Second Base Week has infiltrated Third Base Week, which will now begin tomorrow (Tuesday). But extra fantasy baseball content is never a bad thing, right? Be happy, gamer!
To cap off last week’s keystone content, we had the bright idea for each writer to offer up a SLEEPER! Everyone loves sleepers. The people go crazy for sleepers. So here we are.
First, here is our loose definition of a “sleeper”:
A sleeper is a player who is post-250 in ADP, or someone who will SIGNIFICANTLY outperform their draft position.
With that criteria in mind, here’s what came out from the baseball guys here at Fake Teams...
***ADP data is derived from the last 21 DCs at the NFBC, spanning from January 17th to February 6th.***
Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers (Mark Abell)
NFBC ADP: 232.48
Draft rank: 27th
Look into his stats as he progressed through the 2021 season, and you will see that he was focusing on plate discipline and quality of contact. I think we see a sizable step forward from the lauded prospect. It’s important to remember that he is still just 24 years old. If you annualize his production from last year and assume some growth this year, he will be managing around 75 runs and RBIs with about seven stolen bases.
Abraham Toro, Seattle Mariners (Heath Capps)
NFBC ADP: 252.79
Draft rank: 29th
Kyle Seager is gone, and in steps Abraham Toro at third base for the ascending Mariners. You may remember that Toro moved from Houston to Seattle at last year’s trade deadline. He picked up his 2B-eligibility last season due to Seager manning the hot corner, but this year is slated to move back to his more natural third base position. Heading into his age-25 season, he can certainly build off of last year’s .239/.315/.373 slash line. Toro’s 11 homers and six steals over just 375 PA (95 games) were also encouraging.
Toro began his time with Seattle by reaching base in 18 straight games, while slashing .344/.440/.563 with five doubles and three homers. He then had a cool September, slashing only .183/.259/.250 over his final 28 games. Truth is, he’s probably somewhere in between those two performances—and that’s okay! Long term, his bat probably profiles best at second base. But if the Mariners don’t bring in an impact infielder after this wacky lockout, Toro will have a chance to prove that he’s better than how last year ended. Last year, he ranked in the 89th percentile for K-rate and Whiff%, while having 76th percentile sprint speed and 59th percentile max EV. A move to a more natural position, to me, could mean a little less blue with regard to the rest of his batted ball profile, too. And the best news is, while his real-life value as a third baseman may not be great, for fantasy baseball he still carries second base eligibility. You can draft him as a middle infielder who backs up both your second and third base slots, and have a shot at a player who can pop 20 homers and chip-in with some steals. I won’t say I love it, but I do like it.
Nick Madrigal, Chicago Cubs (Andrés Chávez)
NFBC ADP: 290.14
Draft rank: 31st
With a 424 ADP according to FantasyPros, Nick Madrigal won’t cost you much. However, I really believe he has Tommy Edman-lite potential for 2022, at least, with fewer home runs but a much higher batting average. The Chicago Cubs will likely give him all the playing time he can handle and he will be on base plenty of times, opening up the chance to score lots of runs. He can certainly steal more than 30 bases, too. Put your faith in Madrigal, and you may be able to reap the benefits in late September.
Ramon Urias, Baltimore Orioles (Skyler Carlin)
NFBC ADP: 418.62
Draft rank: 44th
At the moment, Ramon Urias is projected to be the starting shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles, but he comes with 2B eligibility. While Urias logged only 296 plate appearances in 2021, he slashed solid lines of .279/.361./.412 while hitting totaling 7 HRs and 38 RBIs. Urias also showed signs of upside as he produced a max EV of 112.7 (86th percentile) and a solid barrel rate of 9.7%. We could potentially expect more from Urias if he can improve from his HR/FB ratio of 14.6% from last season and if he gets more playing time. Urias is currently being taken in the 400s in NFBC, so there isn’t much risk in taking a player that could have a full-time role with an Orioles team that lacks talent across their lineup.
Nolan Gorman, St. Louis Cardinals (Garrett Atkins)
NFBC ADP: 476.57
Draft rank: 50th
The Cardinals’ 2018 first round draft pick Nolan Gorman lit up the minors in 2021. He hit .279 with a .481 SLG and 25 home runs over 119 games. Gorman played the bulk of his games at second base since the Cardinals have Nolan Arenado to man the hot corner. The 21-year-old has a 50 grade hit tool with 60 grade power according to MLB Pipeline. An early promotion in 2022 seems possible. Gorman could provide 20-30 home run upside.