Fantasy Baseball Week 23 Preview: Top 10 sleeper hitters feature recent call-ups Abraham Toro and Nick Solak
Some less-heralded call-ups could have an impact in the short-term. Scott White looks at the top sleeper hitters for Week 23.
Lately, we've seen some prospects called up who aren't of the earth-moving variety but are nonetheless interesting
"Interesting" is a difficult fit, though, in today's environment, where every position (with the possible exception of catcher) offers more than enough to go around. You'd have to be in a pretty desperate spot, then, to plug a Nick Solak or Abraham Toro into your lineup.
Desperate enough to turn to a sleeper hitters column with your season (presumably) on the line? Hey, I know my audience.
It just so happens that Solak's and Toro's matchups in Week 23 (Aug. 26-Sept. 1), not to mention their upside, make them among the more attractive options owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues. Let's see who else fits the bill.
TEX Texas • #5 • Age: 24
The No. 1 sleeper hitter from a week ago claims the top spot again, his ownership barely moving even though he continues to mash. He has favorable matchups with six games against the Angels and Mariners pitching staffs, and while you might think five lefties is a problem for a left-handed hitter like him, not so. He actually has an 1.070 OPS against them.
Mark Canha CF
OAK Oakland • #20 • Age: 30
Mark Canha has functioned as a platoon player for most of his career, which may be why his work as a full-timer has gone so overlooked. He has started every game but one since July 7, batting .317 (44 for 139) with eight homers and a .960 OPS during that time. No reason to think he'll slow down this week against pitchers like Mike Montgomery, Jake Junis, Glenn Sparkman, CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ.
SF San Francisco • #5 • Age: 29
Mike Yastrzemski has found another gear since the All-Star break, batting .297 with 12 homers and a .977 OPS, and while it can probably go without saying he's not quite that good, the obvious warning signs aren't there either. The Giants are home this week, which certainly doesn't help a left-handed slugger like him, but they have favorable matchups against the Diamondbacks and Padres rotations.
Nick Solak DH
TEX Texas • #15 • Age: 24
Four games into his major-league career, Nick Solak already looks like a fixture, having split his time between second base and DH, and there's enough power and plate discipline for him to matter in Fantasy. Seeing as he bats right-handed, all the lefties on the schedule shouldn't trip him up, and the matchups include pitchers like Patrick Sandoval, Felix Hernandez and Tommy Milone.
CIN Cincinnati • #17 • Age: 24
Lost in the hubbub of the recent call-ups and the Rangers matchups is the fact the Reds are playing eight games this week thanks to a doubleheader Saturday. They're facing the Marlins and Cardinals, too, so not exactly a murderer's row of pitchers. Among all those pitchers, only one lefty is on tap, so Josh VanMeter should basically get a full workload with Joey Votto on the IL.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #39 • Age: 28
Mike Tauchman has suffered some regression of late, and Fantasy owners have been dumping dumping him en masse (among healthy hitters, he's the most dropped over the past week). But with the Yankees back in AL parks for this week, giving them back the DH spot, the playing time still seems fairly secure. There are four lefties on the schedule, but Tauchman is batting .423 against lefties and starting against them more often than not. And with six games against the Mariners and Athletics, it's not exactly Cy Young contenders the Yankees are facing.
HOU Houston • #13 • Age: 22
Abraham Toro got only 16 games at Triple-A (where he hit .424) before getting the call Thursday, but it looks like he'll be the Astros' primary third baseman while Carlos Correa is sidelined, with Alex Bregman shifting over to shortstop. In all, Toro hit .324 with 17 home runs and a .938 OPS in the minors this year, with good on-base skills and a high contact rate, so you don't have to squint too hard to see him making an impact against pitchers like Trevor Richards, Thomas Pannone and Jacob Waguespack.
Kevin Pillar CF
SF San Francisco • #1 • Age: 30
Kevin Pillar has homered six times in his past 13 games. He's not a home run hitter and won't be playing in a home run park with the Giants home in San Francisco, but hot is hot is hot. He's a reasonable bet to remain so against Alex Young, Mike Leake, Eric Lauer and Cal Quantrill.
CIN Cincinnati • #3 • Age: 29
Hot is hot is hot, right? Well, Freddy Galvis is another not-so-great hitter who has done great enough things lately that he's hard to pass up with great matchup. He has been the Reds everyday second baseman since joining in mid-August, you see, and has hit .400 (16 for 40) with three homers in that time. He's up to 21 homers overall, so it's not like he's totally punchless, and he'll have eight games to make an impact this week.
SF San Francisco • #10 • Age: 33
All right, we're really pushing it now, but as you've already seen with Yastrezmski and Pillar, the Giants have pretty good matchups this week. And Evan Longoria, like apparently the rest of their lineup, is swinging a hot bat. It's a dangerous play, no doubt, but when you get this deep into the sleeper hitter rankings, you have to understand that you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes all you can do is chase the streak.
Best hitter matchups for Week 23
Worst hitter matchups for Week 23
Fantasy Baseball Today Newsletter
You're destined to gain an edge over your friends with advice from the award-winning FBT crew.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The final week of the regular season presents many unknowns. But Scott White says it's best...
In the final week of the regular season, probable pitchers are mere suggestions. Scott White...
Second base offers its share of high-end hitters, but its depth will largely depend on the...
Some big-name pitchers made their long-awaited returns Tuesday, but is it too little, too late?...
The waiver wire offers no shortage of usable hitters for the second-to-last week of the season,...
Luis Severino is coming back just in time for a two-start week. Scott White weighs him against...