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Fantasy baseball sleepers 2020: Breaking down middle infielders

A dive into some potential season-long fantasy sleepers at 2B and SS before you draft your 2020 MLB team.

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman hits a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Middle infielders can always be tricky in season-long fantasy baseball. They generally aren’t the hitters that put up big numbers for you, and if a 2B/SS is capable of doing so, they’re going to go pretty high in your draft. Here are some potential sleepers at each position.

Second Base

Starlin Castro, Washington Nationals (2B/3B)

Castro was brought in to replace some of the production left by Anthony Rendon. He played in every single game for the Marlins last season, hitting .270 with 22 homers and 86 RBI. Castro added another 35 extra-base hits, but scored just 68 runs for the lowly Marlins. Insert him into that Nationals lineup, even without Rendon, and there should be plenty of room to improve upon numbers that were already solid in one of the worst offenses in baseball.

Jonathan Schoop, Detroit Tigers (2B)

Schoop was an afterthought in the Twins’ offense last season, hitting .256 with 23 ding dongs and 59 RBI. He played just 121 games, and was often batting at the bottom of the order. Going to Detroit should mean Schoop hitting in the heart of the order, giving him more opportunities. His home field is also a big upgrade for hitters, with Detroit build more like Baltimore — ballparks that see more runs, with Schoop beggining his careers with the O’s.

Freddy Galvis, Cincinnati Reds (2B/SS)

Galvis has bounced around to three different destinations since his departure from Philly, but he may have found a home in Cincy. The middle infielder smashed 23 homers with 70 RBI last season, hitting .260 over 147 games with the Blue Jays and Reds. If he keeps that production up in 2020, he’s being undervalued in what could be one of baseball’s surprise teams.

Shortstop

Kevin Newman, Pittsburgh Pirates (SS/2B)

After struggling in 31 games in 2018, Newman was one of the lone bright spot for the Pirates in 2019. This guy gets on base, hitting .308 with 64 RBI and 12 homers in 130 games last season. He smacked 20 doubles and six triples, walking 28 times, swiping 16 bags and scoring 61 runs. Newman projects as a very safe and steady pick for 2020.

Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks (SS)

Ahmed had a career season in 2019, hitting a modest .254, but clubbing 19 home runs with 82 RBI. He added 39 additional extra-base hits and scored 79 runs in 158 games. This is a team that expects to improve this season, and Ahmed is one of the quite, consistent producers in this offense. Given how overlooked he currently is, this is a buy-low spot I can get on board with.

Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals (SS)

No one player is going to replace Rendon, so it’s worth mentioning a couple of Nats here. The 22-year-old played in just 11 regular season games last year, but hit a couple bombs and flashed his upside. Kiebook had a .303/16/79 slash line with 79 runs scored in 109 games in the minors last season. Look for him to make a name for himself in Washington’s lineup quickly in 2020.