Sleeper Players

This is the time of year where many baseball prognosticators present their list of “sleeper players,” players whom they believe will have a “breakout” season, improving significantly over past performance and provide high value to their fans and fantasy owners.  These players are oftentimes previously highly-rated prospects who have yet to live up to their perceived heralded abilities; sometimes they are players who seem to come from nowhere.

So I hereby present a sleeper player:

This photo is actually funnier, or more damning perhaps, in its original shot.  Here are the members of the Phillies rotation—three of them seemingly in deep, strategic conversation while the fourth (and least of them, skill-wise), well, isn’t.

For a final sleeper players note, there was an nice column by Eriq Gardner yesterday at Baseball Prospectus, “Everyone’s Perfect: The Myth of Sleepers.”  One of the interesting parts of it is that he went through magazines, websites, blogs and online message boards from the past several years and tallied how many times players were mentioned as sleepers.  He then put their last names into “word cloud” graphics to show how often each player was mentioned that year—the bigger the font size, the more often that player was named.  Pretty cool.  So who are among the popular sleeper candidates this year?  Here’s Eriq’s word cloud for 2012:

This word cloud could be some actual helpful advice for those of you who are fantasy baseball players.

And today being February 29, Leap Year Day, I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to my nephew Jason, who is wise, strong and gifted well beyond his literal age!

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