Alejandro De Aza – 2012 Fantasy Sleeper Candidate

There are a couple of fantasy baseball deep sleepers each year that can make the difference for your team. The following 2012 profile of Alejandro De Aza will analyze the chances that he might be one of the next big sleepers. He was selected based on my simple selection process which is detailed in this introductory post.

ADP as of this posting: 228.35 (Round 20 in 12-team league)
Projected 2012 Role: Starting OF
2011 Production: .329 AVG, 4 HR, 29 R, 23 RBI, 12 SB in 171 PA
My 2012 Prediction: .300 AVG, 10 HR, 90 R, 55 RBI, 35 SB as starter

Leading off for the White Sox this year will be the young Alejandro De Aza. Last year, he had 13 HR, 34 SB and hit .324 between AAA and the majors. If he could bring those numbers into a full year of being a major league leadoff hitter then, wow, watch out.

My first concern with him is whether than ridiculous batting average will stick around. Playing in the Winter Leagues, he hit for a measly .198 AVG so that’s not a good sing. He’s only hitting .240 in this spring thus far as well. Add to all that that he had a huge BABIP of over .400 last year and it leads us to believe a regression is ahead but thankfully I don’t see foresee a gigantic regression. In three seasons at AAA, he hit over .300 in every one of them and had a .309 AAA batting average. So when he does regress, I see him still maintaining a good AVG overall.

Despite being a speedster, he does have good power as he hit 22 HR’s in his AAA seasons. In the leadoff spot, he likely won’t be swinging for the fences too often but it should find a decent amount of HR’s regardless.

The White Sox obviously feel comfortable letting De Aza run based on his 12 SB in 54 games last year. That shouldn’t change this year unless he gets caught stealing far too often. As a leadoff hitter, he’ll get his chance to score a lot of runs (but have his RBI totals limited there). All in all, there are a lot of potentially good things that De Aza could add to your team and he is definitely worth a late-round look.

Sleeper Verdict: Sleeptastic. In Round 20, you can’t get much better than De Aza’s potential. He certainly could be a major disappointment based on his performance in the Winter Leagues and thus far in Spring Training but you aren’t risking a lot based on his ADP at this point. I’d reach to draft De Aza a few rounds earlier to ensure that his potential is on my bench in case he does continue to break out.

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