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Fantasy Baseball Sleepers (Hitters)

2015 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers (Hitters)

The 2015 Major League Baseball season is upon us and we all want to know who will outperform their projections (sleepers).

When it comes to hitters and even pitchers, we like to use BABIP as our starting point. BABIP stands for batting average of balls in play. It is basically the player's batting average on everything that is not a strikeout, walk, or homerun. Sabermetrics shows that a typical BABIP is around .300, but each player has their own BABIP tendencies. That is, to get the best idea of a BABIP's meaning, you have to compare it to the player's normal BABIP.

The theory behind BABIP is that once a ball is hit, neither the pitcher nor the batter have much control over the outcome. So, a higher than normal BABIP means the hitter is getting lucky. A lower than normal BABIP means he is unlucky. Taken one step further, high BABIP's tend to decrease and regress to the norm, and vice versa. This is why they are so useful as statistical predictors of future performance for both hitters and pitchers.


With that said as a little introduction to one of the main stats we will be using, here is our list of hitter sleepers for the 2015 MLB season.


Yasmani Grandal

Grandal moves away from evil Petco to Los Angeles, where he can display his power. He hit 9 HR in the last 3 months and it looks like his power surge is continuing this spring. With a better lineup around him, I expect a nice year.

Brian McCann

Meet the player with the lowest BABIP amongst qualifying hitters in 2014. This means a spike in average is due to come and with the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, McCann can provide plenty of pop for a catcher.

Travis d'Arnaud

D'Arnaud, once a top prospect for the Mets after being acquired from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey trade, is now the full-time backstop in New York. D'Arnaud has good pop for a catcher, and hit 13 bombs last year in 385 AB. He showed flashes of hitting skills when he hit .272 with 13 RBI in July and .313 from Sept. 1 to the end of the year. I expect more growth and a viable hitter behind the plate for the Mets this year.


Eric Hosmer

Hosmer was a highly touted prospect and has yet to live up to his lofty expectations. He has done a respectable job with a .799 OPS in 2011 and an .801 OPS in 2013, but we expected more. Then came new hitting coach Dale Sveum, and Hosmer tore it up from September all through the playoffs. We expect that trend to continue and the 25 year old could be primed for a breakout season.

Allen Craig

Craig had an awful 2014 season and it was most likely due to a decrease in bat speed, which caused more groundballs and less line drives. Pitchers pounded him inside and he just could not get into a rhythm. Craig's value is so low right now that people forget how productive he used to be as .300 type hitter with 100 RBI written all over him. This may be possible but even a .280 season makes Craig a legitimate sleeper because of his depressed value.

Chris Davis

Davis missed time due to a suspension for abusing Adderall, and it seemed to really mess up his 2014 season. Davis hit .196, but we notice that his BABIP was unusually low at .242. Over the past five years, his BABIP was .333, so we can expect it to rise back up to that level, which would drastically increase his production. If he plays a full year, he is one of baseball's most feared power threats easily capable of 35+ homeruns.


Mike Moustakas

Moustakas has been disappointing at the MLB level thus far, hitting just .236 in almost 2,000 plate appearances. But there are signs he may one day turn it around. First off, his line drive rate was good last year (over 20%). Second, he showed he can hit in 2011 when he put up monster numbers in AA and AAA (.322 - 36 HR - 124 RBI). My money is on a step forward.

Jedd Gyorko

Gyorko thrived in the minors hitting .320 in over 1,300 AB, and showed plenty of pop, hitting 55 HR and 75 doubles in 2011 and 2012. He struggled last year due to a foot injury and a terrible lineup around him. But not Gyorko is part of a retooled lineup that includes Upton, Kemp, and Myers. It is reasonable to expect above average second baseman numbers this year from the former stud prospect in San Diego.


Chase Headley

Headley struggled at PETCO last year but most people do. He was clearly unlucky with his impressive 27% line drive rate. He has pop and now that he plays in Yankee Stadium, the switch hitter should hit plenty of bombs from the left side of the plate, enough to make him a worthy option at second base.

Brett Lawrie

Brett Lawrie was used to a .300 BABIP, but it fell to just .260 last year, leading to a .247 average. Still, Lawrie hit 12 homeruns in 70 games last year. He plays in a tough ballpark now in Oakland, but we cannot forget the type of hitter Lawrie showed us he can be in the minors. In 343 minor league games, Lawrie had an .851 OPS, with 63 SB and 149 extra base hits. Oh, and not that it matters for fantasy, but Lawrie's glove would keep him in almost any lineup regardless of how well he is hitting.


Chris Owings

Owings can hit as evidenced by his 24% line drive rate and .759 career minor league OPS. Owings hit .261 last year with a .316 BABIP, but his BABIP was .356 in 2013. If that BABIP can inch up towards that 2013 mark, we could be looking at a solid .280 hitter at the shortstop position.

Javier Baez

Oh, what to do with Javier Baez... Baez was an absolute wrecking ball in the minor leagues. His true breakout year, 2013, saw him hit .282 - 37 HR - 111 RBI - 40 SB, yet once he reached the majors last year, he could barely touch the ball. He struck out an abysmal 95 times in just 213 at bats. This would most likely decrease his value, but you cannot give up on the kid. When he makes contact, the ball jumps off his bat. He is still very young and anxious, and as he settles down/gets used to major league pitching, we will eventually see the magic of Javier Baez.


Shin-Soo Choo

Choo's 2013 campaign of hitting .285 - 21 HR - 20 SB earned him a hefty $130 million deal with the Rangers, but had a disappointing 2014 campaign due to injuries (ankle, elbow). Now healthy, there is no reason to think Choo cannot live up to his price tag and return to his 2013 form.

Gregory Polanco

Polanco was a top 10 prospect for the Pirates before they called him up last year in June. He struggled at the MLB level but tore up AAA with a .328 average, 29 extra base hits, and 16 stolen bases in only 274 at bats. He is a stud and should join the 20-20 club as soon as this year.

Joc Pederson

Joc is an absolute stud in the making. The Dodgers even traded Matt Kemp to make room for Pederson in the outfield this year. Joc put up staggering numbers in the minors across the board, to the tune of a .302 average, .405 OBP, and a whopping .929 OPS. He also stole 113 bases in his 4 year minor league career. Simply put, Joc has the chance to make an immediate impact in all offensive categories as the Dodgers top prospect.

Alex Rios

Rios is a great option in Kansas City as a bounceback candidate. Although he did steal 17 bags last year, he hit only 4 HR with a .280 average. The Royals play small ball and Ned Yost loves his players to swipe a bag. Rios' career best in the SB department was 42, so it is reasonable to expect at least 30 this year. Add to that the potential to hit over 15 homeruns and you have a nice all around option in the outfield.

List of 27 Year Old Hitters For 2015

It has been proven that most players tend to have their career years at the age of 27. For this reason, it is usually a good idea to check the list of 27 year olds. So, without further ado, here is the list in alphabetical order for you:

PlayerTeam Pos'nBorn
Alcides EscobarKCIF12/16/1986
Alex AvilaDETC1/29/1987
Alex CastellanosSDOF8/4/1986
Alex GuerreroLADIF11/20/1986
Andrew McCutchenPITOF10/10/1986
Austin JacksonDETOF2/1/1987
Billy ButlerKCDH4/18/1986
Brandon BarnesCOLOF5/15/1986
Brandon CrawfordSFIF1/21/1987
Brent MorelPITIF4/21/1987
Brian DozierMINIF5/15/1987
Buster PoseySFC3/27/1987
Cameron MaybinSDOF4/4/1987
Carlos SantanaCLEC4/8/1986
Charlie BlackmonCOLOF7/1/1986
Chris CarterHOUIF12/18/1986
Colby RasmusTOROF8/11/1986
Collin CowgillLAAOF5/22/1986
Conor GillaspieCHWIF7/18/1987
Dan ButlerBOSC10/17/1986
Daniel DescalsoSTLIF10/19/1986
Danny EspinosaWASIF4/25/1987
Darin RufPHIOF7/28/1986
David AdamsBALIF5/15/1987
Dean AnnaNYYIF11/24/1986
Desmond JenningsTBOF10/30/1986
Efren NavarroLAAIF5/14/1986
Eric SogardOAKIF5/22/1986
Evan GattisATLC8/18/1986
Everth CabreraSDIF11/17/1986
Gerardo ParraARZOF5/6/1987
Gordon BeckhamCHWIF9/16/1986
Henry UrrutiaBALDH2/13/1987
Ike DavisNYMIF3/22/1987
J.B. ShuckLAAOF6/18/1987
Jake ElmoreOAKIF6/15/1987
Jason CastroHOUC6/18/1987
Jason KipnisCLEIF4/3/1987
Jay BruceCINOF4/3/1987
Jeff BianchiMLWIF10/5/1986
Jemile WeeksBALIF1/26/1987
Johnny GiavotellaKCIF7/10/1987
Jonathan LucroyMLWC6/13/1986
Jordan DanksCHWOF8/7/1986
Jordan SchaferATLOF9/4/1986
Jordy MercerPITIF8/27/1986
Jose AbreuCHWIF1/29/1987
Josh HarrisonPITIF7/8/1987
Josh ReddickOAKOF2/19/1987
Josh TholeTORC10/28/1986
Juan PerezSFOF11/13/1986
Justin SmoakSEAIF12/5/1986
Justin UptonSDOF8/25/1987
Kent MatthesOAKOF1/8/1987
Kirk NieuwenhuisNYMOF8/7/1987
Kyle BlanksSDOF9/11/1986
Logan ForsytheTBIF1/14/1987
Logan MorrisonSEAIF8/25/1987
Logan SchaferMLWOF9/8/1986
Lorenzo CainKCOF4/13/1986
Martin MaldonadoMLWC8/16/1986
Matt den DekkerNYMOF8/10/1987
Matt WietersBALC5/21/1986
Michael BrantleyCLEOF5/15/1987
Michael SaundersSEAOF11/19/1986
Mike CarpBOSOF6/30/1986
Nate FreimanOAKIF12/31/1986
Nick BussLADOF12/15/1986
Pablo SandovalSFIF8/11/1986
Pedro AlvarezPITIF2/6/1987
Pedro FlorimonMINIF12/10/1986
Peter BourjosSTLOF3/31/1987
Roger KieschnickARZOF1/21/1987
Ryan FlahertyBALIF7/27/1986
Ryan LavarnwayBOSC8/7/1987
Scott Van SlykeLADOF7/24/1986
Steve ClevengerBALC4/5/1986
Tim FederowiczLADC8/5/1987
Tommy FieldLAAIF2/22/1987
Tony CampanaARZOF5/30/1986
Tony CruzSTLC8/18/1986
Trevor PlouffeMINIF6/15/1986
Tyler MooreWASOF1/30/1987
Welington CastilloCHCC4/24/1987
Wilson RamosWASC8/10/1987
Yan GomesCLEC7/19/1987
Yangervis SolarteNYYIF7/7/1987
Yonder AlonsoSDIF4/8/1987
Zach LutzNYMIF6/3/1986

List of 2014 Qualifying Hitters From Lowest To Highest BABIP

Bounce-back rebound candidates are towards the top

 LgAvg per 600 PA  6000.2970.2490.3120.3830.695
147Brian McCann*30NYY5380.2310.2320.2860.4060.692
146Mark Teixeira#34NYY5080.2330.2160.3130.3980.711
145Chris Davis*28BAL5250.2420.1960.3000.4040.704
144Matt Dominguez24HOU6070.2440.2150.2560.3300.586
143Carlos Santana#28CLE6600.2490.2310.3650.4270.792
142Zack Cozart28CIN5430.2550.2210.2680.3000.568
141David Ortiz*38BOS6020.2560.2630.3550.5170.873
140Edwin Encarnacion31TOR5420.2600.2680.3540.5470.901
139Dayan Viciedo25CHW5630.2610.2310.2810.4050.686
138Andrelton Simmons24ATL5760.2630.2440.2860.3310.617
136Curtis Granderson*33NYM6540.2650.2270.3260.3880.714
137Albert Pujols34LAA6950.2650.2720.3240.4660.790
134Allen Craig29TOT5050.2660.2150.2790.3150.594
135Coco Crisp#34OAK5360.2660.2460.3360.3630.699
133Chris Carter27HOU5720.2670.2270.3080.4910.799
129Domonic Brown*26PHI5120.2690.2350.2850.3490.634
130Jay Bruce*27CIN5450.2690.2170.2810.3730.654
131Brian Dozier27MIN7070.2690.2420.3450.4160.762
132Jimmy Rollins#35PHI6090.2690.2430.3230.3940.717
128Asdrubal Cabrera#28TOT6160.2720.2410.3070.3870.694
127Dustin Ackley*26SEA5420.2730.2450.2930.3980.692
122Khris Davis26MIL5490.2750.2440.2990.4570.756
123Omar Infante32KCR5750.2750.2520.2950.3370.632
124Miguel Montero*30ARI5600.2750.2430.3290.3700.699
125Jean Segura24MIL5570.2750.2460.2890.3260.614
126Yangervis Solarte#26TOT5350.2750.2600.3360.3690.705
121Aaron Hill32ARI5410.2760.2440.2870.3670.654
120Adam LaRoche*34WSN5860.2770.2590.3620.4550.817
118Josh Donaldson28OAK6950.2780.2550.3420.4560.798
119Salvador Perez24KCR6060.2780.2600.2890.4030.692
117Jed Lowrie#30OAK5660.2810.2490.3210.3550.676
116Yunel Escobar31TBR5290.2820.2580.3240.3400.664
114Lucas Duda*28NYM5960.2830.2530.3490.4810.830
115Brandon Moss*30OAK5800.2830.2340.3340.4380.772
112Evan Longoria28TBR7000.2850.2530.3200.4040.724
113Jordy Mercer27PIT5550.2850.2550.3050.3870.693
110Adam Dunn*34TOT5110.2860.2190.3370.4150.752
111B.J. Upton29ATL5820.2860.2080.2870.3330.620
109Jose Bautista33TOR6730.2870.2860.4030.5240.928
104Nelson Cruz33BAL6780.2880.2710.3330.5250.859
105Ryan Howard*34PHI6480.2880.2230.3100.3800.690
106Ian Kinsler32DET7260.2880.2750.3070.4200.727
107Jason Kipnis*27CLE5550.2880.2400.3100.3300.640
108Neil Walker#28PIT5710.2880.2710.3420.4670.809
103Garrett Jones*33MIA5470.2900.2460.3090.4110.720
101Jhonny Peralta32STL6280.2920.2630.3360.4430.779
102Alexei Ramirez32CHW6570.2920.2730.3050.4080.713
100Yoenis Cespedes28TOT6450.2930.2600.3010.4500.751
96Jason Castro*27HOU5120.2940.2220.2860.3660.651
97Adrian Gonzalez*32LAD6600.2940.2760.3350.4820.817
98Derek Jeter40NYY6340.2940.2560.3040.3130.617
99Luis Valbuena*28CHC5470.2940.2490.3410.4350.776
95Chase Utley*35PHI6640.2950.2700.3390.4070.746
91Xander Bogaerts21BOS5940.2960.2400.2970.3620.660
92Jacoby Ellsbury*30NYY6350.2960.2710.3280.4190.747
93Desmond Jennings27TBR5420.2960.2440.3190.3780.697
94Kyle Seager*26SEA6540.2960.2680.3340.4540.788
90Erick Aybar#30LAA6420.2970.2780.3210.3790.700
89Matt Holliday34STL6670.2980.2720.3700.4410.811
87Nick Markakis*30BAL7100.2990.2760.3420.3860.729
88Trevor Plouffe28MIN5820.2990.2580.3280.4230.751
86Pablo Sandoval#27SFG6380.3000.2790.3240.4150.739
83Chase Headley#30TOT5310.3010.2430.3280.3720.700
84Dioner Navarro#30TOR5200.3010.2740.3170.3950.712
85Ben Zobrist#33TBR6540.3010.2720.3540.3950.749
81Ryan Braun30MIL5800.3040.2660.3240.4530.777
82Billy Hamilton#23CIN6110.3040.2500.2920.3550.648
78Elvis Andrus25TEX6850.3050.2630.3140.3330.647
79Brett Gardner*30NYY6360.3050.2560.3270.4220.749
80Seth Smith*31SDP5210.3050.2660.3670.4400.807
77Gerardo Parra*27TOT5740.3060.2610.3080.3690.677
75Brandon Crawford*27SFG5640.3070.2460.3240.3890.713
76Dustin Pedroia30BOS6090.3070.2780.3370.3760.712
73Shin-Soo Choo*31TEX5290.3080.2420.3400.3740.714
74Jason Heyward*24ATL6490.3080.2710.3510.3840.735
72Todd Frazier28CIN6600.3090.2730.3360.4590.795
67Billy Butler28KCR6030.3100.2710.3230.3790.702
68Alex Gordon*30KCR6430.3100.2660.3510.4320.783
69Martin Prado30TOT5730.3100.2820.3210.4120.733
70Aramis Ramirez36MIL5310.3100.2850.3300.4270.757
71Kurt Suzuki30MIN5030.3100.2880.3450.3830.727
64Torii Hunter38DET5860.3110.2860.3190.4460.765
65Adam Jones28BAL6820.3110.2810.3110.4690.780
66Anthony Rizzo*24CHC6160.3110.2860.3860.5270.913
62Eric Hosmer*24KCR5470.3120.2700.3180.3980.716
63Jose Reyes#31TOR6550.3120.2870.3280.3980.726
61Kole Calhoun*26LAA5370.3130.2720.3250.4500.776
59Nori Aoki*32KCR5490.3140.2850.3490.3600.710
60Anthony Rendon24WSN6830.3140.2870.3510.4730.824
58Charlie Blackmon*27COL6480.3150.2880.3350.4400.775
56Melky Cabrera#29TOR6210.3160.3010.3510.4580.808
57Victor Martinez#35DET6410.3160.3350.4090.5650.974
54Alejandro De Aza*30TOT5280.3170.2520.3140.3860.700
55J.J. Hardy31BAL5690.3170.2680.3090.3720.682
52Matt Carpenter*28STL7090.3180.2720.3750.3750.750
53Hunter Pence31SFG7080.3180.2770.3320.4450.777
50James Loney*30TBR6510.3190.2900.3360.3800.716
51Buster Posey27SFG6050.3190.3110.3640.4900.854
48DJ LeMahieu25COL5380.3220.2670.3150.3480.663
49Daniel Murphy*29NYM6420.3220.2890.3320.4030.734
46Adeiny Hechavarria25MIA5740.3230.2760.3080.3560.664
47Hanley Ramirez30LAD5120.3230.2830.3690.4480.817
45Jonathan Lucroy28MIL6550.3240.3010.3730.4650.837
42Conor Gillaspie*26CHW5060.3250.2820.3360.4160.752
43Austin Jackson27TOT6560.3250.2560.3080.3470.655
44David Wright31NYM5860.3250.2690.3240.3740.698
38Nick Castellanos22DET5790.3260.2590.3060.3940.700
39Ian Desmond28WSN6480.3260.2550.3130.4300.743
40Alcides Escobar27KCR6200.3260.2850.3170.3770.694
41Yan Gomes26CLE5180.3260.2780.3130.4720.785
37Lonnie Chisenhall*25CLE5330.3280.2800.3430.4270.770
33David Freese31LAA5110.3300.2600.3210.3830.704
34Justin Morneau*33COL5500.3300.3190.3640.4960.860
35Ben Revere*26PHI6260.3300.3060.3250.3610.686
36Denard Span*30WSN6680.3300.3020.3550.4160.771
32Justin Upton26ATL6410.3320.2700.3420.4910.833
31Michael Brantley*27CLE6760.3330.3270.3850.5060.890
28Robinson Cano*31SEA6650.3350.3140.3820.4540.836
29Casey McGehee31MIA6910.3350.2870.3550.3570.712
30Alex Rios33TEX5210.3350.2800.3110.3980.709
27Leonys Martin*26TEX5830.3360.2740.3250.3640.689
25Starlin Castro24CHC5690.3370.2920.3390.4380.777
26Marcell Ozuna23MIA6120.3370.2690.3170.4550.772
24Matt Adams*25STL5630.3380.2880.3210.4570.779
23Carlos Gomez28MIL6440.3390.2840.3560.4770.833
22Marlon Byrd36PHI6370.3410.2640.3120.4450.757
21Joe Mauer*31MIN5180.3420.2770.3610.3710.732
20Jayson Werth35WSN6290.3430.2920.3940.4550.849
17Adrian Beltre35TEX6140.3450.3240.3880.4920.879
18Chris Johnson29ATL6110.3450.2630.2920.3610.653
19Matt Kemp29LAD5990.3450.2870.3460.5060.852
15Miguel Cabrera31DET6850.3460.3130.3710.5240.895
16Dee Gordon*26LAD6500.3460.2890.3260.3780.704
14Howie Kendrick30LAA6740.3470.2930.3470.3970.744
13Mike Trout22LAA7050.3490.2870.3770.5610.939
11Dexter Fowler#28HOU5050.3510.2760.3750.3990.774
12Freddie Freeman*24ATL7080.3510.2880.3860.4610.847
9Josh Harrison26PIT5500.3530.3150.3470.4900.837
10Giancarlo Stanton24MIA6380.3530.2880.3950.5550.950
8Andrew McCutchen27PIT6480.3550.3140.4100.5420.952
5Jose Abreu27CHW6220.3560.3170.3830.5810.964
6Yasiel Puig23LAD6400.3560.2960.3820.4800.863
7Christian Yelich*22MIA6600.3560.2840.3620.4020.764
4Adam Eaton*25CHW5380.3590.3000.3620.4010.763
3Jose Altuve24HOU7070.3600.3410.3770.4530.830
2Starling Marte25PIT5450.3730.2910.3560.4530.808
1Lorenzo Cain28KCR5020.3800.3010.3390.4120.751
*Left Handed Batter        
#Switch Hitter       

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