While Buster Posey, Joe Mauer and Yadier Molina will be the guys queued in most drafts come draft day, there are a few guys that shouldn’t go overlooked before you think about drafting your team. So much so, that while you watch your friends, family and co-workers go after their catchers early, you’ll be able to take care of more dire needs in your rotation or infield instead of reaching on a player like Mauer or Molina.
Over the next few weeks leading up to the first pitch of the 2013 MLB season, I’ll take you through each position and toss up those I see fit as viable sleeper optionsleeper article.
Sleepers are key in giving your team the most value per selection when it is time for your to draft. While you don’t want to have a team primarily comprised of sleepers, knowing who you want and where you want him is important when you decide which players will be your sleepers. So without further a due I give you your first sleeper candidates of 2013; Wilin Rosario of Colorado and Salvador Perez of Kansas City.
Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies
Despite just playing in 117 games for Colorado last season, the 23 year-old from the Dominican Republic showed off a great deal of power last season, leading the league in homers by catchers with 28. Rosario also finished ninth in RBIs (71), tied for fifth in runs (67), all while batting .270 with a .530 slugging percentage (SLG) and a .843 on base plus slugging percentage (OPS).
To put things in a bit of perspective Rosario played in approximately 30 less games than most catchers [31 less than Posey, 30 less than Mauer, etc.]. Rosario was tied with Baltimore Orioles’ catcher Matt Wieters in runs despite a difference of 130 AB’s between the two and when looking at Rosario’s RBI numbers aside other positions in the league his 71 is more than Austin Jackson, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Upton or Michael Young.
Recently I’ve seen Rosario taken off the board in rounds 14-16 aside players like James Shields, Mike Napoli, Grant Balfour and Daniel Murphy. If you get the chance to take him there or feel obligated to reach a bit on him, don’t shy away from it, Rosario could go from sleeper to keeper in a matter of no time.
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
Salvador Perez, 22, was picked up by Kansas City in 2006 after going undrafted. Since then, he has worked his way up an organization that has struggled to maintain relevance all while continuing to build from the ground up. Perez, alongside Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and a few other promising pieces, is a key part of the core that makes up the Kansas City Royals.
Like Roasrio, Perez was unable to play the entirety of last season, playing in just 76 games last season (knee injury) and 39 games before that. In those two seasons, Perez played in 115 games and saw 437 at bat’s–a portion very similar to that of Rosario last season. In those 115 games portioned over two seasons Perez had a .311 batting average, 14 homers, 60 RBI and 58 runs. He also managed to compile a .471 SLG and a .810 OPS. Perez is a player that won’t get you the home run totals of Rosario, but he is able to get on base more and strikeout less.
If Perez is able to mimic what he has done the last two years in one full season in Kansas City, he should be able to garner another .300 average and have a 20-70-70 season that is well worth the 12th or 13th round selection you’ll have to pay to get him.
Jesus Montero (Mariners)
Have any questions or disagree with my take? Let me know what’s on your mind on Twitter@ThisJustM.