Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The 2009 All Sleeper Teams

posted by Jon Williams
Every year I provide my readers (more than ever this season) with three teams composed entirely of sleepers. Each team uses a different criteria to determine who is a sleeper. These teams all have players that will benefit you in many different types of leagues. This is followed by very brief comments on what makes them sleepers.

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The Day Dreamers (not sleeping but lacking the proper respect) - This squad is composed of lite sleepers that are more likely to be bargains in shallower mixed leagues. In deeper leagues you might laugh at the notion of these players being sleepers.
C Jarrod Saltalamaccia, Texas Rangers - Increased playing time
C Jeff Clement, Seattle Mariners - Increased playing time, gaining position flexibility (C, 1B, DH)
1B Kendry Morales, Los Angeles Angels - Full time job, blistering hot in fall/winter leagues
3B Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals - Improving skills, better lineup, post-hype
CR Chris Davis, Texas Rangers - Amazing 2008 preview, off the chart projections

2B Mark Ellis, Oakland Athletics - Better BABIP luck, better lineup
SS Khalil Greene, St. Louis Cardinals - Out of Petco Field Hell, better lineup
MI Bobby Crosby, Oakland Athletics - Healthy, new position flexibility, new batting coach
OF Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers - Improving skills, new opportunity, great lineup OF Ryan Spilborghs, Colorado Rockies - Increased playing time, improving skills
OF Dan Murphy, New York Mets - Increased playing time
OF Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland Indians - Increased playing time, improving skills
OF Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta Braves - Can't get worse, improved focus, he'll be a lot cheaper

UTL Julio Lugo, Boston Red Sox - Could still start but will play often either way, healthy

SP Joba Chamberlain, New York Yankees - Only health keeps him out of top ten starters SP Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins - True Ace stuff, underrated team, finally healthy
SP Manny Parra, Milwaukee Brewers - Groundball Pitcher with strikeouts = Awesome
SP Wandy Rodriguez, Houston Astros - Improving skills, good stuff
SP Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins - improving skills, improved defense
MR Grant Balfour, Tampa Bay Rays - Dominating stuff, no clear closer
MR Octavio Dotel, Chicago White Sox - Closer stuff behind the declining Bobby Jenks
MR Ryan Franklin, St. Louis Cardinals - Experienced closer behind youthful save candidates

CL Frank Francisco, Texas Rangers - Healthy, the forgotten closer, not throwing chairs

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The Cat-Nappers (A loud noise would wake them in a hurry) - This group consists of players that are definitely underrated, unhyped, or unexperienced. These are the players you'll want in deeper leagues.
C John Baker, Florida Marlins - Late bloomer, OBP skills, underrated team
C Brayan Pena, Kansas City Royals - The best skills at his position, underrated team
1B Chris Duncan, St. Louis Cardinals - Healthy, Mad Power, The Genius
3B Edwin Encarnacion, Cincinnati Reds - Better luck, underrated power
CR Russell Branyan, Seattle Mariners - Huge opportunity, 40 homer upside
2B Emmanuel Burriss, San Francisco Giants - batting average and steals what more do you need? SS Cesar Izturis, Baltimore Orioles - 30 steals possible if you can live with .260 average
MI Eugenio Velez, San Francisco Giants - a little old for his levels but still has underrated skills, 40 steal upside, should get steals even from the bench
OF Brett Gardner, New York Yankees - Could be the next Kenny Lofton, the best CF option
OF Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies - Nice tools, great park, opportunity
OF Josh Anderson, Atlanta Braves - does whatever Bourne, Tavares, and Pierre can do, only better
OF Jerry Owens, Chicago White Sox - This is not the year to pay for steals, 40 steal upside
OF Josh Phelps, San Francisco Giants - should be 1B/OF reserve, nice power upside

UTL Jonny Gomes, Cincinnati Reds - Could be the next David Ortiz, great power, needs an opportunity

SP Andrew Miller, Florida Marlins - Was better than he looked last season
SP David Huff, Cleveland Indians - Strikeouts and groundballs, gotta love it
SP Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays - Top prospect with a rotation shot
SP Anthony Reyes, Cleveland Indians - If healthy he can be a frontline starter
SP Andy Sonnanstine, Tampa Bay Rays - If the K9 comes up a smidge he could win big

MR Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco Giants - improving skills, could see saves
MR Garrett Mock, Washington Nationals - closer stuff behind shaky Hanrahan
MR Jose Mijares, Minnesota Twins - Closer stuff, improving role

CL J.J. Putz, New York Mets - The obvious choice if the rumors about K-Rod being injured are true

***

Nearly Comatose (No Explanation Necessary) - This team is loaded with long shots and comebacks. These are the high risk, high reward players. You don't want to own more than one or two of these players because the potential for failure is very high.

C Michael Barrett, Toronto Blue Jays - If healthy he could be a top ten catcher
C Nick Hundley, San Diego Padres - Big time power but he couldn't hit for average in the minors

1B Nick Johnson, Washington Nationals - If healthy he hits for average and power
3B Eric Chavez, Oakland Athletics - He appears to be healthy, 2002: .275, 34 Homeruns
CR Brett Wallace, St. Louis Cardinals - He's young but can seriously hit, next Pujols

2B Anderson Hernandez, Washington Nationals - failed prospect getting an opportunity
SS Jerry Hairston, Cincinnati Reds - Has a shot at the fulltime shortstop job
MI Alberto Callaspo, Kansas City Royals - Former prospect could be starting at second

OF Endy Chavez, Seattle Mariners - Defense could win him 400 at-bats
OF Andruw Jones, Texas Rangers - Only has to beat out Marlon Byrd
OF John Mayberry Jr., Philadelphia Phillies - Power hitter could sneak his way into a platoon
OF Jody Gerut, San Diego Padres - Has a shot to be the starting center fielder
OF Barry Bonds, Free Agent - He wants to come back

UTL Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians - he needs to start hot or he'll be replaced by Matt LaPorta

SP Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants - After the all-star break he resembled the old Zito
SP John Smoltz, Boston Red Sox - He should be back in May. Iron Will and Huge Heart
SP Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals - So far so good, Ace or closer if healthy
SP Mark Prior, San Diego Padres - You never know...
SP Curt Schilling, Free Agent - Would return to a contender




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3 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Quite the outstanding list. I found myself agreeing with nearly every guy you put on there.

I would add David Purcey to the list of deeper sleepers. One year older than Parra and nearly identical rate stats, GB rate notwithstanding:

Purcey
8.0 K/9
4.0 B/9
1.2 HR/9

Parra
8.0 K/9
4.1 B/9
1.0 HR/9

Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 7:39:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jon Williams said...

Thanks Dave. Purcey does deserve a spot on one of these teams. Good call.

Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 9:15:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sam said...

Great list thanks.

Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 1:20:00 PM EST  

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