I’ve got some lists for you. I’ve got so many that I can’t give ‘em all to you today, but instead I’ll be giving them to you all month. There will be lists that you’re used to like the 10 Best Breakouts or the 10 Best Relievers Who Could Close or today’s about Sleeper Hitters, but also ones a little more out there like 10 Guys Who Could 20-20 (Going Pick 150 or Later) or 10 Guys on the 40-Man Who Could Beat Better Prospects to the Majors. If you have an idea of a 10-man list you’d like to see covering a particular topic, let me know on Twitter (@sporer).
10 Post-Hype Sleepers
Last week I hit you with some general sleepers on both sides. Today’s list is kind of a sleeper list, though with a particular bent – the post-hype arms. Sometimes a guy loses his hype for good reason: injury, underperformance, or a combination of both. But sometimes there is no real good reason. A lot of times it’s because they didn’t become superstars immediately which is an unrealistic expectation of any player.
One of these guys – Drew Hutchison – wasn’t a huge prospect coming up, but he built up some hype coming into last season after some solid work for parts of 2014. All of the others were prospects at a point and charted on top 100 lists at Baseball America (BA), Baseball Prospectus (BP), or MLB.com (MLB). Baseball-Reference now includes these rankings on the minor league player pages so I pulled their highest rank from there.
|Shelby Miller||ARI||157||5 (MLB)||Detractors are trying too hard – mid-90s heat, amp his GB%, still just 25; worse park, but better team|
|Andrew Cashner||SD||266||95 (BA)||MLB-worst .330 BABIP has to regress, espec. w/Alexei Ramirez in town; has electric stuff when on|
|Matt Moore||TB||270||1 (BP)||TJ return had bumps, but finished on high note (3.12 ERA, 72 Ks in 66.3 IP in AAA/MLB); finally cut BBs|
|Nathan Eovaldi||NYY||320||70 (MLB)||Made huge strides w/splitter as out-pitch v. LHB; taking longer than hoped, but still only 26 this year|
|Drew Hutchison||TOR||384||NR||I’m kinda hedging w/Hutch & Sanchez as only one will make rotation, but I’ll gamble on the winner|
|Aaron Sanchez||TOR||385||23 (MLB)||Wasn’t great in 11 starts last yr, but TOR is giving the 23 y/o another crack; he’s dirt-cheap now|
|Archie Bradley||ARI||437||5 (MLB)||Just 65 IP in ’15 will limit him, but the uber-prospect is now a complete afterthought after 35.7 MLB IP|
|Henry Owens||BOS||473||19 (MLB)||The 23 y/o lefty fanned 9.9 batters per nine in 518 minor league IP; improved control is the key|
|Martin Perez||TEX||479||15 (BP)||Maybe he was just overrated in the minors thanks a rapid ascent, but I’m not ready to quit the 25 y/o|
|Matt Wisler||ATL||483||34 (BA)||Some changeup development from a big jump; must avoid disasters (allowed 37% of ER in 3 starts)|
If you’re budget-conscious with your pitching, then you should keep these guys on your list. Miller could be a #2 or even an ace in career-year scenario and he’s going as a #3. Cashner, Moore, and Eovaldi are being drafted as 5th-6th types and they could play up to 3s or better while the rest of the list are worthy $1 gambles. They won’t all click, but it’s a talent-rich group.