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Outfield Sleepers for 2022 Fantasy Baseball Drafts - NL Editions

dominic smith fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers MLB injury news

The outfield is always one of the more interesting positions when it comes to fantasy baseball. The chances of hitting on the middle to late-round sleepers are definitely much higher with the depth at the position.

Heading into the regular season, there are definitely some interesting names to keep an eye on. Here are five of the outfield sleepers to watch from the National League in fantasy drafts or early on in waivers this season.

You can read about all the top early waiver wire pickups for both hitters and pitchers here on RotoBaller!

 

David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta has been one of the more impressive performers during spring training. The veteran revamped his swing during the offseason in hopes of adding some power to his game, and so far he’s seen some really nice results.

Over 10 spring games, Peralta has hit three doubles and four home runs while posting a .889 slugging percentage and 1.326 OPS, which ranks eighth in all of baseball. This comes after a season in which Peralta hit just eight home runs over 150 games.

The 34-year-old has had his fair share of battles with the injury bug, but he could have some intriguing value late in drafts. He figures to see everyday playing time with the Diamondbacks, and if his revamped swing sticks, he could see a bounce back in the power department.

While Peralta isn’t a star by any means, he’s certainly a sleeper to consider either in the later rounds of drafts or on waivers.

 

Tommy Pham, Cincinnati Reds

Pham has always been one of the more underrated fantasy assets when it comes to the outfield. The 2021 season was definitely a bit of a struggle for him, though he did end up with 15 home runs and 14 stolen bases.

This offseason, Pham signed with the Reds and he should find plenty of playing time with them tearing things down over there. With his on-base abilities, Pham should hit leadoff or hit at least near the top of the order.

Even in a bit of a down year last year, he posted a .340 OBP and finished in the 95th or better percentile in both walk rate and chase rate. Additionally, he posted the highest flyball percentage of his career.

If Pham can carry that over to the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ballpark, he could see a bit of a boost in the power department. Even at 34-years-old, Pham has the potential and opportunity to produce another 20 homer, 20 stolen base campaign.

 

Dominic Smith, New York Mets

As a Mets fan, I have to say the offense as a whole has been pretty impressive during spring training play. The lineup has been hitting from top to bottom, but one of the biggest standouts has been the performance of Dom Smith.

Smith is coming off a 2021 season to forget. After breaking out during the pandemic campaign, he posted a .667 OPS, 20 doubles, and 11 home runs this past season. Additionally, his exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, and barrel percentage all saw a drastic decrease.

As revealed earlier this offseason, it turns out Smith was playing through a partially torn labrum which through his swing for a loop. He told Sports Illustrated he was healthy and ready to roll this season.

Smith certainly showed that throughout spring training. Right out of the gate, he hit a pair of home runs off of Max Scherzer in the Mets’ intrasquad game. Since then, he’s hit three doubles, a homer, and posted a 1.291 OPS over 11 games.

While the path to playing time may be a bit tricky in the big apple, these things always work themselves out. If Smith’s bat continues to jump back into form, he could be in line for a big-time bounce-back season at the plate.

 

Jesus Sanchez, Miami Marlins

The Marlins' young slugger was absolutely tearing up Triple-A pitching when he received his second call-up to the big league level. Sanchez continued his success by putting together a strong performance in the second half of the season.

Over 40 games following the break, he hit 11 of his 14 home runs while posting a 111 OPS+ and .857 OPS. While his power was on full display, as evidenced by his 113.9 MPH max exit velocity and 12.7% barrel percentage, Sanchez also showed some flaws.

Sanchez hit just .251 and struck out 78 times over a total of 64 games on the season. He posted a 31.8% strikeout rate, 8% walk rate, and 31.5% chase rate. He also whiffed at 43.8% of the breaking balls thrown to him, so there is certainly work for the youngster to do.

While he has his flaws, Sanchez definitely did enough to solidify himself as an everyday bat for the Marlins this season. While the rest of the lineup doesn't appear all too threatening, there could be some upside. Hitting in the middle of the order every day, Sanchez could have a really big season.

The power will be there, there’s no denying that. The question is if he can cut down on the strikeouts and hit for a bit of a higher average. Sanchez was just scratching the surface last year, and with his pop, he could provide tremendous value this season.

 

Hunter Renfroe, Milwaukee Brewers 

The Red Sox signed Renfroe to a one-year deal last offseason and he ended up being one of the steals of the winter.

The slugger put together a 31-homer, 33-double, and 96-RBI campaign in his first year at Fenway. He also cut down on his strikeout percentage and increased his barrel rate, hard-hit percentage, and exit velocity for the second consecutive season.

Renfroe’s stay in the American League East didn’t last too long, as he was shipped off to the Brewers in exchange for Jackie Bradley Jr. prior to the lockout. This move may prove to be another good one for Renfroe.

Renfroe figures to serve as the premier right-handed middle-of-the-order power bat in the Brew Crew lineup now that Avisail Garcia signed with the Miami Marlins. Even in a crowded outfield, he’ll be out there every day.

If Renfroe played all his games in Milwaukee last season, he would’ve added four more home runs to his already impressive total. There’s no reason to believe Renfroe won’t be able to finish up in the 25-30 homer range for the fifth time in his career.



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