Skimming through Yahoo’s Fantasy Baseball Hitter Rankings for 2018, I found a bunch of hitters who, in my humble opinion, are being seriously under-drafted, based on Average Draft Position (ADP). These are my favorite 5:
Matt Olson 1B/OF Oakland Athletics
Matt Olson burst onto the scene last summer, slugging 24 home runs in only 189 at-bats, good for a 1.003 OPS. Yet, his ADP is roughly 117 heading into the spring. In a 12 team league, that makes him roughly a 11 to 12th round pick. The offensive upside here is easily top 2-3 round numbers, especially in OBP/OPS driven leagues as Olson takes plenty of walks. I am all over Olson as a 7th or 8th rounder (12 team format) before someone else gets any ideas.
Ozzie Albies 2B Atlanta Braves
Again. I’m in love. With a current ADP of 200, Albies, the Fangraphs darling, is still flying under the radar. Potential for 30+ steals, 10-15 HR, and excellent on-base % at the keystone, Albies is a steal at a current draft position as a late round pick. Shhhh. Don’t tell anybody as I sit around and wait to grab him past the first ten rounds at least.
Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF Philadelphia Phillies
Even though Matt Olson fills the same shoes considerably later in the draft, I’m still all over Hoskins at his current ADP of 45 (going in rounds 3-5). Both he and Olson are dual-eligible for 1B and OF, so rostering both is no problem. Another OPS over +1.000 in his first cup of coffee, all of the scouting and analytics support Hoskins being the real deal. Especially in OBP/OPS leagues, you’re basically getting top round talent at a discount, especially if you can nab him in the 5th round. Third round is probably where Hoskins should be going.
Shohei Ohtani SP Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Ohtani should only be drafted as a pitcher, where his ADP is currently 47 overall (Rhys Hoskins territory). He is ranked after Mets aces Degrom and Syndergaard, and even Rich Hill and Robbie Ray. He is ranked just before Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks. The elbow is a concern, but Ohtani is all-systems go as of now. Does everyone remember the Darvish and Tanaka debuts? There is incredible strikeout potential here, as the raw stuff is second to none on the planet, and the command is reported to be plus as well. Nab him in the 4th or 5th round? I’m down.
Andrew Benintendi OF Boston Redsox
Benintendi went 20/20 in his rookie campaign, positioning him with an ADP of 58 (rounds 5-7 in 12 team league). While he under-performed his plus hit tool last season to the tune of a .271 batting average, he does draw his walks (70 last season), and a breakout into close to .400 OBP territory is within reach. He will hit atop an excellent lineup, and provides the SB and good power. I see last season’s totals as Benintendi’s floor, with upside here of what Mookie Betts did last year. That would make him a 1st rounder. As a sixth round pick, Benintendi is potential elite performance at a value draft position.
Stop by next week, and we’ll take a look at some true deep sleepers. Disagree with anything you’ve read? Have high upside fantasy tips of your own you’d care to share? Leave a comment below!