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2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

A list of undervalued players to target for the 2016 MLB season.

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Fantasy Baseball Sleepers For 2016
There's nothing better than taking a chance on a value pick during your draft and watching it pay off.

To aid you in your quest for the elusive fantasy baseball sleeper, we've put together a list of potential breakout or bounce-back players to help you win this season.

This list is in alphabetical order and the degree to which these players qualify as sleepers obviously depends on your specific league.

Javier Baez

Chicago Cubs  Second Baseman

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2016 Proj. 123 460 67 114 26 1 18 61 6 3 28 137 .248 .302 .426 .728
After hitting an embarrassing .169 with 95 strikeouts in 213 at-bats in his first major league season in 2014, it wasn't shocking that Baez started 2015 in the minors. While his 76:21 K:BB in 281 at-bats with Triple-A Iowa was no great shakes, it was an improvement over what he showed in 2014. More importantly, management felt he was ready for a return engagement in the majors, and he played nearly every day over the last month of the season. Strangely, the power-hitting infielder hit just one home run in 76 at-bats with the Cubs (though he had one more in the postseason), but he batted .289 and played all over the infield. Starlin Castro is out of the picture, but the Cubs signed Ben Zobrist to anchor the top of the lineup, so Baez's outlook remains cloudy. That said, he is too talented not to be valued as a strong middle-infield option in drafts, though owners will need to be patient as the playing time sorts itself out.

Jose Berrios

Minnesota Twins  Pitcher

Year G GS CG SH IP H ER HR BB K W L SV ERA WHIP
2016 Proj. 12 12 0 0 68 66 27 5 23 63 4 3 0 3.57 1.31
Berrios, the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, is Minnesota's top pitching prospect and could win a spot in the starting rotation this spring. He began last season at Double-A Chattanooga and was dominant with a 3.08 ERA and 9.2 K/9. He then was even better after being promoted to Triple-A with a 2.62 ERA and 9.9 K/9. Minnesota decided not to call him up in September over concerns about his workload. People once questioned his upside given his smaller frame (6-feet, 187 pounds), but he's put most of those issues to rest after dominating at the higher levels of the minors. It's possible the Twins could keep Berrios at Triple-A for a couple weeks to gain an extra year of control, but he has proven all he can in the minors, and should be a mainstay in the Twins' rotation at some point in the early going.

Justin Bour

Miami Marlins  First Baseman

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2016 Proj. 145 462 56 124 24 0 24 68 0 0 43 102 .268 .332 .476 .808
Finally given a chance at age 27, Bour gave the Marlins about 129 games of a league-average first base bat. He doesn't make much contact, and his eye is average at best, but Bour can put a charge in one as evidenced by his 23 home runs (10 at Marlins Park) an impressive number, especially for a guy who was a 25th round pick in 2009. Bour showed similar power at every level of the minor leagues, and at 27, he should have a few years of peak power production left in him. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, because Bour plays in one of the worst possible parks for a power hitter, any significant growth to the power numbers seems unlikely. He should once again contribute middling production in batting average and below-average runs scored, but there is the potential for him to easily top the 73 RBI he posted last year if Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton can stay healthy in front of him in the lineup.

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