2013 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – NL Central

Here is the fifth 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 National League Central.

Scott Baker (CHC) – he is likely to start the year on the disabled list for the Cubs as he builds up his pitch count coming back from Tommy John surgery last April. If he continues to progress without any setbacks, he should be back in May and his ratios plus strikeout rate should all see a slight improvement in his move to the National League. Definitely a guy to target late in the reserve rounds of deeper mixed league formats.

Sean Marshall (CIN) – started off the 2012 season as closer but was removed from the role by mid-May. With Aroldis Chapman headed to the rotation and Jonathan Broxton closing, but on the downslope of his career, Marshall has a good shot of grabbing 10+ saves in the bullpen. He has posted an ERA of 2.65 or lower for three straight seasons and has picked up 18 wins during that span.

Wily Peralta (MIL) – the back end of the Brewers rotation is wide open and Peralta gave the team an early look at him last season with 29 innings of work at the end of the season, posting a 2.48 ERA with 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He was ranked Milwaukee’s top minor league prospect heading into last season by Baseball America but he struggled with his control at Triple-A walking 4.8 per nine frames. His current average draft position has him going in the middle of the reserve rounds in 15 team mixed leagues.

Mark Melancon (PIT) – acquired from Boston in the trade for closer Joel Hanrahan, Melancon will open the season second in the pecking order for saves behind Jason Grilli. His numbers were not pretty ERA wise in Boston last season thanks to a home run spike, but he did saves 11 games for Triple-A Pawtucket and saved 20 games in 2011 as closer for the Houston Astros.

Trevor Rosenthal (STL) – his role is still up in the air whether he starts or closes. He started the last two seasons in the minor leagues but was moved to the bullpen when he was promoted to the Cardinals last year. He put up a 2.78 ERA in 22 2/3 innings with 25 strikeouts and then looked dominant in the playoffs in 8 2/3 scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts. For his minor league career, he posted a 3.54 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and struck out 9.3 hitters per nine innings. More of a target in a NL-only format for now as the Cardinals rotation is full if all are healthy and he does not have any chance for saves with Jason Motte entrenched as closer.

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