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Deeper NL Outfield Sleepers - Undervalued ADPs


We are gathered here today to discuss everyone’s favorite fantasy buzzword, the “sleepers.” Not only that, but we’re tabbing these guys as deeper sleepers with a focus on the outfield position for National League teams.

The outfield is always complicated by having so many options that you feel like there's always another guy waiting for you later in the draft. While we're here to help those of you identify those late targets, don't let the upper class pass you by either! Now, let's discuss some folks beyond the top 325 picks per NFBC ADP data for drafts completed between 3/1/18 and 3/15/18. In other words, who are going to take late after Victor Robles goes? I kid, sort of. With the draft season approaching its crescendo, it's time to make sure you have some later targets at the ready.

Be sure to also check out our famous Draft Value and Sleepers List, and download the free app for iPhone and Android. Without further ado, we dive in...

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Deeper Sleepers at Outfield (NL)

Cameron Maybin (MIA, OF)

Still rocking a poor ADP of 315, Maybin and his speed potential are not being respected enough. Yes, he plays for the Marlins. Get over it! If anything, they shouldn't limit his chances to run because that kind of aggression is how you compensate for lesser power. What I do understand is not wanting to pay up for Maybin only to have his durability woes come and bite you.

The 30-year-old speedster (he'll be 31 shortly!) looked to be done contributing at a mixed-league level heading into 2017, but then he stole 33 bases in just 450 PAs. Oh sure, he only hit .228 thanks to an awful 14.4 percent line-drive rate, but at least the additional fly balls (up six percentage points) brought a return of double-digit homers.

I'm not saying you're going to get the .315 batting average from 2016, but I do believe he'll find middle ground and could wind up with 8-10 homers while challenging for 40 steals alongside a .250-.260 average. The counting stats will suffer from likely opening the year in the lower-third of Miami's lineup, but a hot start could easily unseat Derek Dietrich up top.

Andrew Toles (LAD, OF)

It can't be a hot take at this point to think that Joc Pederson really just isn't that good, right? While folks are waiting for Alex Verdugo to come up and fawning over new toys Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger, many are forgetting about Toles. You know, the guy who hit .314 with an .870 OPS in 115 PAs way back in 2016 before tearing his ACL early in 2017. While he's still projected to be on the outside looking in, Toles is 12-for-36 with two dingers (and a bag) this spring while Pederson is currently 5-for-35 with zero homers (as of 3/16).

He sure looks ready for Opening Day, but even if conventional wisdom doesn't end up getting the superior talent his playing time, we also know the Dodgers are no stranger to utilizing the 10-day DL to give a guy a break. Of course, Trayce Thompson is also hitting .310 this spring (but no homers, gosh) and Dave Roberts could go multiple directions with his bench.

Lest we forget that Toles stole a ridiculous 62 bases in 121 Single-A games for the Rays back in 2012, so that spring stolen base makes me feel like he's still got 10-SB upside in him. Did you think I was going to say he could steal 60? C'mon now. These are sleepers, not dreamers.

Brandon Nimmo (NYM, OF)

Nimmo is currently penciled in at the leadoff spot for the Mets, though he is admittedly in a platoon situation with the righty-swinging Juan Lagares. Lagares' defense will keep him in the lineup, but Nimmo should have a chance to open the year strong and build momentum with Michael Conforto hurt. Yoenis Cespedes is no bastion of health either. The point we're establishing early here is that Nimmo is going to be in a prime spot to shine early in the season, which is all some of you might need whilst navigating those early waiver waters.

While he had a disappointing 2017, hitting .227 in the Minors before posting a .260 average in the Majors with roughly 200 PAs at both levels, his bat does show potential. Alongside each sad batting average came stellar on-base percentages of .367 and .379, respectively, which points to why the Mets are leaning into him as a leadoff hitter. He also posted a 24.2 percent line-drive rate in the bigs last year, which helped float a .360 BABIP and offset his ludicrous 27.9 percent strikeout rate.

That's a lot to digest, I know. In summary, he's got a good eye and can make healthy contact, but the Ks are still a big factor and his pop has yet to translate into homers. Taking a late flier in very deep formats just in case the homers trickle in might be wise.

Franchy Cordero (SD, OF)

Fine, you need to go deeper? Let's have some fun with upside here and talk about a 23-year-old who boasts both power and speed alongside some of worst plate discipline you ever did see in a cup of coffee. Cordero turned in a .228/.276/.424 slash line in 99 MLB PAs last year with a ridiculous 44.4 percent strikeout rate and 38 percent chase rate. But he'd earned a crack at the bigs by turning in a 68-17-64-15-.326 5x5 roto line with "just" a 28.2 percent strikeout rate.

So, yeah. You're not getting away from the Ks here, but he's got the kind of speed that turns an aggressive approach into a high-ceiling play. His BABIP was a hilarious .431 in those 419 Minor League PAs last year, and it was .400 in the Majors! He's slowly grown into his frame, boosting his line-drive rates up into the 20 percent range and 2017 saw him start clearing the fence. I know Triple-A El Paso is a hitter-friendly environment, but the trajectory is still positive and we know Petco isn't pitcher-friendly anymore.

If you want a safe late guy who will see the field then go get Nick Markakis, but Cordero could be a 15/15 player with an opportunity. Don't forget, Wil Myers only "found" durability once he moved to first base, so the opportunity could come knocking rather soon in '18.

 

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