AL Sleeper Pitchers

Sep 3, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (54) reacts on the mound during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the most common fantasy baseball inquiry is, “Who are the best sleepers next year?”  In this day and age on the Internet, it is truly difficult to have fully hidden sleepers with the infinite wealth of information and databases available.  In that sense, there are no true sleepers.  On the other hand, players like Michael Brantley and Corey Kluber walked right under our noses last season.

The “sleepers” listed below are pitchers that I either believe are sleepers or they have been considered a common sleeper across the fantasy baseball sphere.  Even if they are listed here, it does not mean that I believe the player will break out.  Furthermore, there will be great value picks posted tomorrow.  Those picks are essentially the non-sleeper sleepers, or the undervalued players compared to their ADP.

SP Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays

At this point, Stroman may be my favorite sleeper, but he is fairly uncovered at this point.  There is a real chance that we start associating the word “ace” with Stroman this year.  He is only 23, but he looks like a seasoned vet on the mound.  Not only does Marcus Stroman have plus stuff, he has fantastic command that led to a 1.93 BB/9 in his rookie season.  I will definitely own Marcus Stroman in at least one league.

SP Aaron Sanchez of the Toronto Blue Jays

Aaron Sanchez is an impressive prospect as well as the teammate of Marcus Stroman.  Sanchez was quite successful in the Jays’ pen in 2014 by overpowering Major League hitters with his wicked fastball.  If Sanchez has the chance to start at some point this season, then he could succeed because his stuff is so nasty.  However, Aaron Sanchez has a much lower floor than Stroman in 2015.

SP Drew Smyly of the Tampa Bay Rays

When the Rays traded away franchise ace David Price, everyone was disappointed when they seemingly received nothing.  However, the Rays brought Drew Smyly to the Trop.  As you can see in the pitching team preview here, Smyly was filthy in Tampa and has major upside as a high-end starter.

SP Jose Quintana of the Chicago White Sox

While the duo of Sale and Shark get all the attention, you should not forget that Jose Quintana is a very good pitcher on the edge of maybe being great.  I wrote a little bit about Quintana in the White Sox pitching team preview here.

SP Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians

Carrasco is “the” sleeper of the 2015 season after his dominant 14 starts in 2014.  People are already calling him the next Corey Kluber.  While Carlos Carrasco is a frequent name on sleeper lists, the amount of hype pushing this train makes it impossible to call him a sleeper at this point.  Regardless of his upside classification, Carrasco is arguably the most logical candidate to make the jump to next level.

SP Danny Salazar of the Cleveland Indians

Salazar was the sleeper version of Carlos Carrasco a year ago.  While Danny Salazar finished with a 4.25 ERA and was demoted to AAA for a while, he still has a big strikeout profile and should rebound nicely in 2015.  Danny Salazar is a fantastic post-hype sleeper.

SP T.J. House of the Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland rotation is quite the talented bunch, but it could get even better if T.J. House finds his way into the rotation in Spring Training.  House is a wizard at keeping the ball on the ground even though the Indians had possibly the worst defense in baseball.  T.J. House’s 60.9% GB% in 102 innings could be very positive foreshadowing of House becoming the next Dallas Keuchel.

SP Alex Meyer of the Minnesota Twins

I highly doubt that Meyer has much fantasy value in 2015, but he has an absolutely disgusting fastball and he could see action in the Twins’ bullpen this season.  Alex Meyer is absolutely worth owning in deeper keeper leagues where prospects are coveted.  Keep an eye on his progress.

SP Andrew Heaney of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Heaney is most notable for being traded twice this off-season in a matter of hours.  His first stop with the Dodgers lasted a New York minute, but at least he stayed in LA with the second move.  I think Heaney could capitalize big time if he gets any starts with Garrett Richards likely missing the start of the season.  I would put him on your bench and see if he produces.

SP James Paxton of the Seattle Mariners

I just have a gut feeling that the 6’4” lefty ends up as a future high-end starter on an already excellent rotation.  While Paxton only managed 74 innings in 2014 due to injuries, his 54.8% GB% was very encouraging even if he walked too many hitters.  James Paxton was phenomenal when he pitched in April and August, despite missing everything in between.  I think a healthy Paxton could be a top 30 SP.