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18 Undrafted Players To Watch

Everyone's looking for the next Cliff Lee and Carlos Quentin, two players who came up huge in 2008 but weren't drafted in mixed leagues.  Here's my list of 18 undrafted players to watch, with the specific criteria being that they are being drafted later than 276th on Mock Draft Central.

  • Grant Balfour - Easily more skilled than Troy Percival and Jason Isringhausen, it's not far-fetched that Balfour could get more than ten saves in 2009.  Dan Wheeler is also in the mix, but Balfour should whiff more than 80 with solid ratios.
  • Phil Hughes - He's an injury away from the Yankee rotation, and early reports are positive (of course, they usually are in Spring Training).
  • Chris Perez - The Cardinals' primary closing candidate has the skills to run with the job.
  • Kenshin Kawakami - An ERA below 4.00 and a WHIP below 1.30 is quite possible given his control.  It's just a matter of how many innings he can handle.
  • Ryan Spilborghs - Even with 475 ABs he could be a $6 outfielder, showing decent power, speed, AVG, and runs while matching Xavier Nady and Pat Burrell in fantasy value.
  • Chris Snyder - 400 ABs makes him a $6 player, even with a .247 AVG.  Could certainly outproduce Kurt Suzuki and Dioner Navarro. And, Snyder has the security of a new contract extension.
  • Fausto Carmona - Who's to say he can't get back to the 2.6 BB/9 days of 2007?
  • Felipe Lopez - Looks like a $7 player to me, with double digit power and speed.
  • Travis Snider - Projections for him aren't massive, but the scouting reports suggest he could do a lot more.
  • Tommy Hanson - Would be worth nearly $10 with 200 innings, so if he's starting regularly at any point he's easily worth rostering.
  • Andy Sonnanstine - The 87 mph fastball doesn't do much for fantasy leaguers, but the double digit wins and sub-1.30 WHIP should.  He walked just 1.72 per nine last year.
  • Joel Zumaya - Wants to take the closer job from Brandon Lyon.
  • Colby Rasmus - Batting average might not be there, but he should be a power/speed guy from the get-go.
  • Clay Buchholz - Like Hughes, he has the talent to force his way into the picture as a sort of post-hype sleeper.
  • Mike Fontenot - Could blast 15 HR as a 2B.
  • Ian Snell - Whiffed 177 batters in '07.
  • J.R. Towles - Astros catcher hit well at Triple A, and runs a bit.  Right now he has a great opportunity to earn the starting job.
  • David Purcey - Could whiff 170 with 200 innings, and is penciled in for a rotation spot in Toronto.

Who are your undrafted players to watch for mixed leagues in 2009?


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