Everyone knows Chris Davis hit over .300 with 6 dingers and a decreased (though still ridiculous) k-rate when recalled to Arlington last summer. If prospects like Strasburg and Heyward are what you consider sleepers, this will take you to a whole new level. In this post we will cover the guys you can target late in drafts and get huge bang for your buck.
Good news. Blanks dropped 15lbs this offseason and really worked on becoming a more athletic outfielder. The thing is those 15lbs brought him down from a whopping 285lbs to a slim 270lbs. Before you starting calling him Dimitri Young, the guy is 6’6″ and has 2 triples and 2 steals this spring. Blanks will man left field for the Pads for now but a shift to his natural position at 1B is a guarantee with the likely trade of Adrian Gonzalez.
O, and did I forget to mention this guy can mash? Manager Bud Black is already sold on Blanks hitting ability and has penciled him in the cleanup spot between Adrian and Chase Headley. Blanks is a career .304 hitter in the minors with power to spare. He will whiff a ton but that comes with the pop. Before being slowed with a minor foot injury (which he has fully recovered from), he mashed 10 homers in 104ab with a 1.028 OPS after the break. And if you think Petco will cause problems, don’t worry. The average distance for Blanks’ homers in 2010 would have put him in the top 10 in the majors if he had enough ABs to qualify. This kid is legit. Get him.
Rodriguez qualifies at OF for Yahoo for now but that will soon change. ESPN recently came out with an article saying that S-Rod could be Ben Zobrist 2.0. Guess what? I said that over a month ago to my co-editor so I had to write about the guy in this post.
Rodriguez is “battling” for a roster spot this spring but it’s been completely one-sided. Matt Joyce (RF) is having trouble throwing from 90ft and he’s not about to be the DH for a team that just signed Hank Blalock and has Pat Burrell. Reid Brignac is competing for a shot at a MI position, but his bat is not nearly at the same level as Rodriguez’s. Rodriguez will make the team. He will likely start a 2B with Zobrist in RF. Luckily, Rodriguez’s natural position is SS so he can also spell Bartlett (hopefully those 10 precious times).
So not only will Rodriguez qualify at multiple valuable positions, he has a monster bat. A key piece in the Kazmir deal last summer, Rodriguez has been working out this Spring with A-Rod who has had nothing but amazing praise for the 24 year old. Sean Rodriguez is a career .281/.380/.501 hitter in the minors. His time with Salt Lake in 2009 was just silly, hitting 29 homers in 365 abs with a .299/.400./.616 line. Watch the position battle in Tampa. If he gets a job, you want him.
But wait there’s more. I got tired of typing. Click for More 2010 Sleepers
P.S. Blanks and Rodriguez are also in this podcast which I recorded 3 weeks ago. Notice the Ben Zobrist reference WAYYYY before any other site was hyping him. As Will said, we are ahead of the curve.