2020 Sleepers: Three Late Round Power Options To Target (Yastrzemski & More)


The draft doesn’t end when you are finished completing your starting lineup. Even with power at an all-time high you still can never have enough of it and as the draft progresses your appetite for risks begins to increase, with the opportunity cost no longer as high.

Some options are more appealing than others (with their NFBC ADP’s as of January 5th), while hitting on one or two of them will make a big difference in your season. These players likely won’t be in your lineup each week and they aren’t perfect, but being available after pick 300 means they likely will find their way onto a lot of teams. All we ask for is 30 HR potential. It wouldn’t be surprising if any of these three outfielders reach that mark, and if they struggle, dropping them wouldn’t be difficult.

Mike Yastrzemski – San Francisco Giants – 331 ADP

It took Yastrzemski quite some time to find his footing as a professional hitter and reach the Majors, but once he did the results didn’t disappoint. In 411 plate appearances, the outfielder hit .272 with 21 HR and 55 RBI as he took full advantage of the lack of other options San Francisco had.

The Giants’ outfield hasn’t exactly gotten better, but he opens the season expecting to bat at either the top or in the middle of the lineup to build on his strong rookie season. Yastrzemski’s power metrics back up the results we saw on the field, and a look at a few key Statcast indicators mean that his performance should not have come as a complete surprise:

  • 11.2 % barrel rate
  • 18.5 degree launch angle
  • 42.9% hard hit rate

All that means is that Yastrzemski has taken the proper steps to remake and improve his swing. Just keep in mind that he had over 2,000 plate appearances in the minor leagues to get his stuff together, and it never happened, so tread with some caution (which already played a role in his ADP).

Teoscar Hernandez – Toronto Blue Jays – 347 ADP

If you want to talk about a frustrating player Hernandez is at the top of the list. The tools are there, but the free swinger will likely hit at the bottom of the order, and his streaky nature and defensive woes could cut into his playing time.

When things are going right, at least when he makes contact, you can see why there would be excitement surrounding him. At his draft day price it is a gamble worth taking, because just slight improvements to his contact and strikeout rates could make a big difference. Even with that being the case it’s hard not to get excited when looking at his performance in the second half of last season; .259 batting average with 19 HR and 41 RBI in 247 PA.

It does work in his favor that he will work a walk, but it’s these Statcast metrics that really stand out:

  • 11.7% barrel rate
  • 91.1 miles per hour exit velocity
  • 15.5 degree launch angle
  • 42.3% hard hit rate

Kole Calhoun – Arizona Diamondbacks – 354 ADP

In the middle of the 2018 season we saw some swing improvements and adjustments from Calhoun, and their effects were clear last season. There are some issues when it comes to contact, he hit .232 last season, but at least we know what we are getting. This off-season he changed teams for the first time, and he now will be batting in the middle of the order for Arizona.

That will translate to RBI, he had 74 last season along with 33 HR, and we should see more of the same in 2020. The other thing that he offers as compared to other options in this range is that his playing time is pretty close to guaranteed. With the following metrics, we know that when he does make contact it will be strong:

  • 11.2% barrel rate
  • 14.7 degree launch angle
  • 42.6% hard hit rate

None of these three players are going to win you a fantasy championship, but they can help you get there as complementary pieces. They offer 30 HR upside, and with minimal risk (of course there are some warts which is why their ADP is so low) it won’t wreck your season if they are sent to the waiver wire after a week or two.


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