Sleeper steals options: National League 

March, 7, 2013
New Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Bourn is talented and valuable and probably helps old ladies cross the street, but to me he doesn't make for a great keeper or top-50 draft pick. My reasoning is simple: Early-round hitters must provide power, regardless of position, and ideally a fruitful combination of power and speed, and it's tough to justify Bourn types in Round 5. Fantasy owners can wait to find the requisite stolen bases needed to compete in the category.

Well, it's time to point out who some of those options are, starting with the National League, which for the first time in his career, Bourn is no longer a part of. As colleague Keith Lipscomb noted in his smart article on numerous base stealers switching leagues, the pool of NL options is not as great as the AL. But it's not dry, either. You just have to look harder.

One of my favorite standard-format, late-round selections will be Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton. I competed in the LABR NL-only auction Sunday night and intended to outbid others to acquire Eaton, but apparently the other industry experts in the room (12 teams, 5x5) considered him more than just a sleeper because he went for a whopping $18. I think Eaton can earn that, really, after putting on a show at Triple-A Reno and holding his own the final month with the big club, and I asked him about the transition after Sunday's 5-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium.