2013 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – AL East

Here is the first article in the series of 2013 fantasy baseball sleepers. While the term “sleeper” has lost some of its luster with so much information available on the internet and whether you want to use the term “sleeper” or a value selection or profit performer, these players can provide you good value or better than expected value based on where they will be drafted. Here is a look at the 2013 fantasy baseball sleepers for the American League East.

Nolan Reimold (BAL) – played only 16 games last season before he had spinal fusion surgery which was too bad because he got off to a good start hitting .313 with five home runs in 67 at bats. He figures to see time in the outfield and at designated hitter and could hit 10-15 home runs if given 300 at bats.

Franklin Morales (BOS) – the Red Sox staff looks paper thin with Felix Doubront and John Lackey at the back of the rotation which is why Morales will be stretched out as a starter in spring training. He held his own in nine starts last season, posting a 4.14 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while striking out 47 hitters in 45 2/3 innings.

Eduardo Nunez (NYY) – more of a play in AL-only formats, with Derek Jeter coming back from ankle surgery and Alex Rodriguez out of the picture, Nunez will see time backing up third base and shortstop. Given Jeter’s injury and the oft-injured Kevin Youkilis at third, Nunez could see 250-300 at bats again like he did in 2011 when he stole 22 bases. Definitely worth a couple of bucks at the end of an AL auction if you are short on speed.

Jeff Niemann (TB) – I am double-dipping and going with Niemann again this season after he missed most of the 2012 campaign. While he has been injured the last couple of seasons, his strikeout rate was up for the third year in a row while both his ERA and WHIP has been declining during that time. He has also increased his ground ball rate which is a key when pitching in the AL East.

Maicer Izturis (TOR) – when the Blue Jays acquired Emilio Bonifacio from the Marlins, most assumed he would end up the starting second basemen, but that is not the case. Fresh of signing a three-year contract, Izturis, the better defender, is expected to open the season at second. He had a career high of 449 at bats in 2011, but has always produced decent stats for an AL-only format in limited playing time. He also offers nice flexibility for your fantasy baseball roster because he qualifies at second, shortstop and third base.

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