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Jake Bauers (1B/OF, CLE) - Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers

BALLER MOVE: Draft target ~pick 215

CURRENT ADP: ~231 overall

ANALYSISJake Bauers exploded onto the fantasy landscape last summer only to fall off late in the season. Primarily a first baseman, Bauers also has shown the ability to play a decent outfield spot and should bounce between the two in Cleveland with a line-up still in flux. Bauers will be given an excellent chance to slot into a complementary role before proving himself for the future.

The main reason to jump in on Bauers is the power and speed combo that makes him unique at first base. Over his 96 games with the Rays, he hit 11 homers and stole six bases. In 2018, the only team that stole more bases than the Rays was Cleveland, so this is not a move that should kill his speed, and might even give a slight uptick to the overall production. At his current rate, this is an 11-steal season, which would put him second to only Ian Desmond from last year at the position. The 13.9 BB% means that he will be on base, even if the batting average slumps again in 2019. And yet, it is the power which will sell owners looking to draft a sleeper player at first. Tropicana kills power numbers, with a 0.880 homer factor, whereas the new park in Progressive was a plus at 1.019 last year. This is a 30% surge, when Bauers was already posting a 13.8 HR/FB%, the raw loft is there to play out for owners. This means that on the low-end Bauers is a 20/10 player, and if playing every day, the floor for runs sits at 80.

Bauers is not going to be an MVP candidate in 2019, but with the low ADP and the park factors to push his overall production, he is a top sleeper target at the position. Owners should bank on a starting role, with a team that fits his offensive profile well and take advantage of that sophomore bounceback. Bauers' ADP has risen from 264 in early drafts up to 231 in March. Fantasy players should take advantage now before he becomes a known commodity.

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