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Billy Butler Oakland Athletics
Actually, the beginning of the article reads like this:

Most fantasy baseball analysis tends to focus on mixed leagues, but it's clear from the e-mails that I've gotten over the past couple weeks that many of you are also very interested in AL-only and NL-only information. With that in mind, over the next few weeks this space will be devoted to breaking down my favorite sleepers, with one column each dedicated to NL-only hitters, NL-only pitchers, AL-only hitters, and AL-only pitchers.

Before getting to the good stuff, it's important to note that NL-only and AL-only leagues are much different than mixed leagues and require dipping far deeper into the player pool. Because of that the players who qualify as "sleepers" are much smaller names, although you'll see plenty of so-called sleeper lists in other places that fail to recognize the differences in value. I'm focusing on true sleepers, rather than high-upside guys who're near the top of cheat sheets already.

In other words, don't expect any big names. None of my league-specific sleepers are being taken among the first 250 picks in mixed-league drafts according to the MockDraftCentral.com Average Draft Position (ADP) information that can be accessed within the Rotoworld Online Draft Guide. In fact, many of them are typically going completely undrafted by mixed leaguers. With that rambling introduction out of the way, here are my AL-only hitting sleepers:


And, even with all of these caveats, Billy Butler is a "sleeper."
Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 17 '08
Owens just returned yesterday from his latest period of inactivity. With the season getting closer, what is the feeling with Chicago's OF? Originally there had been talk of Swisher playing CF, which would seem to push Owens to 4th OF status. But lately, there have been rumblings that Guillen really likes Owens and wants him to play, as JeffJ alludes to. Does it look like Owens has a regular job?
Scott Shea SJS
Mar 17 '08
Carlos Beltran Houston Astros
Ashburn was rated at 101, but that includes five years at the back end of his career in the mid 90s and lower.

Bear in mind that all of the guys I mentioned in the Lackey thread, about the non-defensive value of Torii Hunter over Gary Matthews Jr. and Hunter's overall decline defensively, are all still active and haven't had their decline phase play out. Five years of below average play really hurts. Hey, even Bernie Williams had 4 years at +10% and better. Then he had 11 years below average finishing at 96.
Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Mar 17 '08
Andre Ethier Los Angeles Dodgers
Conciliatory?

Don't tell that to all of the middle relievers in New York that Torre used twice and then buried because he didn't trust them.
Mike Gianella MikeG
Mar 17 '08
There's no reason for Torre to have loyalty to Pierre, who has a function but shouldn't displace either Ethier or Kemp. Torre's position has always been conciliatory, so I would expect (barring a trade) for the four of them to share the three positions.

With Andruw playing 95 percent of the time.

I've reduced Pierre to 500 PA and he should probably go lower, because the Dodgers would be crazy to block Kemp and Ethier. But crazy is an option.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 17 '08
Carlos Beltran Houston Astros
How much better was Richie Ashburn than the average CF defensively for his career?
jeff merk jeffamerk
Mar 17 '08
Jason Bay Seattle Mariners
How does the knee affect his batting eye?

If he can't get the same leverage, if he can't generate the same bat speed, because he can't turn, he has to adjust. Last year Bay hit far more fly falls for far fewer home runs. The adjustment could be that he started the bat earlier, had less time to judge balls and strikes, developed an upper cut so had less contact time in the zone, and then he struggled.

With less time to watch the ball he got more aggressive and took fewer walks. It's not like he struck out a lot more.

The evidence isn't cut and dried, but it's pretty suggestive. Batting eye isn't just about seeing strikes and balls. It involves the whole mechanics of hitting, as do the knees.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 17 '08
Mark Grudzielanek Cleveland Guardians
I heard you twice the first time.
jeff merk jeffamerk
Mar 17 '08
Andy Sonnanstine Chicago Cubs
His value in 4x4 is probably higher as a middle reliever.
jeff merk jeffamerk
Mar 17 '08
C.J. Wilson Los Angeles Angels
This is a crapshoot. Wilson struggles against RHB, Benoit has stuff but arm issues, Guardado is fighting knee problems, no stuff but has the cajones and Fukumori's numbers in Japan are sad.

If Eddie has a couple good outings to end the spring he gets the job because he's the veteran closer. But the over/under for closers this year is 3.
Mark Bond booond
Mar 17 '08
Mark Grudzielanek Cleveland Guardians
Let's hear it for the unsexy player, likely to be on your roster for 3 or 4 bucks and (even at 120 games) give you something for next to nothing.
Mike Landau ML-
Mar 17 '08
Let's hear it for the unsexy player, likely to be on your roster for 3 or 4 bucks and (even at 120 games) give you something for next to nothing.
Mike Landau ML-
Mar 17 '08
Let's hear it for the unsexy player, likely to be on your roster for 3 or 4 bucks and (even at 120 games) give you something for next to nothing.
Mike Landau ML-
Mar 17 '08
Esteban German Chicago Cubs
The flexibility is worth something, but he defensive deficiency is going to cost him PT with the arrival of Callaspo. Given his age and poor stolen base rate, he's the sort of guy who could exit stage left in a hurry. He does get on base, so there may be a small role for him somewhere.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 17 '08
Mark Grudzielanek Cleveland Guardians
Let's hear it for the unsexy player, likely to be on your roster for 3 or 4 bucks and (even at 120 games) give you something for next to nothing.
Mike Landau ML-
Mar 17 '08
Let's hear it for the unsexy player, likely to be on your roster for 3 or 4 bucks and (even at 120 games) give you something for next to nothing.
Mike Landau ML-
Mar 17 '08
Let's hear it for the unsexy player, likely to be on your roster for 3 or 4 bucks and (even at 120 games) give you something for next to nothing.
Mike Landau ML-
Mar 17 '08
C.J. Wilson Los Angeles Angels
I see nearly a walk every two innings and I don't see a closer right now. He does have excellent stuff, which means he could turn it around in a hurry if he can get a handle on it. Don't forget Fukumori.
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 17 '08
Esteban German Chicago Cubs
What's the position flexibility worth here, do you figure? And will he play less?
Mike Landau ML-
Mar 17 '08
Carlos Beltran Houston Astros
Met anouncers are saying his knees are bad, and may have to move to left which would be less stress on him. For now he remains in center and puts up great numbers. Of the top twenty 5x5 players, in mixed league ratings, he the only centerfielder. If you count Crawford, who could play center, he second still no small potatoes.
Joe Lannon JEL
Mar 16 '08

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