Deep League Sleeper: Is The Royals’ Brett Phillips Worth A “Dart Throw”?


There is a reason why drafts are a minimum of 30 rounds. Chances are, if you are drafting in January, you are doing a Draft Champions league and that means 50 rounds of drafting. While it might seem like the last few rounds of the draft are just dart throws, there is more to it than that.

With an ADP in the NFBC of 598, you aren’t going to find options much more “sleepier” than Brett Phillips. At that price the Kansas City outfielder is essentially free, and you can do worse than taking a shot on him.

Phillips is just a few years removed from being considered a top prospect, and he has the minor league production to prove it. At this point that is in the past, and Phillips has been moved by two organizations. His latest change of address came midway through last season and it should serve to benefit him as he moved from a crowded outfield with no chance for regular playing time to a rebuilding Kansas City team where opportunity is readily available.

Phillips currently may not have a starting spot, but we are still a few weeks away from Spring Training and Kansas City did give Phillips a look after acquiring him last summer. Additionally, none of the other options in front of him (Jorge Solar, Jorge Bonifacio, Brian Goodwin to name a few) are likely to pose too much of a threat.

But what is making us target Phillips with one of those aforementioned “dart throws”?

It’s hard to ignore the skill set that he brings to the table. He is known for both his power and speed, and while his power has yet to translate at the Major League level, he hasn’t received a consistent chance to show he can do it. The outfielder’s hard contact has been below average, but his elite speed metrics have been on display.

In order for Phillips to have any measure of success, he will need to improve upon his 41.5% strikeout rate from last season. In general, strikeouts have been an issue at each level; 31.4% at Triple-A in 2018. There are massive holes in his swing, and his contact rate fell to 56% last season.

At 25-years of age Phillips still needs to prove what he can do at the Major League level, but the skill set is there. In a no-risk environment, there are worse options to take a chance on.


    • I can’t answer for Ray, but personally it’s not something I’d be willing to bank on. There are similarly upside plays that should be available at the same cost that are more likely to rebound (and also are guaranteed more AB). That said, he’s worth keeping on radars


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