Fantasy Baseball Sleepers To Watch | Bonehead Picks

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers To Watch In Your Draft

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It’s that time of year again!

Pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training and games have already begun as the countdown to the regular season is dwindling little by little. With that being said, most are beginning their fantasy baseball preparation or at least thinking about joining a league.

Last year we saw a bunch of breakout stars help teams win fantasy titles. Blake Snell, Miguel Andujar, Max Muncy and Charlie Morton were just a few names who made their owners jump for joy throughout the season. Then we had a bunch of stars perform horrendously all season, giving their owners migraines throughout. Those stars would include Carlos Correa, Chris Archer, Brian Dozier, Gary Sanchez, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, etc.

Your goal this year is to find that Nick Markakis or Michael Brantley type that you can get at the end of your draft and be the reason why you win it all.

Here’s a list of sleepers to take a look at come draft day.

 

Tyler Glasnow (Tampa Bay Rays) – I wouldn’t consider Glasnow a “sleeper” so to speak. However, he is under 70% owned in Yahoo leagues, meaning he is going undrafted in a bunch of leagues. Glasnow has the stuff to be this year’s Blake Snell, maybe even better. If all has come together for the youngster, he could be a 200 strikeout dominator on that mound. If you have to spend a little extra money in your auction draft or take him a few rounds earlier than projected, do it. It will be worth it.

Jesse Winker (Cincinnati Reds) – Winker’s 2018 campaign ended in the summer after he went down to injury. He had just started seeing regular reps in the outfield and was starting to find a groove. His first half for the most part provided little to no power, but he was getting on-base. By the time his season was done, his OBP was over .400! Winker is the type of guy that will excel with regular reps. Even with the addition of Yasiel Puig and Nick Senzel in center, Winker will get 500 plus plate appearances provided he stays healthy. He’s one of those guys that has the chance to explode as long as he plays every day. The Reds will be nuts to not start him. I like Puig too by the way, but I think Winker puts up a .285/27/95/.410 stat line this year in a breakout campaign.

Byron Buxton (Minnesota Twins) – Ugh. I know. I know. Buxton was my guy last year too. That went well, given his .156 average in 2018 in 90 at-bats. Buxton has so much talent, even if he never ends up being that 20 home run and 50 stolen base guy, he could give you some late round or end of auction value. He’s hitting the ball extremely well in limited spring action so far and he appears to be perfectly healthy. I, like many others always have a problem with picking somebody in the draft the year after they let you down. Buxton should be an exception to the rule, just don’t go too high with him because you just never know.

Steven Matz (New York Mets) – Matz as the fourth starter on a loaded Mets team could end up being the steal of the draft. So far in his big league career he hasn’t been able to put it all together, but that could change in year two under the guidance of Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland. Add in the fact the lineup is the strongest it has been since 2015, and Matz will actually get some run support to ease the pressure a bit. The lack-there-of run support last year helped Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler turn into their next gears. This year, the addition of run support will get Matz into his next gear. I can see a 13 win, 3.65 ERA, 1.20 WHIP season for Matz in the cards. Not bad for a later round pick.

Nick Senzel (Cincinnati Reds) – I’m very high on much of the Reds offense this year. Joey Votto is destined for a bounce back with all of the pieces surrounding him. The only thing that is stopping the Reds from ever being a contender is their pitching. That won’t effect the offense, luckily. Senzel will be most likely starting in center come Opening Day, giving him dual position eligibility at third base and the outfield, adding value. Senzel has a game changer type bat, but it’s just will he be up in the Majors by the time the season starts. We may have to wait until the end of April to see Nick torch big league pitching. Great option for a late round flier.

Luis Urias (San Diego Padres) – Odds are, Urias will not be drafted. If you’re in a very deep league, there’s nothing wrong with using your last pick on the speedy Urias. Urias has some decent pop as well, although that will get taken away playing in the cavernous Petco Park. With the signing of Machado, the Padres lineup has some quality bats and Urias could be the beneficiary of a surplus of runs scored and stolen base opportunities.

Billy Hamilton (Kansas City Royals) – The Royals love to run. It’s up to Hamilton here to learn how to get on-base. If he can do that, you may get 60 stolen bases out of a guy that will at most cost you $7 on draft day or a mid-late round pick. If that isn’t a steal, then I don’t know what is.

Jorge Polanco (Minnesota Twins) – Probably my favorite middle infield option that will be available in the later rounds. Polanco was one of the few positives in Minnesota that helped the team finish at near .500. After serving an 80 game suspension, Polanco did not look rusty at all and found himself constantly on base. His power/speed combo will be a tremendous value come draft day. He now has some decent pieces around him too, including Nelson Cruz. Polanco has 20 home run potential, but I see him hitting .290/14/65/25 steals. That’s pretty solid numbers for someone near the end of your draft.

Kevin Gausman (Atlanta Braves) – Only 59% owned in Yahoo leagues as of this writing, Gausman tore it up after being traded from Baltimore to Atlanta. His less than stellar strikeout per nine inning ratio is a bit of a concern, but being in an easier division than the AL East should provide Gausman with the confidence to get himself to the next level. He will be the best pitcher in that Braves rotation this season. He could win upwards of 17 games for them and have an ERA under 3.50. Only 59% owned, huh?

Kirby Yates (San Diego Padres) – Yates took over the closer role in San Diego following the trade of Brad Hand to Cleveland. Yates took his limited save opportunities and made light work of his opponents. Yates, who is under 70% owned in Yahoo leagues, is a must own closer, especially with the Padres being a team that will be involved in plenty of close games. Having someone like Yates will save you from having to waste money/high pick on a top tier closer such as Edwin Diaz or Aroldis Chapman.

 

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