Monday, February 1, 2016


More often then not, when panning for solid fantasy baseball sleepers, fertile ground for such hitters or pitchers usually resisde in teams that are not expected to be contenders for the upcoming year.  With team such as these mroe often using young players to show if they are part of the future, some real gems can be found by those fantasy baseball players who look under ever nook and cranny.  One such team that falls under this classification for 2016 are the Philadelphia Phillies who began completely tearing up their team in 2015 and on paper look like a prime challenger to the top pick in the next MLB Draft.  One such player who carries some nice upside intrigue for 2016 is speedy outfielder Odubel Herrera who opened some eyes when he debuted last season at the age of 23 with little to no fanfare attached to his name.  As we always do, let's dig in a bit deeper and find out why Herrera makes the sleeper grade again. 

First let's revisit the nice numbers Herrera put up as he madet he outfielder 3 grade in 2015:

8 HR
41 RBI
64 R
16 SB
495 at-bats

Very nice numbers indeed for Herrera who again was nothing but a waiver add last April as virtually no one heard of him.  Like many stories such as this, Herrera took advantage of the playing time and now has cemented a starting outfielder spot from the get-go in 2016.  A former Rule 5 pick by the Phils, Herrera actually got better as the 2015 season went on, hitting a scorching .329 in the second half of the season and also in the process doubling his walk rate.  Those two numbers show a young player who is figuring things out at the major league level in terms of hitting and points to some more promise ahead.

When digging into the numbers a bit more, Herrera's greatest skills set is his speed.  A natural leadoff or top of the order hitter, Herrera can be a 20-plus stolen base/75-plus runs scored asset right off the bat.  In addition, Herrera has had some good K rates while in the minors leagues and his 24 percent mark in 2015, while quite high, got better as the season went on.  With very good speed to post some above-average BABIP numbers, Herrera could very well hit near .300 again which when paired with the steals and runs cement his status as an outfielder 3 candidate.  Finally, Herrera was no zero  in the home run department as he hit 8 in less than 500 at-bats.  Of course we are not talking about a 20-home run hitter here but 10-plus is very possible as he grows more physically. 

When you put all the numbers together, Odubel Herrera looks like a very affordable sleeper candidate this season who can easily fill your outfielder 3 spot on your roster.  We like the already apparent skills and the decent amount of upside seasons he has left to his name.  Buy into the kid.

2016 PROJECTION:  .294 9 HR 55 RBI 79 R 23 SB 


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