What you say, you need fantasy baseball sleepers for 2008? You’re looking to get some value at your fantasy draft. Yeah, you and every other schmohawk who’s reading this. Luckily, there’s enough crap out there to distract enough people. So here’s a quick breakdown of 2008 fantasy baseball sleepers for every position. If you want their projections, check the “Players by Position” dropdown on the left side or download Rudy Gamble’s 2008 Player Rater, it’s free, viral and virus-free as far as I can tell. BTW, we’ve covered some of these dudes in past sleeper articles here, here , here and finally here. This list is going to be quick and to the point (unlike this intro).
Ramon Hernandez – He’s back and his parents didn’t feel the need to spell his first name backwards, so there’s that. (Retire, Nomar, and go prepare a Cobb Salad for Mia.)
Carlos Ruiz – Geovany Soto’s now being touted like he’s the coming Messiah and J.R. Towles might be okay, but you really shouldn’t be going caca-cuckoo for any rookie catchers. You know where your misplaced love should be focused? Ruiz. He could put up Posada numbers with a handful of steals to boot. You’re welcome.
Conor Jackson – He’s looking at everyday duty without Tony Clark looming. And, weighing in at 540 lbs. and stepping over the top rope at seven feet-four inches, Tony Clark looms. Conor stops looking over his shoulder and does something. C.J.’s still young, btw.
Casey Kotchman – If I say one more time that Magic recovered from AIDS quicker than Casey recovered from mono, I’m going to hell. Kotchman’s back, ya’ll.
Alberto Callaspo — Why won’t Grudzielanek retire? I blame the Royals.
Dustin Pedroia – A Red Sox under the radar after winning ROY? Um, kinda. He’s being undervalued. Whatevs, grab him.
Robinson Cano – A Yankee without farkin’ bees swarming around him? Yeah, sorta. He’s the homer/RBI cheese to your middle infielders’ steal macaronis.
Yunel Escobar — Here’s what I said months ago, “His OBP hovered around .380 for his career in pro ball and he has decent speed and power. He could easily be a poor man’s Renteria. I know, that doesn’t sound that enticing, but there’s a place for that.” Damn, I got wisdom.
Miguel Tejada – Okay, not exactly a sleeper in the conventional sense, but he’s not done. He ripped up DR’s winter ball in the offseason and he’s playing with something to prove (that he’s urinating clean).
Alex Gordon – Disregard last season and give him another shot; in ’09, he’s not going to be cheap.
Edwin Encarncion – I never thought I’d say this, but I actually like Edwin Encarncion a lot this year. I got hate in my heart for him because he doesn’t run out routine popups and Dusty may get sick of that shizz, but here’s to Edwin hustling this year.
Matt Diaz – So what he’s got a rep for killing only lefties, you can’t make roster moves? Slot him in against lefties. FYhoo, I think he hits both sides this year.
Luke Scott – Anyone with the first name Luke can play baseball. Just not in the majors (Luke Appalling, excluded). I hesitated putting Scott on this list, but he gets a shot this year. Worth a late round flier to take a gamble. (Full disclosure: I try to only give advice I would follow, and I won’t draft Luke in any league, so, well, now you know.)
Michael Bourn – I’ve covered Bourn so much, he’s moving into mancrush territory.
Carlos Quentin – I don’t even know if he has a job. Let’s hope he does, because last year wasn’t indicative of his talent.
Shane Victorino – I’ve touted Victorino to the point where I’m not even sure he’s a sleeper anymore. Anyway, I would/will draft Victorino as my 3rd outfielder. You have to have Victorino on your team this year. I may start a running piece on my love for The Flying Hawaiian. I got lots of love to give.
Adam Wainwright – Look at his splits from last year. Took him three months to recover from that closer experiment and he was on point after the All-Star break. (He burned me in the 1st half of last year too, you gotta give him another chance.)
Manny Parra – You want this year’s Yovani? Parra will make everyone’s list next year. You get him this year, especially in keepers.
Zach Greinke – If he takes his mental health pills every day, he could be a force this year. Could the Royals be this year Brewers? Perhaps, Ms. Cleo.
Carlos Marmol – He’s dealing and the Cubs (specifically Lou) want to win.
Joey Devine – I’m not convinced Devine won’t lay a turd baby at any moment, but Huston’s either moving on or getting injured.
Jeremy Accardo – If BJ’s hurting at any point in Spring Training, Accardo’s not a sleeper. You draft him like he’s your number two closer.
Aaron Heilman — Sorry, Mets fans, Wagner got old last year. Heilman gets at least fifteen saves this year. Act accordingly.
Al Reyes – Why doesn’t someone book a cruise for Grudzielanek and Percival? I blame the Rays.
Last name that I want to highlight:
Scott Baker – I haven’t seen much buzz about this dude, so I figured I’d drop him in at the end. I have nothing to say, except in 143.2 innings his K/BB was 102/29. Read those numbers one more time. Now he’s not ringing up 200 Ks this year, but that strikeout to walk ratio is a magical first step to finding value where others may not see it.