2017 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Super-Sleepers

by Dennis Sosic
2017 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Super-Sleepers

Looking for an edge in later rounds of your draft?  Worried about what to do with your last roster spot? Stolen bases? Home runs?

As you assemble your team, you realize your weaknesses, well, at least you should and you need to satisfy those needs.

I came up with five hitters that will be available in the later rounds with an ADP over 300 that will cure your team's ills.

Please mark these players on your cheat sheets.

Also be sure to check out my Pitching Super-Sleepers.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Super-Sleepers

Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres (Fantasy Pros Overall ADP:  336)

Hedges is expected to be the Padres' No.1 backstop this season after the Padres thought enough of him to deal incumbent starter Derek Norris to make room for the 24-year-old.

Widely regarded as one of the minors' top defensive catchers, his bat turned the corner. He slashed 21 home runs and 82 RBIs with Triple-A El Paso last year.

He makes an intriguing late-round option at a very thin position. Value and upside at the catcher position are the way to go.

He should be targeted in deeper fantasy formats and is a must find in two-catcher leagues.

My 2017 Projections:  .246 Avg., 14 HR, 55 RBIs, 40 R

Steve Pearce, 1B/2B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays (ADP:  358)

In 85 games last season, Pearce batted .288 with 35 runs. 13 home runs, 35 RBIs, and a .867 OPS in 264 at-bats between the Orioles and Blue Jays, before undergoing forearm surgery in September.

The Blue Jays signed Pearce to a deal early in the off-season and are targeting him to be their regular left fielder and to platoon with Justin Smoak at 1B.

Pearce's 135 OPS+ in 2016 was two points HIGHER than the 133 mark now former first baseman Edwin Encarnacion posted for the Blue Jays in 2016.

Fantasy owners should consider him as a sneaky addition in deep leagues, especially in formats where he is eligible at second base (15 games last season) in addition to outfielder and first base.

The 33-year-old could tally 25 homers and 75 RBIs if he tallies 500-plus at-bats this season.

My 2017 Projections:  .270 AVG., 26 HR, 80 RBIs, 65 R

Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies (ADP:  302)


Hernandez is the projected leadoff man for the Phillies. Last season, he had an average of .294 and an OBP of .371, 67 runs and 17 steals.  His 11 triples led the majors.

After Hernandez was installed as the leadoff man last season, he scored 38 runs in 61 games.  That put him on the edge of a 100-run pace for a full season.

Hernandez also improved as the season went along.  He got on base at a .421 clip and hit .326 over his final 83 games.

His biggest drawback is his stolen base inefficiency. He was caught stealing 13 times in 30 attempts.  There has been extensive work being done by the Phillies' staff this spring in working with Hernandez in improving his mental approach and the key aspects of base-stealing.

With his improved on-base percentage, there will be even more opportunities for him to steal bases and score more runs.

He will be available late in drafts and will be worth the risk as you draft other positions and get a steal in Hernandez. He will provide a solid average and 30-plus steals.

My 2017 Projections: .285 AVG, 8 HR, 50 RBIs, 70 R, 33 SB

Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners (ADP:  315)

Haniger was dominant at Triple-A last season, posting a .341/.428/.670 line.

He hit 30 home runs and stole 12 bases across three levels, including 34 MLB games last season.

Traded from the D-backs to the Mariners in the offseason, the 26-year-old slugger showed intriguing power by ripping five home runs across 109 at-bats last season with the Diamondbacks.

Haniger is the favorite to start in RF and should hit in the back half of a potentially productive lineup.

He should still see plenty of RBI opportunities and is a legitimate 20-homer, 20-steal candidate, which would provide a huge profit pick in the later rounds.

My 2107 Projections:  .265 AVG, 26 HR, 75 RBIs, 60 R, 21 SB

Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Kansas City Royals (ADP: 313)

Brandon Moss signed with the Royals during the offseason to be their primary DH, following the departure of Kendrys Morales and to fill in at 1B and outfield.

Moss had a decent season with the St. Louis Cardinals last season. Despite playing in just 128 games due to a hip injury, he hit 28 home runs, 67 RBI and .225/.300/.484. It was the lowest games played since 2012.

If he was able to play in at least 145 games, like the previous three seasons, he would have hit 32 homers and 76 RBI.

He is a huge drain in your batting average.  Moss has four consecutive seasons with a batting average under .240.

He is still a great cheap power source.  Moss has cranked at least 20 home runs in each of his last five seasons.

Brandon Moss ranks inside the Top-10 designated hitters.  Also, he still has first base and outfield eligibility.  Moss will be someone you draft to fill your utility spot and back up two positions.

My 2017 Projections: .240 AVG, 29 HR, 72 RBIs, 60 R

Be sure to check out our Rankings, Position Preview and much more in the 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit.

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