2012 National League Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Outfielders
Roger Bernadina OF WAS – I like Bernadina a lot. I was bummed last season when the Nationals decided to start him in AAA in an obvious money saving move. Known as a great defender but he can handle the bat pretty well and has way above average speed. Ended 2011 with a line of .243-7-27-17 in 309 at bats. I look for Bernadina to break out in a major way in 2012. Especially if he can figure out how to hit lefty’s, .191 average last season vs LHP. Something like .260-14-55-30 sounds right.
Lucas Duda 1B,OF NYM – Left handed hitter hit .274 against lefty’s in 2011. So how many at bats is right handed hitter and Mets 4th outfielder Scott Hairston really going to steal from him? Even if it does become a straight platoon Duda is on the good side, (playing agianst RHP). The Citi Field walls are coming in!!…… so why not 20+ home runs from Duda in 2012.
J.D. Martinez OF HOU – Julio Daniel Martinez might not really be a true “sleeper” since he had a pretty eye opening 2011. But since it happened while he was playing for the Astros you may not have noticed, so I decided to put him on this list. Above average power and a good batting average track record makes a .280-20 type season within striking distance. And he’s only 24 years old. Don’t bank on him as a keeper however, as the entire Houston Astros team is being “traded” to the American League in 2013.
Chris Heisey OF CIN – Miss out on Jay Bruce….. Chris Heisey is basically the same thing skills wise, (minus about 10 home runs and total job security). I liked Heisey more before the Reds signed Ryan Ludwick. But Ludwick is basically a 4th outfielder at this point in his career, so it remains to be seen how Dusty Baker uses his outfielders. If Heisey can manage to get 45o at bats, the team who drafts him will be pleasantly surprised with the numbers he puts up.
Alex Presley OF PIT – Didn’t get Dee Gordan or Michael Bourn. It’s all good just pick-up Presley from Pittsburgh way later in your draft. Not the elite speed of the two guys previously mentioned but 20+ stolen base potential plus a high batting average, (.285 range) that you can nab in the mid/late rounds of your draft is pretty good. Looks to have the left field job to himself heading into 2012.
Dexter Fowler OF COL – William Dexter Fowler goes by his middle name….. I’d probably stick with William, but that’s just me. Dexter has been on these lists before, with poor results. 1st half of 2011 was so bad he got sent down to the minors. 2nd half was much better, .288-6-30-11 in 306 second half at bats. He’s going to be 26 years old in 2012. Perfect age combined with strong end to 2011 might just be the storm that creates (finally) that big break-out season. Like a .270-13-50-40 type season.
Brett Jackson OF CHC – 23 year old with above average speed and power. Currently blocked in Chicago by Soriano, Byrd and DeJesus, but your late round flyer combined with an injury could turn into gold. Great pick in a keeper league.