In the last few fantasy baseball chats, readers have asked me for some sleepers for 2012, so here are a few that I am keeping my eye on leading up to draft day.
Aaron Hill, ARI-where did the power go? And where did the speed come from? I don't know what to expect from Hill in 2012, but after his trade to Arizona, he hit .315-.386-.492 in 142 plate appearances with a 13.4% strikeout rate and a 8.5% walk rate. He is the starting second baseman for the DBacks this season, and we should see his power return in the hitters park that is Chase Field. I can see him hitting 20 HRs and stealing 12 bases in 2012. Not bad for a second baseman.
Casey McGehee, PIT-it appears that McGehee was brought in to "motivate" Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez to come into camp in shape this season, but he could be part of a platoon at third base and first base in 2012, possibly getting 4 starts per week. He had a down year in 2011, which was a bit unexpected after his excellent 2010 season. He was a bit unlucky last year with a .249 BABIP, leading to a triple slash line of .223-.280-.346, but he owns a .290 BABIP, so he could bounce back to hit somewhere in the .270-.330-.450 area with 17-20 home runs in 2012.
More NL-Only sleepers after the jump:
Jason Bourgeois, HOU-if you are looking for stolen bases late in your draft, Jason Bourgeios is your guy. The Astros are rebuilding and we could see Borgeois playing some second base and outfield this season. The Astros are trying to deal outfielder/first baseman Carlos Lee this offseason, which would create an opportunity for Bourgeois this season. He stole 31 bases in just 238 at bats last year. Can you imagine how many steal he would have if he got 500 at bats? He attempted a steal 52% of the time he made it to first base in 2011, so 50 stolen bases are a possibility this season.
Dexter Fowler, COL-it was reported that Fowler had increased his strength this offseason working out with Jason Giambi and Troy Tulowitzki, so there is optimism heading into spring training. Fowler had an excellent second half last season, where he hit .288-.381-.498 with 5 HRs, 10 triples and 22 doubles in 271 at bats. He chipped in with 10 stolen bases in 13 attempts, and I think he can steal 30+ bases in 2012 and hit .275-.280. If he can improve his BA vs right handed pitchers, he could have a breakout season in 2012.
Chris Heisey, CIN-I stated earlier this week that I don't know why the Reds signed Ryan Ludwick last week, when they have someone better in Heisey. I don't see Ludwick bouncing back after two bad seasons at the plate, and Heisey could take advantage of that with a hot start to the 2012 season. He has 20-20 potential, as he hit 18 HRs in 279 at bats last year. Heisey could also steal some at bats from strikeout king Drew Stubbs in center field as well. Heisey strikes out a bit too much-25%-but his .233 ISO is too much to pass up.