Don’t sleep on these

Whether you’ve drafted your fantasy team(s), or not, you will find this list helpful. I’m calling it my Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers and Waiver Wire Pickups List.  If you haven’t drafted, use this as a cheat sheet to find late round values. If you have drafted, consider these for waiver wire additions to your roster. Look at your roster and see what you need. These players are listed in alphabetical order and not priority order.

JON BERTI, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, MIAMI

His speed and eligibility at positions keep drawing me back to Berti. All he needs is playing time with the Marlins to be worth rostering for stolen bases alone. Berti played in 39 games last season, posting a .258/.388/.350 slash line with 21 runs scored, 14 RBI, and nine stolen bases.

MARK CANHA, OF, OAKLAND

Canha posted a .246/.387/.408 slash line to go with five home runs and an impressive 33 RBI in 243 plate appearances last year. With an ADP of 255, he has a value. A player being taken at this ADP should produce a .229 average, 28 HR, 62 runs, and 69 RBI. Canha should be able to clear that bar.

WILLIE CASTRO, 3B, SS, DETROIT

Last year, Castro managed to put together the best offensive season of any Tiger by just about any measure. And there’s plenty of reason to believe that the best is yet to come for him. He’s been hot in the spring, going 6 for 13, with three homers. Where he bats in the order will matter.   

C.J. CRON, 1B COLORADO

A barrel monster and heading to Coors field, Cron should hit in the range of 25-plus home runs and 140-150 runs+RBI, with a solid batting average. He won’t steal any bases, but the potential for a mega return on a waiver-wire investment is there – especially in the power numbers. 

J.D. DAVIS, 3B, OF, NEW YORK METS

Based on his other 2020 hitting metrics, Davis should also see positive regression in batting average, and he can provide boring but solid production Managers can reasonably expect around 20-22 HR, 60-70 RBI, and an average close to .270. He is eligible at 3B and OF at Yahoo.

PAUL DEJONG, SS, ST. LOUIS

I dropped DeJong before the season started for someone better, but he still has upside. He hit an average of nearly 25 homers and had 70 RBI over his first three MLB seasons. His exit velocity (89.2) and hard-hit rate (38.0%) during the 2020 season were both above his career averages.

2020 was the second season now for Dickerson in which he impressed, albeit in limited opportunities. His .298/.371/576 triple slash last year was the product of hitting the ball harder. He set new career-highs in average exit velocity, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate, all three of which stand out compared to the rest of the league, as Dickerson is well above-average in all three metrics.

JARREN DURAN, OF, BOSTON

Outfielder speedster will get called up this spring, according to Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He was 5 for 10 with two homers and two doubles in the early going.  Fantasy Pros says he the 24-year-old could be a difference-maker in the stolen base category if he gets the playing time.   

WANDER FRANCO, SS, TAMPA BAY

The No. 1 prospect in baseball is turning heads in Florida, and it’s just a matter of times before the 20-year-old gets called up. He’s a plus-plus hitter, who is demonstrating more power this spring, and he has an amazing eye. He also has enough speed to steal 15-20 bases a year.

YULI GURRIEL, 1B, 3B, HOUSTON

Despite a poor 2020 showing, there’s reason to believe a rebound is possible for Gurriel. His .232 average is primarily the result of hard luck, as Gurriel’s .235 BABIP is by far the lowest of his career. His strikeout rate remains superb at 11.7%, and the Astros signed him to a one-year deal.

AUSTIN HAYS, OF, BALTIMORE

Hays continues to show flashes of upside, with an appealing mix of power and speed. He had stolen 11 bases as recently as 2019 when combining his three stops. There is a path to 10-12 steals in 2021 and 20-plus home runs, and that comes with a career .272 batting average.

CESAR HERNANDEZ, 2B, CLEVELAND

Hernandez is one of the most consistent players in the league. Last year, in his first year in Cleveland, he posted a career-best average exit velocity, but he’s not a power hitter with an OPS under .800. He slashed .283/.355/.408 with three home runs and 20 RBI over 233 at-bats.

DALLAS KEUCHEL, SP, CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Keuchel had a great first year with the White Sox, going 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA over 63 1/3 IP. But no pitcher is due for more negative regression based on advanced metrics. With my superior pitching roster, I dropped Keuchel and wouldn’t add him back unless he starts strong in 2021.

ALEX KIRILOFF, OF, MINNESOTA

The Twins had a proven and productive left fielder Eddie Rosario but failed to offer him a contract in 2021, which was a vote of confidence for Kiriloff. It’s rare to see a prospect so talented being so underhyped in fantasy baseball. He’s off to a slow start this spring, but he’ll get better.

ANDREW MCCUTCHEN, OF, PHILADELPHIA

With a 195 ADP at NFC, he offers consistent production and would benefit if he is the leadoff hitter for the Phillies. McCutchen played in 57 games in 2020, hitting 10 homers – equating to 27 in a full season – with four steals chipped in. McCutchen’s batting average last year was .253.

RYAN MCMAHON, 1B, 2B, 3B, COLORADO

McMahon should be in the lineup almost every day, and he has the potential to hit 25-30 home runs in Colorado. He had a career-high 11.2 percent barrel rate in 2020. And that rate has been climbing every year, which is reason for optimism. His multi-positional eligibility is a plus.

JORDAN MONTGOMERY, SP, NY YANKEES. 

Fantrax calls Montgomery a top sleeper. According to NFC, other pitchers drafted around him include Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, and Zach Davies. Fantrax considers him a fair value given the overall ADP. He’s already secured a spot in the Yankees starting rotation for 2021.

JOC PEDERSON, 1B, OF, CHICAGO CUBS

Pederson is a cheap source of power but comes with a batting average liability that would be a drag on my Yahoo’s team already low average. However, if he were to achieve a projected 95 runs, 32 home runs and 80 RBI, he might still be worth adding. He also has dual eligibility. 

YASIEL PUIG, OF, FREE AGENT

Puig didn’t play in 2020 after contracting COVID after signing with the Braves. His 2019 stat line was 24 home runs, 19 stolen bases and a triple slash of .267/.327/.458. This was his third straight season hitting 23 or more home runs with at least 15 steals. However, he hasn’t signed. 

BRYAN REYNOLDS, OF, PITTSBURGH

The Pirates thought they had found a lineup piece for the next half-decade before he took a big step back in 2020. With a weak lineup surrounding him, he’s only worth adding if he returns to his pre-2020 form. He hit .314/.377/.503 as a rookie, but he hit only .189/.275/.357 last year.

CARLOS SANTANA, 1B, KANSAS CITY

Due to a disappointing shortened season, Santana now has an ADP of 281, which seems insanely low since he was going around 136 overall last season. The Royals lineup is more impactful than people give it credit for, so there is an opportunity for RBI production hitting in the middle of it.

JONATHAN SCHOOP, 2B, DETROIT

Four years removed from his best year, Schoop managed to slashed .278/.324/.475 with eight home runs, 23 RBI and 26 runs over 44 games in 2020. There is talk of him moving around to different positions, which would be a plus. He has the ability to hit 30 home runs in a full season.

KYLE SCHWARBER, OF, WASHINGTON

Schwarber has the power to strike fear into opposing pitchers, but he’ll need to rebound after posting a .188 BA, .701 OPS, 29.5% K rate in 2020. His 92.8 MPH average exit velocity and 40.8% hard hit rate indicate a rebound is possible hitting in the heart of the Nationals lineup.

MYLES STRAW, SS, OF, HOUSTON

Straw has been used as a leadoff hitter by manager Dusty Baker in spring training games, Manager Dusty Baker said on March 10 he and Carlos Correa are the leading candidates to bat leadoff. His speed would mean stolen bases – if he can keep hitting and bats lead off.  

LEODY TAVERAS, OF TEXAS

Taveras was a surprise call-up for the Rangers last year and finished his debut season with a 227/.308/.395 slash line in 33 games. He converted all eight stolen base attempts while also hitting four homers. A rare stolen bases asset with power available late in the draft.  

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