What you say, you need fantasy baseball sleepers for 2008? Youāre looking to get some value at your fantasy draft. Yeah, you and every other schmohawk whoās reading this. Luckily, thereās enough crap out there to distract enough people. So hereās a quick breakdown of 2008 fantasy baseball sleepers for every position. If you want their projections, check the āPlayers by Positionā dropdown on the left side or download Rudy Gambleās 2008 Player Rater, itās free, viral and virus-free as far as I can tell. BTW, weāve 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 ā Heās back and his parents didnāt feel the need to spell his first name backwards, so thereās that. (Retire, Nomar, and go prepare a Cobb Salad for Mia.)
Carlos Ruiz ā Geovany Sotoās now being touted like heās the coming Messiah and J.R. Towles might be okay, but you really shouldnāt 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. Youāre welcome.
Conor Jackson ā Heās 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.ās still young, btw.
Casey Kotchman ā If I say one more time that Magic recovered from AIDS quicker than Casey recovered from mono, Iām going to hell. Kotchmanās back, yaāll.
Robinson Cano ā A Yankee without farkinā bees swarming around him? Yeah, sorta. Heās the homer/RBI cheese to your middle infieldersā steal macaronis.
Yunel Escobar — Hereās what I said months ago, āHis OBP hovered around .380 for his career in pro ball and he has decent speed and power. He could easily be a poor manās Renteria. I know, that doesnāt sound that enticing, but thereās a place for that.ā Damn, I got wisdom.
Miguel Tejada ā Okay, not exactly a sleeper in the conventional sense, but heās not done. He ripped up DRās winter ball in the offseason and heās playing with something to prove (that heās urinating clean).
Alex Gordon ā Disregard last season and give him another shot; in ā09, heās not going to be cheap.
Edwin EncarncionĀ ā I never thought Iād say this, but I actually like Edwin Encarncion a lot this year. I got hate in my heart for him because he doesnāt run out routine popups and Dusty may get sick of that shizz, but hereās to Edwin hustling this year.
Matt Diaz ā So what heās got a rep for killing only lefties, you canāt make roster moves? Slot him in against lefties. FYhoo, I think he hits both sides this year.
Luke Scott ā 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 wonāt draft Luke in any league, so, well, now you know.)
Michael Bourn ā Iāve covered Bourn so much, heās moving into mancrush territory.
Carlos Quentin ā I donāt even know if he has a job. Letās hope he does, because last year wasnāt indicative of his talent.
Shane Victorino ā IāveĀ touted Victorino to the point where Iām not even sure heās 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 ā 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 ā You want this yearās Yovani? Parra will make everyoneās list next year. You get him this year, especially in keepers.
Joey Devine ā Iām not convinced Devine wonāt lay a turd baby at any moment, but Hustonās either moving on or getting injured.
Jeremy Accardo ā If BJās hurting at any point in Spring Training, Accardoās not a sleeper. You draft him like heās your number two closer.
Last name that I want to highlight:
Scott Baker ā I havenāt seen much buzz about this dude, so I figured Iād 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 heās 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.