Everyone loves a sleeper, right? I know I do. Well, I will be offering some fantasy sleepers every Friday during the Consensus Rankings Series. I kicked off the Sleepers series with my AL-only league second basemen who could outperform their draft day values in 2014.
Here is a look at a few AL-only league second basemen who will be available late in drafts who could outperform their draft day value in 2014:
Jed Lowrie, Athletics
Lowrie had a bit of a breakout season in 2013, as he hit .290-.344-.446 with 15 HRs, 80 runs and 75 RBI in career high 154 games. Lowrie has been injury prone throughout his career, but shed that tag last season. The question on draft day is whether he can be trusted to stay healthy this season.
Among qualified second baseman, his 15 home runs would have ranked ninth, his 80 runs scored would have ranked tied for 7th with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, his 75 RBI ranked 7th, and his .290 batting average ranked 6th, so he should be drafted accordingly in 2014, but he comes with injury risk which knocks him down a few spots.
Marcus Semien, White Sox
Semien wasn't ranked in our Top 30 Second Base Rankings, but is a sleeper in deeper leagues, as he has a chance to make his mark in 2014. He could actually be the White Sox starting third baseman to start the season. That will depend on whether the White Sox see Matt Davidson as ready or not. He also could see plenty of time at second base should incumbent Gordon Beckham continue to disappoint the team and his fantasy owners.
Semien has the tools to be a .260 hitter with double digit power and stolen base potential in a full time role. Prior to his late season call up, Semien hit .284-.401-.479 with 19 HRs, 110 runs, 66 RBI, 24 stolen bases in 29 attempts, and a spectacular 90-98 strikeout to walk rate at AA and AAA. Upon his call up last season, he hit .261-.268-.406 with 2 HRs, 7 runs, 7 RBI and 2 stolen bases in 71 plate appearances, but whiffed 31% of the time.
Kelly Johnson, Yankees
Johnson appears to be the Yankees starting second baseman in 2014 now that Robinson Cano has left for riches in Seattle, although they also signed Brian Roberts this offseason, but he hasn't played more than 77 games since 2009. Johnson won't hit for a high average, but has hit double digit home run in six of his seven seasons in the big leagues. He has also stolen 11 or more bases in four of his seven seasons, so he is capable of double digits in homers and stolen bases this season.
Johnson hits plenty of fly balls which should bode well for his power output hitting in the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, especially with the short porch in right field.
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