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2018 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

A list of undervalued players to target for the 2018 MLB season.

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Fantasy Baseball Sleepers For 2018
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.

Willy Adames

Tampa Bay Rays  Shortstop

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2018 Proj. 92 347 42 85 19 3 5 31 7 3 38 108 .245 .321 .360 .682
There may not be a better example in the minors of the difference between game power and raw power. Adames has never hit more than 11 home runs in a season and his career-high ISO is .159. However, he is one of the strongest shortstops in pro ball and has plus raw power. As he grows more comfortable and receives more upper-level instruction, he will start to access that power more in games, and when he does, his stock will explode. His best current offensive skill is his ability to work the count and get on base at a high clip, posting walk rates over 11 percent ever since joining the Rays in 2014. This pairs nicely with his above-average hit tool, and should eventually allow him to hit near the top of a big-league lineup. Adames will chip in a handful of steals, but he is not a burner. Some have questioned whether he would stick at shortstop long term, but he silenced the doubters in 2017, and should take over as the Rays' shortstop of the future early this season.

Ozzie Albies

Atlanta Braves  Second Baseman

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2018 Proj. 147 587 85 165 28 10 11 59 28 8 44 103 .281 .333 .419 .752
Albies got the call to the majors on Aug. 1 and hit the ground running, flashing the well-rounded skill set that made him a top prospect in baseball. At 20 years old, the switch-hitting Albies displayed advanced plate skills, posting a .347 wOBA in 244 plate appearances. He's not an imposing presence in the batter's box at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, but Albies has excellent bat speed and he used that to generate above-average game power (.171 ISO, 33.2 percent hard-hit rate). He also went 8-for-9 on the basepaths, and when it was all said and done, Albies was worth roughly two wins above replacement in just 57 games. Albies' ability to make consistent contact gives him a solid floor in batting average, and he runs at a time when stolen bases are on the decline league-wide. The power is just the cherry on top. He could end up being a significant bargain in drafts and auctions, even with spring helium.

Aaron Altherr

Philadelphia Phillies  Outfielder

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2018 Proj. 128 447 65 112 26 3 20 70 8 4 41 129 .251 .321 .459 .780
Injuries limited Altherr to 107 games in 2017, but his performance when on the field constituted a mini-breakout. He upped his average a full 70 points and his OBP nearly 40 points while matching his highest home-run total from any professional season. His strikeout (25.2 percent) and walk (7.8 percent) rates leave something to be desired, and his 18.8 percent HR/FB and .330 xwOBA suggest he did in fact overachieve, although the hard-hit and flyball growth point to real strides in terms of power development. Altherr is heading into his age-27 season and may not run much moving forward after going just 5-for-9 on the bases, but he has earned a chance to play every day and make his case to be part of the organization's long-term infrastructure. Just beware that the injuries last year were not merely a blip; Altherr missed significant time with a wrist injury in 2016 and battled ankle issues earlier in his career.

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