Fantasy Baseball: Underrated Players for 2012

by on March 7th, 2015
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Heading into the 2012 season for fantasy baseball, draft day is quickly approaching. Many websites have already released their top players at each position, including the Yahoo! Sports fantasy experts that have released a list of the composite rankings of their top 100 overall players. While these lists are helpful and provide guidance, they are somewhat obvious and do not provide enough explanation. To create a successful fantasy team, you are going to need a few sleepers to pull through for you in order to gain an advantage over other fantasy owners.

There are many given names in fantasy baseball such as Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera but here is a list of players not ranked in the top 10 at their position that could contribute to your fantasy team this year:

Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds: At only 24 years old, Bruce has posted at least 25 home runs in his first 4 years in the big leagues and his numbers are steadily rising. Last season, he hit 32 homers and added 97 runs batted in, impressively increasing his stats from the year before. With an explosive offensive lineup around him that includes: 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto, a healthy Scott Rolen, and a resurgent Drew Stubbs, you can expect Bruce to have a breakout season.

Projection: .270 AVG/ 33 HR’s/ 95 RBI’s

Kendrys Morales, 1B/DH, Los Angeles Angels: Nearly two years removed from a devastating fractured ankle, Morales looks to pick up where he left off in a stellar 2009 season and the beginning of a 2010 season where a freak accident during a post-game celebration brought his career to a standstill. In 2009, Morales posted a .306 average in which he hit 34 home-runs and drove in 108 runs. With the Angel’s off-season acquisition of Albert Pujols, expect Morales to see more fastballs and put up numbers comparable to his 2009 season at DH.

Projection: .295 AVG/ 29 HR’s/ 92 RBI’s

Andre Ethier, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
: After exploding onto the scene in 2009, Ethier has disappointed many fantasy owners who drafted him in early rounds. Now fully healthy and ready for Spring Training, Ethier has been forgotten by many fantasy owners. Whether or not he puts up numbers comparable to his 2009 season, or 2011, Ethier is definitely worth a late round pick.

Projection: .285 AVG/ 18 HR’S/ 80 RBI’s

Max Scherzer, SP, Detroit Tigers: During his first 2 seasons with the Tigers, Scherzer has displayed very consistent numbers. He is a guaranteed to throw in upwards of 190 innings and have nearly the same amount of strikeouts. While his stats are nothing to craze about, the Tigers’ off-season acquisition of first basemen Prince Fielder and the declining competition in the AL Central provide support that will help the whole Tigers pitching staff significantly.

Projection: 18 Wins/ 195 IP/ 190 K’s

Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals
: Drafted #2 overall in the 2005 draft, Gordon was well on his way to being a bust until he finally found his swing in 2011. Posting a .303 average and 23 homers, Gordon proved his worth and is back for more in 2012. With a promising young team around him, expect him to have a repeat year consisting of above-average numbers.

Projection: .290 AVG/ 24 HR’s/ 90 RBI’s

Alex Avila, C, Detroit Tigers
: Before last year, Avila had not played more than 133 games in his major league career. Coming out of nowhere last year, Alex earned the starting catcher role and and a spot on the MLB All-Star Team. With the Tigers’ addition of Prince Fielder, the Tigers’ offense will be much more productive and Avila’s numbers should continue to be on the incline.

Projection: .285 AVG/ 21 HR’s/ 85 RBI’s

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