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8 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers for Your 2020 Draft
The early rounds of fantasy baseball drafts are what many people look forward to the most. However, the real magic happens later on.
One of the true keys to being competitive in your league is to take care of business in the latter stages of your draft. Unfortunately, there’s no recipe to follow that’ll guarantee you’ll find the best late round fantasy baseball picks. On the other hand, a bit of foresight and doing your due diligence means you can knock your draft out of the park.
Let’s jump right into the top fantasy baseball sleepers in 2020.
*ADPs (average draft positions) are calculated based on the averages of six different media outlets (ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, RT Sports, NFBC, Fantrax).
Gio Urshela – 3B, New York Yankees
Gio Urshela hit .314 and clubbed 21 homers in 2019. He also drove in 74 runs and raked 34 doubles.
The Columbian native’s terrific play has earned him a role in the Yankees’ everyday lineup, yet he’s falling out of the first 20 rounds in a handful of leagues.
If there was a picture in the dictionary illustrating the best late round fantasy baseball picks in 2020, an image of Gio Urshela would be the ideal representation.
Mike Foltynewicz – SP, Atlanta Braves
First things first, I pegged the Braves to be the last team standing in my 2020 World Series prediction post. Second of all, Foltynewicz was stellar after returning from his elbow injury.
Mike sported a spiffy 2.65 ERA and rocked an 8.58 SO/9 after the All-Star break. He looked a lot more like the guy who was an NL All-Star in 2018. Penciled in as Atlanta’s #3 starter, don’t let Mike slip all the way into the depths of the 16th-18th rounds. He’s going to be much, much more valuable than that.
C.J. Cron – 1B, Detroit Tigers
C.J. Cron no longer has to worry about platooning at first base and DH. The 30-year-old slugger inked a one-year deal with the Tigers in December and will play and bat cleanup just about every day in 2020.
Consider that in limited playing time, Cron hit 30 jacks with the Rays in 2018 and 25 more with the Twins in 2019. Despite being tagged with an ADP of 249.6, don’t be shocked if C.J. ends the season as a top-10 fantasy first baseman.
Nick Anderson – RP, Tampa Bay Rays
Looking for the next Josh Hader?
This right-handed reliever in Tampa Bay has a chance to rack up a massive chunk of saves even if Kevin Cash continues utilizing a “closer by committee” approach. In any case, Nick Anderson is going to be relied on heavily to produce big outs throughout the season.
In terms of targeting a strikeout pitcher in the later rounds, they simply don’t get any more potent than this. Anderson K’d 110 batters in 65 innings last year and boasted a 2.11 ERA after being acquired by the Rays.
This dude has “fantasy baseball sleeper” written all over him.
Tom Murphy – C, Seattle Mariners
For the first time in his career, Tom Murphy played in more than 37 games in a single MLB season. While his 75 appearances during his first year in Seattle are still a small sample size, Murphy quickly showed why he deserves to be “the guy.”
Tom hit a respectable .273 and launched 18 home runs. He’s going to bat 4th for the Mariners and has no competition from any other catchers on this roster. Rather than reach for a backstop early, target Tom Murphy instead. He could easily pan out into one of the best late round draft picks for fantasy baseball this year.
Mike Yastrzemski – OF, San Francisco Giants
The grandson of “Yaz” isn’t even being drafted in some fantasy baseball leagues. Those are the leagues you want to be playing in for money.
Mike Yastrzemski tallied 21 homers and 22 doubles in just 371 at-bats last season in San Francisco. The departure of Kevin Pillar has Mike lined up for an everyday role as the Giants’ leadoff hitter in 2020. This lefty was brilliant off southpaws in 2019, hitting .329 across 82 at-bats.
Tommy La Stella – 2B, 3B, Los Angeles Angels
Joe Maddon loved Tommy La Stella in Chicago, and he’s going to love him even more in Los Angeles. Talk about being in a good position to score rounds, La Stella is set to hit leadoff for the Angels in front of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon.
Tommy was in the midst of a breakout campaign in 2019 before a foul ball off his right shin fractured his tibia. Through 80 games, La Stella was hitting .295 with 16 home runs and an impressive 20:28 BB:K ratio. Throw in his dual eligibility (2B, 3B), and you’re looking at one of the best late round picks for fantasy baseball in 2020.
Andrew Benintendi – OF, Boston Red Sox
So maybe this guy doesn’t qualify as one of the best late round fantasy baseball picks, but he’s still a major sleeper to keep an eye on.
Currently being drafted outside of the first 10 rounds in standard leagues on CBS Sports, let’s not forget about Andrew Benintendi’s extraordinary upside. Boston’s 25-year-old left fielder took a major step back in 2019 and won’t be a player that teams in your league are clamoring over. Then again, here’s a guy who had 20 homers and 20 steals in 2017 and was highlighted as a can’t-miss up-and-comer.
Slated to hit leadoff for the Red Sox in 2020, Benintendi is primed for a bounce-back year.
The Top Late Round Fantasy Baseball Picks in 2020
If you play your cards right, you can end up walking away with 5-6 of the MLB players exposed in this blog. Combine that strategy with hitting some home runs early in the draft, and you’re on your way to a wonderful year.
Those who can also execute in the middle rounds and land some significant value plays will be the ones sitting pretty.
To further dominate your fantasy baseball draft, be sure to take a peek at the links below.