Mitts are popping, sluggers are hacking and scratching, and coaches are hocking loogies. It’s baseball season.
But for number crunchers everywhere it’s more importantly fantasy draft season. While not to be confused with wedding season, fantasy baseball season does require a similar amount of preparation, hydration, and fearlessness.
Fantasy baseball encompasses everything we love as fans, as it lets us statistically prepare for the upcoming season and independently run our own ball club – every diamond fan’s wet dream.
But while everyone else is looking for the deepest sleeper, you’re worrying about one thing – how’s your team going to look? Spleaze had you covered last month with our 50 Funny Fantasy Baseball Names for 2016, and we’ve got you again with the classiest 2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – those most fearless in their approach to fashion.
2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers with the Best Style
Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox
Optically the Kenny Powers of baseball (at least in this picture), Carlos Rodon is poised to be the sleepiest of all 2016 fantasy baseball sleepers and should probably wear this outfit every single outing. With the additions of Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie, the lineup should be able to provide more run support (any at all), which was a serious weakness last year as the Sox ranked 28th in runs scored in 2015.
Addison Russell, 2B/SS, Chicago Cubs
This guy has legend written all over him. He’s pretty stellar at baseball as well.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
While not exactly a home run champion candidate, the former Pirates slugger is primed for a quietly ferocious power year – now that he gets to pull everything only 318 yards into the Camden Yards streets in right. Between 2012-2014, Camden’s 5.9 HR/FB rate (the ratio of how many home runs are hit against a pitcher for every fly ball they allow) for left handers was second in the MLB. Pedro is salivating at that thought.
Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers
Following Nick Castellanos’ promising second half of 2015, when he posted a .208 isolated power and hit nine of his 15 home runs, I’m sold on the upcoming and underappreciated third baseman. An interesting tidbit stat concerns Castellanos’ infield fly-ball percentage, which is a solid indicator of how well he squares up on pitches and the type of contact he’s making. His was a measly 2.1% in 2014 and 1.2 in 2015 – for perspective, golden slugger Miguel Cabrera’s career percentage is 7.
Starlin Castro, 2B, New York Yankees
Ready to start anew on a history-flooded Yankees squad yearning for a young infusion, Starlin Castro seems destined for a comeback. Just remember that in his last 47 games of the 2015 MLB season, starting with his first appearance at second base on Aug. 11, Castro hit .353, per the Yankees MLB blog.
Zach Britton, RP, Baltimore Orioles
Perhaps the most underrated reliever in the game, Zach Britton seems destined for continued success with his fresh suits and amazing ground ball-inducing rate – 7.31 percent, which ranks first for pitchers with over 50 innings tossed.
Michael Conforto, OF, New York Mets
Like his swing, Michael Conforto’s fashion approach is subtle yet effective. NumberFire elaborates best, as they detail that “Conforto’s wOBA of .359 would have ranked 32nd best if he had enough plate appearances to qualify and his .236 Isolated Power would have ranked 16th best. We project the 23 year-old to post a .338 wOBA and to hit 21 home runs over his first full season in the majors in 2016.”
Patrick Corbin, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Two years out from Tommy John Surgery, swing-and-miss phenom Patrick Corbin seems headed for the success scouts always expected. For doubters out there, Corbin returned in July of last season and pitched 44 innings with a 1.3 whip and a 4:1 K to BB ratio, an actually ridiculous finish.
Lucas Giolito, SP, Washington Nationals
Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals
He might not do “moose stuff,” but Mike Moustakas is always reliable.. and in the background. He’s not only one of the safest choices at third, but he’s also one of the most boring because of how dependable he is. Sold.
Stephen Piscotty, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards always seem to draft, groom, and perfectly polish top minor league talent. After arriving last July, Piscotty batted .305 with seven home runs and 39 RBI, so we know the guy’s got talent. Now that we see he can recklessly pluck golf balls out of curved canyons, all potential doubts have been extinguished.
Blake Swihart, C, Boston Red Sox
You might remember Blake Swihart for throwing the classiest first pitch we’ve seen since 50 Cent failed miserably two seasons ago. But he’s got more in his arsenal. While a pure upside choice here, Swihart did have a fantastic finish to last year’s second half – mainly hitting .303 with a .353 on-base percentage and a .452 slugging percentage (we can forgive the 41 strikeouts and only 11 walks).
Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins
A perennial 20/20 candidate, Yelich is a solid outfielder who continues to get better. Barring another injury, this snazzy dresser should be plugged in as an underrated fantasy cash cow.
Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
How can Wainwright be a sleeper when he’s finished in the top three in the Cy Young Award race four times? Well, Wainwright is also an injury-prone hurler who seems a coin flip away from another serious surgery, so he’s a lock to be among the best 2016 fantasy baseball sleepers. I believe he’ll come back roaring. And in case you forget his name, Wainwright is here to help..
Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Not only do I love this guy’s vibes, but I believe he’s capable of 15-plus home runs, 30-plus stolen bases.
Brad Miller, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Locked in at shortstop for the Rays and as one of the sneakiest 2016 fantasy baseball sleepers, Brad Miller should easily produce a 15/15 season. On stirrups alone, he’s mature beyond his years (and peers).
Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies
Don’t let last year’s wrist injury tarnish your mindset regarding this guy’s potential. He’ll likely close in on 30 homers this season, making him an elite choice among our 2016 fantasy baseball sleepers.
Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
As long as he’s healthy, former minor league phenom Byron Buxton should tear the league up. He’s already got the flashy hairdo to support the flashy production.
For more 2016 fantasy baseball preparation, check out our 50 Funny Fantasy Baseball Team Names for 2016.