1. Paul Goldschmidt-1B-Diamondbacks- The 6′ 3″ 245 lb. 23 year old has enormous potential and his power makes him a sleeper candidate this season. After being called up last August, his home runs averaged 419′. This is his brief major league line after the August call-up: 156 AB, 28 R, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 4 SB, .250 AVG. And this is his 2011 Minor League Double A Stats: 366 AB, 84 R, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 9 SB, .306 AVG. He’s been going at around 140-150 ADP in mock drafts so he’s getting noticed already.
2. Dee Gordon-SS-Dodgers- Arguably the fastest man in Baseball, Gordon, the Dodgers lead off hitter this season, flashed his dazzling speed after he was called up to the Majors with 24 stolen bases in just 224 AB. He had 30 thefts in the minor leagues (triple A) in 288 AB and in both leagues batted over .300. He’s poised to steal close to 50 bags this season and with that amount of upside, has been going in the 4th to 5th rounds in Mock Drafts. If you don’t snag him that early, don’t panic, there’s another serviceable speedster in Elvis Andrus.
3. Lucas Duda-OF/1B-Mets- Having dual position eligibility, Duda, Carlos Beltran’s replacement, is a quiet sleeper-in-waiting. He was the 26th ranked outfielder post All-Star break last year. If you take his numbers over a whole season, he would have had 26 home runs and over 100 RBI’s. His home run total is destined to climb higher as the fences at Citi Field are coming in this season. He’s currently going at around 230 ADP.
4. Matt Moore-SP-Rays- This 23 year old relief pitcher started two games last year and won them both! He had the daunting task of starting his first major league game against the mighty N.Y. Yankees and pitched a 5 inning gem, striking out 11, walking 1, and not allowing a run. His 2nd game was in the first game of the ALDS vs the Texas Rangers. He pitched a 7 inning- 2 hit shut-out striking out 6. A sleeper in every sense of the word, you’ll need to be mindful that Moore will be working on an inning cap of between 150-170. He’s going at 100 ADP.
5. Jason Motte-RP-Cardinals- Motte finished the season as the Cardinals closer and in September and October, (including the playoffs), he had 13 saves, 2 W, and just one lone BS. He finished the season with almost a strikeout per inning (63K’s in 68 IP) to go along with a 2.25 era and a 0.96 WHIP. In his career he has 188 K’s in 187 innings so we know his control is consistent. The Cards may not score as many runs this year without superstar Albert Pujols in the lineup, but they’ll still win their share of games. We have Motte finishing the season with around 25-30 saves.