Corey Kluber: 2014 American League Sleeper of the Year


Sep 21, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) pitches in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Cleveland Indians win 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you’re league had at least 260 picks in the draft, there’s a good chance that Corey Kluber went undrafted — at least according ESPN’s Draft Results. By season’s end, he was not only one of the best sleepers, but best pitchers period, going from a free agent pickup in your fantasy leagues to a legitimate American League Cy Young candidate.

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Every year, fantasy players miss on a few guys. Which is why we get sleepers every year.

Sometimes, we feel stupid for missing the sleepers. Other times, it’s a little more justifiable. If you missed out on Corey Kluber, you might be kicking yourself now, looking back at some of the busts that you did draft. But missing Kluber was pretty justifiable.

If you don’t believe me, ask Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti.

"I would be the first to say that we didn’t know that Corey would develop into one of the best pitchers in the American League…But I do feel that our scouts and analysts did a very good job in identifying attributes in him that could lead to success.— Per Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer."

Kluber’s not exactly a baby. He turned 28 in April and while he was decent in 2013, there was nothing to suggest that he would have been a better fantasy pitcher in 2014 than guys like Max Scherzer, David Price, and Jon Lester. As a matter of fact, most of the sleeper pitcher hype on his own team went to Danny Salazar, who had a 2015 season that could at best be described as horribly inconsistent.

The American League Sleeper of the Year was actually one of our closest votes and while they didn’t make the playoffs this year, our votes do show that the Cleveland Indians scouting department deserves a lot of praise, with Michael Brantley finishing as the runner up.

Good job from the Indians. I doubt we’ll be missing out on these guys next year.