Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Outfield
We’ve officially had baseball. Teams have reported to Spring Training and we’ve even had actual games. That’s actual games of baseball. At times we thought this day would be a lot later than it is, but it is now here. There are still some game changing free agents looking for their new (or old) homes. There’s a lot to be worked out, but all I know is, baseball is back and I couldn’t be happier.
Just as he has done in years past, Nate will bring his favorite sleepers per position of the upcoming fantasy baseball season. For each position he will offer three sleepers, with outfielders, starting and relief pitchers seeing five suggestions. He’ll take into consideration both points and category leagues in his suggestions.
We’ve made our way around the infield in this series and it’s time to head to the outfield. As you typically play three outfielders in fantasy, we’re going to give you five suggestions instead of the typical three. Now outfield is an interesting position because of its importance and the fact that you play three. You have to get a top guy early in your drafts, but of course, there’s the second and third guys, as well as utility and bench players. Outfield may be the most important in finding sleepers because they have a stronger chance in cracking your lineup than the other positions. Let’s get into this final positional sleeper analysis for the year!
Jarred Kelenic (Seattle Mariners)
Position Rank: 43rd
2021 Stats: .181 BA, 337 AB, 41 R, 14 HR, 43 RBI, 6 SB & .615 OPS
Jarred Kelenic is a name I will be targeting heavily when the later rounds hit. He struggled at the start of his MLB debut a year ago and that is good news for us. Novice players will look at last year’s stats as a whole and scroll right past him. Kelenic has proven that he is able to adapt at the plate, coming on strong at the end of the season getting his batting average to roughly .250 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs over his last 30 games. This is also a much improved Mariners’ team from a season ago. I’m all in on Kelenic as you can get him in the 12th round of 12-man leagues.
Hunter Renfroe (Milwaukee Brewers)
Position Rank: 47th
2021 Stats: .259 BA, 521 AB, 89 R, 31 HR, 96 RBI, 1 SB & .816 OPS
If you can remember all the way back to our first base edition of this series, we talked about how much we liked the Brewers and their under-the-radar off-season moves. We talked then about the addition of Rowdy Tellez at last year’s trade deadline to play first. Now, we'll talk about the former Boston Red Sox outfielder, Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe hit for 31 homers a year ago and now steps into a position to be the center of an improved Brewers' lineup. This team also signed Andrew McCutchen in another great move. This Brewers’ team is quality and Renfroe will be a big part of their success in 2022.
Myles Straw (Cleveland Guardians)
Position Rank: 51st
2021 Stats: .271 BA, 564 AB, 86 R, 4 HR, 48 RBI, 30 SB & .696 OPS
The name of the game when it comes to Myles Straw is stolen bases. When it comes to category leagues, stolen bases is often one of the categories that is easily ignored. It’s tough to find stolen bases late in drafts, but that’s what you’re finding in Straw. Straw moved from Houston to Cleveland last season while playing his first full season in the majors. He stole a staggering 30 bases along the way while hitting a respectable .271. Straw should see around 25 stolen bases this season and you’re getting that in the 14th round of 12-man leagues. That’s what we call a sleeper.
Jesus Sanchez (Miami Marlins)
Position Rank: 76th
2021 Stats: .251 BA, 227 AB, 27 R, 14 HR, 36 RBI, 0 SB & .808 OPS
I like what the Marlins did in bringing in Jorge Soler this off-season, but they still play in a very competitive NL East. This is a very young team that still has the likes of Jazz Chisholm. Additionally, they have the slugger Jesus Aguilar. These names will most likely be hitting before Sanchez. Sanchez only had 227 at bats a year ago and still managed 14 homers with his insane power. He also hit 10 homeruns in just 155 plate appearances in Triple-A. He is easily worth the risk considering you’re getting him in the 24th round of 12 man drafts.
Connor Joe (Colorado Rockies)
Position Rank: 96th
2021 Stats: .285 BA, 211 AB, 23 R, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 0 SB & .848 OPS
Connor Joe bounced between Triple-A and the majors a season ago before ending on a pretty decent run in Colorado. In his final 37 games before his season was cut short due to a hamstring injury, he hit .304 with a .944 OPS. He hit eight homeruns and 29 RBIs during that same time span as well. He has done enough to start for the Rockies in my opinion and on a team that improved with the addition of Kris Bryant, Joe could have a breakout season in his first full season in the majors. Let’s also not forget that he plays his home games at Coors Field, a hitter’s park.