Every year we read articles and listen to podcasts where analysts give out their sleepers, guys that are under the radar that can break out and win you your leagues. However, when they don’t meet expectations, they are often completely dismissed. These guys tend to offer a ton of value because they often still have all the same skills that previously made them sleepers, but now they are more undervalued than before without the hype that used to be around them. Here are my post-hype sleepers for 2023.
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Post Hype Sleepers
Triston Casas (226.60)
Casas is a former top prospect with a ton of power but struggled with his average in his Major League debut, hitting just .197. While that is disappointing, he had some really nice underlying metrics, with a 20% walk rate, a 24% strikeout rate, and league average zone contact with great power in a .211 ISO. The average should be around .250, with the chance for more. He is going to play every day, and there is a ton of upside here.
CJ Abrams (242.89)
Abrams was a five-star prospect coming into last year and unexpectedly made the Padres roster at age 21. He struggled in his initial go-around, hitting .232/.286/.320 with two home runs and a stolen base before being traded to the Nationals in the Juan Soto trade. However, after getting to Washington, he hit .258 with six stolen bases. There isn’t much power as of yet, maybe enough to get 10 home runs, but he has shown great contact skills in the minors and in his time since being traded to Washington, along with a ton of speed. Abrams will play every day for Washington, which gives him a great opportunity to rack up stolen bases.
Jarred Kelenic (243.45)
Kelenic was widely considered one of the top two prospects in baseball coming into the last two seasons but has struggled mightily, hitting .168/.251/.338 with 21 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 558 plate appearances between two partial Major League seasons. The power and speed are apparent, but he has struggled to make consistent contact. However, even though he struggled in the Majors, he would go back to the minors and dominate. He spent the offseason reworking his swing and has looked fantastic in spring training, hitting .400/.432/.857 with four home runs and three stolen bases with only seven strikeouts. The hype is starting to reappear, but you can still get him at an affordable price.
Michael Kopech (267.78)
Kopech had a lot of hype coming through the minor leagues with comparisons to Noah Syndergaard as the next big pitching prospect. He has struggled to stay healthy and deliver on his promise, but it looks like it is finally time. He has also been working on a new changeup and has looked filthy in spring training thus far. If he stays healthy, we could finally see the breakout that we have been waiting for.
Shea Langeliers (279.92)
Langeliers is a really interesting catching prospect that the A’s traded for in the Matt Olson deal. He has a good hit tool and power with the bat. While a catcher on the A’s wouldn’t be super interesting normally, last season, we saw the A’s allow Sean Murphy to catch regularly and be the designated hitter when he wasn’t catching, allowing him to lead the Majors in plate appearances for the position. I think we could see the same from Langeliers this year, which would allow him to volume his way into the conversation as a top 10 option. He is more of a second catcher option, but I think he is a sneaky low-end catcher in deeper one catcher leagues.
Alek Thomas (353.38)
Thomas is a former top prospect that is overshadowed by Corbin Carroll being on the same team. Thomas came up last year and hit just .231/.275/.344 with eight home runs and four stolen bases. He isn’t a carrying tool in fantasy necessarily but is more of a potential level accumulator if he can make enough contact. However, he is a premium defensive player, and he is hitting .316 in spring training, and it now looks like he will get an everyday role in Arizona which gives him the ability to accumulate.
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