2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: DH Alfonso Soriano
Alfonso Soriano returned to the New York Yankees in the middle of the 2013 season in a trade between the Chicago Cubs and Yankees. In six years with the Cubs, Soriano hit 164 home runs, 475 RBI and a .265 batting average. At the age of 37, the Yankees and its fans weren’t expecting these kinds of numbers from Soriano.
However, he was one of the best hitters in the short time at the end of the 2013 season. In 58 games with the Yankees, he hit 17 home runs and 50 RBI while playing 48 games in left field.
Soriano has been one of the most consistent power hitters as he is only one of two players to hit at least 2o home runs in 12 straight seasons. These numbers should be dropping every year, but Soriano is an ageless wonder. If you are looking for some cheap power late in drafts, Soriano is your guy. Expect him to be around in the later rounds, between 15 and 17.
Soriano will most likely be the Yankees designated hitter, which will keep him healthy when batting. As a result, Soriano will miss at least 13 games when the Yankees go on the road against National League teams. Though, currently 38-years-old, you weren’t expecting Soriano to play a full season anyway.
As a right-hander in Yankees Stadium, Soriano has surprisingly had great success. With all of the other power hitters in the lineup, pitchers will have a hard time pitching around him. Hitting behind Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann will give Soriano great opportunity to hit another 20 home runs.
If you end up with Soriano on your team, expect 24 to 28 home runs, 85 RBI and a .248 average. He won’t steal 18 bases again, but that’s not why you selected him. Soriano will be your sleeper, late-round power supply while other owners are looking for cheap speed or top rookie prospect.
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