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.
Chicago White Sox Shortstop
The White Sox expedited the process of transitioning to Anderson as the clubís everyday shortstop when they declined to pick up Alexei Ramirezís option this offseason. While Anderson is probably not quite ready for the big leagues, he may be the best internal option despite never playing above Double-A. The 17th overall pick in 2013, he slashed .312/.350/.429 with five home runs and 49 steals (on 62 attempts) in 125 games with Double-A Birmingham. An athletic toolshed, Andersonís only flaw on offense has been his inability to take walks, although he made minor strides in that department in 2015, going from a 2.5% walk rate in 2014 to a 4.4% walk rate last year. For a player with his profile, he does a good enough job making contact, as he has kept his K-rates below 23 percent at High-A and Double-A. There is the potential for more power as he continues to mature, meaning he could offer Jose Reyes-esque production in his prime years.
Chicago Cubs Second Baseman
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.
Minnesota Twins Pitcher
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.
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