The baseball season is now unbelievably 1/3 over. Three of our “Sleepers to watch” from our list of hitters named in our March 2, 2013 article have already shown that they were chosen carefully. Those three were Kyle Seager, Anthony Rizzo, and Allen Craig. However there are three others-two rookies and one sophomore- that are already enjoying ‘sleeper-like’ seasons that only a few pundits that we are aware of picked at all. Here they are…
1. Jean Segura-SS-Brewers- 93% owned- This 23 year old, now in his second year in the majors, played in an unimpressive 46 games last season, his first in the bigs. He had no home runs and 14 RBIs in 151 at bats while batting a pedestrian .264. You can see why not many touted Segura as a potential ‘sleeper’ candidate before the season began. His numbers so far, which are superb, are also helping fantasy owners get a leg up on some of their competition.
#9 Brewers SS Jean Segura has not batted less than .333 at any point this season through 61 games. Photo: Getty Images
In Yahoo! Leagues, for example, Segura is the 2nd highest ranked shortstop in all of baseball, trailing only All-Star Troy Tulowitzki. The undrafted Dominican is on pace to hit 22 home runs, score 92 runs, knock in 68, and steal about 42 bases. Segura is someone that those in keeper leagues have already grabbed, and with good reason; he plays at one of the weakest fantasy positions in baseball.
2. Jedd Gyorko-2B,3B-Padres-64% owned- A second round pick of the San Diego Padres out of West Virginia in the 2010 draft, Gyorko not only has a terrific start to the season under his belt, but has been on fire over the past couple of weeks. Gyorko has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games with 3 homers and 9 RBIs. His keeper status is also helped by the 24 year olds multi-positional status. How is he faring thus far in fantasy leagues? Currently he is ranked 12th in Yahoo! Leagues among 3B and 10th among 2B. In both cases, Gyorko is just one place behind one of our sleeper picks, Kyle Seager.
Gyorko is also third in hitting (.284) among National League rookies with 100+ at bats. He is second in home runs (8) and RBI (25).
3. Yasiel Puig-OF-Dodgers-83% owned- Puig, pronounced like ‘intrigue’, was just called up by the Dodgers a week ago and has only a small sampling to show, but as we tweeted back on June 2nd, Puig “should be on all fantasy owner’s radar.” We knew he was exceptional when we watched him in Spring Training as he posted a .517 batting average. With nowhere on the club to put him, he began the season in Double-A Chattanooga until Andre Ethier went on the DL and the Dodgers found themselves in last place in the N.L. West.
#66 Top prospect OF Yasiel Puig launches one of his four homers in just his first week in the big leagues. Photo by USA Today Sports
The Cuban defector had signed a seven-year $42 million contract with L.A. in 2012 and it was just a matter of time before he would be called up. Some are saying that his promotion could save manager Don Mattingly’s job with the Dodgers as last place is the ‘last place’ that the team’s owners expect their club to be in.
At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Puig was once called the “fastest player in Cuban baseball.” Batting over .400, Puig already has shown that the potential that the Dodgers paid highly for will be coming to fruition, as the probable future All-Star has hit 4 home runs with 10 RBIs in just his first 19 at bats! A sleeper candidate, should these kinds of numbers continue, Puig should also be in all keeper leagues (and more than likely already is…)