First Base: Sleeper, Super Sleeper, Bust, 1 Year Wonder

Sleeper: (Player who will perform much better then his draft round/ auction value)

  • Lance Berkman STL – I know, I know, Lance Berkman?  Isn’t he way past his prime?  Isn’t he an outfielder?.  Well to answer my own question…  no, I don’t think he’s way past his prime.  And yes, he is going to be an outfielder in 2011, but he actually didn’t play a single inning in the outfield in 2010.  He played all 93 of his games either at 1B or DH so he should be eligible at 1B in most fantasy leagues in 2011.  Berkman hasn’t been the model of health the past two seasons, but even as recently as 2009 he hit 25 HR’s with a .274 AVG.  I think a change of scenery could be exactly what Berkman needs to get his stats going  in the right direction again.  Berkman has been a 1st or 2nd round pick for the past decade, so if he slips into the middle of your draft I think you can find some real value here.  I honestly expect Berkman to come close to his 2009 stat line of .274-25-80-7 in 2011.  And oh yeah,  hitting behind Pujols and Holliday might provide just a few RBI opportunities.

Super Sleeper: (player who will go real late in deep drafts/$1 action value who will be a productive player for you)

  • Brandon Allen ARZ – I wanted to put Freddie Freeman of Atlanta here, but a lot of people are hyping him up so he probably will be drafted too early to be considered a true “super Sleeper”.  Luckily for me I also think Allen has a good shot to be this year’s Ike Davis or Gabby Sanchez.  He’s huge (6’3″ 245lbs), left handed and has a sweet swing.  He should easily beat out Juan Miranda to win the Diamondbacks’ full time 1B gig in 2011.  Allen hit 25 HR’s at AAA Reno last year, and with a short right field porch in Arizona his power should transfer nicely into the big leagues.  Maybe not the best batting average (.264 career in the minors) but .253-17-60-0 is about what I expect from Allen next year.  He’ll also be eligible at OF in most leagues just to add some more value.

Bust: (Player who will perform much worse than his draft round/auction value)

  • Adam LaRoche WAS – I hate when I read somebody’s bust list and they pick a player who already didn’t have a good season the year before.  For instance you’ll see Todd Helton on a lot of bust lists in 2011.  Oh really, Helton isn’t going to hit 49 HR’s like he did in 2001?  Thanks for the info bud, I should win my league for sure with that little nugget of knowledge.  With that being said I’m thinking this could be a rough year for Adam LaRoche.  For starters he’s moving from a very hitter friendly park in Arizona to more of a pitchers park in Washington.  Plus, he signed a two year deal this off-season so he doesn’t have to start playing for his next contract until 2012.  LaRoche has been very consistent throughout his career so this is a risky pick, but I’m just not feeling him in 2011. .265-14-72-2 is as good as its going to get for LaRoche next season. (At least this prediction will look good at the start of the season, since LaRoche is a notorious slow starter)

1 Year Wonder: (Player who will not come close to his 2010 numbers)

  • Mike Morse WAS – At the risk of making this site’s “entire” Washington Nationals fan base angry, I’m going to pick yet another National Mike Morse as my “1 year wonder”.  It’s not that I don’t like Morse, he had a phenomenal season last year .289-15-41-0 in 266 at bats.  He kind of reminds me of a better version of Eric Hinske, but where is he going to find playing time in 2011? 1B is Adam Laroche and the outfield consists of Jason Werth RF, Nyjer Morgan CF and Roger Bernadina LF.  To make that even worse Rick Ankiel is the 4th outfielder (and possibly the teams best starting pitcher…my goodness that rotation is horrible!).  So it looks like LaRoche would have to get injured for Morse to find any significant playing time, and LaRoche has had over 450 AB’s every year since 2005.  If I’m the Nationals GM I’m looking to shop Morse for a starting pitcher.  But I’m not, so they’ll probably just massively overpay for more 32 year old outfielders.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, I don’t like Morse very much in 2011. I project .272-8-27-0 in around 200 at bats.
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8 Responses to “First Base: Sleeper, Super Sleeper, Bust, 1 Year Wonder”

  1. Berkman is a huge risk. What I remembered most about him last year was the number of times he had his knee drained. Putting him in the outfield only makes him the worst outfielder in the league. A donkey has more range. He is more likely a bust. What I remember most about him this winter Is the number of times he talked about possibly retiring… Not good memories.

    Adam LaRoach has hit 25 home runs for three consecutive years. He has been remarkably consistent considering how many uniforms he’s worn during that stretch. Your 15 HR projection is way off.

    Great site. Love the deep league info.

  2. Is Paul Goldschmidt not the Dbacks 1B?


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