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2012 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Pitchers

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The following is a list of players that we think are undervalued in 5x5 standard leagues based on their ADP (courtesy of MockDraftCentral).

These are the players we would target on draft day. We try to show players that will go early, middle, and late to give you the most flexibility when picking at this position. We also indicate at which pick you should start thinking about picking the player.

Steven Strasburg (early rounds, 50+) - We're skeptical of any guy coming off major arm surgery, but remember Strasburg came back in September of 2011 and showed no signs of a slowdown, sporting a 24/2 K/BB ratio in 24 IPs. With an entire winter to build and condition his arm strength, Strasburg is primed for a huge season. There isn't any doubt that he possesses the potential to be the top fantasy pitcher, it's just a question of whether or not he gets the innings and stays healthy. We only project 155 IPs, but that's enough to make him a top 25 player. If he gets 180+ innings, watch out. There's nothing more beautiful than watching your fantasy pitcher rack up 10+ Ks and Strasburg might do it 15 times this year. He's only going around pick 65, so even if you reach at pick 50 you are picking up tremendous value.

Brandon Beachy (mid rounds, 110+) - Beachy sported an xFIP of 3.16 last year, showing that he could improve on his 3.68 ERA in 2011. Throw in 169 Ks in 141 IPs and you have yourself a potential fantasy stud. He's still flies under the radar, perhaps because he only won 7 games last year, but don't be fooled by the lack of wins. Beachy should enter the season in the rotation and stay there the entire year. 15+ wins and 200 Ks is only mildly optimistic. If you've waited until the middle rounds to start drafting pitchers, you could do a lot worse than Beachy.

Yu Darvish (mid rounds, 110+) - Darvish is going around pick 120 in mock drafts. We'd like to thank Dice-K for that ranking, as people automatically assume that Darvish will flop like his fellow countryman. However, Darvish posted ERAs almost 1 run lower in Japan and over a longer period. Having already looked extremely solid in his spring debut, Darvish could vault up the mock draft lists in a hurry. It's hard to translate Japanese numbers to their MLB equivalent, especially when Darvish is by far the best pitcher to arrive from Japan. Expect 15+ wins, 185+ Ks and a real draft bargain for your team.

Cory Luebke (mid-late rounds, 120+) - Ugh. I know it's hard to get too excited about a Padres pitcher because he's probably going to be limited to about 12 wins. So, what does Luebke have going for him? K's....and lots of them. 154 in 139 innings last year. He also had xFIP (3.02) that exceeded his ERA (3.29), so his 2011 season was not flukey. Converted to a starter from the bullpen, he went 6-10, a record that might sour an uneducated fantasy manager. We aren't expected a 20-game winner...our projections only call for 11 wins and he's ranked accordingly. At pick 133 in mock drafts right now, he's not a popular pick, but with top 70 value he can be a solid pick for you around #120+.

Late Rounds

Daniel Bard (BOS) - Bard is being picked around 300 in mock drafts. We don't get it. The guy has nasty stuff and plays for a bomb squad of a team, so the wins should be plentiful. While he may not dominate as a starter, he should rack up close to a K per inning with a mid-3 ERA. His innings will be somewhat limited but he should be good for 150 innings and offer tremendous late round value.

Juan Nicasio (COL) - Nicasio isn't likely to get drafted in your league, so there is no rush to grab him. If you have a couple bench spots and you are looking to add some pitching depth, take a look at Nicasio. His xFIP was a very respectable 3.43 and he struck out about 7.5 batters per 9 innings last year.

Vance Worley (PHI) - Often overlooked because of Halladay, Lee, and Hamels...Worley struck out 119 guys in 131 IP last year. It doesn't hurt that he's often facing a weak 4th starter as an opponent. Worley may have trouble keeping his ERA around 3 (his xFIP was 3.66 in 2011), but he should provide decent Ks and 12+ wins. His ADP of 255 suggest that you can get him in one of your last few rounds.

Henderson Alvarez (TOR) - Just 21, Alvarez should crack the starting rotation for the Blue Jays this spring. He's not a huge strikout pitcher, but he does have extremely good control and will be a boost to your WHIP. He boasted a 40/8 K/BB ratio last year in 63 innings and should only improve. At a mock draft ranking of 311, he may go undrafted if you don't snag him with one of your last picks.

2012 Sleepers - C
2012 Sleepers - 1B
2012 Sleepers - 2B
2012 Sleepers - SS
2012 Sleepers - 3B
2012 Sleepers - OF
2012 Sleepers - Pitchers