Draft Prep: SP/RP Sleepers
With the 2017 baseball season/fantasy season only weeks away, I'm coming at you this week with four sleeper candidates, two starting pitchers and two relief pitchers.
Alex Cobb, SP, Rays - Cobb returned from Tommy John surgery last season and was able to appear in 5 games, he didn't fare to well as he posted a 1-2 W-L record coupled with a 8.59 ERA. You never know what your going to get from a pitcher who returns from Tommy John and that's certainly what happened in Cobb's case. That being said, if he could give you anything close to what he did in the 2013-14 seasons where he went 21-12 with a 2.81 ERA, he could be a huge asset you can find late in your draft. Either grab him in the later rounds or pick him up off the waiver wire.
Tony Watson, RP, Pirates - After Mark Melancon's departure mid-season to the Nationals, the long tenured setup man took over the closer's role and filled in admirably. Watson finished the season with a 2-5 W-L record, 3.06 ERA, 15 SV, 58 SO in 67 IP, and a 1.06 WHIP. Over the course of a full season, Watson should easily be able to notch 30+ saves and hover around a 3.00 ERA. Watson is a pitcher that won't be on too many peoples radars heading into your draft, so he'll carry tremendous value because of that, so target him late and thank me later.
Joe Musgrove, SP, Astros - Musgrove showed in his 11 game stint in the majors last season that he possess the stuff to be a successful starter in 2017. The Astros as a whole are hoping to bounce-back from a less than stellar campaign in 2016, a campaign in which many believed that they would contend for a division title. That didn't happen as the team, and mainly the pitching staff struggled. With Musgrove pitching in a spring training knowing he all but has a starting spot locked up should go a long way for him and his confidence. This is a player that will ultimately go un-drafted, so you don't have to use one of your last picks on him because he will most likely be available off the waiver wire to start the season.
Joaquin Benoit, RP, Phillies - AFter struggling for most of the season, Benoit found his game again upon his arrival to the Toronto Blue Jays. In 25 appearances that included 23.2 IP, he compiled a microscopic .38 ERA and struck out 24 over those 23.2 innings. The Phillies closer role isn't outright his, but he's for sure one of the favorite due to his past experience as a big league closer. Even if he doesn't break spring as the closer, he see him getting there at some point. Don't over look this grizzled veteran as he could be a great late round option to target.
Until next time,