Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2020: Top sleepers, breakouts, busts by same model that nailed Bieber’s big season


New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and Houston Astros outfielder Yordan Alvarez entered the 2019 season among the top prospects in all of baseball. While many predicted they had massive upside, few could have guessed how quickly they’d reach their potential. Alonso hit 53 home runs on his way to the NL Rookie of the Year, while Alvarez won the AL Rookie of the Year thanks to a robust 1.067 OPS. Those two players are now established entities, but where do they belong in your 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings?

The coronavirus pandemic has halted baseball, but the league is working hard to find a safe way to get in a shortened schedule. Identifying potential 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts is still the key to developing a successful 2020 Fantasy baseball draft strategy. Before you go on the clock in your drafts, be sure to check out the 2020 Fantasy baseball cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball breakouts, including Cleveland Indians All-Star starting pitcher Shane Bieber. The 24-year-old broke through with a 15-8 record, 3.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts over 214.1 innings to finish as the No. 5 starting pitcher in all of Fantasy baseball even though he was being drafted in the 15th round in standard 12-team leagues. 

The team at SportsLine was all over Bieber as a Fantasy breakout from the start. Their model had him listed much higher than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice was well positioned for a league title.

Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2020 Fantasy Baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy Baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day. Any time an injury occurs or there’s a change on a depth chart, the team at SportsLine updates its Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.

When it came to ranking players in Fantasy football, SportsLine’s Projection Model beat human experts last season when there were big differences in ranking. And the model was the closest to the hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. That could literally be the difference between winning your league or going home empty-handed.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk. The 28-year-old has been a steady source of power since breaking in with the Cardinals in 2014. He now has 122 home runs in 2,476 career plate appearances after hitting a career-high 31 a season ago.

Grichuk experienced poor batted-ball luck with a .266 BABIP that was 29 points below his career average. Plus, he’s hitting in a lineup that should be improving with talented prospects like Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. coming into their own. If he can get his average into the high .240s and raise his OBP past .300, he has .800-plus OPS potential. That’s why the model ranks him ahead of right fielders like Trey Mancini and Aaron Judge, who are going at least 10 rounds earlier on average.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball breakouts to target: Rangers left fielder Willie Calhoun. The 25-year-old was once a consensus top-100 prospect, but fell off many experts’ radars in 2018 after he went from hitting 32 home runs across all levels in 2017 to just 11. However, Calhoun found his power stroke again in 2019, posting a .962 OPS in Triple-A to earn a call-up to Texas in May. 

Calhoun proceeded to hit 21 home runs for the Rangers and posted an .848 OPS, but he’s just scratching the surface of his potential. Calhoun’s 6.8 percent walk rate in Texas was well below his 9.0 percent career average in the minors, while his .262 BABIP was also a far cry from his career minor league BABIP of around .300. We should eventually see a more patient approach from Calhoun, better batted-ball luck, and prodigious power, which should play well in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. That’s why the model ranks him as its No. 2 left fielder despite the fact that he’s going in the 13th round on average.

Top 2020 Fantasy baseball busts

One of the 2020 Fantasy baseball busts the model is fading: Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish. After making just eight starts and posting a 4.95 ERA in his first season with the Cubs after signing a six-year, $126 million deal in 2018, Darvish bounced back slightly in 2019. He posted a 3.98 ERA while going 6-8 with 229 strikeouts in 178.2 innings. 

However, there were still plenty of red flags surrounding Darvish’s 2019 season. The 33-year-old gave up a league-leading 33 home runs, and despite consistent fastball velocity and spin rate over the last four seasons, his four-seamer was hammered (.594 opponent slugging percentage). That points to serious issues locating his fastball, while his average exit velocity was up nearly 2 mph as a result. That’s why the model ranks him behind hurlers like Dakota Hudson and Merrill Kelly, who are being drafted 10 rounds later on average.

How to find proven 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also fading one of the top 10 catchers off the board, saying he doesn’t even crack the top 20 when the season is over. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

So which 2020 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2020 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Shane Bieber’s All-Star season, and find out.





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