2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: SP Homer Bailey
The Cincinnati Reds may have one of the best rotations in the National League. Johnny Cueto in the front of the rotation and Tony Cingrani and Mat Latos holding down the fort in the back end. However, there is another pitcher that is getting overlooked, even on his own staff. His name is Homer Bailey.
Bailey was called up to the majors at the age of 21 in 2007. His numbers were less than stellar, but the Reds never gave up and he rewarded in 2012. He finished 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.240 WHIP. Bailey continued to improve in 2013 as he pitched to a 3.49 ERA and 1.124 WHIP. Bailey lowered his ERA and WHIP and rose his K/BB ratio in each of the last six seasons. He had a 3.69 K/BB rate last season compared to 3.23 in 2012.
While the 11-12 record last year kept the talks about him to a minimum, but in the stats that count, Bailey was a better pitcher than Latos. Yet, Latos is still being drafted ahead of him in most fantasy leagues, but not by much. The two are separated by just a few picks. Latos has more experience, but Bailey will provide owners with great numbers with a lot of upside.
Bailey suffered a groin strain, but was able to pitch five innings in a minor league game. Bailey is still building his stamina and strength, but may miss his first scheduled start of the season. Despite that, Bailey will be a top-10 pitcher when the 2014 season is all said and done. If you can snag Bailey in the eighth or ninth round, you’ll be rewarded with another top-tier pitcher to complement your ace.