Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Top 10 Deep Sleepers - Pitchers
Jason's Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Top 10 Deep Sleepers: Pitchers
February 21, 2014
Top 10 Deep Sleepers: Pitchers
1. Yovani Gallardo - Gallardo tops this list because of how far he has fallen down the draft rankings entering into 2014. Gallardo is still the ace of the Brewers pitching staff and he has finished as a top fantasy pitcher for several season. Since he has such a solid track record over the last three seasons, it does not make sense that he has fallen this far down draft boards after just one bad year. Gallardo should rebound in 2014, and he is a deep sleeper this year because he is currently being ranked outside the top 50 fantasy pitchers.
2. Brandon Beachy - Beachy is returning from Tommy John surgery and that is why he has fallen to deep sleeper status entering the 2014 season. Beachy will be at the back end of a strong Braves rotation that is supported by a strong offense. Beachy is ranked extremely low this season, and that means he may not even get drafted in some leagues. Beachy is fully recovered from his surgery in 2012 and he will enter the 2014 at 100% which makes him a prime sleeper candidate.
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3. Tony Cingrani - Cingrani is one of many 2nd year pitchers that took the league by storm last season as he went 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Cingrani has the potential to be even better this year as he has been working on his slider and he claims that it has improved tremendously. Cingrani will be pitching for a team with a strong offense that should be in the heart of the playoff push, and he will be motivated to keep improving all season.
4. Clay Buchholz - Buchholz is a player of extreme measures in the sense he could be a fantasy miracle or a fantasy nightmare. Buchholz was absolutely brilliant to start the season last year as he posted a 1.74 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP, but unfortunately he could not stay healthy as he spent nearly three months on the DL. The good news is that he pitched very well when he returned to the rotation in September as he went 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA, and fantasy owners should remember that as much as they remember his not-so-good postseason. Buchholz put up numbers that rivaled Clayton Kershaw last season, and he can be had with the 200th pick on draft day. Buchholz injury history is very scarey, but if he can do the unthinkable and stay healthy, he would the biggest draft day bargain in 2014.
5. Zach Wheeler - Wheeler is another 2nd year pitcher that is expected to do bigs things during his baseball career, and he is also being overshadowed by many of the other young pitchers that have taken the league by storm. Wheeler does not have the strongest lineup to support him this year, but he should not be overlooked on draft day.
6. Patrick Corbin - Corbin seems to be the guy no one wants to talk about, but he is still listed atop the Diamondbacks starting rotation. Corbin was very good last year, but he started struggling near the end of the season. Some fantasy owners will ignore Corbin as they feel the reason he struggled is because hitters finally caught up to him. But other fantasy owners see his decline as standard fatigue faced by all young pitchers, and those fantasy owners will be looking to take Corbin in the later rounds on draft day.
7. Josh Johnson - Johnson is now an older veteran that is trying to turn his career around, and he signed with the right team to do just that. The Padres home ballpark has help many pitchers turn their careers around, and there is no reason that the same thing won't happen for Johnson. At one point in time just a few years ago, Josh Johnson was the best pitcher in fantasy baseball and now he has dropped too low in the rankings to even be drafted. Fantasy owners looking for some extra pitching depth or a super late round sleeper should keep their targets set on Johnson this year.
8. Alexi Ogando - Ogando is set to enter the 2014 season in the Rangers starting rotation, and he has been working on improving his shoulder strength this offseason. Ogando is another pitcher that will most likely go undrafted in many leagues but fantasy owners should remember he boast a career ERA of 3.12 with a 1.14 WHIP and that he pitches for a team with a power offense.
9. Tyson Ross - Tyson Ross is a pitcher that should be able to make his way onto fantasy rosters as the season progresses because he will only be drafted in very deep leagues or NL only leagues. Ross finally got the chance to be a full time starting pitcher last year for the Padres and he did very well in the role despite his terrible 3-8 record. Ross ended 2013 with a very strong 3.17 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Ross is a player that fantasy owners should keep on their radar or even draft with a late round pick.
10. Drew Smyly - Smyly was strong for the Tigers last year as he posted a 2.37 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 76 innings. Smyly spent most of 2013 in the bullpen but he is going to get an opportunity to leave the bullpen and enter the starting rotation this year. This makes Smyly valuable in head-to-head points leagues as he will be a starter with relief pitcher eligibility.
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