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All along, I thought I was going to write about C.J. Cron here. I haven't written about him yet, thinking he'd be a perfect fit for this space.

But apparently, he's been hyped enough already to price him out of the "deep sleeper" range with a consensus ADP of 234, according to FantasyPros

Now, maybe that's still your idea of a deep sleeper, in which case I'll point out that he's a former 30-homer guy who's always done a decent enough job putting the bat on the ball and is now going to the land of the bloated BABIP. Is it crazy to think he could put up better numbers than Nolan Arenado, who's now in St. Louis, this year? Yes ... yes, it is. But is it implausible? I mean ...

I'll also point out that Tigers shortstop Willi Castro (ADP of 248) has hit a couple long home runs this spring and may have more staying power than I initially gave him credit for when he was hitting .349 as a rookie last year. I'm imagining something in between Paul DeJong and the present-day version of Jean Segura.

I'll also point out that Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernandez (ADP of 251) -- who found big success with his slider last year, resulting in a swinging-strike rate and K/9 on the level of Brandon Woodruff -- is working to refine his changeup so he can be more than just a five-inning pitcher this year.

It's rare that I see any of those three drafted in a standard mixed league, making them deep sleepers in my mind, but if I'm using an ADP of 276 as the cutoff for this article, they technically miss the cut.

(But see, I snuck them in there anyway.)

What's the significance of 276? It's the total number of lineup spots that need to be filled in a 12-team Rotisserie league, which isn't to say this list is only applicable to Rotisserie leagues, 12 teams or otherwise. But there needed to be some guidelines for which players I'm allowed to pick, and that's the way I decided to do it.

Even if your league isn't deep enough for you to consider a single one of these players, they're names to file away in case they make some noise early. They're low-probability investments, of course — they wouldn't go so late if they weren't — but the upside is there for them to make a considerable impact.

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Catcher
TOR Toronto • #30 • Age: 23
ADP
306
2019 minors
AVG
.290
HR
7
OPS
.868
AB
310
BB
56
K
39
Defense and playing time are the biggest questions for a guy who makes putting the bat on the ball look all too easy and is beginning to develop some thump as well. It's Danny Jansen's last stand.
SEA Seattle • #2 • Age: 31
ADP
334
2019 majors
AVG
.273
HR
18
OPS
.858
AB
260
BB
19
K
87
He's still expected to have a 55-60 percent share of the playing time even after losing last season to a broken foot, and we saw in 2019 that the power he showed all those years in the Rockies system was no mirage. He might lead the position in home runs if his strikeouts don't upend him.
TB Tampa Bay • #21 • Age: 26
ADP
414
2019 majors
AVG
.265
HR
8
OPS
.754
AB
226
BB
13
K
56
He was at one point the top catching prospect in the game and actually hit .298 (45 for 151) with eight homers and an .857 OPS during an extended look as a starter midway through 2019. The Rays seem more committed to playing him than either the Indians or Padres did.
COL Colorado • #3 • Age: 27
ADP
755
2019 minors
AVG
.244
HR
17
OPS
.921
AB
213
BB
35
K
69
Just look at the power he demonstrated in the minors. Batting left-handed and with only Elias Diaz competing for his at-bats, it shouldn't be long before Dom Nunez takes over as the primary catcher in Colorado, where Coors Field could make all his wildest dreams come true.
First base
CIN Cincinnati • #19 • Age: 38
ADP
305
2020 majors
AVG
.226
HR
11
OPS
.800
AB
186
BB
37
K
43
After turning his 2020 around with a .258 batting average, eight home runs and .941 OPS over his final 29 games last year, Joey Votto came to camp determined to do more damage even if it meant more strikeouts. He was smoking the ball this spring before being sidelined by COVID-19.
CLE Cleveland • #44 • Age: 26
ADP
737
2019 minors
AVG
.264
HR
33
OPS
.912
AB
402
BB
46
K
153
He may still begin the year in the minors given that fellow first base candidate Jake Bauers is out of options, but if Bobby Bradley hits the ball down there with the same authority as he has this spring (seven of his 10 hits going for extra bases), he won't be down for long. Strikeouts are a major hurdle, but he seems to have better control of his body after losing 35 pounds this offseason.
Second base
SEA Seattle • #23 • Age: 28
ADP
281
2020 majors
AVG
.305
HR
4
OPS
.836
AB
141
BB
11
K
37
He's made about as much noise as any hitter this spring, going 15 for 42 (.357) with five homers and only six strikeouts -- this from a guy who hit .399 with 27 homers and a 1.247 OPS in the minors two years ago (juiced ball, but still). The Mariners plan to give him starts at first and third base as well as second.
COL Colorado • #7 • Age: 26
ADP
399
2019 minors
AVG
.350
HR
9
OPS
1.035
AB
143
BB
14
K
27
A hamstring injury could sideline the former top prospect for all of April, but unlike past stints when he was in perpetual tryout mode, he's the Rockies' Plan A at second base this year. You see the damage he did in his last minor-league stint, and he at one point said he was aiming for 20 steals this year.
ARI Arizona • #10 • Age: 28
ADP
496
2019 minors
AVG
.332
HR
23
2B
33
SB
33
OPS
1.023
AB
416
He buckled down this offseason after a couple stints in the majors, improving his sleep and dietary habits and refining his swing, and has begun to regain the confidence of the coaching staff this spring. He could start at second base or play a super utility role, and if you needed a reminder of his jaw-dropping minor-league production, see above.
Third base
CIN Cincinnati • #6 • Age: 25
ADP
519
2019 minors
AVG
.259
HR
11
SB
11
OBP
.365
OPS
.767
AB
428
Though he'll start out being eligible only at third base, the hope is that Jonathan India claims the second base job, which the Reds would seem to be telegraphing by shifting Eugenio Suarez to shortstop. The former fifth overall pick has long stood out for his on-base skills and showed improved power at the alternate training site last year.
Shortstop
CHC Chi. Cubs • #2 • Age: 25
ADP
437
2020 majors
AVG
.222
HR
0
SB
3
AB
108
BB
12
K
24
He was one of the early headline-grabbers in spring training with a few multi-hit games after a swing adjustment to tap into more power, and he has still struck out only twice in 34 at-bats. He showed a strong contact profile in the minors and is certainly fast enough to run like he has been with four steal attempts already. I could see him being Nick Solak-like.
Outfield
SEA Seattle • #8 • Age: 34
ADP
307
2020 majors
AVG
.204
HR
9
OPS
.711
AB
147
BB
11
K
43
It's possible we're writing off Justin Upton too soon given his long history as a middle-of-the-lineup force and his prime RBI spot behind on-base standouts Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. He's off to a nice start in spring training, had a normal offseason after some injury troubles in 2019, and finished last year on a high note, batting .303 (23 for 76) with six homers in 22 games.
CLE Cleveland • #7 • Age: 27
ADP
313
2020 majors
AVG
.207
HR
0
SB
6
OPS
.500
AB
82
K
22
Though the talk of him leading off has cooled, he's still the choice to inherit George Springer's job in center field and meets a need for Rotisserie leagues especially. Myles Straw will run, having stolen 70 bases one year in the minors, and he has shown on-base skills in the past, reaching at a .394 clip over his minor-league career and a .378 clip for the big club two years ago.
MIL Milwaukee • #12 • Age: 30
ADP
347
2020 majors
AVG
.156
HR
8
SB
2
OPS
.645
AB
122
K
37
If Straw is the ultimate late-round stolen base target for five-outfielder Rotisserie leagues, Hunter Renfroe is the same for home runs, having hit 33 for the Padres two years ago. A right-handed hitter known for his pull and fly-ball tendencies, he seems perfectly suited for Fenway Park and might have a shot at 40 bombs if the Red Sox commit to playing him regularly.
STL St. Louis • #27 • Age: 27
ADP
382
2020 majors
AVG
.173
HR
7
SB
3
OPS
.621
AB
139
K
43
You may be tired of seeing Tyler O'Neill's name on lists like this one every year, but never before has he had this much of an opportunity to make good on the power potential that saw him hit 39 homers in 413 at-bats over a two-year span in the minors. He's the only real choice to start in left field and is backing it up with a big spring.
COL Colorado • #22 • Age: 28
ADP
384
2020 majors
AVG
.210
HR
6
SB
3
OPS
.710
AB
105
K
42
Seems like the hype was higher for Sam Hilliard last year, when he was still fighting for at-bats and didn't already have a claim to the center field job. Granted, he disappointed in 2020 after delivering 42 homers and 24 steals between the majors and minors one year earlier, but if the Rockies think he deserves another go, we probably should, too.
SEA Seattle • #20 • Age: 24
ADP
507
2019 minors
AVG
.234
HR
10
SB
20
AB
436
BB
67
K
122
Jarred Kelenic is understandably the Mariners outfield prospect getting all the hype, but Taylor Trammell is the one positioning himself to claim the starting left field job, piling up extra-base hits while reaching base at a .386 clip. The 23-year-old has had consistency issues in the minors but offers enticing speed with developing power.
KC Kansas City • #2 • Age: 31
ADP
586
2020 majors
AVG
.196
HR
5
SB
0
OPS
.676
AB
92
K
27
Perhaps the quietest riser of spring training is the Royals new center fielder, who has ditched his leg kick and adopted a more controlled approach, going 13 for 32 (.406) with two home runs. Injuries and strikeouts limited him with the Nationals, but he did have a 19-homer, 17-steal season once and may have the upside for more.
Starting pitcher
SEA Seattle • #38 • Age: 30
ADP
285
2020 majors
ERA
6.62
WHIP
1.90
IP
51.2
BB
45
K
68
Though he's three times a 200-strikeout guy, Robbie Ray has reached a new velocity threshold this spring, averaging 96 mph on his fastball last time out, and seems poised to bounce back from a disastrous 2020. He may pull down your WHIP and struggle to go six innings consistently, but at this cost, he's likely a net benefit.
DET Detroit • #29 • Age: 25
ADP
299
2020 majors
ERA
5.63
WHIP
1.22
IP
32
BB
11
K
37
Working mostly with just a fastball last year, Tarik Skubal still managed to have 10.4 K/9 and a swinging-strike rate on par with Trevor Bauer. He worked with Driveline Baseball to develop a split-changeup this offseason and has also found success with his breaking ball this spring. If either serves as an effective counter to numero uno, the lefty may be poised to take off.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #40 • Age: 28
ADP
308
2019 majors
ERA
1.50
WHIP
1.00
IP
12
BB
6
K
17
He's going about 50 picks later than fellow Tommy John recoverees Chris Sale and Noah Syndergaard even though he's the youngest, is the furthest removed from the procedure, and I think is the best bet to continue performing like an ace when he returns. There's a feeling he won't be back until late June, but his early mound work may be moving up that timetable.
WAS Washington • Age: 23
ADP
311
2019 minors
ERA
1.69
WHIP
0.83
IP
101
BB
28
K
135
He's the consensus top pitching prospect two years running and is so close to getting the call that he was technically competing for the fifth starter job this spring, so it's a little surprising MacKenzie Gore isn't getting more traction in drafts. Some control issues at the alternate training site and again this spring may be giving people pause, but the minor-league numbers speak for themselves.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #11 • Age: 33
ADP
346
2019 majors
ERA
3.42
WHIP
1.10
IP
26.1
BB
9
K
42
Among pitchers with at least five starts, Drew Smyly's 14.4 K/9 was tops in baseball. Granted, it was over a tiny sample of mostly four-inning outings, but it was accompanied by a big jump in velocity and claims of him feeling better than he has in years. The Braves wagered $11 million on the possibility it's legit, but your gamble will be smaller.
LAA L.A. Angels • #47 • Age: 26
ADP
356
2020 majors
ERA
3.99
WHIP
1.37
IP
56.1
BB
23
K
56
He had trouble snapping off his slider early last season after some elbow troubles, and by the time he regained the feel for it, his curveball had about caught up, giving him a one-two punch that yielded a 3.14 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 10.4 K/9 over his final five starts.
TOR Toronto • #16 • Age: 31
ADP
360
2020 majors
ERA
5.17
WHIP
1.30
IP
47
BB
20
K
47
The big breakthrough was supposed to happen for Yusei Kikuchi last year, when his velocity ticked up 2-3 mph, but clearly it didn't. Or did it? A nine-start sample has a way of hiding things, and it turns out Kikuchi's was hiding a 3.78 xFIP, a 3.37 xERA, a ground-ball rate like Hyun-Jin Ryu's and a swinging-strike rate like Zac Gallen's. Maybe he just needed more time for things to normalize.
MIA Miami • #28 • Age: 24
ADP
400
2020 majors
ERA
6.11
WHIP
1.61
IP
28
BB
13
K
39
The left-hander's fastball and changeup pair up beautifully, both resulting in high whiff rates in his first stint in the majors last year, and with his 19 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings this spring, you again don't have to squint too hard to see the upside.
TEX Texas • #31 • Age: 26
ADP
429
ERA
5.92
WHIP
1.64
IP
24.1
BB
10
K
23
A back issue midway through spring training might prevent him from winning a rotation spot after all, but it won't take long for him to get back up to speed and claim what's rightfully his. His velocity is back after being thwarted by a sore rotator cuff last year, and let's not forget he had a 2.03 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 11.9 K/9 in the minors two years ago.
SF San Francisco • #16 • Age: 29
ADP
480
2020 majors
ERA
8.22
WHIP
1.57
IP
7.2
BB
3
K
6
The 28-year-old who once had the look of a budding ace deserves a pass for his first year back from Tommy John surgery, especially given the weird circumstances of 2020, and has been getting better results than ever with an improved spin rate on his fastball this spring. He has yet to allow a run in nine innings, striking out 10 while walking none.
SF San Francisco • #62 • Age: 25
ADP
592
His improved changeup has been the talk of Giants camp, with catcher Curt Casali comparing it to that of former teammate Luis Castillo (who might have the best in baseball). It has also left hitters befuddled this spring. Through 11 innings, Logan Webb has struck out 17, allowing just three hits and one walk.
OAK Oakland • #66 • Age: 27
ADP
615
The rookie looks poised to claim a rotation spot, striking out 20 while walking just three over 13 innings this spring. He stands out most for his plus-plus control, issuing nine walks while striking out 93 over 79 innings in the minors two years ago.
Relief pitcher
CIN Cincinnati • #70 • Age: 28
ADP
302
2020 majors
ERA
2.80
WHIP
1.02
IP
35.1
BB
16
K
45
The expectation is that he begins in the bullpen after a spirited audition for a rotation spot this spring in which he has struck out 13 in 7 2/3 innings. Chances are, though, he'll provide enough bulk as a multi-inning reliever and occasional starter to impact the strikeout category with his devastating slider. And maybe somewhere down the line, he'll still get that full-time starting gig.
MIL Milwaukee • #51 • Age: 26
ADP
312
ERA
3.99
WHIP
1.16
IP
29.1
BB
12
K
47
Turns out Freddy Peralta will begin the year in the starting rotation. Though the righty has had more success as a reliever so far and may end up bouncing between the two roles, he has expanded his arsenal in the hope of pitching deeper this year and has 15 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings this spring.

So which Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.