Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/27/13
Alejandro De Aza was my unanimous sleeper target last year. In every mock draft I did, every actual team I drafted, and every “your fantasy time can’t exist without these players” piece I wrote, De Aza was there.He certainly didn’t disappoint. For the price of a 200-something pick, De Aza delivered top-100 numbers. Given his role as a speed-first leadoff hitter, his nine homers and 50 RBI weren’t category killers, and his 81 runs, 26 steals, and .281 average provided enough juice to make him a regular starter in most fantasy leagues.His 26.1% line drive rate was ridiculously high — actually, it was third in the league behind Joey Votto‘s 30.0% and Jordan Pacheco‘s 26.4% — but De Aza has a strong track record of very good line drive rates and low infield fly rates. He’s a safe bet for another .280+ season in 2013.If there is a blemish on De Aza’s fantasy resume, it’s his poor play against left-handed pitchers. Last season he batted just .248 with one homer and only eight RBI against lefties in 147 plate appearances. Oddly enough his line drive rate was actually higher against left-handed pitchers than versus right-handers while his infield fly rate was lower and his walk and strikeout rates were about the same. Those stats seem to indicate De Aza can be better against southpaws in 2013, but that’s something I’ll need to see before I believe it.At a GlanceStrengths: R, SBNeutral: BA, net SB, SLG, OPSWeaknesses: HR, RBI, SLGPlayer ComparisonsBest-case scenario: Austin Jackson (DET)Likely scenario: Ichiro Suzuki (NYY), Angel Pagan (SF), Norichika Aoki (MIL)Worst-case scenario: Denard Span (WAS)Alejando De Aza 2013 Fantasy ProjectionReady for a great “draft this guy, not that guy” comparison? Draft De Aza instead of Austin Jackson. Jackson is good for 110 runs, 10-15 homers, 55-65 RBI, 20-25 SB, and a .285-.300 BA. De Aza should come in around 90 R, 10-12 HR, 50-60 RBI, 30 SB, and a .280-.290 BA.We have both players back-to-back in our rankings (we’ll be flipping them when our 2013 Draft Guide comes out on March 1), but even if you don’t think they’re that close, I guarantee they’re closer than their current ADPs: Jackson is getting drafted 97.7 overall. De Aza is going five-to-seven rounds later at 161.5. My general draft approach has me targeting starting pitchers in the eighth, ninth, and 1oth rounds, right where you’d have to strike for Jackson.Which of these pairings would you rather have in 2013?Jordan Zimmermann (94.0 ADP)/James Shields (95.0) and De AzaBrett Anderson (155.4)/A.J. Burnett (169.1) and JacksonI’d rather have the first combo. De Aza is still an underrated contributor, though his streaky play and struggles against lefties (will that continue?) make him a better target in H2H formats whereas Jackson’s consistency might be worth paying for in roto or season points formats.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne


USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

David Price donates $300K to build field for special needs kids

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker