Top 5 Sleeper Outfielders for 2020 Fantasy Baseball Season
By Tristan Jung
While the top fantasy baseball assets provide the floor for your team, finding sleepers in the later rounds is key to determining your ceiling.
Hunting for sleeper candidates, by definition, is a volatile task. For every sleeper that does turn into a great pick, there are two or three that go nowhere. However, this process is can be the difference between a first-place finish and stumbling to a losing season. That makes it crucial to hit on your sleeper picks.
Without further ado, here are five sleeper outfielders that can make a big impact for your 2020 fantasy baseball team.
1. Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox
With a move to the Boston Red Sox, Alex Vergudo may finally get the expanded role he needs to break out. He was excellent in a part-time role last year, slashing .294/.342./.475 over 377 plate appearances. The highly-touted prospect has always been blocked by the Dodgers' depth, but last year showed that he has the ability to be a full-time contributor. He's also shown flashes of power, with a .161 isolated power (ISO) mark in his young career. His lack of a track record has him going later in fantasy drafts than an outfielder with a 114 wRC+ in a strong lineup should be.
2. Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners
For a player who had 6 homers in his first 18 games, Kyle Lewis is really flying under the radar, falling well behind the cutoff for most 12-team mixed league drafts in preseason rankings. However, Lewis was dazzling in his 75 plate appearances with the Mariners, slugging .592 with an impressive 46.5 hard-hit percentage. The 38.7% strikeout rate and inflated .351 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) are scaring away owners, but Lewis had respectable walk rates in the minors and was facing major league pitching for the first time last year. If you're looking for a big power bat that will get plenty of playing time, Lewis is a good late-round flier.
3. Cristian Pache, Atlanta Braves
The Braves' No. 1 prospect raked in Double-A last year, hitting .278/.340/.474 with 11 homers and 8 steals in 433 plate appearances. Cristian Pache was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 and has hit at every level since then. He might not have a clear path to being a contributor, especially because the team added Yasiel Puig, but the upside is there.
4. Corey Dickerson, Miami Marlins
At this point, Corey Dickerson might be a sleeper among actual major league teams, as well as fantasy owners. He’s bounced around to four different organizations since 2017, all while being an above-average hitter. Now with the Miami Marlins, Dickerson has once again been shifted down the fantasy pecking order. Despite injuries and getting traded from the Pirates for scraps mid-season, Dickerson put together a 127 wRC+ season with 12 homers in 78 games in 2019. He’s also slugged over .474 in every season since 2017. While his injury history and platoon splits are always an issue, he’s also going to be out there every day for the struggling Marlins. The 30-year-old has been a reliable source of average and power in the past, and he’s worth a look again in 2020.
5. Teoscar Hernández, Toronto Blue Jays
The 27-year-old Toronto Blue Jays outfielder qualifies as a fairly deep sleeper — he likely won't go drafted in most 10 and 12 team leagues. While Teoscar Hernandez hasn't been much more than a passable outfielder for the Blue Jays over the last two years, the underlying numbers suggest good things to come. For one, his average exit velocity remains at a very solid 91.1 MPH, which is in the 85th percentile. That translated to 26 homers last year, which would be enough to draw some interest if he didn't have a 33 percent strikeout rate. So, what's to like about Teoscar, other than his great value? Well, he's one of the fastest sprinters in MLB and has excellent power numbers. If the Blue Jays can let him run a bit more and he can play a full season, Hernandez is a threat for 30-plus homers as well as double-digit steals, which is great production for someone who can likely be had at the end of drafts.
Be sure to also check out our top 10 outfielder rankings for a breakdown of the top players at the position.
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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.