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 Blackmon, Dee Gordon, Steve Pearce, Carlos 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:
Brown was once the prospect that Ruben Amaro Jr. (or was it Pat Gillick?) wouldn't include in the Roy Halladay trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. Two seasons ago, Brown put up a solid season for his fantasy owners, hitting .272-.324-.494 with 27 home runs, 65 runs scored, 83 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 540 plate appearances. Last seasons, he slumped in a big way, hitting just .235-.285-.349 with 10 home runs, 47 runs scored, 63 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 512 plate appearances.
Part of the reason for the drop in his numbers was he was a bit unlucky, with his batting average of balls in play dropping from .287 to .269, a small change, but a drop nonetheless. He also hit more balls on the ground and less line drives and fly balls. A concern for me is that his HR/FB% dropped from 19.3% to 7.9% last season, which makes me wonder if his 27 home run output in 2013 was a one year fluke.
Time will tell, but the Phillies are doing something about his disappointing 2014 season, as they have brought back former manager Charlie Manuel to help the Phillies young hitters work on their approach at the plate, and Brown is at the top of his list of hitters to focus on this spring.
Manuel is one of the best hitting coaches in the game, so there is a good chance he can make meaningful changes in Brown's swing and approach. Some say that spring training stats are worthless, but in Brown's case, if we see him hitting and hitting for power in spring training, we could very well see a bounce back season from Brown in 2015.
What can we expect from Brown in 2015? I could see him duplicating his 2013 season stats. Maybe not 27 home runs, but I could see a 20+ home run, 80+ RBI season from him.