The Duel

Top 3 Sleeper Shortstops for 2020 Fantasy Baseball Season

Tristan Jung
Kevin Newman swings the bat.
Kevin Newman swings the bat. / John McCoy/Getty Images

Some of last year's top shortstops were completely buried in drafts or not even selected. Jonathan Villar, Marcus Semien, and Tim Anderson weren't high on preseason lists, yet they all provided major value to winning fantasy baseball teams.

Shortstop is deep at the top, but it drops off fairly quickly. With that in mind, finding the next breakout star late in the draft can be key to your fantasy baseball strategy. Here are three sleepers that you should consider in your drafts.

1. Niko Goodrum, Detroit Tigers

Niko Goodrum bats in a game against the Houston Astros.
Niko Goodrum bats in a game against the Houston Astros. / Tim Warner/Getty Images

Niko Goodrum has struggled with his consistency, though he has the raw skills to make him a solid option at shortstop. He certainly won't lack for playing time with the Detroit Tigers, and he remains one of the fastest players in baseball. Goodrum can steal bases, hit for power, and get on base enough to score runs. The issue will be combining all of those into a reliable season. It seemed like that combination was happening in the second half of 2019 before he got hurt with an abductor strain. Goodrum put together a 33-game stretch where he hit .277/.338/.492. Importantly, you can tap into this upside for almost no cost in most drafts.

2. Luis Urías, Milwaukee Brewers

Luis Urías bats in a game against the Colorado Rockies.
Luis Urías bats in a game against the Colorado Rockies. / Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Just 1.5 years removed from top-30 prospect status, Luis Urías is on a new team and has an uncertain future. Urías was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Trent Grisham over the offseason, which puts him in a solid lineup and a better hitters' park than San Diego. However, Urías also needs to show that he can hit at the next level. While the regular stats showed little improvement, there were some advanced numbers that showed Urías made some gains last season. His hard-hit percentage rose from 30.8 percent to 36.5 percent, and soft hit rate dropped by 12.4 percent. Given Urías' utter dominance in Triple-A (.315/.398/.600 with 19 homers), he could be worth a buy-low candidate this year.

3. Kevin Newman, Pittsburgh Pirates

Kevin Newman runs to first in a game against the Reds.
Kevin Newman runs to first in a game against the Reds. / Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Kevin Newman basically forced his way onto this list given how little hype he's received, despite posting some incredible numbers last season. In 130 games, Newman hit .308/.353/.446 with 16 steals, 12 homers, and 64 RBI, which was surprising given his low prospect profile. Newman does not profile well in this analytics-based age – he's an old-school contact hitter who excels at picking up singles and doubles. However, the stolen bases and the impressive tools he showed in 2019 make him a solid sleeper candidate in 2020.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.