As we round the corner and approach the Fantasy Baseball season, it is more important than ever to focus on the hidden gems. These super sleepers can potentially vault your roster to the top. With major changes to the game, including bigger bases and the banishment of the shift, it's vital to get ahead of your opposing fantasy managers with the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Super Sleepers - Pitchers.
When it comes to super sleepers, you must factor in draft cost with the potential fantasy payout that the player can provide. When looking at these types of players, I tend to pick younger options that have a bigger chance of breaking out. Typically, a talented prospect with a major discount will provide more potential that an overlooked veteran. Most of the guys on this list fit that bill, but there are some exceptions.
As we look at 2023 super sleeper options, we will be going off of Fantasy Pro's Average Draft Position that takes in multiple different rankings. Below are 10 fantasy options that are going later than the 300 mark. Keep your eye on these players as you enter your draft and check out our Fantasy Baseball Rankings here to get some additional advice!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Super Sleepers - Pitchers
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Domingo German, New York Yankees (ADP: 352)
Back in 2019, German was a dominant asset for fantasy managers. He was 18-4 with 153 strikeouts in 143 innings. Since then, he has faced a couple of injury hurdles and hasn’t been able to replicate what he once looked like.
Last season, German wasn’t great. He returned from injury to go 2-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 72.1 innings. So why does he make the super sleeper list this year? Well in 2022, German was coming back from injury and was never able to stay in a full-time starting role for the New York Yankees. After the trade deadline, he vacillated between starter and reliever, something that can negatively impact a pitcher like German.
"He certainly understands where he's at in his career and the opportunities that are in front of him right now."
Aaron Boone on Domingo Germán growth over the years and potential to join the rotation.#YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/GOSx3OgaNT
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) February 15, 2023
Heading into 2023, he looked like he was headed back for another stint as a reliever. That was until the most recent Frankie Montas news. From the looks of it, Montas may miss a good portion (if not all) of 2023. To make matters worse for the Yankees, Nestor Cortes Jr. is now dealing with an injury. The Yanks traded their best pitching prospects for their 2022 playoff run, so German doesn’t have that to worry about.
Enter Domingo German. He has shown that he has legitimate skills to be a solid fantasy contributor in this league. Getting innings for an offensive powerhouse like the Yankees could prove to be fruitful. German has always had an above-average walk rate, a fantastic fastball and an ability to get hitters to miss.
Sure, he won’t replicate what he did in 2019. But as the fifth starter in New York, he should position himself to get a good number of wins. While he’s better in points leagues, German won’t hurt fantasy managers with his other counting stats. It must feel good to pitch for a team with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo. Keep an eye on German as a super sleeper.
Trevor May, Oakland Athletics (ADP: 384)
After struggling to get it going as a starter for the Minnesota Twins, May transitioned to a reliever role in 2016. Then in 2018, he put together his first solid season with a 3.20 ERA. Last season, May had some good-looking advanced statistics. His fastball velocity was in the 87th percentile while being in the 96th percentile in extension. He also had a 10.8 K/9 rate.
Heading into 2023, May is now in Oakland and should have a major opportunity to close for the Athletics. He has never been a true closer but has always been a solid source of holds. Overall, he has 12 saves, but he could easily surpass that number this season.
After signing a $7 million contract, it is clear the A’s believe in him. Fangraphs projects him to have 17 saves this season, something that could be valuable in deep leagues. While the Athletics won’t be good, any game they win should be close. May should see plenty of opportunities this season.
May is a solid deep sleeper this season. If he continues to feature his fastball and puts it all together, he could push for 20 saves and be a legit option for fantasy managers.
Graham Ashcraft, Cincinnati Reds (ADP: 461)
Here is a guy that just has too much raw power under the hood to be going this deep in drafts. Pitching for the Cincinnati Reds isn’t exciting and can definitely be looked at as a negative. However, last season, Ashcraft showed off some impressive, advanced statistics that make him a super sleeper in 2023.
Graham Ashcraft is the #Reds #3 starter for the foreseeable future with stuff like this...
on the @OfficUnofficPod, Lodolo talked about how good Ashcraft looks this offseason and how he's been working hard on his slider to pair with a 100 MPH cutter and a 100 MPH sinker.. lol https://t.co/wLRaTxCwPV
— Bryce Spalding (@bryce_spalding) February 6, 2023
Sure, the 25-year-old finished the season with a 5-6 record and a 4.89 ERA in 105 innings. Yet, he had only 2.57 BB/9 and was in the 94th percentile with his fastball velocity. He also was in the 88th percentile in barrel % and in the 83rd percentile for average exit velocity. The guy throws heat!
Ashcraft was also solid in early June, striking out 23 in 30 innings with a 1.09 WHIP while keeping hitters to a .235 batting average. He certainly showed some ability in the majors to contribute as a fantasy option. It’s not like it came out of the blue. The former sixth-round pick was a combined 11-4 in 2021 with a 3.00 ERA in 111 innings. He also had 129 strikeouts. Before joining the majors, he lowered his ERA to 2.58 in 2022.
While he won’t become a staple in your rotation, Ashcraft is certainly good enough to keep an eye on. Starting pitching is always tough to find, so snagging someone with zero cost makes for a potentially lucrative payout. It’s far better to take a shot on someone with a higher ceiling like Ashcraft than some of the other pitching leftovers.
Brusdar Graterol, Los Angeles Dodgers (ADP: 471)
As Graterol enters his fifth season in the MLB, there is now a clearer path for him to be the closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kenley Jansen is in Boston and Blake Treinen will be sidelined for an indefinite amount of time after surgery on his right shoulder.
Brusdar is still only 24 years old and is an absolute flamethrower. He was in the 97th percentile for fastball velocity last season and impressed with a 3.26 ERA and .987 WHIP in 49.2 innings.
Right now, the Dodgers have no clear answer for the ninth inning. While they recently signed Alex Reyes, he has dealt with injuries in the past. Graterol is by far the most talented reliever for the Dodgers. He allowed just 0.54 home runs per nine innings last season with only 1.81 walks. Those are numbers you would like to see from a closer.
The former Minnesota Twins' top prospect heads into 2023 as the perfect super sleeper. He is on a team with a potent offense and no clear answers at the closer position. Even if he doesn’t take over the role, he should still provide a good amount of holds with solid percentages. By All-Star break, don’t be surprised if his kid is entrenched in the Dodger’s ninth inning role.
Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox (ADP: 557)
White Sox fans can rejoice as another player from Chicago makes the list. The 29-year-old has had an interesting year since joining the Major League in 2016. Lopez used to be strictly a starter and struggled to produce valuable fantasy numbers. While he had a middling 2018 season, he finished 2019 with a 10-15 record and an underwhelming 5.38 ERA.
However, the White Sox decided to move him to the bullpen and things started to turn around. Last year, as a reliever, he pitched 65.1 innings with a solid 2.76 ERA and .949 WHIP. The advanced statistics looked even better. Lopez was in the 84th percentile for xSLG, 84th percentile for Barrel % and 95th percentile in BB%. He has had much more control as a reliever and his fastball has become quite the weapon.
Heading into 2023, there are major question marks surrounding the White Sox closing job. Incumbent closer Liam Hendricks was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (keeping Hendricks in our thoughts and wishing the best for him) and it is uncertain when we will return, if at all. Kendall Graveman is another weapon in the bullpen for Chicago, but he has a career ERA over 4.00 and has never been a full-time closer.
This is the year where Lopez could truly break out. Should he be given the keys to the closer position, Lopez would have a chance to go for 30+ saves. The White Sox have another formidable roster with great starting pitching and an excellent lineup. The team should contend in the AL Central and Lopez should flourish. Even if he doesn’t close initially, he could still be useful as a setup man as a cheap source for saves and holds. With an ADP of 557, he’s a complete afterthought to fantasy managers. Keep him on your radar and take a deep stab that has a potentially rewarding return.
Thanks for reading the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Super Sleepers - Pitchers. Be prepared for the upcoming season by checking out all the 2023 Fantasy Baseball content on Fantasy Six Pack.
Love the insight here. I think Trevor may gets it going this year