Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2017 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - AL East

Although baseball season is still a few weeks away, fantasy baseball season is here as draft rooms are opening and people are spending fake auction dollars on their favorite players. Everybody knows about the Mike Trouts and Clayton Kershaws of the world, so what you need to do stand out is find those hidden gems on each roster to propel yourself to fantasy greatness. I am going to go through each MLB roster to find at least one underrated player who will have you looking like a genius at the end of the season.

Today, after going with the less sexy divisions in the American League, we go with the most talked about division in all the land, the AL East.

Baltimore Orioles - Dylan Bundy
I've been all-in on Dylan Bundy since he was drafted in 2012, so the fact that I can still buy low on him excites me. He's probably not going to be the game changing pitcher I expected when he was blowing through every minor leaguer that stood in front of him. Due to injuries, he's a different pitcher, but he's still shown that he could be a very good pitcher. Even though he struggled more as a starter in the second half, he was still striking out over a batter an inning, and he's still building up his strength after coming back from injuries. Right now, he's a ranked as a late round flyer, but I think he can produce a mid 3 ERA with a strikeout per inning which wouldn't be a bad haul for a final round pick.

Boston Red Sox - Eduardo Rodriguez
It's damn near impossible to find an underrated Red Sox player. I mean, even Pablo Sandoval made the top 300. Hanley Ramirez ranked 69 which is nice. Maybe I could take a flyer on their top prospect, Andrew Benitendi, but he's already ranked ahead one of the greatest hitters ever, Albert Pujols, so yeah, I can't really say he's underrated. Let's go with Rodriguez who struggled at the beginning of the year but basically pitched like a number two starter in the second half of the season. I doubt he'll be quite that good, but if he gets anything close to that, then he'll be worth it.

New York Yankees - Gary Sanchez
I know this isn't a deep sleeper or anything, but it was the only way I could avoid recommending Chris Carter (I always recommend Chris Carter). I know he's ranked as the second best catcher, but he was only at 113 overall, and that seems at least 30 spots too low. I don't think he's Catcher Babe Ruth, but he's still damn good, and considering the lack of options at catcher, he's worth going above his ranking to go out and secure his services for the year.

Tampa Bay Rays - Jake Odorizzi
Odorizzi's only real issue last year was health, and before that, he had proved to be rather durable. The split may put some extra strain on his arm, but considering the strong track record, he's a pitcher I'd like to have this year. Computer projections continue to love the Rays, so eventually they're going to have to be right...right?

Toronto Blue Jays - Troy Tulowitzki
Making a case with my head for Tulowitzki isn't the easiest. He has been a disappointment since getting traded from Colorado to Toronto. Still, he wasn't too bad last year as he hit 24 home runs, and had he had a better BABIP, he could have easily raised his batting average 20 points. That's what I see happening this year as a little better luck gets him closer to his former glory although not quite all the way there. Is this my head talking? No, but the heart wants what the heart wants. 

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