When trying to obtain value in a fantasy baseball draft, you’re not always trying to find the player who’s going to hit you 30 home runs or swipe 25 bags; instead, you should be looking for a player who you think will be under other managers’ radars.
This could be a player who can still bring some positive statistics to the table, who might slip through the cracks and be available later in the draft. What I’ve just described is what some would call a “sleeper pick.”
These types of picks are in no way a shoe-in for producing the stats needed to win you a championship; they can, however, fill in major holes in your roster for great value. Remember, there’s a reason why they’re not taken in the early rounds of the draft. Because these players come with a high-risk high-reward, you shouldn’t be building your team solely based off these picks. The odds of hitting on every sleeper are slim, and you could end up with a roster full of players who break your season.
With that being said, a potential sleeper pick for this year’s draft is Logan Forsythe. First and foremost, switching ball clubs from the lackluster
Tampa Bay Rays to the playoff-contending Los Angeles Dodgers is going to boost anyone’s value, and that is exactly what happened to the 30-year-old second baseman. This is especially true for Forsythe, considering he’s the frontrunner for the leadoff spot in a rather dynamic offensive unit. If he winds up hitting in the 1-hole, he’d be directly in front of Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner, who combined for a batting average of .290 in the 2016 season.
A key aspect of Forsythe’s game which will help lead to his success this season is his impeccable eye at the plate. Last season he was second-best in the majors in terms of laying off pitches outside of the zone. Strangely enough he had a down year in terms of on base percentage compared to his 2015 season. Last year he sported a .333 OBP, while the year before he was up at .359. I think due to his lack of keen eye, he’ll be closer to his OBP of his 2015 season, which is exactly what one wants from a leadoff hitter.
If Forsythe can get on the base pads for the rest of the strong roster behind him, we could see a dramatic increase in runs scored.
The second base position isn’t filled with a ton of power, so when you can find one that can hit 20 home runs, especially this late in the draft, I think it’s great value. Speaking of 20 homeruns, Forsythe has been increasing his home run total each season, raising it from 17 in 2015 to 20 in 2016. Not only did he raise his power, but he did so in 26 less games. My prediction is that Forsythe will yet again elevate his homerun total on the season to 24, seeing that Dodger Stadium is slightly better than Tropicana Field for the long ball.
If you find yourself after the 10th round of your draft still needing a second baseman or middle infielder, look at the new Dodger. Don’t let him slip much passed the early teen rounds, as his potential could land him a spot among the top 100 players.