There are a couple of fantasy baseball deep sleepers each year that can make the difference for your team. The following 2012 profile of Brandon Beachy will analyze the chances that he might be one of the next big sleepers. He was chosen by my sabermetrically-inclined method which is detailed in this introductory post.
ADP as of this posting: 114.81 (Round 10 in 12-team league)
Projected 2012 Role: ATL #3 SP
2011 Production: 7-3 W/L, 3.68 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 169 K in 141.6 IP
My 2012 Prediction: 14-10 W/L, 3.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 200 K
Many people were excited about Mike Minor as a sleeper last year but then this Brandon Beachy character came along and stole his spot in the Braves’ rotation. Little did we know just how good Beachy was but we should have known good things were coming based on his 11.1 K/9 with 2.1 BB/9 in his previous minor league season. Which means that we shouldn’t have been shocked when he blew through the majors with a 10.7 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
But, in 2012, the question is: how is a guy with those numbers not being drafted earlier? Tim Lincecum had a lower K/9 and a higher BB/9 than Beachy after all!
The biggest red flag for him is about his ability to pitch a full season without health concerns. Coming into the minors, he was used primarily as a reliever and then slowly started to transition into a starting pitcher. From 2008 to 2010, he only started 21 total games and had 208.6 IP. So there’s concern about the toll that suddenly starting 25 games after that with 141.6 IP will have upon him. However, this transition has been done before by folks like C.J. Wilson and it has gone smoothly so this might be an unwarranted concern.
The other concern would be that his BB/9 wasn’t exactly at an elite level in 2011. While it was above average, the best of the best have a BB/9 closer to 2.00. That is a slightly fair criticism but it is a small sacrifice to make for one of the best strikeout rates in baseball. However, it should be noted that his BB/9 over his 208 minor league innings was 2.11 so he certainly has potential to reduce that number in 2012.
He becomes even more interesting when you add in the fact that he’s pitching in the NL and plays for a team that should accumulate a good number of wins. Beachy may be a surprise addition to your roster this season but he has the potential to be an ace for your team.
Sleeper Verdict: Sleeperific. He established himself as one of the best strikeout artists in the league and has an above average walk rate that is set to improve more. What’s not to love in the 10th round?