Do you hear that? It isn’t the sound of trash cans being hit against. It is the MLB Draft season approaching. This was a busy offseason sending quite a few names into different cities. We also have a big collection of young talent entering the fantasy player pool this year. However, ADP and auction values are already way ahead of the curve. Outside of a few names, most of these guys will have ADPs over 200.
Omar Narvaez – Milwaukee Brewers
Waiting on a catcher? Omar Narvaez is the name you should be keeping an eye on. He had a .353 OBP and 22 home runs in Seattle last season. Narvaez gets an upgrade moving to Miller Park for half of his games as well. He should have more RBI and run chances being in this lineup. With a 119 and 122 wRC+ over the past two seasons, you are getting a decent bargain here.
Jorge Alfaro – Miami Marlins
Jorge Alfaro never quite got to his expectations, and the high strikeout rates are still a big issue. He has hit .262 in the last two seasons, and won’t give you a great OBP, but 15-18 home runs and five stolen bases are in his range of outcomes. The Miami backstop is actually a fairly fast guy for a catcher, and hits the ball hard. Alfaro is what he is, but if you find yourself in two catcher leagues or entering the late stages without one. Alfaro is at least a full time backstop.
Justin Smoak – Milwaukee Brewers
Justin Smoak went from Toronto to Milwaukee, and Miller Park is a good place for left-handed power. Smoak has 38, 25, and 22 home runs over the past three seasons. The average took a big hit at .208, but his BABIP did as well. He still walked at a 15% clip, Hard-contact was about in line with the last few seasons, and this just seems like a case of bad luck.
C.J. Cron – Detroit Tigers
C.J. Cron is another one who many have forgotten about. He has 55 home runs over the last two seasons. While Detroit isn’t the most ideal situation in terms of home ballpark and the team around him, the fantasy value is still there. Hitting in the middle of the order is going to be a good spot. I don’t see much of a drop off from last season with the Twins, where he had 25 home runs in 125 games. Cron has a career ISO over .200, and is a deep option at first. Perfect for those leagues with a corner infield spot in addition to the rest of their lineup.
Luis Arraez – Minnesota Twins
Luis Arraez isn’t going to bring a ton of speed and power, but he has an excellent track record in terms of contact. He is going to be a full time guy with the Twins this season, and projects for nearly 70 runs and 60 RBI. He had a .399 OBP last season in 92 games, and his Minor League numbers fall in line with what we project. I would expect over a .300 average, and a nice assortment of runs and RBI.
Starlin Castro – Washington Nationals
Because Starlin Castro has been with the Marlins the last two seasons, people may have missed that he has been a serviceable fantasy option. He has 34 home runs in the last two seasons, with 140+ runs and 130+ RBI. Castro will head to Washington and projects for over 500 at-bats as the starting second baseman. With an ADP past 250, Castro is a name to queue if you are missing a middle infielder with a lot of names off the board.
If you miss out on the top names at the hot corner, J.D. Davis is a stud. He had over a 45% hard-contact rate last season, and his expected stats were unreal. He has position eligibility in the outfield as well. Davis has potential to top 20 home runs and the RBI will follow. Davis had a .369 OBP las season and showed a strong track record in the minors with the Astros. He is a former third round pick and is just 26 years old.
Yandy Diaz – Tampa Bay Rays
Set to see a tick up in at-bats, Yandy Diaz was very productive in his 350 at-bats he had last season. If you weren’t sure who he was, you likely found that out in the AL Wild Card game last year. Diaz has strong expected stats and excellent hard-contact rates. He is also a strong contact bat, and handles offspeed and breaking balls better than most. Diaz is also a quick fix from being a premier power bat, as he does hit too many balls into the ground.
Amed Rosario – New York Mets
Amed Rosario has made great strides over the last three seasons. The strikeout rate has dropped over the past three seasons, and hard-contact has gone up. He had an xBA of .291 last season and a hard-contact rate of 39%. Rosario is sitting in the mid range as far as ADP goes, and has 20/20 upside this year. His discipline has improved, and Rosario is going to see 600+ at-bats here. He is a cheaper source of speed and power for the position.
Dansby Swanson – Atlanta Braves
Dansby Swanson’s biggest struggle is with the offspeed and breaking stuff. He punishes fastballs as you’d expect. Swanson crushed in the first half of 2019, but really struggled in the second and also had an injury that made things difficult. His strikeout rate was down to 19% in the first half, and the second his tendencies came back where he was up to 29%. Swanson is still on the younger side, and had above average expected stats.
Justin Upton – Los Angeles Angels
Justin Upton has been a fantasy stud throughout most of his career, but some recency bias has led to a drop in his ADP. The average and speed are never going to get back to where they were but 25+ home runs and a chance to accumulate a ton of runs and RBI will be. Upton can return to 2018 type numbers, but the average will likely take another dip from that season.
Wil Myers – San Diego Padres
Another recency bias outfielder is Wil Myers, he combined for 48 steals and 59 home runs between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Injuries were the issue in 2018, and he struggled in 2019. At his ADP we can certainly take a chance on his power and speed upside. He is still only 29 years old, which shocked me too given how long he has been around the league.
Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Braun is 36 years old, and that has some people fading him. The ADP has dropped significantly over the years, but to round out an outfield spot, Braun still has plenty of value. He projects for 20-25 home runs and will also still bring in ten steals. Braun has always had a high HR/FB for his career, and the hard-contact has been up of late. Eventually the power will give way, but Braun is well worth the price tag of a late 200s ADP.
Corey Dickerson – Miami Marlins
The best thing about the Marlins is that they have some fantasy value yet the ADPs are depreciated a bit because they are the Marlins. Corey Dickerson had a .341 IBP and .262 ISO last season in 78 games. He got back to full health, and have 500+ at-bats. Look for him to be closer to 20 home runs with a .280 average. He has also cut his strikeout rate over the past few seasons.
Avisail Garcia – Milwaukee Brewers
There are a lot of Brewers out there for free right now, and Avisail Garcia is another one. He has 20, 19, and 18 home runs in his last three seasons, and 2018 he missed a portion of the season due to injury. With the Rays he had 20 home runs and 10 SB last season, also hitting over .280. Garcia projects to be a 20 HR guy again with some stolen bases added. I would also expect him to hover around a .270 average. Garcia also gets a bump going from Tampa Bay to Milwaukee for his home games.
Anthony DeSclafani – Cincinnati Reds
After tossing 166 innings last season, it is a positive side given the injury he had. While he out-performed a tad, he had a 4.30 xFIP and 3.89 ERA. The main thing with DeSclafani is that lefties tag him hard, and he gave up a ton of home runs. The strikeouts were there at 24%, and he has an excellent fastball, curveball, and slider combo. I like him as a cheap option, but throughout the season there will be a few starts where I will skip.
Dylan Bundy – Los Angeles Angels
Dylan Bundy getting out of the AL East is a chance for a fresh start. Heading to Los Angeles he gets a home park upgrade, and will also have some friendly road stadiums within the division. Bundy has a poor fastball, and that is my biggest problem with him. However his slider and changeup are solid. Bundy is solid at inducing weak contact, and has strikeout potential. The ADP negates the risk.
Chris Archer – Pittsburgh Pirates
Insert the Grand Theft Auto gif, because here we go again. I could make the case for a few Pittsburgh pitchers as sleepers again, as Joe Musgrove and Mitch Keller have positive skills that I will be targeting as well. However Chris Archer is a second half name I am buying into. He had a 3.64 xFIP and 31% strikeout rate in the second half, and his walk rate looks like a concern overall but it was at 8% in the second half. Home runs dropped, and the hard-contact did as well. It went from 44% to 31%. Road numbers were an issue, but nothing I am overly concerned about.
A.J. Puk – Oakland Athletics
Jesus Luzardo is the hot ticket item right now, and his ADP reflects it (126). A.J. Puk spent 2018 rehabbing after an injury, and that is of concern, as we expect Oakland to still be careful with him. He will be 25 years old, and was the 6th overall pick back in 2016. Puk has a ton of upside, and is a big power lefty. He has had a double-digit K/9 at every level so far, has a nasty slider and changeup to go with his power fastball. Puk will be in the Oakland rotation, and that is exciting.
Keone Kela – Pittsburgh Pirates
Keone Kela is projected to open as the Pittsburgh closer and is coming off a season where he had a small sample size. He had 33 strikeouts in 29 innings. Over his five year career he has a 3.23 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Kela throws a fastball 53% of the time, and then mostly a curveball. Two pitch arsenals are a bit of a concern, but he has had a 30% strikeout rate in his career, and one inning guys I will make an exception for.
Ian Kennedy – Kansas City Royals
Transitioning from a starter to a closer, Ian Kennedy has some value in the 200-250 ADP range. He had 30 saves for the Royals, and had 73 strikeouts in 63 innings. Kennedy had a 27% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate. He also saw a drop in exit velocity off of him. There will be some hiccups with Kennedy, as he isn’t the most smooth arm. But after that tier one and tier two of saves, Kennedy will be in a role that should be pretty stable. Kennedy will be overlooked by many.
While this isn’t the most stable bullpen scenario, Jose Leclerc stands the best chance to be the closer throughout the year. He has an excellent fastball slider combo, but walks and control can be an issue. His expected and statcast stats are tremendous. We will have to live with a few blowouts, but Leclerc has a ton of strikeout upside and has a chance at 25+ saves. At his ADP, Leclerc is someone to take the chance on, but also have some contingency plans for him as well.
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet
- Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Late Round Values
- MLB Closer Depth Chart
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball SP Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closing Pitching Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Top 40 Catcher Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball 1st Base Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball 2nd Base Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball SS Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball 3B Rankings