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Later-Round Fantasy Baseball Hitter Targets: Home Runs

franmil reyes fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers MLB injury news

Today, we will be highlighting some hitters that can help your team in the home runs category without costing you tons of your draft capital. We have gone through several categories already, so check out those posts if you've missed them.

These analyses are vital to having a successful fantasy baseball draft in rotisserie-style leagues. There are so many ways to have success in the game due to the segmented category nature of the game. I have been saying over and over again this preseason that home runs and RBI turn out to be the two easiest categories to find late in the draft, which makes it a priority to get steals and batting average early in the drafts.

Let's talk about home runs and who to get late in the draft to help you there.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Considerations

What you will find here is that most of these names are not going to help you in batting average. That is the nature of it, the guys who hit homers with good batting average move up draft boards in a hurry because they cover so many categories by doing that, and they are in such scarce supply.

It is important to keep an eye on strikeout rates when you're drafting power hitters. Any strikeout rate over 30% is seriously dangerous territory, as those hitters are likely to hit well below .250 and trainwreck your team in that category. If you can find a big power bat with a strikeout rate closer to 25%, you're in business. We won't be able to find many of those names late in the draft right now, but there will be some guys this year that make a positive change to strikeout less while maintaining their power (Max Muncy, Hunter Renfroe, Pete Alonso are great examples from last year).

Now, let's get into the names!

 

Visualizing HR vs. ADP

Here's a visual of projected homers against each hitter's ADP. We are specifically looking for the names that are being pulled up towards the top-right of the plot, which you can see there aren't many of.

 

Late-Round Targets

Joey Gallo, New York Yankees (ADP 175)

Gallo turns out to be one of the best late-round options for home runs and runs scored, as he figures to hit in the #2 hole in the Yankees lineup this year. Yankees Stadium is a great home ballpark for his power, and it will be fun to see what he can do in a full season there.

One thing Gallo brings to the table for good or for bad is consistency.

Year

PA

HR K% AVG
2017

532

41 36.8% .209
2018

577

40 35.9% .206
2019

297

22 28.4% .252
2020

226

10 35.0% .181
2021

616

38 34.6% .199

Every single year, he hits a ton of home runs while being one of the league-leaders in strikeout rate and posting a puke-worthy batting average. This is who he is and who he will continue to be. If you want to punt batting average, or if you have an absurd number of high-average hitters early in the draft, Gallo takes you a long way in homers all by himself. But you have to be very careful with him, he has to fit the rest of your team correctly or else it will be a rough go of it for you.

Franmil Reyes, Cleveland Guardians (ADP 120)

He is a bit cheap by the projections, and that probably has something to do with the DH-only eligibility. That can be a real strain on a fantasy team depending on how your league is set up, but if you can make it work (just don't draft any other DH-only players!), his power numbers are worth way more than what you'll pay.

In his 1,540 career plate appearances, Reyes has mashed 92 homers. That's a homer every 16.7 trips to the plate, an elite rate. There's no real reason to worry about the team around him either, as he went for 85 RBI in just 466 PA last year (115 games). He will continue to mash homers and drive in runs, but yes, he fits the mold of a guy that will hurt your team's batting average with a career 29.5% K%. This isn't to the extreme that Gallo is though, as his quality of contact (more line-drives, fewer pop-outs) keeps his BABIP on the higher range. He hit .254 last year and has a career mark of .260, which is actually right around the league average. Reyes is a really nice value after pick 100 provided you can handle the positional eligibility.

Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies (ADP 115)

This ADP will probably be on the way up now that he has signed with the Phillies. There were some questions about where he'd land, but Philadelphia is a phenomenal spot for him. Citizens Bank Park plays great for power hitters, and Schwarber is coming off of a career year.

He missed a significant amount of time, but when all was said and done, he hit 32 homers in just 471 PAs with a career-best 17.5% barrel rate. I'm not sure he can maintain that barrel rate, but he is a threat to flirt with 40 homers if he does stay healthy. His batting average is also bad, with a career mark of .237, but he slightly improved his strikeout rate last year down to 27%, which was good to see.

I think Schwarber can hit 35+ homers, drive in 100+, and hit .240 for your fantasy team this year, which is well worth the pick after the century mark passes.

Adam Duvall, Atlanta Braves (ADP 210)

Duvall has been one of the longest-running sources of cheap power in the fantasy game. He has not been able to stay on the field for a full season consistently in his career, but since 2017, he has hit 110 home runs in 1,968 plate appearances, a rate of 17.9 PA/HR. He really does not hit for a batting average with a career mark of .232.

The thing working in his favor is the team change. He has played his best baseball with the Atlanta Braves, and he slugged a huge .513 in his stint with them last year. He remains a Brave for the 2022 season, and their decision not to re-sign Jorge Soler gives a vote of confidence for Duvall clearing 500 plate appearances again this year. That makes him an easy 30+ homer projection, although you're not getting anything else to go with it besides some RBI.

Other names to consider: Bobby Dalbec, Nelson Cruz, Matt Chapman, Miguel Sano, Hunter Renfroe, Josh Donaldson



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