No Desmond Jennings and Eric Hosmer do not make this list. They should have been on your keeper radar months ago. You could also categorize these sluggers as sleepers for the 2012 season because a lot of what they have done and will do will most likely go unrecognized.
Here are three hitters that you will need to make sure you grab in time for your keeper lock date because they have huge upside in 2012.
Brandon Allen, 1B, Oakland Ahletics: Allen is a monster as evidenced by this moonshot he hit in July. He has the kind of power that makes his new spacious home ballpark, the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, look like a sand box. He hit 25 bombs in 107 games for Arizona's triple-A affiliate Reno in 2010 and had 21 homers between Reno and Oakland's triple-A team Sacramento this year with a .299 average before his recent call-up. He has switched teams a few times and is the third big time hitting prospect the A's have received from Arizona in recent seasons (Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Carter). Carter hasn't really panned out, but Gonzalez turned out to be a superstar for Colorado. Allen has been given a chance to play everyday for Oakland over the past few weeks and hasn't disappointed, he has 3 home runs, 7 RBIs and a .305/.344/.610 AVG, OBP and SLG slash line. 2012 outlook: .290/25/95
Peter Bourjos, OF, Los Angeles Angels: Prior to the start of this season I labeled Bourjos the next Drew Stubbs. I so far have been wrong when it comes to the season's statistics for Bourjos, however, a red hot August showcased what may be in store for the Angels' defensive-minded center fielder. In 51 games in 2010 he blasted 6 homers and stole 10 bags, a decent display of power and speed. This was very similar to Stubbs' 2009 campaign where he hit 8 homers and stole 10 bases in 42 games. In 102 games at triple-A Salt Lake in 2010 Bourjos smacked 13 homers and stole 27 bases, a grand total of 19 and 37 for the 2010 season. Also not far off Stubbs' 2010 totals of 22 and 30. A low batting average is inevitable for Stubbs, but Bourjos was a career .293 hitter in the minors and has just as much talent in the batter's box as he does in the outfield. 2012 outlook: .275/21 HRs/35 RBIs AVG, OBP and SLG slash line. He projects to be somewhere in the middle of Oakland's 2012 lineup. 2012 outlook: .290/25 HRs/95 RBIs
Alex Avila, C, Detroit Tigers: Avila is fantasy baseball's biggest surprise. Hands down. He was projected to provide some value because of his pop (12 homers in 93 games at double-A in 2009) and the lineup protection the Tigers' offense provides, but he wasn't expected to be this good. A dismal July in which he hit just .197 and slugged .239 gave us all a scare, but a blistering August (.386 average, .747 slugging) has shot his season average back above .300 and put him in a good spot to crack 20 homers and 80 RBIs. keep in mind he is only 24 years-old, he could very well be the next Brian McCann. 2012 season outlook: .295/30 HRs/90 RBIs.