Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers for 2020

Sep 30, 2019
Nate Lowe

Nate Lowe’s final numbers don’t show his true power potential

The regular season has ended and we’ve played through lots of ups-and-downs throughout the year. Two of the top players in baseball finished their campaigns early with injuries (Mike Trout & Christian Yelich) and there were nearly two no-hitters in the final week with Jack Flaherty and Zack Greinke. These singular events, especially for roto leagues, could have easily changed the results of your final standings.

You know what else could have changed your year? Drafting the 53 home run-hitting Pete Alonso, grabbing Lance Lynn who finished seventh overall in strikeouts, or snagging Eduardo Escobar who just casually hit for average while providing 35 home runs and 118 RBIs. The goal, as is it is with every season, is to find those sleepers that can produce like top-round picks who help carry you to a championship. Our featured experts below are naming which hitters and starting pitchers could be those guys in 2020.

Q1. With the fantasy season over, which hitter do you expect to be the biggest sleeper in 2020?

Nate Lowe (1B – TB)
“Lowe had a disappointing season overall, but he’ll be a major sleeper with a ton of potential. He has tremendous power, but casual fantasy owners will see the 23 home runs between the majors and the minors and not give him a second thought. But he had a .929 OPS in the minors this year with a .421 OBP, fed by a 17.7% walk-rate. If he can channel more of that into the majors next year, and there’s plenty of reasons to think he will, then he’ll make a major impact in fantasy circles.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Willie Calhoun (OF – TEX)
“Calhoun is going to go overlooked because he ended up with just about 300 at-bats so his counting numbers look sub-optimal and because he never had one dominant stretch that demanded everyone’s attention. He did swat 20 homers with 44 RBIs and 47 runs in just 79 games, though, which would have put him north of Alex Bregman’s numbers if extended to a full season. Granted, Calhoun can’t be expected to keep that pace up and his batting average will be closer to .270 than the .296 mark Bregman holds, but I’d wager you’d be thrilled to get Josh Bell‘s production in the 15th round next season.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

J.D. Davis (1B/3B – NYM)
“As of the 2019 campaign’s final day, J.D. Davis hit .307/.369/.527 with 22 homers in 453 plate appearances. His .386 expected wOBA is higher than the likes of Alex Bregman, Josh Bell, and Pete Alonso. Because of defensive concerns and the Mets being the Mets, inconsistent playing time left him on the waiver wire for far too long. It appears likely that the discount could transfer into 2020. In six early mock drafts run by Justin Mason, Davis had an overall ADP of 200. That price will likely rise if the Mets don’t retain Todd Frazier, but it’d need to spike considerably to not love the second-best J.D. abandoned by the Astros as a mid-draft find.”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

Garrett Hampson (2B/SS – COL)
“Hampson finished the season strong, slashing .371/.435/.677 with five home runs, seven RBIs, 16 runs scored, seven stolen bases, and a 1.102 OPS in September. He was pegged as a breakout candidate going into the season, but struggled and was eventually demoted to the minors. Hampson showed in September why he was highly touted as a breakout last offseason. He has five-category potential if the Rockies play him every day. The one obstacle for Hampson is the Rockies themselves, who seem to find ways not to give their top prospects a chance (signing of Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy, etc.). Hampson left a strong impression for everyday playing time. If he gets it, you’re looking at a potential five-tool hitter in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft.”
Brad Camara (FantasyPros)

Jo Adell (OF – LAA)
“There is no player that intrigues me more than Jo Adell of the Los Angeles Angels. Los Angeles messed around and played the service time game with him in 2019, keeping one of their best talents in the minors even when they were playing .500 baseball and needed more offensive firepower. Arguably the best fantasy prospect left in the minors, Adell has Ronald Acuna Jr. level upside. Adell has seen his stock drop on many prospects lists as he was injured for part of 2019 and failed to show off his five-category tools once he was promoted to Triple-A. Barring an extension prior to the season, Adell will likely begin the season in the minors before being called up in late May. He is still developing and may not eclipse 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases in his rookie season, but at his ADP, he is going to be one of the steals of 2020 redraft leagues. Highlight him on your cheat sheets for the upcoming season.”
Raju Byfield (FantasyPros)

Q2. Which starting pitcher do you expect to be the biggest sleeper in 2020?

Mike Foltynewicz (ATL)
“I expected major regression from Mike Foltynewicz coming into this season, but his preseason injury took him entirely off track and essentially led to a lost year. But if you look at his splits, you’ll see in the second half an increase in strikeout rate, a drop in walk rate, a sharp drop in home runs per nine innings, a 1.08 WHIP, and a 2.65 ERA. As he regained command and feel for his slider, he looked very close to the 2018 breakout version of himself, and he’s much more likely to be closer to that version than the abysmal pitcher we saw in the early going. Unless Foltynewicz has a big spring that inflates his draft price, he should be a sleeper who you can get late in drafts and who should vastly perform his price.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Dinelson Lamet (SD)
“The majority of fantasy coaches do surface-level analysis so they’ll look at Dinelson Lamet’s 4.07 ERA in 73 innings as a 26-year-old and assume he is borderline undraftable. It is important to realize, however, that he was coming off Tommy John and got off to a bad start in his return. Since the start of August, he carries a 3.15 xFIP which is good for top 10 in baseball ahead of Jack Flaherty and Mike Clevinger, who have simply been amazing. Lamet has 75 Ks in 50 innings during that time which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing that he had one of the best rookie K-rates in MLB history. He will be a favorite among analysts next Spring just like Charlie Morton and Shane Bieber were this year and Trevor Bauer/Blake Snell the year before.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Sandy Alcantara (MIA)
“By the time spring rolls around, Sandy Alcantara may very well become a popular sleeper who ceases to qualify as an actual bargain. Perhaps a mediocre 4.55 FIP and 18.0% strikeout rate will keep competitors away, particularly those who shifted their focus to football weeks ago. Since the start of August, the Marlins righty has registered a 2.78 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 74.1 innings. Running contrary to a growing common convention, he has flourished by throwing more sinkers over the final two months. And yet he still made some progress in the K department, a development many waited a while to see given his sharp stuff and 11.0% swinging-strike rate. It doesn’t show in his putrid peripherals, but Alcantara has plenty of potential to unlock.”
– Andrew Gould (FantasyPros)

Jesus Luzardo (OAK)
“Luzardo has pitched extremely well out of the bullpen since being called up to the majors in September. He recorded two saves and sported a 1.59 ERA and 0.67 WHIP with a 16:3 K:BB. Luzardo also pitched well in the minors. In seven starts for Triple-A Vegas, he recorded a 3.19 ERA and struck out 26 percent of opposing hitters. A lat injury slowed his progress earlier in the year, but Luzardo has all the tools to become a future ace. If the Athletics commit to Luzardo as a starter in 2020, he could be a late-round bargain in fantasy drafts in all league types.”
Brad Camara (FantasyPros)

Michael Kopech (CWS)
“While he is not considered a sleeper in dynasty circles, Michael Kopech is my top pitching sleeper for 2019 redraft leagues. He looked fantastic through his first three starts but saw two of three cut short due to rain delays. His fourth start did not go as well. He struck out six in just 3.1 innings of work but was pounded in the fourth after the rain delay. As a result, his 5.06 ERA and 1.35 WHIP may make him fly a little under the radar for the 2020 season. It was later revealed that he hurt his arm during the fourth inning and would miss the entire 2019 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Kopech has taken the surgery in stride and has even gone as far as to proclaim that Tommy John is the best thing to ever happen to him. We can expect a pitcher with some of the absolute best stuff in baseball, especially for a starting pitcher, to be more cerebral, in turn boosting his seemingly limitless upside. Kopech is someone I will be targeting in all my leagues.”
Raju Byfield (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their top sleeper candidates for next season. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great information.

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