Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
Fantasy Baseball Dynasty season is FINALLY upon us.. Well, sort of. It's been 55 days since the last pitch was thrown, and baseball fans EVERYWHERE are already chomping at the bit for Opening Day.
Here's a quick breakdown of how long we have until Opening Day:
3 Months 2 Days
13 Weeks 2 Days
I'll admit the last line was a BIT excessive, but the excitement is REAL! Now that we know how many months, weeks, days, weekdays, and HOURS there are until Opening Day; Let's dive into some of our FAVORITE sleepers heading into the 2020 MLB season. Our list contains players who showed UPSIDE and PROMISE during and at the end of the 2019 season. The following players are coming into the 2020 season as the unquestioned starter and should be given every opportunity to succeed in real life AND in fantasy. Without further a due, let's take a look at the players we think can VAULT themselves into Top-100 value for the upcoming 2020 MLB season.
Laureano began the 2019 season as the unquestioned starting centerfielder before going down with a leg injury that kept him out for the WHOLE month of July. Once he returned, he was initially limited before running away with the starting job. In only 434 ABs, Laureano posted: .288 AVG, 24 HR, 67 RBI, 79 R, and 13 SB. Laureano will enter the 2020 season fully healthy and has an everyday role LOCKED down.
Before being called up to the majors last year to replace injured OF Starling Marte, Reynolds was hitting .367 with 5 HR in 13 games in AAA. His gaudy minor league average translated to the majors where he began his major league career with an 11-game hitting streak. In just 491 ABs, Reynolds posted: .314 AVG, 16 HR, 68 RBI, 83 R, and 3 SB. He provides useful stats as your 3rd/4th OF. At the VERY LEAST, he will help you compete in the batting average department.
Edman came out of nowhere last year to help spark the Cardinal's late season playoff run. He spent the first 2 months of the season in AAA before being called up, and once he was promoted, he never looked back. Edman was able to stay in the lineup all year by playing defense all over the infield, which gave his fantasy owners multi-position eligibility. In 326 ABs, Edman posted: 11 HR, 36 RBI, 59 R, and 15 SBs. Edman can post numbers across the board, and with multi-position eligibility, he could be an extremely valuable piece for your fantasy team.
Manaea is a post-hype sleeper that missed 2018 with sholder surgery and MOST of 2019. Manaea was activated as soon as rosters expanded last year and performed very well in his 29.7 IP. He went 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.78 WHIP and even started the A's Wild Card Game. The A's might manage his innings to preserve the health of his shoulder, but we fully expected him to creep into the Top 100 and he could be a steal for your fantasy rotation if he falls to the middle-late rounds.
With the Blue Jays rebuilding, it was only a matter of time until Biggio was called up. Once Biggio received the promotion late May, he was given every opportunity to be their starting 2nd baseman. Biggio had some inconsistencies, but showed a lot of promise and 5-tool ability posting .234 AVG, 16 HR, 48 RBI, 66 R, 14 SB. He enters 2020 as the unquestioned starter and building block for a young Blue Jays team.
Foltynewicz was supposed to take a HUGE step forward last year and be a consistent #2 Fantasy starter for your team BUT he disappointed. He started the year off 2-5 with a 6.37 ERA and 1.42 ERA and was DEMOTED. He was later recalled from the minors and posted MAGNIFICENT numbers for the Braves going 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
Mercado displayed 5-tool ability during his rookie season posting 15 HR, 54 RBI, 70 R, and 15 SB in just 438 ABs. Once he was called up to the majors, he settled in at the #2 spot in the order right behind Lindor. He is expected to keep the #2 spot in the batting order, which will enhance his fantasy value for the 2020 season.
When Smith was recalled from AAA to be the Dodger's primary catcher last July, he got off to a TORRID start hitting 9 homers in just 19 games (62 ABs). He has legitimate HR hitting power to go along with decent patience at the plate. In 170 ABs, Smith posted: .258 AVG, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 30 R, and 2 SB. If your league rewards Walks, I would bump him up a few spots in your rankings. He may carry some risk going into the 2020 season, but his upside is through the roof.
Castellanos is the model of consistency. Despite playing for the struggling Detroit Tigers, Castellanos still posted 20+ HR 80+ RBI seasons. Last season, he struggled right out of the gate, which made a lot of fantasy owners impatient. He picked up the pace as the MLB Trade Deadline was approaching and was traded to the Chicago Cubs. He went on to post .321 AVG, 16 HR, 36 RBI, and 43 R in 212 ABs. We wanted to add Castellanos as a sleeper because we think he can post Top 50 numbers even though he's being drafted in the later rounds in recent mock drafts. He has a very high floor and he can be a staple for your OF core.
Hampson came into the 2019 MLB season with a lot of hype and sleeper appeal, but FLAMED OUT and couldn't seem to produce enough to stay in the majors. Towards the end of the year, Hampson caught FIRE and posted .318 AVG, 5 HR, 16 R and 9 SB showing the world what he was capable of and why he was a lot of expert's favorite sleeper pick. If he can carry over his September production into the new season, he should be a valuable pick for you in the later rounds of fantasy baseball drafts.
Closing (like Josh Hader)
Even though there's more than 3 MONTHS to go until Opening Day, it's NEVER too early to start prepping for your fantasy baseball drafts. As the season draws near, we will write more and more articles preparing you for the upcoming season. The players mentioned above are being overlooked and taken later in drafts, which could be HUGE value for your fantasy team.
What would you like for us to write about next? More sleepers? Busts? Tiers? Let us know! If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions; feel free to comment below or reach out to us on social media.
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God bless you, Merry Christmas, and PLAY BALL!
Jacob W. Dunne