Late-Round Fantasy Baseball Options From All 30 Teams (2020)
The end game is where this writer likes to take risks in his fantasy baseball drafts. The rewards can be great.
Some teams (the Astros come to mind) have viable fantasy options at almost every offensive position. But others have a weaker spot or two in their lineup that are worth considering as late-game fantasy targets. I’ve included a handful of potential mid-round fantasy options, but the majority of players listed will be available at the back end of a standard draft.
(One tip to remember: Every major league player can hit a fastball. It is how they do with breaking balls that determine their playing time and at-bats in today’s game. Great defense only goes so far. Teams hunt offense. And these guys should get at-bats.)
So have fun with your last pick or two. The late pick guy might just win you a championship. (ADP using our consensus average draft position.)
Austin Hays (OF – BAL) ADP: 269
Coming off a sprained thumb and hamstring injuries in his past, if he can stay healthy, Hays should see plenty of time in the outfield at hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Still only 24, Hays has a solid hit tool that could deliver batting average, power, and some stolen bases.
Michael Chavis (1B, 2B, 3B – BOS) ADP: 243
Chavis is intriguing because he reminds this writer of a young Jeff Bagwell when Bagwell first came to the Red Sox. Solidly built and only 24, Chavis will get his chances at the plate. A former first-round pick, he should provide some home runs and RBIs in fantasy.
Nomar Mazara (OF – CWS) ADP: 230
Virtually every White Sox player is a viable fantasy option. Mazara is an underachiever with a new lease on his baseball life. He should offer numbers across categories, but he is far from a player to chase in early rounds.
Cesar Hernandez (2B – CLE) ADP: 275
Every day at-bats mean something in fantasy. He has sneaky speed that could bring stolen bases. Better than his ADP reflects, Hernandez could be a steal late in the draft on a club with solid hitting in the lineup. Other 2B will come off your board before Hernandez. You can wait.
Niko Goodrum (1B, 2B, SS, OF – DET) ADP: 309
A Swiss Army Knife, Goodrum will give you position availability all over the diamond. He hits in spurts, but those spurts can be loud. He will surprise with some stolen bases and he’ll put the ball in play. Look for him to get opportunities at shortstop early in spring training.
Kyle Tucker (OF – HOU) ADP: 152
Will the Astros ever give this guy a chance? Finding at-bats could be an issue for Tucker in a crowded Astros outfield. He can hit, but he has had only 72 plate appearances in each of his two big-league trials. He has sneaky power and speed to help your roster.
Hunter Dozier (3B – KC) ADP: 184
Dozier is in the quarter-inch club among third basemen in fantasy. He quietly hit 26 home runs and drove in 64 runs on a bad Royals club. He hit 10 triples last year as well. Dozier can help you and he’ll be forgotten in the draft at a deep position with plenty of other options.
David Fletcher (2B, 3B, SS, OF – LAA) ADP: 348
Fletcher will deliver position flexibility and is a good guy to have available on your bench as a fill-in where needed. He likely will serve as the utility go-to guy, but he had 633 plate appearances last year. We don’t know yet how Maddon will use him in Los Angeles.
Marwin Gonzalez (1B, 3B, SS, OF – MIN) ADP: 368
Older and more experienced than Fletcher, Gonzalez saw fewer plate appearances last year with the loaded Twins, but he still is a valuable piece for your bench. A switch-hitter, he’ll fill-in everywhere and he has some power from both sides of the plate.
Clint Frazier (OF – NYY) ADP: 418
He’s on the short side of the platoon, but Frazier has eye-popping power in his incredibly strong hands and forearms. He’ll deliver his share of home runs and may even persuade the Yankees to give him more at-bats. He’s a sleeper for this old scout.
Sheldon Neuse (2B,3B – OAK) ADP: 530
You may want to wait and pick him off the waiver wire, but Neuse just may win the 2B job in Oakland. He can hit. Not much power, but he’s a scrappy player with offensive upside. He’s playing on a good club, so watch what happens with 2B during spring training.
Evan White (1B – SEA) ADP: 386
Simply put, the Mariners brass loves Evan White. He will play and get at-bats, and that’s what we want in fantasy. He’s a good hitter, but he isn’t great. He’s solid, but he doesn’t have much power. He’ll be a bit of a sleeper and will be waiting for you late in the draft.
Coming off a fractured wrist, Wendle has always been able to hit – until last year. He has likely lost his starting role, but he could regain favor with a hot spring. Wendle will be counted upon by the Rays to patch infield holes when needed, and chances are he’ll come through.
Greg Bird (1B – TEX) ADP: 759
Risk/reward player. The risk that he doesn’t make the club is great. The reward is even greater if he does. There is no denying his power. We don’t know how the new Texas park will play, but Bird can hit towering homers. Better for you to have him than a league-mate. Watch spring training to see if he is viable.
Teoscar Hernandez (OF – TOR) ADP: 359
He’ll drive you nuts like he drives the Blue Jays nuts. He has power but he is very inconsistent. He hit 26 homers last year, but when he cools off, they sit him. So will you, probably. But in the end game, Hernandez may be waiting as a solid option but with big strikeout totals.
Jake Lamb (1B, 3B – ARI) ADP: 475
The good news is that Lamb crushes right-handed pitching. He will be on the long side of the platoon at both corners. He has likely lost his starting role forever with the Dbacks, but when he does get to the plate, he can make some noise. He’s worth a flyer.
Dansby Swanson (SS – ATL) ADP: 279
Swanson has never performed like a former first overall MLB Draft pick. We still wait for his bat to awaken, but he did improve last year. He won’t be among the top 30 shortstops taken, so he may be waiting for you near the end of the draft. You can do worse.
David Bote (2B, 3B – CHC) ADP: 483
This is a hunch play for this old scout. Something inside me says that Bote will play. He’ll get his at-bats. He only went to the plate 356 times last year, but with a new manager and a lineup that isn’t robust, Bote’s enthusiastic play fits. Not a great option, but could be worth a late-game flier.
Jesse Winker (OF – CIN) ADP: 344
The Reds are loaded with quality outfielders and Winker is just one among many. But he can get on base, hit for average and score some runs. He could be the forgotten man in outfield drafts and fall to you late. Power is limited, but that Cincinnati park is very inviting.
Sam Hilliard (OF – COL) ADP: 308
By all means, grab yourself a Colorado outfielder whenever you can – and Hilliard just might be around in the end game. He will be the strong side of a platoon in the hitter’s haven as a left-handed bat shooting for the huge right/center gap at Coors for half his games.
Chris Taylor (2B, SS, OF – LAD) ADP: 384
Taylor will play all over the diamond for the Dodgers, but he won’t be able to crack the starting lineup. That said, he’ll still get his share of at-bats because the metrics-driven club will see the numbers game by game and fit him where needed. Not a great hitter, but capable.
Garrett Cooper (1B, OF – MIA) ADP: 389
Cooper is a better pure hitter than most people realize. He’ll be coming off the bench with power and an ability to knock in runs from the right side of the plate. The Marlins are improving and finding playing time and at-bats will be tough. But he’s worth the risk.
Avisail Garcia (OF – MIL) ADP: 326
Garcia has never become the next Miguel Cabrera, as he was advertised when he was a prospect. He will surprise in the hitter-friendly confines of his new home park in Milwaukee. He has home run and gap power that will play well in the lineup.
Brandon Nimmo (OF – NYM) ADP: 286
Nimmo missed time with spine (bulging disc) and neck issues last season. The net result was a .221 batting average in only 254 plate appearances. There is risk involved with any player suffering disc issues. If healthy, he is a leadoff type hitter with mediocre, inconsistent skills.
Adam Haseley (OF – PHI) ADP: 512
Haseley will likely be the starting Phillies centerfielder. That means at-bats and a chance to put up some numbers. Full disclosure is needed, however. Haseley is known as a defense-first outfielder. That said, getting regular at-bats may help your club. Unless he gets an early hook.
Jacob Stallings (C – PIT) ADP: 570
Stallings has a chance to be the starting catcher for a woeful Pirates club. Truth be known, this old scout avoids Pirates players in fantasy wherever possible. However, Stallings offers playing time and at-bats as your backup catcher. That’s worth a shot.
Jurickson Profar (2B, SS, OF – SD) ADP: 260
A switch-hitter, few players have been as great a flop after being touted as a potential star in his development as Profar. His injury (shoulder) history hasn’t helped. Another new beginning now with the Padres as their 2B may be the key to unlock the talent. Or maybe not.
Mauricio Dubon (2B, SS – SF) ADP: 398
Dubon will play on a very bad Giants club that will have trouble scoring runs. He should win a job in the infield, likely at 2B. He is a good athlete, but one with very little power. There isn’t much to offer, but he’ll get playing time and at-bats. What he does with them is the unknown.
Harrison Bader (OF – STL) ADP: 388
Bader perfectly fits the Cardinals. He is a good player, but he isn’t great. He will come through in the clutch, but he’ll struggle as well. He’ll get playing time until he proves he can’t hit the ball. He’s a risk, but for now, it looks like he could win a full-time role in the outfield.
Howie Kendrick (1B, 2B, 3B – WAS) ADP: 304
A gift to any fantasy team, all Kendrick does is hit. He could probably hit in his sleep. At one point, Kendrick was touted by analysts as a future batting champ. He is extremely valuable to the Nationals and to your fantasy team because he plays all over and gets his at-bats.