If you haven't had your fantasy baseball drafts yet, like me, it might be a good idea to jot down a list of sleepers at each position, because you aren't always going to get the guy you really want during the draft. Today, I provide you with my All-Sleeper team for 2015. These are players who you can grab late in drafts and outperform their draft day value.
Before I get to that, here are links to all of my sleeper, by position, for 2015:
AL/NL Only Sleepers
Onto the 2015 All-Sleeper team:
Catcher: Andrew Susac, Giants
All Susac needs is for the Giants to officially move catcher Buster Posey to first base on a full time basis and Susac will be a full time catcher. Actually, that could happen now that Hunter Pence will miss the first month of the season, and center fielder Angel Pagan is dealing with back issues in spring training. Susac has the power to hit double digit home runs in a full season of at bats, and is solid enough defensively that he put up a 0.8 fWAR in just 35 games played last season.
First Base: Adam Lind, Brewers
Lind is one of my favorite sleepers in 2015, as he gets a chance to play full time in Milwaukee, and is coming off a season where he hit just 6 home runs. There is more power in his bat, and that should be on display in the hitter friendly Miller Park. He should hit in the 5 or 6 hole in the Brewers lineup, so he has a good chance to drive in 80+ runs this season. He owns a career 14.9% HR/FB percentage, so I look at his 7.6 HR/FB% in 2014 as an aberration and expect a bounce back to the 20 home run range in 2015.
Second Base: Micah Johnson, White Sox
The White Sox have about a handful of options at second base this season, includingEmilio Bonifacio, Gordon Beckham and Leury Garcia, but they all may be just keeping second base warm for the future fantasy stud that is Micah Johnson. OK, maybe he isn't a stud, but he can steal bases. Tow years ago, he stole 83 bases in the low minors, but that number fell off last season to just 22 in 35 attempts in stints in AA and AAA. I am curious if he was injured last season preventing him from running more, as he did get on base at a decent clip.
Shortstop: Jung-ho Kang
Kang isn't getting any love this offseason, and that is why he is a sleeper. I think he could surprise everyone this season but he needs a starting job to provide value to his owners this season. Right now, Jordy Mercer is slated to be the Pirates starting shortstop, but the Pirates invested in Kang this offseason, and I don't see him sitting much this year. It appears he will gain eligibility at three positions this season, shortstop, second base and third base, and could be the Pirates second baseman once Neil Walker leaves via free agency, as the Pirates don't seem anxious to sign him long term.
I highly recommend taking the time to read Dan Farnworth's profile over at FanGraphs, as he breaks down his swing and projects Kang to hit 25 home runs in 2015. He might be my favorite fantasy sleeper in 2015. Shhhh......
Third Base: Nick Castellanos, Tigers
Castellanos is my choice for the old "post hype breakout" in 2015. He may not have been hyped like some other prospects, but he does have a solid hit tool and yet to be seen power. Last season, he hit .259-.306-.394 with 11 home runs, 50 runs scored and 66 RBI in 579 plate appearances.
Once he is able to cut down on the strikeouts, we should see his batting average and walk rate rise, and with that, we should see more power from his bat. His line drive rate was 28.5% last season, so his .259 batting average tells me he was a bit unlucky on some of those line drives. I look for him to increase his home run total to the 15-18 range in 2015, and a breakout is not out of the question.
Outfielders: Travis Snider, Orioles
Snider looks to be the Orioles starting right fielder, and has a chance to put up a break out season hitting in the friendly confines of Camden Yards. He hit .264-.338-.438 with 13 home runs, 37 runs scored and 38 RBI in 359 plate appearances last season, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him hit 20 home runs with 65-70 RBI in Baltimore in 2015.
Other Outfielders: Shane Victorino, Michael Saunders, Michael Taylor
Starting Pitchers: Danny Duffy, Royals
Duffy had a decent 2014 season, winning 9 of his 25 starts, with a 2.53 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 4.42 xFIP and a 1.11 WHIP. He doesn't strike out many batters, as his 6.81 K/9 indicates, and he walks more than most, but he is very tough to hit, holding hitters to a .206 average, and is money pitching at home, where he held hitters to a slash line of .183-.294-.263. If he can limit the walks, he could move into our top 40-50 starters in 2015.
Other Starting Pitchers: Brett Anderson, Trevor Bauer, Jesse Hahn
Closer: Adam Ottavino, Rockies
LaTroy Hawkins is retiring at the end of the season, and the Rockies will more than likely look to deal him to a winning team for a chance to go out a winner come June-July, so Ottavino appears to be next in line for the closer role in Colorado. Ottavino struck out just under ten batters per nine last season, walked a little over two batters per nine, and keeps the ball on the ground, a good thing in Coors Field, at a 46% clip. The Rockies probably won't be very good this season,. so there is no reason to hold off moving Ottavino to the closer role, especially when they are so close to a rebuild.
Extreme Closer Sleeper: Tony CIngrani, Reds
The Reds moved Cingrani to the bullpen this week and he isn't very happy. But come July, and the Reds are out of the NL wild card chase (could happen), they could look to deal closer Aroldis Chapman as he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Cingrani throws gas, so he could thrive in one inning stints at the back of the Reds bullpen.