Many will say that picking any San Diego Padres in a fantasy baseball draft besides Wil Myers would be a mistake. But what they don’t realize is that the club has several sleepers waiting to burst onto the major league scene.
The rise of fantasy sports has led to a shift in fans’ attitudes and interests when it comes to their favorite professional league. Fantasy baseball is growing in popularity, and drafts for most leagues are right around the corner.
Preparation has already begun for serious players, as many will be taking a look at some of baseball’s top players whom they will select in the early rounds. But even more intriguing than this is which players may be steals later in drafts. Everyone knows to pick Mike Trout if given the opportunity. Fantasy team owners who pick up the right sleepers are the ones which separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Apparently, few are optimistic about the San Diego Padres and their fantasy outlook for 2017.
According to CBS Sports, fantasy owners should steer clear of the young talent which even they admit have made “strong impressions” such as Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot. In fact, besides Wil Myers, it looks as if fantasy owners won’t take chances on any Padres.
"“That half of the rebuild is further along [the offense], with top prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot both having graduated (and made strong impressions) late last year. And of course, the Padres picked the right time to buy into Wil Myers, watching him become an All-Star at age 25. But leadoff man Travis Jankowski, a source of optimism a couple years ago, looks like your classic speedster who can’t steal first base, and with defensive-minded solutions at both catcher and shortstop … well, let’s just say these Padres aren’t giving the 2016 Red Sox a run for their money."
Fantasypros.com’s fantasy outfield rankings would seem to second this conclusion. Renfroe is the highest ranked San Diego outfield, coming in 63rd. Margot shows up at 88, and Travis Jankowski and Alex Dickerson rank 93rd and 110th, respectively.
If an average of three outfielders are selected per round in a fantasy draft, it would take approximately twenty rounds for any Padres to come off the board. This makes sense, as the team doesn’t have any elite fielders or hitters in their outfield.
However, it shouldn’t prevent fans from considering taking a risk at the right time for one of these young players. The risk is low, and the reward could be season changing.
Many fans will overlook the possible sleepers which are selected later in the draft. But since the Padres have young outfielders which will undoubtedly play, wondering whether or not the selections will even be in the lineup won’t be a concern. And plus, production has to come from somewhere.
Myers is another player to seriously consider picking up. Even though he is the one player on the roster with large expectations, an early first base pick could go under the radar yet still yield extraordinary results.
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Myers is a five tool player. A Gold Glove finalist in 2016, an all-star, and a natural run producer, the 26-year-old hit 28 home runs and even stole 28 bases last season. All the way around, there is reason to pursue the first baseman aggressively.
The pitching staff is where San Diego’s weakness is as far as fantasy is concerned. But even here, a late Clayton Richard addition shouldn’t be out of the question. After showing improvement in 2016, the 33-year-old will start a lot of games for sure, maybe even as the ace. Since he will still be ranked in the 50-100 range at best. Once again, the risk is low, and the possible reward very high.
For fantasy owners, success comes down to what they do in the later rounds. Finding the right sleeper can change a season completely, and coming away with a steal in the draft is the best winning strategy. Even though the Padres won’t be well represented in the early rounds of your fantasy draft, don’t overlook some of the organization’s young talent later on.