Week 9 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Stock Market: Lyons’ Den

fantasy baseball sleepers
fantasy baseball sleepers
May 28 2013 Kansas City MO USA St Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Tyler Lyons 70 delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium John Rieger USA TODAY Sports

More than most seasons, the league is rife with good young talent this season and fantasy owners who didn’t have the best draft have had countless chances to snatch up guys that we didn’t even know existed on draft day. This week, we look at some young guys that went almost universally undrafted (or weren’t even available to be drafted) and some older guys that are living up to their age.


Domonic Brown: Strong Buy. The Domonic Brown hate needs to stop. He has 13 homers, 32 RBI, and is batting a solid .262—and he’s still available in nearly half of all Yahoo! leagues? Ludicrous. Brown has already matched or exceeded his career highs in hit totals, home runs, runs batted in, steals, and batting average and is a must-own in all leagues right now.

Michael Wacha: Strong Buy. The fantasy world has been abuzz with Michael Wacha hype this week but he can still be had in half of Yahoo! leagues. Through his 73.2 inning minors career, Wacha owns a 4-0 record with a 1.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, and a mere 5.3 H/9. As a Cardinals top prospect, he is worth a pick up, it rarely goes poorly.

Tyler Lyons: Solid (Possibly Short Term) Buy. Unlike Wacha, Lyons never had great minor league numbers, owning a career 4.30 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. He wasn’t even ranked among the top 30 prospects in the organization this year. The Cardinals’ prospect rule still applies, however, as this kid has done nothing but blank opponents since coming up. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball in his Majors debut against the Padres, surrendering four hits, a walk, and striking out four. He threw another seven one-run innings against the Royals on Tuesday, giving up a mere three baserunners while striking out five. He’s never pitched this good in the minors and the two teams he faced are pretty offensively challenged, not to mention the fact that Jake Westbrook may return and knock him out of the rotation, but he’s pitching well and that in itself makes him worth the pickup in a lot of leagues.

Read More: SJN’s Fantasy Baseball Projections

Evan Gattis: Solid Buy. Gattis has eight hits in his last 20 plate appearances, five of them for home runs. He’s only starting about half their games and was helped by the DH spot in the interleague series but he’s hitting for power at a ridiculous rate. His five home runs, 12 RBI, and five runs over his last eight games bring his season totals to a very healthy .271 BA, 12 HR, 32 RBI, and 19 R. Coupled with his catcher eligibility, he’s a rare bench player who’s worth taking a shot on, at least while he’s hot.

Jeff Locke: Solid Buy. Locke’s success has gone mostly unheralded this season and while his 39 K/25 BB in 58.2 IP isn’t going to impress any fantasy players he is doing everything else very well. He hasn’t given up more than four runs in a single game this season and has pitched four games in which he didn’t allow a run. Over his last four starts he is 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA, .190 BAA, 20 K/9 BB in 25 IP which brings his season totals to 5-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 6.4 H/9.


Vernon Wells: There was a reason we all chuckled when the Yanks got Wells and while we were more than happy to jump on the bandwagon when he was hot in April we always knew what Wells was. He hasn’t hit a home run in two weeks and I think it’s fair to say that Vernon is returning to the Vernon we expected. After batting .295 with nine homers, 20 RBI, and 19 R over his first 34 games, Wells is batting .185 with one home run, four RBI, five runs, and 10 strikeouts in 15 games since. I think it’s time to cut this one loose in all but the deepest leagues.

Dexter Fowler: Unlike Wells, a lot of people (not yours truly, but others) believed this would be Fowler’s breakout season so when he hit seven home runs in his first 14 games it only fueled the fire. Unfortunately since then he is batting .273 with just one home run, eight RBI, and 36 K in 36 games since. While he remains a solid (not great) source of runs and steals, Fowler isn’t going to be this season’s surprise hit.

Brandon Morrow: I wasn’t a big fan of Morrow coming into the season, but that was probably just because of his career 4.37 ERA and 1.38 WHIP before his impressive half-season last year. He’s been well worse than that, fitting in with the Mark Buehrles, Josh Johnsons, and RA Dickeys of the world, going 2-3 with a 5.63 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, and just 7.0 K/9. While I remain optimistic about Dickey’s chances of having a decent (not great) season, I don’t see the same in the works for anyone else in that rotation.

Michael Young: Young was obviously lackluster last season but just a year removed from his league-leading 213 hit campaign that saw him put up a .338 BA, 11 HR, 106 RBI, and 88 R, you just had to take a shot on him this season. Alas, at 36, Michael Young has been reduced to mediocrity with the numbers to show for it – .258 BA, two homers, 11 RBI, and 19 R. You can’t get more pedestrian than that and there’s no reason to believe that the 13-year vet still has anything left in the tank.

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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.