Today, I continue the series where I profile fantasy baseball sleepers that could help you win your leagues in 2015. Every year, fantasy owners are looking for that late round hitter/pitcher who could help them deal with underperformance from an early round pick, or with an unexpected injury. Some will be busts, some will help you along the way.
I like to define a sleeper as a player who is one of the lower ranked players in standard leagues who could come out of nowhere to outperform their preseason ranking/value. Last season, we saw plenty of players come out of nowhere to help fantasy teams including Charlie Blackmon, Dee Gordon, Steve Pearce, Carlos Carrasco, among many others.
I have profiled sleepers for every team in the American League East and today I finish up the AL Central division with Twins
You can find links to my other sleepers below:
The Twins have one of the better farm systems in the game with #1 prospect Byron Buxton, top power hitting prospect Miguel Sano, outfielder Eddie Rosario, among others. One prospect who didn't get as much love as those three is outfielder Oswaldo Arcia. Arcia is entering his third season in the big leagues, and has show that he can hit for power, but like many other power hitters, that power comes with a lot of swing and miss.
Last season, Arcia hit just .231-.300-.452 with 20 home runs, 46 runs scored and 57 RBI in 410 plate appearances. Of hitters with 400 or more plate appearances last season, Arcia and Braves catcher Evan Gattis were the only two hitters to hit 20 or more home runs in under 500 plate appearances. To put Arcia's power in perspective, Giants outfielder Hunter Pence also hit 20 home runs last season, but needed 300 more plate appearances to do so. Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera hit 25 home runs last season in 685 plate appearances. In other words, Arcia has plenty of power.
He just needs to focus on making a little more contact, and reducing his 31% strikeout rate. Arcia swings and misses quite a bit, as evidenced by his 17.4% swinging strike rate. He swung at pitches outside the zone almost 39% of the time, so if he could control his aggressiveness at the plate, he could raise his batting average a bit in 2015.
Arcia is a fly ball hitter, so he should be good for another 20+ home runs, and with good health, and more plate appearances, he could approach 30 home runs in 2015, even playing half of his games at Target Field.
Steamer projects him to hit 24 home runs and drive in 74 runs in 539 plate appearances in 2015. I won't argue with that projection, as that is pretty good for the soon-to-be 24 year old slugger.
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