Image credit: USA Today Sports

I’ve lived long enough to go from a time when identifying sleepers was all the rage to a time when denouncing the idea of sleepers is all the rage. Everything comes full circle, from home decorating to facial hair trends to fantasy baseball analysis. This column has never been about sleepers; it’s about preference. You, the reader, are an educated baseball fan who very likely plays in multiple fantasy leagues. You know these players. You don’t need me to explain who they are like you’re some sort of subterranean homesick alien.

Towards the end of every draft or auction, you have a choice of which available players make the best options to roll into the season with as either final active lineup or reserve selections. These are the players I have tended to gravitate towards this pre-season. And to give you a fun glimpse into why, I’m going to use a construct that never goes out of style, like those pesky sleepers have: haikus.

They seem like big deals,
But you’ll drop them around May,
These endgame targets.

12-Team Mixed Leagues

Taijuan Walker (ADP: 202)

Prospect pedigree
And humidor align here.
It’s SP3 time.

Blake Snell (ADP: 206)

The stuff is high-end.
The command’s not quite there yet,
But improved last year.

Amed Rosario (ADP: 237)

You can use steals, right?
Why of course you can use steals
And 10-12 dongs.

Tyler Chatwood (ADP: 262)

On sea-level field
And in front of a good D,
You know the damn words.

Victor Robles (ADP: 266)

Don’t chase Op’ning Day
Or some six-hundred PA,
But Robles will play.

Eduardo Rodriguez (ADP: 319)

A wise DL stash,
And potential SP3.
A risk worth taking.

Hanley Ramirez (ADP: 324)

A healthy Hanley,
Is still a v good Hanley.
Yes, read that as “V.”

15-Team Mixed Leagues

Jesse Winker (ADP: 318)

He’s boring, it’s true,
But he will hit for average.
Just not much power.

Cameron Maybin (ADP: 332)

You still want steals, right?
Of course you do; they are rare.
You’d run from Jeets too.

German Marquez (ADP: 341)

Coors Field is scary,
But it’s no pit of despair.
It’s just a bad park.

Joc Pederson (ADP: 389)

The playoff hero
Fin’lly found a swing that worked
Hope that he keeps it.

Yoshihisa Hirano (ADP: 393)

It’s a Bradley hedge
But a bet on talent too
As role is unclear

Anthony DeSclafani (ADP: 396)

He’s healthy again,
Sort of—there’s an oblique thing.
Least it’s not his arm.

Jorge Soler (ADP: 406)

A post-hype sleeper—
Oh good god, I used the word.
/is eaten by rats

Deep Mixed / AL-Only Leagues

Denard Span (ADP: 453)

They’d rather eat grime
Than give prospects service time
Your Tampa Bay Rays

Luis Valbuena (ADP: 521)

You know that old phrase
About outrunning the bear?
Pujols is your friend.

Kyle Tucker (ADP: 544)

If he rakes, he’ll play
And he will not be blocked by
Gattis and Marwin.

Francisco Liriano (ADP: 625)

There’s no in-between
He’s either GOOD or he’s BAD
Flip a coin, my friend.

Jim Johnson (ADP: 583)

The best predictor
Of future saves is often
Historical saves.

Deep Mixed / NL-Only Leagues

Trevor Williams (ADP: 446)

Innings, a good park
And a wide-open depth chart
Make nice bedfellows.

Chris Stratton (ADP: 473)

Innings, a good park
And little minor league depth
Work in his favor.

Robert Gsellman (ADP: 570)

They will all get hurt
The bodies will pile high
Someone has to pitch.

Amir Garrett (ADP: 608)

Yes, last year was bad
But his spring velo is up
Okay to dream big

Wade Miley (ADP: 689)

Bet you didn’t know
That he was even in camp
He’ll outlive us all

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe