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 Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

Starting Pitcher – Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks (ADP 129)

After getting dealt from the Miami Marlins to Arizona, pitching prospect Zac Gallen is starting 2020 as a member of the Diamondbacks where he finds himself under the tutelage of former World Series MVP and ace Madison Bumgarner and pitching in front of a much better offense.

The new environment isn’t the only reason to get excited about Gallen, who spent 2019 ripping up Triple-A before his call-up to the Marlins. From the time of his debut on June 30th, Gallen never gave up more than 3 earned runs in any of his starts. He also managed to strike out a whopping 10.9 batters per 9 innings. Not bad for a 24-year-old rookie.

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Reliable pitching is at a premium in fantasy baseball, so a commodity such as Gallen would be welcome on any team, especially at the price that you’ll be able to pay for him on draft day. Looking at his upside, pedigree, and performance last year – we may be looking at 15 win pitcher, with a K/9 of over 10. That’s a guy you want at any price, never mind somewhere in the middle rounds. Go get him before you can’t.

Starting Pitcher – David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP 176)

It’s rare that a 5-time all-star, 2-time ERA champ, and Cy Young winner can be called a sleeper, but here we are. After getting traded, along with Mookie Betts from the Red Sox to the Dodgers, David Price finds himself pitching on the West Coast for the first time. With spacier ballparks, National League lineups, and no New York Yankees to deal with, Price will be given every opportunity to thrive.

Without putting too much stock into Spring Training, Price has now dominated two Grapefruit League starts, putting to rest the concerns of how his offseason wrist surgery would affect his pitching.

There’s no doubt that Price struggled through much of 2019, but he has a pedigree and track-record that most, if not all other pitchers don’t at the point in the draft that you’ll consider taking him. Some of those 2019 struggles can also be attributed to bad luck, as Price carried a .350 BABIP against. Look for that number to balance itself back towards the mean.

With the powerful Dodgers lineup behind him, the throw-in to the Mookie Betts deal will have the opportunity to go out and get 15-20 wins with a double-digit K/9 ratio. Sounds like the type of pitcher you can anchor a pitching staff around, never mind compliment one with.

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Relief Pitcher – Giovanny Gallegos, St. Louis Cardinals

Relief pitching, the most volatile position in fantasy baseball. Managers who burnt picks on Blake Treinen and Edwin Diaz after strong a strong 2018 campaign, got just that, burnt. Due to a variety of reasons, closers tend to have the highest likelihood of flaming out year-to-year, so rather than relive the past, I prefer to chase the future.

Enter Giovanny Gallegos. In 74 innings pitched last year, the 28-year-old struck out 93 batters, to go along with a tidy 2.31 ERA and an even tidier 0.81 WHIP. He also managed to compile an upper echelon swinging strike rate of 16.4%. He started to gain recognition last year as one of the best, if not the best reliever on the Cardinals.

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Put all of that together, along with 2019 closer Jordan Hicks recovering from an injury, and you get a potentially elite closer for 2020. Opportunities for saves with the Cards should be plentiful, as they are a good team, that has always historically played close games, thanks to solid pitching, and a “solid enough to win games, but not solid enough to blow you out” offense.