Reasonable minds can debate how the terms “sleeper” and “bust” should be applied in fantasy baseball -- but really, it’s all about value. Last season, for example, outfielders Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen were notable first-round busts and poor values, though they weren’t exactly terrible. We didn’t know this in March, of course, but it would have looked pretty silly to disseminate our rankings with Harper located one round later than Jackie Bradley Jr. and McCutchen ranked after Cesar Hernandez.
Still, perhaps some of us liked Bradley and Hernandez more than others, making them our personal sleepers. (This year, they’re anything but.) There are countless hitters who I prefer either significantly more or less than where they appear either in the rankings of my colleagues or in their likely placements in the average ESPN live draft. That value adjustment is what should drive those key terms regarding comparative value. I’ll likely select Manuel Margot before his established value. Thus, he’s a sleeper. That’s how it works!
Today we’ll go position by position covering the hitters. My esteemed ESPN colleagues Tristan Cockcroft and AJ Mass share their sleepers and busts as well. Some of the names they provided surprise me, but I’m open-minded enough to consider all possibilities!