PICTURED—Derek Dietrich // Original Photo—@derekrdietrich on Twitter.
DON'T HIT SNOOZE: Last call for popular MLB fantasy sleepers By Luke Garrison (Thursday June 6th, 2019)
TORONTO—We’re officially just over two months into the MLB season and the most popular fantasy sleepers are flying off the shelves.
It’s time to pick up some roster reinforcements before it’s too late.
Let’s take a look at the latest crop of potential bargains. These five players are still less than 65% owned on the wire; however, their popularity is increasing quickly.
The owned percentage and position eligibility of each player is from ESPN fantasy sports.
Dansby Swanson—Atlanta Braves (63% owned) Position Eligibility—SS
Swanson was selected first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks after re-entering the MLB draft in 2015.
He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in December of 2015 and it appears as though their investment in him may finally be paying off.
Through 61 games (226 ABs), the 25-year-old has 13 home runs, 43 RBI, and six stolen bases to go along with a .270 batting average.
He’s currently ranked 7th among all active shortstops in fantasy baseball this season. The young slugger could be a nice roster pickup if your team is seeking a middle infielder with both a high ceiling and the ability to contribute across multiple scoring categories.
C.J. Cron—Minnesota Twins (59% owned) Position Eligibility—1B, DH
In October of 2018, the Tampa Bay Rays shocked the baseball world by parting ways with Cron after just one season.
It wasn’t just any season either. During 2018, the 29-year-old set career highs in ABs (501), doubles (28), home runs (30) and RBI (74) and was by far the Rays’ most consistent and dominant hitter.
The Minnesota Twins were all over the opportunity to acquire such an impact bat from waivers and Cron hasn’t disappointed them in the slightest.
Through 54 games (196 ABs), he’s already knocked in 13 homers and 39 RBI to go along with a .276 batting average as the Twins continue to surge.
He’s a solid hitter in a hot lineup and can definitely help your team if you need another power bat.
Brad Peacock—Houston Astros (63% owned) Position Eligibility—SP, RP
Peacock had a career year back in 2017. He logged innings as both a starter and a reliever and was especially effective out of the pen during the 2017 World Series.
The 31-year-old struggled to pitch with any consistency prior to 2017, but he’s been very reliable ever since.
More importantly, he’s established himself within the Astros’ rotation this season thus increasing his fantasy value exponentially.
Through 13 appearances (11 starts, 64.2 IP), he’s posted a 5-3 record along with a 3.20 ERA and 67 strikeouts.
It’s often difficult to find a good starting pitcher from a good team on the waiver wire and Peacock is definitely worth taking a chance on.
Hunter Renfroe—San Diego Padres (60% owned) Position Eligibility—OF
It’s been a breakout year for Renfroe so far. His extra-base power has especially been on display as 27 of his 43 hits have gone for at least a double.
Through 56 games (173 ABs), the Mississippi native has whacked 17 home runs and 33 RBI to go along with a .249 batting average and a .906 OPS.
His high strikeout rate still leaves something to be desired, but he’s still a two WAR player this season and the power is too intriguing to ignore.
He’s hit five home runs over his last 10 games so he’s worth grabbing while he’s hot if you need some extra pop.
Derek Dietrich—Cincinnati Reds (58% owned) Position Eligibility—1B, 2B, OF
After spending the first six years of his career with the Miami Marlins, Dietrich now finds himself as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Given how well things have gone so far this season, it’s been a welcomed change.
Through 56 games (130 ABs), the super utility man has racked up 17 home runs and 37 RBI to go along with a .269 batting average and an incredible 1.073 OPS.
The Reds sit last in their division, but Dietrich still has the opportunity to produce offensively as he’s surrounded by other competent hitters such as Jose Iglesias, Eugenio Suarez, Yasiel Puig, and (when healthy) Scooter Gennett.
Joey Votto could arguably be on that list as well; however, the abysmal season he’s having has unfortunately excluded him from fantasy relevance so far in 2019.
In summary, Dietrich has offensively-reliable teammates who can help his breakout year continue. His multiple-position eligibility naturally makes his fantasy appeal extremely attractive as well.
Honourable mention: David Fletcher—Los Angeles Angels (62% owned)