SleepersAugust 17, 2009

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Sleeper Watch

By R.J. White

Once upon a time, Carlos Gonzalez was an up-and-coming prospect with the Arizona Diamondbacks. With several young OF prospects in tow, Arizona traded Gonzalez and a plethora of other prospects to the Oakland A’s in a deal for ace Dan Haren. The A’s recalled Gonzalez early in 2008, and while he did hold is own over an extended period of time, he didn’t really put up fantasy-worthy stats in his first year in the majors. After the season, the A’s traded a package that included Gonzalez to the Rockies for franchise OF Matt Holliday. Moving to Colorado, fantasy owners were rightly salivating at the 23-year-old’s potential.

After a slow start leading up to the All-Star Game that saw Gonzalez hitting just .202 with one HR and five SBs in 84 at-bats, he’s been exceptional lately, hitting .388 with five HRs and three SBs in 67 at-bats since the All-Star break. On Sunday, Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a homer in each game of a double-header in Florida. He now has four HRs in his last six games, and has hit .400 over the month of August so far. He’s breaking out before our eyes.

He still has much to learn before he’s an elite fantasy star. He’s only walked three times in 48 August plate appearances. It’s been very encouraging to see him cut down on the Ks, but he still strikes out a bit too much to be consistently successful. If he can improve those things by 2010, he’ll likely take another big step forward, and could potentially put together 20/30 seasons in the future. Dynasty-league owners should be all over this guy, and regular leagues might want to take advantage of this recent hot streak as well. He’s one of the only guys available in your league that has the potential to help across all five standard fantasy categories for the rest of the season.

R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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