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2015 Sleeper Series: Marlins starter Jarred Cosart

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Ray profiles Marlins starter Jarred Cosart, who should be more than a streaming play in 2015 now that he calls Marlins Park home.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Today, I continue the series where I profile some fantasy baseball sleepers that could help you win your leagues in 2015. Every year, fantasy owners are looking for that late round hitter/pitcher who could help them deal with underperformance from an early round pick, or with an unexpected injury. Some will be busts, some will help you along the way.

I like to define a sleeper as a player who is one of the lower ranked players in standard leagues who could come out of nowhere to outperform their preseason ranking/value. Last season, we saw plenty of players come out of nowhere to help fantasy teams including Charlie BlackmonDee GordonSteve PearceCarlos Carrasco, among many others.

I will begin with the American League East division teams, in order of the 2014 standings, and proceed with the AL Central, AL West and so on.

You can find links to my other sleepers below:

2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

Jarred Cosart

I have to say that I had trouble finding a sleeper in the Marlins starting lineup, as most of their hitters, besides Michael Morse, Adeiny Hechevarria and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, are solid fantasy hitters. Their outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna might be one of the top outfields in all of baseball, and ESPN's Buster Olney ranked them as his #1 outfield for 2015. Their infield features Dee Gordon at second base and Martin Prado at third base. I thought about writing about Prado, but I don't see him improving in any of the five statistical categories.

That led me to their starting rotation, and Cosart jumped out at me, as he was one of my go to pitchers last season in my daily Streamer article. Last season, in 30 starts, Cosart went 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.364 WHIP and a 115-73 strikeout to walk rate in 180.1 innings. But, he pitched better after his trade from the Astro to the Marlins. Here are his splits:

Year Tm Lg W L ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2013 HOU AL 1 1 1.95 10 60.0 46 15 13 3 35 33 208 4.35 1.350 6.9 0.5 5.3 5.0 0.94
2014 TOT MLB 13 11 3.69 30 180.1 173 80 74 9 73 115 105 3.77 1.364 8.6 0.4 3.6 5.7 1.58
2014 HOU AL 9 7 4.41 20 116.1 119 61 57 7 51 75 89 4.02 1.461 9.2 0.5 3.9 5.8 1.47
2014 MIA NL 4 4 2.39 10 64.0 54 19 17 2 22 40 160 3.32 1.188 7.6 0.3 3.1 5.6 1.82
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/21/2015.

Cosart's numbers at Marlins Park were much better than at Minute Maid Park. After the move, his ERA dropped from 4.41to 2.39 in his 10 starts, his FIP saw a similar drop, and his WHIP saw a huge dip from 1.461 to 1.188. His hits per nine and walks per nine dropped as well, so Cosart seemed to REALLY like pitching in Miami.

How does he do it? Well, he doesn't do it by striking out guys, as he barely strikes out six batters per nine innings. He does own an excellent 54% ground ball rate, which is a good thing, as he has a pretty good defense up the middle with Hechevarria and Gordon manning shortstop and second base, respectively.

Heading into the 2015 season, Cosart will be the Marlins 4th starter, and could be a solid late round sleeper in NL only leagues, and a streaming starter in mixed leagues, especially against the NL East teams, who I think will struggle to score runs this season. He has a chance to win 13-15 games with a 3.50 ERA and sub 1.20 WHIP in 2015.