Fantasy baseball owners can never get enough sleepers. We've already projected potential breakout players for each position and for each team, and undoubtedly you've already circled some guys on your 2017 cheat sheets as potential draft targets, regardless of what the rankings say.
But what if you had to field an entire roster with nothing but sleepers? How would you put that team together? That was our mission with our annual All-Sleeper Team, which features a little bit of everything, including low-average power-hitters, a low-power speedster, and some power-speed guys to even things out.
Fortunately, you won't have to draft a team comprised entirely of sleepers, but this list can help you even if you're just looking for an undervalued guy at a specific position.
Fantasy Baseball Sleepers 2017
Catcher: Mike Zunino, Mariners.This could be a sucker's pick, but catcher is such a weak position that if a backstop can even do justonething really well, he can have value. Zunino can crush baseballs, and he's done so to the tune of 22 homers in a major league season before. Three years removed from that, he seemingly hasn't gotten any better, at least with the big club, but at just 25, it's reasonable to assume he still has a "career year" in him. Yes, the batting average will be a drain, but Zunino could realistically challenge for the league lead in catcher home runs. There's value here.
First base: Tommy Joseph, Phillies.Joseph is another homer-or-bust guy, but he can at least give you a respectable average. He hit .257 with 21 homers in just 107 games last year, and perhaps most impressive is that he hit for power almost as well on the road (.497 SLG) as at home (.513). Once you get past the elite 1Bs, you're mainly just looking for a guy who has a chance to hit 30-plus homers and drive in 90-plus runs. Joseph can be that guy this year.
Second base: Jose Peraza, Reds.Peraza hit five homers and stole 31 bases in 143 games between Triple-A and the majors last year, and he did so while batting .324 at the major league level. His miniscule walk rate is a concern, but he's always posted a high batting average, so it's reasonable to expect him to get on base enough to make a run at 40 steals. He's not going to hit a lot of homers, but at just 22, he should be getting better in that department, too. It's a nice bonus that he's also eligible in the outfieldand at shortstop.
Third base: Ryon Healy, A's.Healy made an adjustment to his swing last year and swatted 27 homers across three levels, including 13 in just 72 major league games. Perhaps surprisingly, he didn't sacrifice any batting average, batting .305 in the majors and.326 in the minors. He's picked up where he left off in spring training, slugging .735 through his first 12 games. The A's have a lot of interchangeable parts at the corner infield/DH/OF spots, but the 25-year-old Healy should get every chance to stick as the everyday DH and hit a bunch of homers this season.
Shortstop: Tim Anderson, White Sox.Anderson doesn't walk (13 free passes compared to 117 Ks in 99 games last year), which is always a concern for a guy whose primary value comes from stolen bases and runs. But he's a career .301 minor league hitter (with a respectable .340 OBP) who hit .283 during his first taste of the majors, so we're not quite as concerned as we normally would be. The 23-year-old shortstop hit 13 homers and stole 23 bases between Triple-A and the majors last year, and he swiped 49 bases at Double-A in 2015. A .280 average with 10 homers, 80 runs, and 30 steals seems very doable.
Outfield: Keon Broxton, Brewers.You could make a case for this list being almost entirely comprised ofBrewers(Hernan Perez, Orlando Arcia, Eric Thames, Domingo Santana), but Broxton is our favorite after he turned in a nine-homer, 23-steal season in just 75 major league games last year (plus another eight homers and 18 steals in 47 Triple-A games). His high K-rate and subsequent drain on his average are legit worries, but we're basically looking at Carlos Gomez 2.0 here (with a lower average). Don't miss out.
Outfield: Mitch Haniger, Mariners.The 26-year-old former D-back absolutely tore up Triple-A last year (.341/.428/.670) and has been killing it so far this spring. This pick is almost too obvious, which makes us worried, but sometimes you just have to go with the obvious pick, even if said obvious pick is going to be playing in a pitchers park. We don't expect monster numbers from Haniger, but considering he went 30/12 across 55 Double-A games, 74 Triple-A games and 34 major league games last year, there's plenty of upside.
Outfield: Jorge Soler, Royals. We know, we know -- post-hype sleepers aren't nearly as fun as breakout candidates like Byron Buxton and Hunter Renfroe, but value is value, and Soler could be a major steal given his age (just turned 25) and finally havingan everyday spot in a lineup. Sure, Kansas City isn't known as a great hitters park, but Soler can hit bombs out of any stadium, and after popping 12 homers in just 86 games last year, it's not crazy to think he can get to 30 this season. It was also encouraging to see him significantly up his BB-rate(11.7 percent) and lower his K-rate (25) from 2015.
Utility: Jurickson Profar, Rangers.Profar is eligible at every position except catcher in Yahoo leagues, so that's why he gets our "UTIL" spot. Still only 24, Profar's top-prospect pedigree can't be ignored, even if he hasn't made good on all his talent during his injury-plagued career. There's really nothing to point to last year other than a good BB-rate (9.8 percent) and relatively low K-rate (19.9) to encourage us, but between the versatility, hitting environment, and potent lineup, Profarcould be a nice player to own in daily leagues.
Starting Pitcher: Matt Shoemaker, Angels.Here's another "been-there-done-that" guy, but it's also another guy who made an adjustment to his approach (more split-fingers) and saw a big improvement in his production. Even with Shoemaker's fly-ball tendencies, he's a low-walk, good-K guy who limits runs.
Starting Pitcher: Sean Manaea, A's.Manaea found his footing after a rough first six starts in the majors, turning in a 2.95/1.09 line with an 8.3 K/9 ratio in 106.2 innings the rest of the way. His impressive minor league numbers (2.85/1.25, 10.8K/9) are good indicators of future success for the 25-year-old righty, and we always like pitchers in roomy ballparks like Oakland Alameda Coliseum.
Starting Pitcher: James Paxton, Mariners.Like his teammate Haniger, everyone seems to be on Paxton's potential breakout. Last year's advanced stats (2.80 FIP, 4.9 K/BB ratio) suggest the 28-year-old lefty is much better than his standard numbers, and his relative health (31 starts) wasan even better sign. Paxton has never been able to keep it together for an entire season, but that doesn't mean he'll never be able to do it.
Starting Pitcher: Jerad Eickhoff, Phillies.Eickhoff is probably the most boring, "low-ceiling" player on this list, but boring isn't always a bad thing. The 26-year-old righty has a 3.44/1.14 line with a 7.8 K/9 ratio in 41 major league starts, and he saw an uptick in K-rate late last year when he started throwing more curveballs. What's not to like here?
Starting Pitcher: Daniel Norris, Tigers.Norris struck out over a batter per inning last year and noticeably improved his BB-rate (2.9). Now, if he can just limit the homers, he could be a stud fantasy pitcher. Considering he's not even 24, the potential for improvement is very real.
Relief Pitcher: Cam Bedrosian, Angels.Bedrosian saw big improvements across the board last year, most notable to his K/BB ratio (3.6, up from just 1.8 the previous season). With Huston Street already dealing with a lat injury, the door is open for Bedrosian to take the Angels' closer job and run with it. Given the uncertainty surrounding his situation, it will be tough to draft him among the top 15 closers, but he could easily finish in that group at the end of the year.
Relief Pitcher: Shawn Kelley, Nationals.Over the past two seasons, Kelley has produced a 2.55 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 11.8 K/9 ratio. Those are the numbers of a top-10 closer. For some reason, the Nats don't seem to want to trust him with the job, but after striking out on the free agent/trade market this offseason, it looks like Kelley will get the gig by default. Job security is an issue, but the talent is clearly there for a big season. (Update: Nats manager Dusty Baker has suggested Koda Glover is the favorite for the closer's job. Glover has a 2.09/0.90 line with a 10.9 K/9 ratio in two minor league seasons. Kelley could still take over the job at some point, especially if Glover struggles leading up to opening day.)