When asked for the secret of his success, baseball player Wee Willie Keeler replied, "Hit 'em where they ain't." What worked for Willie at the plate applies equally well in investing. 

Seeking stocks that others ignore, shun, or simply forget gives individual investors like you an edge over the professionals. When Wall Street turns a blind eye, you have a chance to get in before these stocks get discovered -- or rediscovered -- and start taking off. 

Below, we'll check out companies with only a handful of analyst coverage, then pair our list with the opinions of the Motley Fool CAPS community. A stock that garners CAPS' top ratings, but hasn't yet caught analysts' attention, could be your next home run investment. 

Stock

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Wall St. Picks

Est. EPS Growth Next Year

8x8 (Nasdaq: EGHT)

****

0

55%

American Oriental Bioengineering (NYSE: AOB)

****

4

13%

Xinyuan Real Estate (NYSE: XIN)

****

3

15%

Source: Yahoo! Finance; Motley Fool CAPS.

Remember, without much analyst support, you'll have to do your own scouting to see whether these stocks deserve a spot on your portfolio's roster. Don't just buy or sell them based solely on their appearance here. 

Hiding in plain sight
As telecoms transition to 4G networks, VoIP specialist 8x8 is enjoying a groundswell of support, and challenging more established players such as Vonage (NYSE: VG), Skype, and JaJah. The company integrates VoIP, fax, Web conferencing, and chat into a single solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Last quarter, its revenue grew 12%.

Highly rated CAPS All-Star SultanOfSwing likes the way 8x8 exploits Android's mobile phone popularity, believing it will attract even more attention to itself. But in truth, the company's apps for both Android and iOS should win fans on any platform, thanks to their ability to unchain executives from their desks.

While it could still face a strong rival from well-armed Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Voice technology, 8x8 allows customers to feel they're calling users' offices, even when they're actually dialing into a cell phone.

The CAPS community remains upbeat about the longer-term prospects for this VoIP leader. Only one of the several dozen All-Star members who've rated it believes it will underperform the broad market averages.

Let us know in the comments section below or on the 8x8 CAPS page whether you think the company's business plan can dial up greater growth.

All hot and bothered
Even if it's avoided the fraud allegations that haunt many Chinese small-cap stocks, American Oriental Bioengineering hasn't done anything to warrant the investor support it enjoys. We've recounted the numerous missteps made by the purveyor of traditional Chinese medicine. These stumbles have prevented the company from outpacing rivals Tongjitang Chinese Medicines (recently taken private by its chairman) and Tianyin Pharmaceuticals.

Although AOB markets traditional products, its pharmaceutical-grade medicines provide the lion's share of its revenue, and the attractiveness of the Chinese markets has made U.S. pharmaceutical giants take notice. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) is moving to pursue opportunities in the country. According to some analysts, China will be the world's third-largest pharmaceutical market by next year, and it's expected to grow to $100 billion by 2015.

AOB might have the dominant position in traditional medicine now, but more Western pharmaceuticals are moving in, and Western culture is becoming more accepted. Unless AOB can grow beyond its small niche, it and its investors could get left behind.

In its current beaten-down state, CAPS member ewok2030 calls the stock a value: "Book to value ratio is way too low. They're buying back shares so I'm hoping this is a good sign."

Give us your opinion on the American Oriental Bioengineering CAPS page, or add it to your watchlist.

Don't be alarmed
Xinyuan Real Estate has also fallen hard, with shares down 42% from their 52-week highs amid an industrywide stock slump. First-quarter home sales in China still jumped 26%, despite attempts to curb speculation, but development roadblocks are reverberating across the industry. Chinese property manager E-House (NYSE: EJ) is down 35% from its peak.

However, new government efforts to slow down the country's housing surge may finally be taking hold. According to China's People's Daily newspaper, housing transactions and land sales are decreasing, and home prices rose at a slower rate in March.

If the decline is considered a "success," the regulations might relax, giving Xinyuan a chance to rebound. FUZZYMINKINS thinks this stock's sell-off has run its course:

WAYYYY Oversold. beats estimates every single quarter yet gets no love. Due for huge long term growth. Chinese middle class is growing. Tier II will see action

Add Xinyuan Real Estate to the Fool's free portfolio tracker, and get all the Foolish news and analysis about it aggregated for you in one place.

Swing for the fences
When seeking investments where no one else is looking, Motley Fool CAPS is the best place to start your own research. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page. 

Sign up today for the completely free service, and tell us whether these hidden stock opportunities will help us go one up on Wall Street.

Google and Pfizer are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.