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Deep Sleeper Fridays
Posted by Erik Siegrist at 4/4/2008 10:38:00 PM
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Every Friday (more or less... it's technically Saturday AM EST as I type this) I'm going to highlight one or two players who might be of interest to owners in deep keeper leagues, players who are barely on most people's radar but could make some noise down the road if things go right.

Joel Hanrahan, Washington: Pitching prospects come and go, and when they go they usually stay gone. Hanrahan is trying to become an exception. Five years ago he was a 21-year-old tearing up the Dodgers system, striking out 130 batters in 133.1 Double-A innings, but then shoulder woes derailed his career. He surfaced last season as part of the Nationals' open audition for rotation help, and while he put up solid numbers at Triple-A his control was atrocious in 11 big league starts.

A funny thing happened this offseason though: Hanrahan's fastball, MIA since his shoulder problems surfaced, returned. Working out of the bullpen, he was having no problem hitting the mid-90s this spring, and he opened a lot of eyes with his eight K performance against the Braves in mid-March that included consecutive strikeouts of the regular heart of the Atlanta order (Chipper, Teixeira and Francouer).

With Chad Cordero hitting the DL due to shoulder problems of his own (supposedly minor, but then that's what the Dodgers were saying about Hanrahan in '03) Jon Rauch is expected to take over as closer while Cordero is sidelined. Hanrahan's power arsenal might be ideally suited to a prominent bullpen role though, and given the adversity he's already faced in his career it's hard to see him getting too phased by a little thing like a close ballgame.

A couple of things have to go right for Hanrahan to emerge as a valuable fantasy asset, but that's a couple dozen steps closer to value than he seemed two years ago. If you've got a spot on your roster for a fungible middle reliever with K potential and upside (and in a deep league, who doesn't?) there are worse ways to spend a FAAB dollar.


Good to see for us guys in deep leagues.
Posted by 21 at 4/5/2008 3:59:00 PM

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