The 2013 Major League Baseball season is getting closer with every passing week, which means that fantasy baseball is just around the corner.
The statistics and numbers will no doubt be poured over in the next few weeks as people try to figure out their best starting squad, as well as which guys to bring in.
Obviously, every team will have its must-have players and big names for the year ahead, but it's nabbing the lesser-known players and watching them shine that will either make it or break it for fantasy baseball players in 2013.
Having a stud who nobody else has could just be the difference between tournament success and second place this year—something that nobody wants in 2013. So if you don't want that to happen, here's some underrated players that you simply must have for the year ahead.
Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox
After a big rookie year under his belt, expect Will Middlebrooks to come out and be even more effective for the Red Sox in 2013 with the bat.
Chalking up 15 home runs and 54 RBI with a .288 batting average, expect the third baseman to build on those numbers with a bigger year at the plate. He should become an integral part of their batting lineup this year, which will continue to give him more at-bats—which should see those numbers rise.
Jason Hammell, Baltimore Orioles
Back from injury, Jason Hammell has the chance this year to work himself back into the starting rotation at the Orioles and could well post some big scores in the process.
He should pick up double-digit wins this year, and with his batting continuing to improve, will also chalk up some effective numbers there also.
The key for Hammell will be regaining the form he had prior to the injury in 2012. If he can come back like that, expect him to be a real star in 2013.
Adam Eaton, Arizona Diamondbacks
Eaton should see plenty of starting time for the Diamondbacks this year and, as a result, should finally break out in fantasy baseball in 2013.
His minor league numbers show an incredible .355 batting average in over 1200 at bats—plus 44 stolen bases and a staggering .459 OBP. If he can reproduce those numbers here, expect a big season in the majors for the center fielder.
Oakland grabbing Chris Young means that Eaton has center field all to himself, and with a .259 average last year he should find himself good to chalk up some very solid numbers this year.
Which sleepers are you watching out for in 2013? Share your secrets!
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