2023 Fantasy Baseball: Early Sleepers
February and Early March are prime targets for MLB sleepers. Right now the potential league winners could be all the way down in ADP, and those are the players that go for more than 50% of your FAAB in the season. Identifying these players early could pay off big time. For ADP, I used NFBC. Pitchers
Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles, NFBC ADP 193 Baltimore’s star prospect Grayson Rodriguez is set to be on the opening-day rotation for Baltimore. Rodriguez has top-of-the-rotation-type stuff and could really make an impact on day one. He was set back with a grade 2 late strain last season and was pitching lights out before that. He was set to make his debut in June prior to this injury. I expect his ADP to rise as the spring comes closer, making this a great time to draft him late. Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels, NFBC ADP 207 Reid Detmers is a story of two halves last season. Detmers threw a no-hitter out of nowhere last season, and then struggled his next several starts and was sent down to the minors. In his one start in Triple-A, he struck out fourteen batters and came back up in July, and had a fantastic end to the season. Detmers finished 2022 with 122 strikeouts, with a 3.77 ERA/1.21 WHIP, and threw 129 innings. The Angels may be going with a six-man rotation this year, but if Detmers can stay up the entire season it’s not entirely out of the question he can push between 150 to 200 strikeouts. Edward Cabrera, Miami Marlins, NFBC ADP 211 Edward Cabrera pitched in his second season last year and pitched very well. He threw 71.2 innings and started 14 games. He struck out 75 batters and had a 3.01 ERA/1.07 WHIP. Miami has a good reputation of developing good starting pitching (See Sandy Alcantara). This season Cabrera looks to take the next step forward. He does struggle in the walks department, but it’s something he could work on. Cabrera flashed upside last year (one hit scoreless ball at Coors). He has a fastball that approaches 100MPH and could be a steal at his current ADP. Hitters
CJ Abrams, Washington Nationals, NFBC ADP 222 CJ Abrams was highly touted as a prospect with his speed in mind. Abrams came up in the San Diego Padres farm and was dealt to the Nationals in the summer in the Juan Soto deal. Abrams should be expected to see the green light more on steals with Washington, and with the increased bags, and rule changes, he could see a big increase in stolen bases. In the minors, Abrams stole 42 career bags to 12 home runs. He could hit double-digit home runs, and 30-40 steal upside if all goes right.
Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals, NFBC ADP 244 Jordan Walker is a top-tier MLB prospect who is competing for an opening-day spot in the St. Louis lineup. Walker has the tools to be a five-tool star. In double-A last season, he hit .306 with 19 home runs and 22 stolen bases. He has 70-grade power and stands at 6’5. Walker in a year or two could be pushing early re-draft status. For this season, his current ADP screams must draft. If Walker is not on the opening day roster, he is going to be the top waiver add whichever week he is up, and likely will cost you more than half your FAAB, if not plenty more.
Ezequiel Tovar, Colorado Rockies, NFBC ADP 253 Ezequiel Tovar is going way later than he should be in drafts. Tovar is right now projected to be the opening-day starter for the Rockies. He plays at Coors field; he gets the Coors boost. He is lost in a deep shortstop pool, but Tovar has some good upside. He debuted last season and only hit a homer with two RBIs. Last season in double-A, Tovar hit .318 with 13 home runs and 17 stolen bases. There is a good possibility he could top 20 stolen bases for the season. With his current ADP, he’s a great value pick.