In this article we will take a look at up and coming players who are due for a serious bump in playing time and/or promotion.
Sleeper status will occur with a couple of the Saves Vulture players. We will also look at a few names I think should be on Deep Keeper league, ReDraft and Dynasty radars. By now, you’ve probably seen a BA top 100 prospects list or Keith Law’s top 100 prospect list. I’ll try to stay away from most of those names but, there are players on that list who will impact even your small ReDraft leagues. Dynasties obviously already know most of the players in top prospect lists; some may have slipped through the cracks. Here’s where you have an crisis/opportunity = Crisistunity to use that FAAB money once the guy is called up. No! Don’t rush out and draft Tracy McGrady for the sole purpose of novelty.
Michael Tonkin RP MIN
Groomed to be a closer in the Minnesota Twins organization; Michael Tonkin has sleeper status all over him. He’s the likely candidate to step in for a Glen Perkins injury and has skills to never give the job back. Tonkin’s BB/9 has always been below league average and he has the ability to get strikeouts from his fastball that he relies on. At 6’7″ he’s an imposing relief pitcher and a definite Saves Vulture.
Jose Berrios RP/SP MIN
First and foremost, he’s raw. He currently sits at 93-95 mph.
Jose dominated Single-A en route to racking up 100 Ks in his first full season. He’s displayed good control to go along with the strikeouts by only issuing 40 BB in over 110 IP. Jose role isn’t defined by the Twins just yet. They may bring him to the bigs as a RP due to his innings being capped though. Jose projects as a mid rotation starter long term. Something the twins sorely need. At this point he’s not a sleeper anymore. An early ETA would be mid 2015 even with the prospect-cold-feet Minnesota Twins.
Cody Allen RP CLE
Potential Saves Vulture. An 88/26 K/BB ratio and second in the league in strikeouts amount rookie relievers. Cody had an excellent season for the Indians where he finished sixth in AL – ROY voting. Cody’s K/9 was sixth among rookie pitchers and a stellar 11.26 while his BABIP was a bit high at .307. A regression to the mean should result in a lower ERA in 2014. Right now the job as Indians closer goes to newcomer John Axford. But if he stumbles Cody Allen could step in long term. Those who count Holds in their leagues may want to jump on as well.
Victor Black RP NYM
Only 16 IP in 2013 but considered to be a dark horse Saves Vulture on the Pittsburgh Pirates. He did however get put into some high risk situations in 2013 for the New York Mets. Should the Mets tire of Bobby Parnell I’d wager Vic gets the closer job.
Vic carries a K/9 of over 12.15 between AA and AAA. He should be successful at the major league level even if those K/9 numbers dip a bit.
Arodys Vizcaino RP CHC
Why is he under the radar as of right now? Well the once Atlanta Braves top prospect and oft-injured Righthander has yet to throw a pitch in a Minor League game for the Cubs Organization. Still the Cubs have a depleted bullpen where Vizcaino’s name is among some high WHIP competition. A name to target and a definite post hype sleeper for 2014. Arodys’s showed a solid K/9 in the minors but is prone to being wild. A bit of an unknown as to what he’ll provide. Arodys’s hit 98 on the gun this offseason and does carry the Saves Vulture title.
Luis Sardinas SS TEX
The reason the Texas Rangers can throw Elvis Andrus name out there as a possible trade candidate is they have Jurickson Profar. And well, to a lesser extent they have been grooming Elvis Andrus .5*. Sardinas so far looks to be another draft day steal for the Rangers who are developing the best middle infield prospects in the game. Luis could be a four tool middle infielder when he arrives at the big league level. The missing tool would be the power, not something you rely on at the middle infield spot anyway. Small Sample Size: Luis walked only 2.8% in 141PA in AA last season. This number has to come up for him to sustain success at the higher levels. An ETA would be late 2015 or sooner if Elvis Andrus is traded.
Burch Smith SP SD
Starting Pitchers who help me win a championship, in my opinion hold a good amount of sentimental draft value the following year. If not for helping my team over the hump in September – I will likely draft Burch. If not for having a cool name like Burch. If not for being a HodgePadre . I will draft Burch Smith. Burch Smith displayed a ridiculous 11.39 K/9 rate in his late season call-up last year. This number should go down as well as his BABIP from last season: .330.
Corey Seager SS LAD
The younger brother of Kyle Seager 3B SEA, Corey could be considered a sleeper and a steal for first year dynasty’s. Corey has more total tools and projects to stay in the middle infield. His strikeout rate in High-A last season was alarming however (27%). Its a small sample size but the previous season his strikeout rate was 18%. This could sway wether he turns into a Rickie Weeks type player with a plethora or more strikeouts, or a contact guy who can swipe a base. He needs to work on that K rate because his BB % is average at 10%. Corey is a couple of years away in LA but could be a nice middle infielder who puts up great counting stats.
Tracy McGrady OF SGR
No, this isn’t a joke. It’s about a retired NBA superstar fulfilling his dream of playing professional baseball. (Scoff) You could say this is a tired act disguised as a dream granted. You could say that because the same team (Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League) that signed Tracy McGrady “to fulfill his dream”. Also signed Roger Clemens to fulfill his dream of pitching Independent baseball in his fifties. You also could say Tracy McGrady is following in Bryce Harpers footsteps. Both superstars forwent a college education in lieu of playing professional baseball.