Fantasy baseball 2014 draft strategy: Underrated pitching sleepers, National League (part one)
Need a sleeper in the late rounds of your fantasy baseball draft? Looking for this season’s Jose Fernandez? Below you will find some of my favorite pitchers in the National League who are being undervalued in 2014 drafts. The average draft position (ADP) is courtesy of fantasy drafts that have occurred this season on CBSSports.com.
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Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves (ADP 165) - Beachy was limited to only five starts in 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. He posted a 3.68 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and a 169/46 K/BB ratio over 25 starts in 2011 and is expected to be back to 100 percent this year. With a powerful lineup and great bullpen, Beachy is undervalued at his current average draft position.
Pedro Strop, Chicago Cubs (344 ADP) - Strop has the stuff and makeup to be a dominant fantasy closer. His only competition is for saves in Chicago Jose Veras. Since Veras is on a one-year deal and the Cubs are expected to be awful, Veras will probably get traded to a contender at some point. I’d be shocked if Strop doesn’t lead the Cubs in saves this season. Not bad for a guy currently outside the Top 300 players drafted.
Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds (ADP 115) - The hype would be outrageous if Cingrani played in a larger market. The lefty posted a 2.92 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 104.2 innings last season and appears to be 100 percent healthy after a back injury shortened his rookie campaign. This kid is a future ace.
Dan Haren, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP 188) – Haren is a unique type of “sleeper,” as he is a former fantasy ace who was completely awful in the first half of 2013. Haren’s 5.61 first-half ERA ruined his season totals and will scare away fantasy owners on Draft Day 2014. But, Haren went 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA after the All-Star break and was even better in September, posting a 2.89 ERA over 28 innings. He appears healthy entering the season and is a candidate to provide nice fantasy value.
Marco Estrada, Milwaukee Brewers (ADP 160) – Estrada was a trendy sleeper entering last season and disappointed fantasy owners with an awful beginning of the season and a June hamstring injury. He bounced back to post a 2.61 ERA in five August starts and a 1.63 ERA in four September outings. Owners are hoping Estrada can carry the late-season success over to 2014, making him a sleeper… again.