Week 8 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Stock Market: Kevin Gausman, Yasiel Puig, Justin Grimm

Justin Grimm

Entering the season, Kevin Gausman was a fourth-overall pick in 2012 with a grand total of 15 Single-A innings under his belt. He’s now pitched a total of 61 minor league innings, which still doesn’t seem anywhere close to how long most guys to develop. It’s possible that Gausman isn’t like “most guys”, he’s only walked six batters in his entire (albeit incredibly short) minor league career while posting 9.1 K/9. You can’t be more of a sleeper than Gausman was this season but if you missed out on him in your league, here are some other guys you need to snatch up before everyone has caught on.

Justin Grimm
May 7 2013 Milwaukee WI USA Texas Rangers pitcher Justin Grimm pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1st inning at Miller Park Benny Sieu USA TODAY Sports


Jose Fernandez: Strong Buy. How this guy is still available anywhere, much less half of all Yahoo leagues, is just baffling. With another nice start against the Phils, Fernandez is 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA, .208 BAA, and 27 K over 29 innings in his last five starts. On the season he owns a 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 46 K/18 BB in 49 IP. Seriously, what’s it going to take for you to pick this guy up?

Francisco Liriano: Solid Buy. I’ve been avoiding mentioning Liriano because I smell another Ubaldo Jimenez situation afoot but sometimes a guy just pitches well enough to take a shot on. Besides, no one thought AJ Burnett could come back after his terrible Yankee run and he’s been mostly unstoppable in Pittsburgh. In three starts, Liriano is now 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 25 K/6 BB in 18 IP. Sure, the risk is the Liriano that put up a 5.23 ERA and 1.48 WHIP over his last two seasons but the upside is a guy with a double-digit K/9.

Kevin Gausman: Solid Buy. Gausman, the 26th top prospect in the country according to Baseball America, is set to be called up by the O’s and his 49 K/5 BB in 46 minor league innings this year just has to get you excited. Moving up straight from Double-A, Gausman has a 3.11 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and a 0.6 HR/9 on the season. That said, he has only pitched 61 innings of minor league ball and has seven wild pitches and three hit batters through 46 IP. Obviously he’s worth taking a shot on with those ridiculous strikeout numbers but if Jose Fernandez was too much for your weak stomach then this may be one to be more cautious about.

Justin Grimm: Solid Buy. Grimm had a couple of tough starts against Milwaukee and Oakland but bounced back nicely against a tough Tigers lineup as he held them to two runs over 6.2 IP on Saturday. I’ve been high on Grimm all year and if you remove the two starts against the Brewers and A’s, Grimm has a 2.40 ERA through five starts. The strikeouts have been inconsistent but he’s only allowed more than three runs twice this season, he looks like a keeper.

Jose Veras: Solid Buy. I get the reluctance to get the closer on the worst team in baseball but with more saves than Bobby Parnell, Greg Holland, and Chris Perez – plus his very solid 3.32 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 9 K/9 just make him way too good to pass up. The guy hasn’t had an ERA over 4.00 since 2009 so while the saves may come and go he is a solid pitcher you can be patient with.

Yasiel Puig: Speculative Buy. Whether Don Mattingly‘s threats to call him up are true or not, Puig will eventually be up. He had a great spring training in which he batted .517 with three homers, 11 RBI, five doubles, two triples, 16 runs, and four steals. So far in Double-A, Puig is batting .314 with six home runs, 24 RBI, 10 doubles, two triples, 19 runs, and 10 steals. The kid is great at everything and is far too talented to waste on the Chattanooga Lookouts while the Dodgers are dead last in the West.


Jeremy Guthrie: We all knew that Guthrie’s 5-0 record and 2.28 ERA through his first seven starts wasn’t going to hold up. With 11 runs allowed over his last two starts, against the terrible Angels and the even worse Astros, now begins the leveling out period. Guthrie is and always will be a mid-4.00 ERRA guy and 1.30+ WHIP guy without a lot of strikeouts. Time to cut this fish loose.

Josh Rutledge: After struggling to build on last season and putting up just eight extra-base hits in 173 plate appearances, Rutledge is on his way to the minors. I suppose you can stash him in deeper and NL-only leagues but it looks like Rutledge may be on his way to just another mediocre middle infielder.

Ike Davis: We all had to suspect that Ike would completely not show up for the first half, just as he did last season. I wouldn’t cut him, but I certainly wouldn’t keep starting him until he crawls out of this terrible funk he’s in. When the Mets are considering demoting you, you know you are struggling. Then again, when you’re batting .147 with four homers and nine runs batted in, you probably don’t need the additional reminders. Sure, last season his first half wasn’t great but it was a passable 12 HR and 49 RBI, albeit coupled with a .201 BA. In the second half, Ike batted a much better .255 with 20 HR and 41 RBI. Can he turn it around this year? Flip a coin.

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Igor Derysh
Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.