As offseasons come and go, lists of potential fantasy baseball sleeper candidates come and go along with them. This past offseason, I brought you a list of potential deep sleepers per usual. Since that time, all of the teams in baseball played their 162 regular season games and we found out that some of those sleepers awoke while others stayed asleep. In an effort to constantly improve and continue to be awesome, it's only fair that I acknowledge where I was wrong and brag about where I was right.
All in all, it was a decent year. There were a couple of sleepers identified who came through in a big way for your team and there were a couple of guys who were a waste of your draft picks. But, hopefully, you weren't wasting high draft picks on any of these deep sleepers so your losses were minimal anyway in those cases. Oh wait, I recommended drafting some early rounds guys, didn't I?
Yes, I did.
So, I need to point out one major flaw in my system from last year. The whole point of this so-called Search for Narco is to identify deeply hidden sleepers yet I opted to include some not-at-all hidden sleepers from the earlier rounds such as Desmond Jennings and Brett Lawrie. The problem with those type of sleepers is that there is higher risk with lesser reward. The two of them were being drafted as fantasy starters within the first six rounds or so on average. That's a big risk to take for unproven commodities. While this risk did work out for my sleeper system with Giancarlo Stanton two years ago, it isn't always going to work and I shouldn't have included them on a list of "deep sleepers". In a future post on here, I'll be researching the success of this system over the past five years in an effort to tweak it and I'll show exactly why it was a bad idea to recommend them. Stay tuned.
The GoodAside from those stated failures of the early round picks, there were some good successes from my sleeper predictions too. Paul Goldschmidt and Jason Kipnis both were picks from the middle rounds, likely being drafted as backups, that produced at the level of reliable fantasy starters on the year. Goldschmidt provided the rare ability to contribute in all roto categories from the 1B position with decent power (20 HR), speed (18 SB) and batting average (.286 AVG). Kipnis also provided a bit in all categories but his best asset was his 31 stolen bases mixed with decent numbers in other categories. If he can bring his power and AVG back to his minor league numbers then he'll be a force to be reckoned with at 2B in the future.
While middle round picks that work out are nice, the late round picks are even better. Finding a fantasy starter hidden at the end of drafts is a huge bonus. Allen Craig and Alejandro De Aza were two players who fit that mold from the list of sleepers this time around. Craig provided a great batting average (.307) mixed with good power (22 HR) and RBI numbers (92) and was being drafted as a late fantasy backup if he was even being drafted at all. De Aza was a late bloomer who produced nicely in his first season as a full starter. He nabbed a nice 26 SB and hit for decent average (.281) and was either found on your waiver wire or at the tail-end of your drafts.