Sleeper Tour: Konerko a potential steal

Updated: March 22, 2013, 1:53 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Baseball analysts seem awfully fond of pointing out when an older player coming off tough times ages another year, often issuing the clever phrase, "Well, he's not getting any younger!" Not to point out the obvious, but young players, not to mention you and I and Tom Cruise, aren't getting any younger, either. Still, when a baseball player gets to his mid-to-late 30s and has a hiccup in performance, as with Chicago White Sox slugging first baseman Paul Konerko, now he's suddenly old and it becomes vogue to overlook and dismiss him.

Konerko, the No. 41 option in ESPN average live drafts heading into the 2012 season, is currently being taken, on average, about four to five rounds too late for my taste at No. 115 overall, with the age factor no doubt playing a significant role in his change in value. As we continue with "Sleeper Week" in this blog, Konerko certainly fits the description. He also had offseason wrist surgery to remove loose fragments in a joint, adding injury to his 2012 decline in production. Of course, ask Konerko about his age and his wrist, as I did during the late innings of Tuesday's 10-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark, and he scoffs at anything holding him back.