This post was written by a guest contributor. Enjoy.
Many people who play fantasy baseball are always looking for those sleeper picks to help put their team in the top half of their league. Some of these gambles work out, while others do not. While no one knows for sure how the 2013 season will play out, the consensus is there are four elite first basemen: Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. Outside of those four, who should be targeted as strong sleeper candidates to provide value.
The best option outside of the top four right now has to be Billy Butler. There have always been concerns surrounding his weight, but never any surrounding his bat. With a better Kansas City team ready to take the field in 2013, it could Butler’s best year yet. That is saying quite a bit for a guy who hit .313 with 29 home runs and 107 RBI in 2012.
Paul Goldschmidt is another underappreciated player stuck in a smaller market. Goldschmidt enjoyed a solid first full season in the majors in 2012, and many feel he can build on that in 2013.
In 2012, Goldschmidt showed decent pop with 20 home runs. His .278 batting average and 18 stolen bases made him one of the most complete players at first base in baseball. Now that he has his feet wet, he may be ready to make that next step as well and really begin to turn heads in the desert. He shows great discipline at the plate for such a young hitter, and many advanced scouts see 30+ home run potential out of him in the future.
Finally, Freddie Freeman has been undervalued in many fantasy baseball projections. The first baseman is preparing for his third full season, and at just 23 years of age, it is easy to see why the Braves love him. The left-handed slugger notched 23 home runs in 2012, but his average dipped to .259. Fantasy owners should however look at his on-base percentage, which basically stayed the same. If he can hit for average again, he might be the best option in baseball outside of the top four.