Everyone loves a sleeper, right? I know I do. Well, Dave Morris and I will be offering some fantasy sleepers every Friday during the Consensus Rankings Series. Dave kicked off the Sleepers series with his AL-only league catchers who could outperform their draft day values in 2014 earlier this morning, and now I bring you my NL-only league sleepers for 2014.
Here is a look at a few NL-only league catchers who will be available late in drafts who could rise in the rankings by midseason:
Devin Mesoraco, CIN
Mesoraco is one of the players I see breaking out in 2014, as he now has the starting gig in Cincinnati. The Reds dealt starter Ryan Hanigan to the Rays this offseason, so Mesoraco finally gets to show us what he can do at the plate now that he will get about 400-450 plate appearances. I see double digit power and 55-65 RBI from him this season. But to do so, he will have to reduce the frequency of pitches he swings at outside the zone, make more contact, and be a little more lucky with his balls in play. His minor league success at the plate indicates he has the skills to do so.
Rotobanter projects Mesoraco to hit .245 with 12 HRs, 38 runs scored and 51 RBI in 2014. I see him exceeding all four of those projections with regular playing time.
Yasmani Grandal, SD
Grandal has the starting job in San Diego and will have the additional challenge of having to dispel the theory that he won't hit now that he is off the PEDs. I think he will be fine, and the same goes for all the other players who were suspended last season. Grandal is a switch hitter, so he will play against lefties and righties, and should hit for double digit power with 50-55 RBI in the Padres lineup in 2014. We have little big league plate appearance data on Grandal, and based on that, he is a candidate to outperform his draft day value in 2014. He may not be the hitter we saw in 60 games in 2012, when he hit .297-.394-.469 with 8 HRs, 28 runs and 36 RBI, but he shouldn't kill you in any one category when compared against his catcher brethren.
Rotobanter projects him to hit .266 with 6 HRs, 38 runs scored and 44 RBI in 2014. I see more power in his bat.
Welington Castillo, CHC
Castillo plays for the Cubs and that probably hurts his value on draft day, but he won't hurt you in any one category compared to other catchers drafted in the later rounds. He will hit for decent power with a solid batting average, as evidenced by his 2013 triple slash of .274-.349-.397. It seems he has traded hitting fly balls for line drives over the past two seasons, so the batting average may stay in the .260-.270 range. With more playing time, and a few more fly balls, he should be able to hit double digit homers in 2014.
Rotobanter projects him to hit .261 with 11 HRs, 46 runs and 48 RBI in 2014. I can see him exceeding the runs and RBI projections this season.
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