Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers and Targets List

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Back by popular demand in 2018... RotoBaller has brought back for the MLB draft season and regular season our Ultimate 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also use our other draft resources and tools shown in the icons below.

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2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers by MLB Position

ALL - C - 1B - 2B - SS - 3B - OF - SP - RP

 

Dustin Fowler (OF, OAK) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~375 CURRENT ADP: 406 ANALYSIS: Oakland Athletics outfielder Dustin Fowler (knee) missed the second half of the season after rupturing his patella tendon in his right knee. During that time he was traded to the Athletics from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal. Now he is the favorite to land the center field job for the Athletics, working to hold off Boog Powell and/or Jake Smolinski. There is still a chance that Fowler is sent to the minors to open the season, but the situation is...continue reading

Matt Olson (1B/OF, OAK) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~95 CURRENT ADP:  123 ANALYSIS: Prior to Matt Olson’s 2017 debut, Fangraphs slapped a 40 hit tool and a 45 game power tool (with 50 potential) on Olson. He proceeded to make them and just about every other prospect ranking site look absolutely silly. In only 216 PA, Olson triple-slashed .259/.352/.651 with 24 HR! The strikeout rate of 27.8% leaves a little to desire, but the 10.2% walk rate demonstrated the 23-year-old rookie’s advanced plate approach. Plus, if Olson is going to produce at 62% above league average...continue reading

Addison Reed (RP, MIN) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~200 CURRENT ADP:  260 ANALYSIS: Reed is currently being drafted right around pick 260. He’s going after at least 25 other relief pitchers, one of whom is teammate Fernando Rodney. This is the same Addison Reed who has posted a 2.29 ERA since going to the Mets in September of 2015. That 2.29 ERA ranks 10th in baseball among relief pitchers with at least 80 IP since September 2015. Reed’s wOBA against of .251 ranks 11th in baseball among that same demographic in the same...continue reading

Austin Hays (OF, BAL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~280 or the end of your draft CURRENT ADP:  366 ANALYSIS: Hays was unexpectedly the first 2016 draftee to make it to the major leagues. The third-round pick begun the 2017 season in high-A and finished the year as a leadoff hitter in the big leagues. Hays only played 166 games in the minors before getting the call to the bigs, but he made his mark before he left, triple-slashing a pretty obscene .330/.370/.576 with 36 HR. The OBP (and walk rate) leave a bit to be desired, but...continue reading

Archie Bradley (RP, ARI) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~165 CURRENT ADP:  190 ANALYSIS: Does anyone really expect Brad Boxberger to take the closer role away from Bradley? In Bradley, we’re talking about a guy who, after a move to pitching full-time in 2017, posted a 1.73 ERA, 1.041 WHIP, and a 9.7 K/9. His ERA was better than all but seven relief pitchers last season. Bradley also finished 12th among relievers last season in fWAR, sandwiched between Felipe Rivero and Ryan Madson. That alone doesn’t get fantasy points but is...continue reading

Eduardo Rodriguez (SP, BOS) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~ 310 CURRENT ADP: 330 ANALYSIS: It seems like Eduardo Rodriguez has been talked about forever, but the power lefty only turns 25 in April; this is shocking to say the least. Rodriguez has had trouble staying on the field the past few seasons due to right knee injuries, but when healthy he has shown promise. He was close to a breakout in 2017 before he got hurt, posting a 2.77 ERA through the end of May. The strikeouts spiked too as he finished the...continue reading

Wilmer Flores (3B, NYM) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~ 300 CURRENT ADP: 326 ANALYSIS: What does Wilmer Flores have to do to convince the Mets he’s worthy of an everyday role? In three partial seasons the versatile infielder has not only mashed lefties, but also improved versus right-handers, posting a career high .765 OPS in 2017. Flores maintained his fly ball gains last year, surpassing 45% for the second season in a row while upping his hard contact rate without sacrificing overall contact (84%). Yet, the Mets went out and signed...continue reading

Dellin Betances (RP, NYY) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~230 CURRENT ADP: 278 ANALYSIS: At his current ADP, Dellin Betances is going undrafted in many standard leagues. While not currently a closer, Betances contributes meaningfully in strikeouts, ERA and WHIP. Since 2014, he ranks fourth with a 14.44 K/9 amongst all pitchers. He's been flat-out dominant out of the bullpen with a career 2.29 ERA, 2.42 xFIP and 1.04 WHIP. Betances has seen his ERA creep up the past two seasons from a decline in LOB% and a bit of wildness; his 6.64...continue reading

Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~175 CURRENT ADP:  203 ANALYSIS: Bradley Zimmer made his Major League debut in 2017 and made an immediate splash. Over his first 36 at-bats, Zimmer hit .306 with a pair of homers and three steals. He settled into the everyday center field job and looked to be on track for a successful rookie year, but it wasn't a happy ending. Zimmer went homerless over his last 100 plate appearances and hit .144 in the last two months of the season. He managed to rack up eight...continue reading

Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~265 CURRENT ADP: 292 ANALYSIS: San Diego Padres outfielder Hunter Renfroe debuted in 2016 by crushing four HR and posting a 1.189 OPS in 11 games. The power numbers persisted for Renfroe in 2017 (26 dingers) but a weak supporting offense, poor .231 average and 29.2% Strikeout rate led to a forgettable season. Despite the homers, Renfroe scored only 51 runs and produced 58 RBI over 479 PAs; his .284 OBP was simply not good enough. Renfroe enters 2018 as the starting right fielder, but the corner outfield spots in...continue reading

David Peralta (OF, ARI) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~215 CURRENT ADP: 249 ANALYSIS: Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta had a better 2017 than 2016 and it started with his health. He was able to stay on the field for 577 plate appearances. Peralta’s last successful season was in 2015 and he did his best impersonation of those stats during 2017. He had a .293 average and had a .796 OPS. Of note is that he had a 16.3 strikeout percentage, the best of his career. The main concern Peralta had was where he hit the ball. He...continue reading

Shin-Soo Choo (OF, TEX) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~205 CURRENT ADP: 254 ANALYSIS: Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was a pleasant surprise to owners who took a chance on him in 2017. Rebounding from an injury shortened 2016, the 35-year old collected 22 home runs, 12 steals, and 96 runs on a triple-slash of .261/.357/.423. Choo is a model of consistency and continues to provide solid value across the board, and nothing in his profile suggests that this was a fluke recovery. He continues to make quality contact and draw walks at a high rate while keeping...continue reading

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~240 CURRENT ADP: 283 ANALYSIS: Los Angeles Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun hit just .244 with 19 home runs and 71 RBI last season, posting a career-worst .725 OPS. This also the first time in Calhoun's career that he was under the league average OPS, as he had an OPS+ of just 97 in 2017. Calhoun dipped down to 44 extra-base hits in 2017, down from a career-best 58 in 2016, and he had a slugging percentage under .400 for the first time in his career. He did steal a...continue reading

Cole Hamels (SP, TEX) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~200 CURRENT ADP: 234 ANALYSIS: Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels suffered his worst professional season in 2017. The left-hander gave up a 4.20 ERA with 3.22 BB/9 and a career-worst 6.39 K/9. Hamels looked nothing like the model of consistency that provided solid-to-great numbers across the board for the better part of the last decade. In fact, the numbers suggest he actually benefited from good luck in 2017, as his BABIP was just .251 and his FIP was nearly a half run higher at 4.62. Hamels gave up hard contact at...continue reading

Kendrys Morales (1B, TOR) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~215 CURRENT ADP: 297 ANALYSIS: Toronto Blue Jays first baseman  Kendrys Morales was expected to have a solid 2017 season after two stellar seasons with the Kansas City Royals. Morales, unfortunately, did not exactly deliver the goods for fantasy owners in his first season north of the border. While he did finish with 28 home runs and 85 RBI, his .250/.308/.445 slash line was not what owners paid for him in drafts last spring. At 34 years old, it is fair to believe his increased strikeout rate (21.7%) and decreased...continue reading

Tim Beckham (SS, BAL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~230 CURRENT ADP: 261 ANALYSIS: Baltimore Orioles infielder  Tim Beckham may have just needed a change of scenery, being traded from the Rays to the Orioles. He went from being seen as a bust of a high Draft pick to all but sealing J.J. Hardy's fate as an ex-Oriole in the span of months. Beckham nearly doubled his career highs in doubles and RBI in 2017, hitting .278 with 22 home runs and 62 RBI for the Orioles. The question is, will he continue to carry that...continue reading

Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF, BOS) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~210 CURRENT ADP: 278 ANALYSIS: Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is a defensive specialist. He has not demonstrated consistent offensive capability to be relevant in fantasy. His slash line since he has been in the big leagues is .239/.318/.407; all of these stats are below league averages in 2017. Bradley’s performance in 2016 gave us hope that he could provide at least some categorical support, however, his 2017 wiped out any thoughts of that. He had an average of .245 and an on-base plus slugging percentage of...continue reading

Max Kepler (OF, MIN) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~230 CURRENT ADP: 275 ANALYSIS: Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler was a popular late-round sleeper in 2017, but he unfortunately failed to break out the way many expected him to last season. Instead of improving, the left-hander posted statistics that were very similar to the numbers that he logged in his 2016 rookie season. After batting .235 with 17 homers, 52 runs, 63 RBI, and six steals in 447 plate appearances in 2016, Kepler went on to hit .243 with 19 homers, 67 runs, 69 RBI and six steals...continue reading

Jason Kipnis (2B/OF, CLE) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~185 CURRENT ADP: 259 ANALYSIS: Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis had a forgettable 2017, batting just .232/.291/.414 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI in 90 games. Kipnis' 2017 was riddled with injuries, limiting him to the fewest games played in a season in his career by a significant margin. He also bounced around from the infield to the outfield. At the beginning of this offseason, rumors swirled that Kipnis would be an option in left field if Michael Brantley (ankle) is not ready for Opening Day,...continue reading

Mark Trumbo (OF, BAL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~175 CURRENT ADP: 247 ANALYSIS: Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mark Trumbo did not have a very good 2017 season, posting a -0.6 WAR . He fell from hitting 47 homers in '16 to 23, and he only played in 13 fewer games. He only had 65 RBI last season, failing as a source of power for the Orioles. Trumbo is only 32, which means that he should have something left in the tank. He is a very one-dimensional player and, even with all his homers over the years, he has only...continue reading

Addison Russell (SS, CHC) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~205 CURRENT ADP: 255 ANALYSIS: Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is coming off a tough offensive season in 2017, but is a candidate for a bounce-back season. A foot injury and off the field issues seemed to have factored in Russell's offensive decline this past season. The shortstop hit a disappointing .239 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI, a big drop from his 95 RBI in 2016. Despite the regression, he is still just 23 years old and seemed to be on his way offensively after the 2016...continue reading

Jimmy Nelson (SP, MIL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~190 CURRENT ADP: 295 ANALYSIS: Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson had a wonderful 2017 season, but it was cut short in September due to a non-throwing injury, a slide back into first base. The injury, a torn labrum, was to his pitching arm, so it will delay his return in 2018 to mid-season. Nelson had 199 strikeouts in 179 innings with only 48 walks. Among starters with 150 innings, Nelson’s 10.21 K/9 ranked tenth overall and his 2.46 BB/9 ranked fifth. Nelson’s also had a drastic improvement in...continue reading

Dexter Fowler (OF, STL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~180 CURRENT ADP: 248 ANALYSIS: St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler is hoping for a better season this year than he had last year. 2017 was Fowler's first year with the Cardinals, and he slashed .264/.363/.488 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI, but he was only able to play in 118 games. Injuries were a bit of an issue for Fowler in 2017 as they have been for a lot of his career. Still, when on the field, he is usually an effective fantasy piece. According to manager...continue reading

Todd Frazier (1B/3B, NYM) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~180 CURRENT ADP: 282 ANALYSIS: New York Mets infielder Todd Frazier is coming off a .213/.344/.428 slash line and has moved across New York, from the Bronx to Queens. Owners would love to see more of the same career-best 2017 OBP, but are hoping for a better batting average after an unlucky .226 BABIP last year. If Frazier can gain positive regression on his batting average while maintaining his 14.4% walk rate, plus still hit close to 30 home runs, he will end up providing lot of value. He...continue reading

Eugenio Suarez (3B, CIN) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~165 CURRENT ADP: 189 ANALYSIS: Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez continued his three-year trend of showing marked improvement at the plate in 2017. The 26-year-old infielder finished the season with a .260/.367/.461 slash line to go along with 26 homers, 87 runs, and 86 RBI while appearing in 156 games for the Reds. Suarez showed an improved eye at the plate in 2017 as he raised his walk rate 5.2% from the 2016 season while cutting down on his strikeout rate by 1.4%. The improved plate discipline certainly helped...continue reading

Yuli Gurriel (1B, HOU) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~160 CURRENT ADP: 208 ANALYSIS: Houston Astros first basemen Yuli Gurriel really came into his own in his second year in the major leagues, hitting .299 with 18 home runs and 75 runs batted in. The 32-year old became an integral cog in last year's dangerous Houston lineup but can he take his game to the next level this season? That remains to be seen and some numbers support the possibility of a slight regression. Gurriel was money with runners in scoring position, hitting .315 with 57 runs batted...continue reading

Odubel Herrera (OF, PHI) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~155 CURRENT ADP: 211 ANALYSIS: Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera had a rollercoaster 2017 season with the Philadelphia Phillies. A strained hamstring injury resulted in just 138 games played this season, a career-low. He also went on to see a sharp decline in BB%, an increase in K% and a career-low .281 batting average. These factors were highly influenced by his early season woes, as he posted a .256/.292/.393 slash line prior to the All-Star break before bouncing back with a .323/.378/.551 effort afterwards. These changes from the first to...continue reading

Marcus Semien (SS, OAK) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~170 CURRENT ADP: 228 ANALYSIS: Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien after a semi breakout year in 2017. Semien has always been seen as a strong offensive shortstop with a glove that made you scratch your head. Luckily for fantasy, the glove does not really matter, unless it eats at your playing time. Back to his bat, in 2016 he had 27 home runs and 75 RBI in 159 games. In 85 games last season, Semien put up 10 homers and 40 RBI, so that shows at the very least that...continue reading

Jameson Taillon (SP, PIT) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~155 CURRENT ADP: 192 ANALYSIS: Last year was a roller coaster for Jameson Taillon on and off the field. On top of an up-and-down season on the mound (4.44 ERA), the Pirates right-hander missed over a month due to testicular cancer surgery. When healthy, the former top prospect went 8-7 with 125 strikeouts and 46 walks in 133 ⅔ innings. His peripheral numbers (3.48 FIP, 3.89 xFIP) were much more promising than his ERA, however. Notably, his strikeout rate rose a full percentage point (20.3% to 21.3%), and although...continue reading

Nicholas Castellanos (3B/OF, DET) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~80 CURRENT ADP: 103 ANALYSIS: The Detroit Tigers offense is aging and showed a significant drop-off from their 2016 season. In 2017, while most of the roster was struggling, Nicholas Castellanos was the lone bright spot as he continued to improve his offensive ability. Castellanos had a .272 average with 26 home runs and 101 runs batted in. The one thing that separated him from other hitters was his hard-hit rate (43.4%); he ranked fifth overall among players with at least 500 plate appearances. Castellanos also had 72 extra-base hits,...continue reading

Rich Hill (SP, LAD) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~95 CURRENT ADP: 123 ANALYSIS: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill has proven both that he can be a top pitcher and that he cannot make it through a full season, as he was grounded by blisters last season. In 2017, Hill finished 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, striking out 166 batters in 135 2/3 innings and allowing just 6.6 hits per nine. While 135 2/3 innings appear to be a low number for a top starting pitcher, this tally represented the second-highest...continue reading

Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~125 CURRENT ADP: 136 ANALYSIS: Chicago Cubs second baseman/outfielder Ian Happ will look to build off a strong rookie year. Happ was called up earlier than expected, but never looked back. If his minor league track record is any reference, Happ improved his batting average 20 points from his first year to his second year and it was up another 20 points in 26 games prior to his call-up. The youngster still has plenty of time to improve on his .253 batting average but hit 24 home runs with...continue reading

Brandon Belt (1B, SF) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~240 CURRENT ADP: 299 ANALYSIS: San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt missed the final two months of the 2017 season with a concussion, his fourth of his career, yet still remains a solid option in 2018. Belt was on his way to a nice season before landing on the disabled list, posting 18 home runs and 51 RBI in 104 games. Health will remain a concern for Belt, but he is eligible at first base and outfield and has 20 home run potential. With the addition of Evan...continue reading

Chris Davis (1B, BAL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~140 CURRENT ADP: 243 ANALYSIS: Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis does not have that poor of power numbers from 2017, he just did not play enough games in 2017. Had he played his usual 150+ games, he would have likely hit at least 30 or more homers. The fact that he only had 61 RBI is a bit more worrisome, but that's not entirely under his control. Still, fantasy owners have to remember that he had 38 homers in 2016 and 47 in '15, so his power is not gone....continue reading

Danny Duffy (SP, KC) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~135 CURRENT ADP: 175 ANALYSIS: Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy labored through 2017 as he dealt with injuries that eventually ended in minor elbow surgery in October. Duffy mixed a couple stellar months (2.81 ERA in April, 3.20 ERA with 31/4 K/BB ratio in July) in with a lot of mediocre months to finish with a 3.81 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 146 and 1/3 innings. Looking forward, many are hoping for a bounce back from Duffy that looks more like how he pitched in 2016 (3.51 ERA,...continue reading

Evan Longoria (3B, SF) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~125 CURRENT ADP: 198 ANALYSIS: After nearly a decade in the majors with the Rays, 32-year-old Evan Longoria was dealt to the Giants this offseason. The landing spot is not ideal for fantasy owners, as Longo will remain in a pitcher’s park, but he does have an improved lineup around him with the addition of Andrew McCutchen. Longoria is coming off of his worst season in the majors, posting just a 96 wRC+. This was mainly due to his 43.4% groundball rate, and a 10% decrease in...continue reading

Stephen Souza Jr. (OF, TB) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~135 CURRENT ADP: 185 ANALYSIS: Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr broke out and set several career-highs in 2017. The stat that grabs the attention of most fantasy owners is the 30 home runs he hit in 2017. He also set career-highs by a solid margin in runs scored, runs batted in and stolen bases. Souza Jr. does offer a downside in batting average (.239 last season and .247 in 2016) so if you draft him, you may need to shore up that category elsewhere. It is unclear...continue reading

Adam Duvall (OF, CIN) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~120 CURRENT ADP: 165 ANALYSIS: Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Duvall has emerged as one of the National League's better power hitters over the past two seasons. Duvall exploded on the scene with 33 homers in 2016 and followed that up with another 31 round-trippers this past year. The 29-year-old outfielder finished his 2017 campaign with a .249/.301/.480 slash line, 78 runs, 99 RBI, and five stolen bases. Duvall is an extreme fly ball hitter, as evidenced by his 47.3% fly ball rate over his career. That has helped to...continue reading

Adam Jones (OF, BAL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~105 CURRENT ADP: 143 ANALYSIS: Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones hit 32 homers in 2012 and 33 in '13, making fantasy owners think that Jones had turned the corner from tantalizing prospect to bonafide superstar. That has not been the case as he's put up decent numbers, mostly garnering high 20s in the homer department, but he has cracked 100 RBI only once in his career. Last year, he had a decent slash line of .285/26/72, but only stole two bases last season. He did have his highest batting average since...continue reading

Kyle Seager (3B, SEA) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~100 CURRENT ADP: 135 ANALYSIS: Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager will look to bounce back after an uneven 2017 campaign. Seager's numbers were certainly above average; 27 home runs and 88 runs batted in, but he hit a career-low .249. Seager is still a veteran hitter who now has six straight 20-plus home run seasons. He did an admirable job of driving in runs, slashing .287/.376/.517 with runners in scoring position, but Seager still has room to grow. Seager struggled in the first half of the season, hitting...continue reading

Matt Carpenter (1B, STL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~100 CURRENT ADP: 175 ANALYSIS: St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter will head into the 2018 season hoping to play injury-free. He had a decent 2017 season, slashing .241/.384/.451 with 23 home runs and 69 RBI. Carpenter has always been a better asset in OBP leagues, but had not been a liability in batting average leagues until last season. Even though Carpenter fared noticeably better in the first spot in the batting order last season, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has already said he is thinking about batting Carpenter third in...continue reading

Ryan Zimmermann (1B, WAS) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~90 CURRENT ADP: 128 ANALYSIS: Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman came back from the dead to deliver one of his best seasons in 2017. He went from a -1.3 WAR in 2016 to a 3.3 WAR in 2017. He delivered career highs in HR (36) and RBI (108), while scoring 90 runs. His ISO the last two season leapt from .152, when he was not hitting anything, to .269 where he seemingly mashed everything that came near him. The question will be, which Ryan Zimmerman is showing up...continue reading

Jake Lamb (3B, ARI) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~75 CURRENT ADP: 117 ANALYSIS: Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb has two major splits: lefty/righty and first half/second half split. He does well against right-handed pitchers, with a slash line of .282 average, .386 on-base percentage, and .552 slugging. However, he does poorly against left-handed pitchers, slashing .144/.269/.288. Additionally, Lamb’s career performance in the first half is a stark contrast to that of the second half. Similar to his splits from 2016, he had a .279 first half average and a .204 second half average in 2017. The...continue reading

DJ LeMahieu (2B, COL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~75 CURRENT ADP: 130 ANALYSIS: Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu had a very similar season in 2017 to the one he had in 2016. The only real difference is that he did not get to take home a shiny batting title trophy this time around. LeMahieu hit .310 with eight home runs, six stolen bases, and 95 runs scored in 2017, a slight but pretty insignificant drop across the board from his 2016. The expectation is that he will provide similar value next season as well, but the...continue reading

Gregory Polanco (OF, PIT) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~95 CURRENT ADP: 158 ANALYSIS: Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was supposed to see his breakout year in 2017, but he wound up being one of the bigger busts of the fantasy season. The Pirates right fielder battled a left hamstring strain all year, making three trips to the disabled list and appearing in only 108 games. It held him back when he played, too, as his hard contact rate (25.7%) fell by nearly 10 percent from 2016 (35.7%) and he only hit .251/.305/.391 with 11 home runs, 35...continue reading

Ryan Braun (OF, MIL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~70 CURRENT ADP: 107 ANALYSIS: Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was limited to 380 at-bats in 2017. During that time, he had 17 home runs and 12 stolen bases. At 34 years old, it is expected there will be some amount of decline in performance and potential playing time. Aside from batting average (.268), the rest of Braun's slash line, strikeout percentage, and walk percentage were relatively in line with recent years. He had a .336 on-base percentage, .487 slugging, and 17.9 K% to go with his 8.9 BB%....continue reading

Xander Bogaerts (SS, BOS) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~65 CURRENT ADP: 82 ANALYSIS: Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts has been a troubling fantasy shortstop to own. Annually, there is a concern whether he will provide power or stolen bases. In 2014, he provided power, but little speed and even lower batting average. In 2015, Bogaerts provided more speed and much higher batting average, but the power suffered. In 2016, he provided career best home runs (21) and some stolen bases (13) at the expense of his batting average (.294). Going into 2017, there was an expectation...continue reading

Justin Turner (3B, LAD) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~55 CURRENT ADP: 79 ANALYSIS: Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Justin Turner does not have the power that the top 3B options in fantasy do. What he offers is sharp plate discipline and hits for days. Turner is the poster boy for the fly-ball revolution. A late-blooming hitter who didn’t find his stride until he increased his launch angle and started making contact in front of the plate, he posted a crazy .415 OBP in 2017 and walked more times (59) than he struck out (56). His low HR...continue reading

Khris Davis (OF, OAK) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~55 CURRENT ADP: 69 ANALYSIS: Oakland Athletics outfielder Khris Davis continued his success that made him one of the majors’ premier sluggers during his first season in Oakland in 2016. 2017 was almost a carbon copy of what 2016 with the exception of the fact Davis almost doubled his walk total which saw a 30-point rise in his on-base percentage. Entering his 3rd season in the bay area, at 30 years old you know what you’re getting with a player like Khris Davis. If he is in the lineup for...continue reading

AJ Pollock (OF, ARI) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~50 CURRENT ADP: 62 ANALYSIS: Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock's career has been riddled with injuries thus far and 2017 was no different. Prior to a groin strain on May 15, Pollock was productive, totaling 26 runs, two home runs, and 11 stolen bases in 37 games. He also had a .299 average. Pollock’s statistical second half of the season was not as promising; he hit 11 home runs, stole seven bases, and had a .251 average. However, the underlying skills continue to represent a quality fantasy player....continue reading

Zack Cozart (SS/3B, LAA) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~135 CURRENT ADP: 188 ANALYSIS: Zack Cozart made himself a rich man thanks to a 2017 campaign in which he posted 24 HR, 80 runs, a .297 average, and .385 OBP while striking out on just 15.4% of his at-bats. After producing the 17th-best wRC+ in all of baseball, the infielder signed a three-year, $38 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Cozart’s 2017 breakout may seem like it came out of nowhere, but the veteran had exhibited elite-level skills for years. While he was better known...continue reading

Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~136 CURRENT ADP: 159 ANALYSIS: Nomar Mazara was drafted in 2017 with sky-high expectations after a surprisingly effective 2016 season. Unfortunately, the 22-year old largely disappointed, producing a .253/.323.422 triple slash and 20 HR with just 64 runs scored. Mazara’s sophomore season was marred by an inconsistent approach at the plate, sometimes pressing and trying to make something out of nothing, thereby reducing his contact rate to 75.7% from 80.7% in 2016. To top it off, the outfielder posted a .228/.276/.380 line over the last month of the...continue reading

Lance McCullers Jr. (SP, HOU) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~125 CURRENT ADP:  152 ANALYSIS: Lance McCullers is more valuable in rotisserie leagues than H2H leagues because he has never thrown more than 125.2 innings in a single season at the major league level. That fact alone may have you wondering why I pegged him as a sleeper. The reason is that when healthy, McCullers is a top-15 pitcher with a chance at more. McCullers did not have enough innings to qualify for the ERA title last season (118.2 IP), but among pitchers with at least 110 IP, his 3.10 FIP...continue reading

Justin Smoak (1B, TOR) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~84 CURRENT ADP: 145 ANALYSIS: Justin Smoak broke out in a big way in 2017 with 38 HR, 90 RBI, a 20.1% K% on a triple slash of .270/.355/.529. The former top prospect made major changes to his approach, appearing more confident and comfortable. He made more overall contact than he had in years at 79.2% while swinging at far fewer pitches out of the zone. Smoak had an O-Swing% of 25.8%, a drop of more than 4% from 2016. The new approach allowed Smoak to finally tap into...continue reading

Nelson Cruz (OF, SEA) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~35 CURRENT ADP: 54 ANALYSIS: Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz produced another elite season in 2017, slashing .288/.375/.549 with 28 doubles, 39 home runs, 91 runs scored and 119 runs batted in. Seattle's offense sputtered most of the season, but that did not effect the veteran run producer. Cruz now has five seasons of 30 home runs or more and four seasons of more than 90 runs batted in. The 38-year old seems to continue to improve in the latter stages of his career and hit .340 with...continue reading

Daniel Murphy (2B, WSH) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~40 CURRENT ADP: 67 ANALYSIS: Despite a litany of aches and injuries, Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy played in two more games this past season than in 2016 and came to the plate 11 more times. He posted slightly lower numbers in every category but runs (94 in 2017 vs. 83 in 2016), but remained steady as the team’s number three hitter for most of the season. He hit 23 HR (two fewer than in 2016) and 93 RBI (vs. 104 in 2016). His aching legs were only...continue reading

Edwin Encarnacion (1B, CLE) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~35 CURRENT ADP: 55 ANALYSIS: Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion may no longer be the ~4 fWAR player he was in the past and as recently as 2016, but he should still be a solid source of home runs and RBI in 2018. Encarnacion finished the 2017 season with a .258/.377/.504 line, including 38 home runs and 107 RBI in 157 games played. These were the lowest home run and RBI totals for Encarnacion since the 2014 season when he only played in 128 games. Still, they were solid...continue reading

Sonny Gray (SP, NYY) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~115 CURRENT ADP: 139 ANALYSIS: After being traded from the Oakland Athletics last season, former Cy Young finalist Sonny Gray arrived with the New York Yankees and returned to the postseason. After a solid August with the Yankees, Gray struggled in September and in the postseason. One very important factor to consider, however, was how much the 28-year-old lacked run support, ranking eighth lowest in the American League in the category. He was still very susceptible to home runs, surrendering 11 over 11 starts. That especially does not bode...continue reading

Alex Avila (C, ARI) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~350 CURRENT ADP: 398 ANALYSIS: Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila was great last year with a .264/.387/.447 line and 14 bombs in 376 PA. Avila has two elite skills (plate discipline and contact quality) and is a disaster everywhere else. OBP and power are more than most fantasy catchers bring to the table though. Moving to Chase Field could potentially help Avila's power numbers. Both Comerica Park (98 HR factor) and Wrigley Field (97) suppressed left-handed power slightly in 2017, while the ball flew out in Phoenix (110). However,...continue reading

Raimel Tapia (OF, COL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~330 CURRENT ADP:  396 ANALYSIS: Raimel Tapia hasn't gotten the Coors Field bump in terms of ADP, as he is basically free on draft day at his current price. Tapia consistently hit well over .300 in each minor league stop and finished with a .288 average in 160 at-bats for the Rockies last year. He has 20-steal ability, although the Rockies are among the least exciting teams on the basepaths with just 59 stolen bases, good for 26th in the league. Given a full complement of...continue reading

Dinelson Lamet (SP, SD) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~170 CURRENT ADP:  211 ANALYSIS: The San Diego Padres pitching staff was one that could be largely ignored and/or avoided in 2017, but that all changed when Dinelson Lamet was recalled from Triple-A El Paso in May. Lamet was solid initially, but proceeded to give up seven earned runs in consecutive starts. It didn't take long for him to make the right adjustments, however. Lamet made a point to keep the ball in the zone more and managed to cut his walk rate down while still...continue reading

Marcell Ozuna (OF, STL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~35 CURRENT ADP: 46 ANALYSIS: St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna will look to follow up his excellent 2017 with an even better 2018, this time on a new team. Ozuna was acquired from the Miami Marlins this offseason and is coming off a .312/.376/.548 campaign with 37 home runs and 124 RBI. He will immediately slot into a better team and has a chance to improve on his already great 2017 numbers, There are some experts who believe 2017 was somewhat of a fluke year that Ozuna will not...continue reading

German Marquez (SP, COL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~315 CURRENT ADP: 334 ANALYSIS: Colorado Rockies starting German Marquez looked pretty amazing for a 22-year-old rookie who had to pitch in Coors for half of his games. That does not mean his overall numbers are very good, but that’s quite a rough hand to be dealt at the ripe old age of 22. Marquez finished with a 4.39 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and strikeout rate of 8.17. For real life and in Colorado, those are fine numbers that will guarantee him a spot in the rotation moving forward. For...continue reading

Robert Stephenson (SP, CIN) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~425 CURRENT ADP: 456 ANALYSIS:It was just two years ago that Cincinnati Reds right-hander Robert Stephenson was regarded as one of the team's top pitching prospects. Unfortunately for him, he did not come as advertised in the 2016 season, struggling with his control and accuracy in his eight big league starts. The right-hander got a longer look in 2017, pitching in 25 games for the Reds (11 starts and 14 relief appearances). He wound up with a 5-6 record, 4.68 ERA, 86 strikeouts, and 53 walks in 84 2/3 innings...continue reading

Nick Senzel (3B, CIN) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~340 CURRENT ADP: 384 ANALYSIS: Cincinnati Reds third baseman Nick Senzel will attend his first big league Spring Training when his team opens camp in February. Senzel is the Reds' No. 1 ranked prospect and is the No. 2 third base prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. While Senzel is a third baseman by trade, the Reds also plan to get him time at second base, shortstop, and the outfield this spring. Senzel played a combined 119 games between Single-A and Double-A in 2017, combining for a...continue reading

Delino Deshields (OF, TEX) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~200 CURRENT ADP: 219 ANALYSIS: Texas Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields enters 2018 as an intriguing sleeper. Hype on the speedster reached a fever pitch in 2016, but offensive ineptitude forced the Rangers to demote him. However, he rebounded in 2017 and the diminutive DeShields was one of the best part-time players in the bigs, collecting 29 steals and 75 runs on just 440 at-bats. DeShields will bring nothing to the table in terms of power, but you do not have to hit homers when you can draw walks at a 10%...continue reading

Robinson Cano (2B, SEA) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~50 CURRENT ADP: 79 ANALYSIS: Seattle Mariners second basemen Robinson Cano suffered a power outage in the second half of the 2017 season, but still managed to hit .280 with 23 home runs and 97 runs batted in. Most infielders would sign up for those numbers any day of the week, but 2017 could be considered a down year for a player of Cano's caliber. Cano dealt with nagging lower leg injuries during the latter stages of the season including a quadricep injury that may have affected his power at the...continue reading

Yoenis Cespedes (OF, NYM) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~65 CURRENT ADP: 90 ANALYSIS: New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes did not have the 2017 many people expected. However, this was mainly due to nagging injuries, rather than flat-out underperformance. Before a hamstring injury derailed his season, Cespedes was crushing it with a 1.020 OPS, with stats that would have prorated to a .300 batting average, .366 OBP, 35 home runs and 90 RBI – which aligns nicely with what his performance was in 2016. If he can stay healthy in 2018, we very well might see more...continue reading

Steven Matz (SP, NYM) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~300 CURRENT ADP: 349 ANALYSIS: Steven Matz is trying to bounce back from the disaster that was 2017. Dealing with an elbow injury that led to surgery, Matz was 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA in 13 starts for the Mets, posting a 1.53 WHIP and 2.53 K:BB ratio. That being said, Matz was 13-8 with a 3.16 ERA in his first two seasons (168 innings pitched) and his 8.7 strikeouts per nine make him a very interesting play for his strikeout potential as well. The Mets are looking to improve on the...continue reading

Carlos Rodon (SP, CWS) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~300 CURRENT ADP: 365 ANALYSIS: The deeper you get in the draft, the more you want a lottery ticket that will cash in; Carlos Rodon might be just the guy to win you a fantasy championship with his strikeout potential. If you are looking to buy for strikeouts late in the draft, Rodon (383 strikeouts in 373 2/3 career MLB innings) may be your guy. Much like other young strikeout pitchers, though, Rodon has walk issues (3.8 walks per nine in his career) and his WHIP has struggled as well because...continue reading

David Dahl (OF, COL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~210 CURRENT ADP: 241 ANALYSIS:David Dahl had the very definition of a lost season in 2017, as a rib cage injury that should have been a two week injury sapped his entire 2017 season. After looking like a future All-Star in 2016, where he hit .315 with seven home runs and five stolen bases in just 222 at-bats in 2016, Dahl will look to regain that form in 2018. Unfortunately, those numbers were partially buoyed by a .404 BABIP, so hold back a little before crowning him as...continue reading

Alex Reyes (SP/RP, STL) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~210 CURRENT ADP: 255 ANALYSIS: Alex Reyes missed the 2017 season after Tommy John surgery, but may have broken camp as a starter with the Cardinals last season and is set for a big 2018 season with St. Louis. Before going down with injury last season, Reyes was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 46 innings for the Cardinals in 2016, making five starts and striking out 52 batters. When you combine those numbers with the fact that he struck out 449 batters in 334 1/3 minor league innings,...continue reading

Jesse Winker (OF, CIN) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~275 or end of your draft CURRENT ADP:  324 ANALYSIS: It’s hard to find a better sleeper candidate than Winker heading into the 2018 season. The Reds outfielder has fallen on the MLB Pipeline top 100 prospects list over each of the past three seasons. He opens the 2018 season as the #82 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, his lowest rank since entering the list in 2015. The reason for this is not exactly clear, especially when looking at how Winker has performed during his time in the...continue reading

Yoan Moncada (2B, CHW) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~105 CURRENT ADP:  134 ANALYSIS: The White Sox are not supposed to contend in 2018, which, in a lot of ways, is a good thing for Moncada. For one, it means that he will have a longer leash at 2B. Not that it matters, anyway, because Moncada was killing it at the end of 2017. The 22-year-old Cuban was recalled by the White Sox after the team’s trade of Todd Frazier. He struggled out of the gate, posting a .188/.328/.356 triple-slash with 3 HR and more caught...continue reading

Adam Eaton (OF, WSH) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~115 CURRENT ADP:  155 ANALYSIS: Eaton was on pace for career-highs in a handful of categories in 2018 prior to sustaining a season-ending knee injury that resulted in a torn ACL and meniscus. The left-fielder was triple-slashing .297/.393/.462 (career-highs in OBP and SLG), with a 13.1% walk rate and 16.8% strikeout rate, and had three SB and two HR. This was all in the month of April. Prior to getting injured, Eaton sported the 17th-highest wRC+ among OFs. Basically, Eaton was a monster before getting hurt. According to all reports,...continue reading

Blake Snell (SP, TB) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~190 CURRENT ADP: 218 By just glancing at his overall 2017 numbers, you probably wouldn’t be interested in drafting Snell this year. From 2016 to 2017, Snell’s ERA jumped from 3.54 to 4.04, while his K% dropped from 24.4% to 21.8%. While these numbers look bad, if we use the second half as our arbitrary time frame, Snell posted a 3.49 ERA through 77 1/3 innings with a 23.7% K-rate and an 8.0% walk-rate. To be fair, the second half endpoint isn’t actually meaningless, as it’s around this time that...continue reading

Curtis Granderson (OF, TOR) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~455 CURRENT ADP: 547 ANALYSIS: Curtis Granderson had a .212 batting average last season, which was low enough to sink your average category last year, but his .323 OBP and 26 long balls still provided some value. It would be hard to expect another BABIP as low as Granderson's .228  last year, but nothing close to a full rebound to his career .292 should be expected. Granderson penciled into the leadoff slot, a role Granderson may be well suited for given his 13.5% BB% and 21.6% chase rate. He also posted a...continue reading

Brad Hand (RP, SD) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~105 CURRENT ADP: 119 ANALYSIS: Brad Hand followed up a strong 2016 with a fantastic 2017 campaign in which he posted a 2.16 ERA (2.90 xFIP) with 21 saves and a 33.4% K% over 79 1/3 IP. His innings total is likely to go down with a full season in the closer's role, but the accompanying spike in saves will be more than worth it in fantasy. Hand also benefits from Petco Park as long as he remains a Padre. It limits singles for all batters (98 Park factor) while suppressing home runs...continue reading

Freddy Galvis (SS, SD) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~345 CURRENT ADP: 353 ANALYSIS: Freddy Galvis was boring roster glue at best last season, slashing .255/.309/.382 with 12 HR and 14 SB (five CS). The 28-year old is probably younger than you think he is, and the pedestrian numbers above mask the best plate discipline metrics of the shortstop's career (6.8% BB%, 16.7% K%). His 33.1% chase rate represented a career best (37.7% career), and his 7.6% SwStr% was Galvis's lowest since his rookie year in 2012. His average exit velocity on ground balls is not  impressive (80.3 mph), but should be...continue reading

Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Draft Values

BALLER MOVE: Target ~275 CURRENT ADP: 406 ANALYSIS: Mitch Moreland had a 2017 line (.246/.326/.443 with 22 HR) that was far from impressive for a 1B, but it masks a lot of positive indicators in the 32-year old's profile. For instance, he bested his career BB% (9.9% vs. 8%) while simultaneously holding his career K% (20.8% to 21.2%)--a great indicator of improved zone judgement. Moreland is projected as Boston's cleanup hitter, a role he occupied at times last season. It offers the potential to produce enough counting stats to justify his draft...continue reading

 



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