Fantasy Baseball Top 5 Sleepers (April. 13th)

1. Delmon Young, LF, Minnesota Twins

Young's first week proves he will finally live up to expectations this season.

The former first overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays surprised fantasy owners with a solid opening week. Is this the year that he lives up to his expectations?  The Twins starting LF is only hitting .273, but has two homeruns, 7 RBIs and has added 2 walks and a stolen base.  His RBI total is tied for fifth in the majors.

The Twins took a huge gamble when they traded Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett to the Rays for the troubled Young and Brendan Harris in 2007. Young has the tools to be a 20HR, 80RBI player every year. If he continues to hit like he has in the 2010 season, the 2007 trade will finally even out.

Think about this:  The Twins just opened their state-of-the-art new ballpark Target Field.  It’s an outdoor stadium compared to the domed Metrodome they played in from 1982-2009.  Young’s career average indoor is .272, his career average in outdoor games is .320…With Carlos Gomez now a Brewer, Young is the Twins everyday LF for the first time in his career.

2. Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis Cardinals:

Rasmus who is just in his second year in the big leagues has drastically improved his plate discipline from last year.  In his rookie season (2009) he posted 16 homers and 52 RBI’s, but only produced a .252 average and 36 walks. Seven games into the 2010 campaign, Rasmus has 5 hits, two homeruns, and an astounding 9 walks. His BB totals is the second most in the Majors behind Adam Dunn, Nick Markakis, and Daric Barton. Solidifying his spot as the #5 hitter behind Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, Rasmus should have plenty of quality pitches to see and high RBIs numbers throughout the year.

3. Shawn Marcum, SP,  Toronto Blue Jays:

Marcum, who sat out all of last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery was on the mound opening day for the Jays. Marcum’s opening day performance against the Texas Rangers was eye-opening.  He pitched seven strong innings, throwing 93 pitches, 57 of them going for called strikes.  Marcum even had a no-hitter going in the seventh until Vladimir Guerrero’s one out single.  Then Nelson Cruz hit a 3-run homer to tie the game.

In his second start Marcum threw 99 pitches in six innings, allowing 8 hits and 2 runs while striking out five. Marcum will give you high innings, and a low era throughout the year. The W/L record might not be too good playing for the Blue Jays, but he will be a quality starter in fantasy leagues.

4. Jeff Francoeur, OF, New York Mets

Francoeur has hit safely in all six games this season, bringing his average to .476. The outfielder has two homeruns, three doubles and a triple in his 10 hits this season. The knock on Francoeur has always been his plate discipline. This season he already has four walks in 21 plate appearances. Although it’s a small sample size, it is very encouraging to Mets fans and fantasy owners.

5. Will Venable, OF, San Diego Padres

A right fielder with a power and speed combination.. What fantasy owner does not like that? Venable had one of the most productive, and unnoticeable opening weeks. He recorded 18 total bases, including two triples, and two homeruns. Venable also produced 8 runs and 7 RBIs in the first week. He has the power to put up 20+ homers and the speed to steal 20 bags.

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