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2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Mike Yastrzemski


San Francisco Giants Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski had a solid 2019 campaign after making his debut at the ripe age of 28. He made his debut in May and finished the season by hitting .272/.334/.518 with 21 HR, 55 RBI, 64 R, and 32 BB in 381 ABs.

This was a solid performance out of Yaz, especially considering he had spent the previous seven years in the minor leagues where he was a career .263 hitter. He also only averaged 10 home runs per season while in the minors and never hit more than 15 in any one season.

The question heading into 2020 is whether or not he can continue to produce at this level. A deeper look into his advanced metrics and split stats should help shed some light on this.

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Baseball in the Genes

As we all know, Mike Yastrzemski is the grandson of the former Red Sox star, hall of famer, and Triple Crown winner, Carl Yastrzemski. Therefore, he comes from a baseball family and baseball is most certainly in his genetics, but how did this translate on the field in 2019 and how will it translate in 2020 and beyond? His advanced metrics tell us he had an 11.2% barrel rate, an average exit velocity of 88.7 mph, and a hard-hit rate of 42.9%. These numbers tell us that the power we saw in 2019 could continue into 2020 and may not be an outlier. He did have a 26% strikeout rate, so expectations should also be tempered a bit. It is feasible to think he may have adjusted his swing once getting called up in order to hit for more power, which could have resulted in the high strikeout rate.

If we look a little deeper into Yastrzemski's split stats, we will notice that he is a bit stronger vs left-handed pitching as far as getting on base albeit in far fewer at-bats. This is noted by his .329 average and .382 OBP vs. left-handers compared to .256 and .321, respectively vs. right-handers. He did, however, have 17 of his 21 HR against right-handed pitching and has also found more power on the road as he hit 13 home runs away from Oracle Park. This should not be surprising as Oracle Park is one of the worst parks for hitters, and especially left-handed hitters.

 

Conclusion

Overall, Mike Yastrzemski is a bit of a mixed bag. He should be able to contribute some value in areas like batting average, runs, walks, and on-base percentage. He should also hit near the top of the lineup as he spent  267 of his 371 at-bats in the leadoff or No. 2 spot in 2019.

Yastrzemski is still not likely to be someone you will plug into your everyday lineup, at least not to begin the season. Drafting him late and placing him on your bench to begin the season is probably the best approach here. Wait and see how he is used by the Giants and how he performs before deciding to roll with him on an everyday basis. He currently has an overall ADP of 313 and is being taken as the 84th overall outfielder. This falls close to where we have him ranked as he currently sits ranked 339 overall and as the 100th ranked outfielder. This means he is falling just outside of 12-team drafts and can either be taken with your final pick or added to the top of your watch list.

More Fantasy Baseball Sleepers


Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!