The 2020 MLB season is going to happen! Maybe. And we could probably have baseball! So, that means it is time to take a look back at our draft prep from back in the pre-Covid era. What year was that?
Below I’ve got some interesting first baseman sleepers for the 60-game season. The designated hitter coming to the National League should help some players see more work this season than they might have and you’ll see that play out in a couple of these suggestions.
Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks
Walker broke out last season in 2019 with 29 home runs and 86 RBIs but it doesn’t look like the fantasy baseball community is on board with a repeat, as he has a 193 overall ADP. He isn’t a deep sleeper, but his metrics show that last season was no fluke and that he’s hitting the ball well enough to see an even better season (per at bat of course) in 2020.
Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Chiefs
Dozier comes in with a ADP of 165 but with upside for more. Last season he led the league in triples and had 26 homers with 86 RBIs. Dozier had the 49th highest exit velocity last season and a 43.9% fly ball rate with a 15.6% HR/FB rate, which has room to grow. He’s also full of position eligibility, giving your team more flexibility.
Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays
Diaz has slowly started hitting the ball in the air more and already has great discipline at the plate. His exit velocity was at 91.7 mph, putting him the Top-20 in the league. Injuries hampered him last season, but he’s set to be the starting third baseman. If he can continue to get his launch angle up, his metrics show he has more power in him, but at his 251 ADP, he’s a safe pick as is.
Michael Chavis, Boston Red Sox
Chavis hit a rookie wall or played through injury in the second half of last season and then missed a big chunk of time with an oblique injury. His first half is what we are going to hang our hat on, as he slashed 38-15-48-2-.263. That production is good in three categories and great in the home run department.
Justin Smoak, Milwaukee Brewers
Smoak should see plenty of at bats in Miller Park, as the DH will likely take Ryan Braun out of the first base picture. Smoak still has good metrics, with a 90+ mph exit velocity and strong barrel rates and Sweet Spot percentage. 2019 was a down season, but his career norms are likely to return after being unlucky last season.