2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Deep sleepers from every MLB team
Heath Cummings offers a deep sleeper for all 30 MLB teams.
- Draft Prep Tiers: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP
- Heath's Sleepers | Breakouts | Busts |
- Scott's Top 100 prospects | Sleepers | Breakouts | Busts
By far the most common question I've been asked this preseason is: "Who is this year's Travis Shaw?"
Let's be honest, if I just give you one name my chances of being right are pretty slim. Shaw had an ADP outside the top 300 last year and delivered an outstanding year. He was one of 32 names in the.
In case you didn't click, that list included guys like Shaw, Luis Severino, Jose Berrios and Steve Souza. Of course, it also featured names like Carter Capps, Nathan Karns and Zack Wheeler. A deep sleeper is no sure thing, but as guys who drafted Shaw and Severino can tell you, it's a lot of fun when they hit.
Once again, I'll give you a short blurb on each player and go a little more in depth on my favorite in each division. The ADP below is their Fantasy Pros' consensus ADP. Only players outside of the top 250 were considered.
Gleyber Torres New York Yankees SS
|Torres' ADP will be crushed by Neil Walker and Brandon Drury , but those two won't stand in the prospect's path once he's deemed ready.|
Hanley Ramirez Boston Red Sox DH
|It really looks like Alex Cora is serious about hitting HanRam in the middle of the order.|
Randal Grichuk Toronto Blue Jays LF
|Grichuk's pop should play even better at the Rogers Centre.|
Austin Hays Baltimore Orioles RF
|There's huge power potential here, and Mark Trumbo's injury could give Hays an early path to playing time.|
Nathan Eovaldi Tampa Bay Rays SP
|Eovaldi has never been as good as the radar gun suggests he should be, but it's a great park with a great outfield defense behind him.|
Randal Grichuk has spent his big league career in a park (Busch Stadium) that is well below average for right-handed power hitters. Even so, his 162-game pace over the past two seasons is 30 home runs. His new home rates as slightly above average for home runs, and there's little to stand in the way of his playing time.
Yes, Grichuk has struck out too often in his career, but he also has a career 39.7 percent hard contact rate and a 43.1 percent fly ball rate. The only hitters to make more hard contact and get the ball in the air 40 percent of the time over the past three seasons (min. 1000 PA) are J.D. Martinez, Miguel Sano, Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Davis and Matt Carpenter. Needless to say, none of those guys are available after pick 300 as Grichuk often is.
Addison Reed Minnesota Twins RP
|Is this the year Fernando Rodney finally pitches bad long enough to lose his job? If so, the Twins have a better option in Reed.|
Michael Kopech Chicago White Sox SP
|Kopech throws as hard as anyone in baseball. You may have to wait a while, but he could give you top-30 production in the second half.|
Francisco Mejia Cleveland Indians C
|The Indians like Mejia's bat so much they've talked about playing him somewhere other than catcher, but that catcher eligibility is what would make him must-start in Fantasy.|
Jeimer Candelario Detroit Tigers 3B
|If Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez bounce back, Candelario could score 100 runs near the top of a sneaky good offense.|
Jorge Soler Kansas City Royals RF
|Like Grichuk, Jorge Soler has elite power potential and little competition for at bats.|
Soler has done it everywhere but the majors over the past year. In Triple-A he posted a .952 OPS last year and hit 24 home runs in just 327 plate appearances. In his first 19 games this spring, he's tied for the lead with six home runs and has only struck out 15 times in 67 plate appearances.
Unlike Grichuk, Soler won't benefit from a great park, but he has the type of power that it may not really matter. He's also available more than 100 picks later, according to ADP. This is the type of player you take in the reserve rounds of your Rotisserie draft and just wait and see. If the improvement in K rate is real, he'll be a fixture in Roto lineups.
Yuli Gurriel Houston Astros 1B
|Gurriel's injury rightfully hurt his ADP, but he's making progress and will be a must-start corner infielder if he regains 2017 form.|
Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners SP
|Is it not worth a late-round pick to see if Hernandez can regain some of his form?|
Stephen Piscotty Oakland Athletics RF
|After a difficult 2017, Piscotty was dealt to the Athletics . This should be a great fit personally and professionally.|
Willie Calhoun Texas Rangers LF
|Willie Calhoun has enormous power potential without the strikeout issues. If he was starting the season in the major leagues, he'd be a No. 4 outfielder in Roto.|
Kole Calhoun Los Angeles Angels RF
|Kole Calhoun will have a ton of men on base in front of him this year and a lowered wall in right field.|
Kole Calhoun might be undervalued here even if the Angels hadn't improved their offense and lowered the right field wall. Over the past three years he's averaged 82 runs, 76 RBI and 21 home runs. Now, the Angels are lowering the right field wall considerably, and Calhoun will hit behind Ian Kinsler, Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols. Let's just say he shouldn't come up with the bases empty very often.
As it stands now, he has a legitimate shot at 30 home runs and 100 RBI. While it wouldn't be fair to expect that, you should at least expect his batting average to regress back to the .265 range, and a home run total around 25.
Calhoun looks like a solid No. 4 outfielder in Roto who might be even better in points because he's walked in 10 percent of his plate appearances over his past two years. He's the rare hitter who has a high floor and a high ceiling in both formats.
Cesar Hernandez Philadelphia Phillies 2B
|This is the only holdover from last year, and it's only because of an injury that his ADP is this low.|
Amed Rosario New York Mets SS
|Last year was a bit of a disappointment for Rosario, but most everything else suggests he'll make good contact on a consistent basis and be a threat in the running game.|
Lewis Brinson Miami Marlins CF
|The trade from the Brewers was a gift for Brinson who should have a much longer leash in Miami. He slashed .331/.400/.562 and was on a 20/20 pace in Triple-A last year.|
Victor Robles Washington Nationals CF
|Robles doesn't have a place to play yet, but all of the Nationals outfielders have a history of injuries, and Robles has an elite skillset.|
Sean Newcomb Atlanta Braves SP
|Newcomb has walked five batters in 15.1 spring innings. If he keeps that up he may just be a Fantasy ace.|
Cesar Hernandez has a 162-game pace of 82 runs and 21 steals to go along with a .288 average since the start of 2015. His on-base percentage has been over .370 each of the past two seasons and he should benefit greatly from the acquisition of Carlos Santana and a full year of Rhys Hoskins.
If Hernandez plays a full season, you should expect 90 runs and 20 steals with an average over .290. Last year there were only six hitters who reached those marks. While he may only be a three-category contributor, two of those three are the hardest categories to compete in.
Scott Kingery's contract is just going to drive down the ADP for Hernandez even more and I love it.
Tyler Chatwood Chicago Cubs SP
|Chatwood escaped Coors and pitches for a team that should win more than 90 games. He's a sneaky upside pick.|
Jose Martinez St. Louis Cardinals 1B
|It looks more and more like Matt Carpenter is going to spend time and second and third base to make room for the bat of Martinez.|
Jesse Winker Cincinnati Reds RF
|Jesse Winker is part of an outfield rotation but he has the most upside of all the Reds' outfielders.|
Tyler Glasnow Pittsburgh Pirates SP
|Don't let Tyler Glasnow's spring ERA fool you. He's been much improved outside of one disastrous start.|
Brandon Woodruff Milwaukee Brewers SP
|Woodruff has earned a rotation slot, and has as much upside as anyone on the Brewers.|
Tyler Chatwood had a 3.49 ERA in 77.1 innings outside of Coors last year. If he can just replicate that for a full season, he's going to be an extremely valuable pitcher. Of course, it's going to be really hard to replicate that without improving his abysmal BB/K numbers.
Because of those control issues, Chatwood actually had a higher FIP in the road than he did at home. There's plenty of room for growth here and a change of scenery could definitely help improve those walk numbers. If Chatwood can get close to six innings per start and improve the walk rate, he could be a top-40 starting pitcher with double-digit wins.
Ryan McMahon Colorado Rockies 3B
|McMahon would be a great hitting prospect in any park but in Coors he could be a revelation.|
Brandon Crawford San Francisco Giants SS
|He may not be exciting, but Crawford has top-10 SS upside in points leagues.|
Walker Buehler Los Angeles Dodgers RP
|Buehler will start the year in Triple-A, but with the injury risks on this pitching staff you should expect to see him this year.|
Ketel Marte Arizona Diamondbacks SS
|With the humidor the Diamondbacks may rely more on speed, and Marte has it.|
Tyson Ross San Diego Padres SP
|Ross is finally healthy, can he regain his 2015 form?|
There are playing time concerns for Ryan McMahon, but there is little concern over where he can hit. He posted a .355/.403/.583 slash line in 119 minor-league games and has been just as good this spring. There are too many bodies in Colorado, but McMahon is making it really hard for the team to send him back down.
As a 22 year old he made his biggest strides in the strikeout department, whiffing in less that 18 percent of his plate appearances. With his pop in Coors Field, he has top-10 potential at first base if he starts the year in Colorado. Even if he doesn't, he's worth a draft and stash because his presence will force the Rockies to be less patient with guys like Gerardo Parra, Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez.
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