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The final sleeper in XN Sports’ “Sleeper Series” is a pitcher no one is thinking about, but everyone will have on their rosters by the All-Star break. He has been one of the better prospects in baseball over the past few seasons, and is slated to be in the top of the rotation in the AL West. Meet Astros starter Jarred Cosart.
With the lack of talent at the Major League level, Cosart is a lock to start for the Astros at least 30 times this season. Some people do not remember what he did last season, and for those who do remember may think we have too small of a sample size to accurately gauge future success. The reality is, 60 innings can tell you a lot about a pitcher, and for fantasy value purposes, who wouldn’t want a guy who produced at Cosart’s level last year?
In 2013, he finished with 60 innings, allowing 46 hits, 13 earned runs, 35 walks, and 33 strike outs. He only won one game but posted a 1.95 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. The walks are a bit scary, but Cosart has improved his command immensely in spring training with 16 strikeouts and only five walks in 12 innings.
Unfortunately for Cosart’s fantasy value, he will not have an opportunity to win many games for the Astros, as they play in one of the best divisions in baseball, and Houston is just not as talented a team as the others in the division. If Cosart can win 10 games, that would be a great season. But, there is fantasy value in a low ERA and a low WHIP once his control is settled. Cosart is slated to be the second starter for the Astros, so expect around 175 innings. If Cosart can continue his relative success from last season, and command his pitches as well as he is in Spring Training, there is no reason to believe he cannot pitch with an ERA of less than 3.50 and a WHIP of less than 1.25.
In the minors, Cosart has a career ERA of 3.58, but is has not been that high in any season since 2011. He will never strike out a batter per inning, but as a pitcher who can get guys out without allowing a lot of hits, he is the guy we want as a deep sleeper in fantasy baseball.
What brings Cosart to “Sleeper” status is the fact that his ADP isn’t even listed on FantasyPros.com. That shows he is not being drafted in nearly any leagues, which means he is almost guaranteed to be available in most leagues at the end of your draft, or in free agency after the draft.
Expect Cosart to start at least 30 games and have a record of 8-12 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. This is nothing special, but getting an ERA in the low threes with the opportunity for a few wins as an undrafted free agent? That is the definition of a sleeper.
ADP’s are based on data from FantasyPros.com
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