The first full week back from the All-Star break features a fairly conventional schedule, with just one team (the Twins) playing eight games and only three (the Rockies, Royals and Brewers) playing five.
Unfortunately, recent prospect call-ups Jarred Kelenic and Jarren Duran both face less-than-optimal matchups, making them poor fits for this week's list. It doesn't mean they're automatic sits or that you should most certainly bench them for all 10 of the players on this list. But I don't feel particularly motivated to start either in Week 17 (July 19-25), at least not in three-outfielder leagues.
Here are my 10 sleeper hitters for the upcoming scoring period, all rostered in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
DET Detroit • #8 • Age: 31
You were about ready to move on, but now he's reaching base at better than a .500 clip in July with some tasty matchups ahead.
Joey Votto 1B
CIN Cincinnati • #19 • Age: 37
He misses Jacob deGrom in the Mets series, and the Cardinals rotation is a mess right now. It's hard to believe Joey Votto is still so available given how productive he's been since returning from a broken thumb.
MIN Minnesota • #19 • Age: 23
The Statcast numbers suggest that his quality of contact will soon lead to big things. Eight games are eight games even if the matchups are less than optimal.
LAA L.A. Angels • #22 • Age: 27
Would you believe he's batting over .450 since mid-June? If you can do without home runs or stolen bases, the matchups are ripe for more.
CIN Cincinnati • #6 • Age: 24
He's getting to the point where he'll no longer be eligible for this list. As with Fletcher, it's more about him getting on base than anything else, but the matchups are fine.
Nico Hoerner 2B
CHC Chi. Cubs • #2 • Age: 24
It's been slow going since his return from a strained hamstring, but he's still putting the bat on the ball. The Cubs have the third-best matchups of any team this week.
LAA L.A. Angels • #33 • Age: 30
You may not have an opening at catcher, and that's fine. But if you do, how can you keep overlooking this guy?
DET Detroit • #13 • Age: 28
Another exciting catcher play, though perhaps one with an expiration date given his all-or-nothing profile. Better chance of the power showing up with matchups like these.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #16 • Age: 29
Joc Pederson's departure frees up more regular playing time for a slugger who's been gradually falling out of favor. He could do real damage against two ravaged rotations.
Vidal Brujan 2B
TB Tampa Bay • #7 • Age: 23
You might move him up a couple spots if stolen bases are a priority, but the recent call-up has yet to show he'll hit in the majors, much less play every day. Maybe these matchups set him off.