenated Yankees lineup should help him plenty of wins, too. He's available in 60% of ESPN leagues and 43% of Yahoo leagues. Those numbers will plummet soon, once people realize what he's capable of.

James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez - These two young Mariners pitchers are hugely talented, and could put up some outstanding numbers this season. They're both available in over 98% of ESPN leagues and more than 85% of Yahoo leagues. Assuming the Mariners offense is significantly better with the addition of Robinson Cano, they could pick up some wins while also racking up strikeouts and keeping your WHIP and ERA low. Paxton is definitely the better option of the two, but Ramirez could be solid as well.

Joakim Soria - He was recently named the closer for the Rangers, so he'll be snatched up quickly in most leagues. He's still available in 21% of Yahoo leagues, and his ADP is still pretty low. He put up great numbers closing for the Royals from 2008-2010, and he should be able to do well with the Rangers as well.

Check ESPN's closer chart for constant updates on teams with volatile closing situations, and you should be able to pick up guys who are stepping into the job throughout the season. Finding good closers can be tough, but if you keep your ear to the streets, you should be fine.

Good luck!
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