Okay, it depends on your definition of a sleeper. If you define a sleeper as “a player I want on all of my teams and am much higher on than anyone else and I sometimes dream of me and this player on a tropical island sitting under a coconut tree that grows mistletoe during Baby Jesus’s Birthday Season,” then Kolten Wong is a sleeper. If you define a sleeper as “player that won’t be drafted until the last rounds but will give more value than that,” then Kolten Wong is not a sleeper. With sleepers, I go both ways like your mom in college. Hey, she was experimenting, s’cool! Right now, Kolten Wong (no, his name doesn’t sound right if you just say his last name, i.e., it sounds Wong) is likely being drafted sometime after 100 overall. Since this is about 70 spots past where I think his fantasy value will end up — yes, I think he’s going to end up as a top 30 fantasy player — Kolten Wong is a huge sleeper. Am I putting the kavorka before the horse on Kolten Wong by saying I’m going to be much higher on him than anyone else, like I did with Brad Miller, Jedd Gyorko and Josh Rutledge in the past two years? To that, I say, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Was I higher on those guys? I don’t remember. *looks right, looks left, slowly walks out of the room* Anyway, what can we expect of Kolten Wong for 2015 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
For about two years now, I’ve been saying Kolten Wong is a Dustin Pedroia clone. Call him, Mr. Mini Me Too. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Yeah, Mr. Mini Me Too. Okay, everybody meet, Mr. Mini Me Too.” Everyone isn’t thinking of Clipse (ft. Pharrell)? Okay, I was. I’m speaking of Pedroia when Pedroia was good, bee tee dubya. Just like Pedroia never had huge power or speed, neither does Kolten Wong. He’ll likely max out at 17-20 homers and 20-25 steals. Just like Pedroia was around a .300 hitter, Kolten Wong should too. Just like Pedroia was on top of a solid lineup for all of those years, Kolten Wong is likely headed for that same role. Just like Pedroia needs help opening a jar of pickles, Kolten Wong would too. Shoot, Kolten Wong at his best could be better than Pedroia at his. Last year, Wong hit .249 with a 16.4% K-rate. Not terrific numbers, but also numbers that were all over the map from month to month. One month he had a 11-something strikeout rate, another month a 20-something one. Why so flaky, C.J. Wilson? Cause he was a rookie. He was going through growing pains, Mike Seaver. In the minor leagues, this was never a problem, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his Ks and poor average stop being a problem as soon as April of 2015. Also, his BABIP last year of .275 is a tad low for him. In the minors, his BABIP was .334. Also, he had 20 steals last year in only 113 games, while being caught only 4 times. I’m not going to prorate those steals over a full season because that could lead one to be slightly more optimistic than they should be, but as a rookie he could’ve stolen 30 bases! (Thank God, I didn’t prorate them and instead just rounded way up.) There’s pitfalls, Harry. He’s still young, could struggle and get sent down to the bottom of the lineup again, or worse the minors. Yet, there’s possible worst case scenarios for every player — right now, I’m picturing my boo facing Mike Fiers. Wong is one solid season that he is fully capable of from being a top two 2nd baseman for all of fantasy. For 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 84/18/60/.278/24 with upside from there. Yes, I’m going to rank him crazy high too, but no one else is, so he’s sleeper.