Fantasy Baseball: sleepers by position for 2020 season

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Mookie Betts #50 and David Price "n#33 are interviewed during a press conference at Dodger Stadium on February 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Mookie Betts #50 and David Price "n#33 are interviewed during a press conference at Dodger Stadium on February 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

Outfielder – Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners (ADP 151)

2019 was an inconsistent year for the Mariners speedster. On one hand, he led the major leagues with 46 stolen bases. On the other, he only hit .227 to go along with a pretty pedestrian 42 walks.

While many would be quick to group Smith in with the Billy Hamiltons of the world, we still see the upside. In 2018, Smith slashed .296/.367/.406 which suggests that his low average last season could have just been a bad year – and with Mallex being the only Major Leaguer to swipe over 40 bags, that’s a gamble that you should be willing to take.

If Smith can improve on his strikeout total (a whopping 141 of them…), he can then use his blazing speed to get on base, where he is most effective. In an era where baseball is becoming more and more about striking out or hitting the ball over the fence, Smith’s speed is a commodity that can help, and win a category for any fantasy team.

If he wakes up in September with an average of around .250-.270, we may be talking about Smith’s stolen base total being higher than the 2020 Mariners win total…

Outfielder – Justin Upton, Anaheim Angels (ADP 223)

Injuries derailed the former first overall pick’s 2019 season, limiting Upton to only 63 games, and ending his string of three consecutive 30 home run seasons.

The new season looks bright for Upton who finds himself in a lineup surrounded by the current AL MVP (Mike Trout),  the newly-signed 3rd runner up for NL MVP (Anthony Rendon), and a fully healthy Shohei Ohtani, among others. With that type of company, 100 RBIs is certainly in play.

His peripheral numbers also suggest that his poor play in 2019 wasn’t as bad as they seemed, as Upton’s walk rate was over 12%, and his BABIP was only .261 (which suggests that he had lots of bad luck while he was healthy). Barring another injury, or another worst-case scenario of a season, Upton will have all the opportunity in the world to not only bounce-back but put up all-star type numbers for the offensively loaded Angels.