I look at all kinds of stats to find sleepers for next year.  Brandon Belt was one name that came up on a lot of different searches through last year’s numbers.  No, smart guy, I wasn’t searching “Players that have disappointed year after year.”  Belt had the ninth best for Hard Contact Percentage.  Like a bar stool, that’s right behind Miguel Cabrera.  It’s not surprising that Belt was top ten for the majors last year.  Belt hit nearly 40% of all balls hard. (Belt hitting balls hard gives me flashbacks to being bent over my grandmother’s lap.)  The top guy in the majors for Hard Contact was J.D. Martinez at 42.3%, and the difference between Belt and the top guy overall was about the same as the difference between Belt and AL MVP, Josh Donaldson (37.1%).  Guys that Belt hit the ball harder than is a who’s who — Kris Bryant, McCutchen, Votto, Braun, Yoenis, A-Gon, etc. etc. etc.  Another stat where Belt popped up on — actually bad choice of words — was Infield Fly Balls percentage.  Belt had an 0.8% Infield Fly Ball rate, which was 2nd in the league after Christian Yelich, who didn’t pop up once.  Not popping up means you’re hitting the ball solid.  Speaking of hitting the ball solid, guess who led the league in Line Drive Percentage.  I’ll give you one guess, his name rhymes with Random Melt.  It’s Brandon Belt, you dope!  For guys who made the weakest contact overall, it’s no surprise that Belt is in the bottom ten, right in front of Mike Trout.  For just about every stat for a hitter making solid contact, Brandon Belt places.  For the stats that matter for fantasy (HRs/SBs), I’m going to give you two players and one is Belt.  18 HRs/7 SBs vs. 18 HRs/9 SBs.  Like Michael Hutchence, Belt is on the latter.  Eric Hosmer is the first one.  Intrigued yet?  I bet you are, you rabid horny fantasy sleeper monger.  Anyway, what can we expect from Brandon Belt for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

The only thing that held Belt back last year, as it had previously, is his health.  He feels on the brink of being Joey Votto.  Of course, Belt in Great American Ball Park is a whole lot more attractive than in AT&T, and that will likely be the difference between the two next year.  Votto will be projected for around 27 homers and Belt will be projected around 17 homers, so can Belt beat those 17 homers?  Yes, definitely, indubitably.  Last year, he had a 13.6 HR/FB% on a 37.9% fly ball rate.  In 2014, he had a 44% fly ball rate and the year before a 41.3%.  In 2014, it was a small sample size — that’s what she said! — due to only 61 games played.  Can we throw that out?  If you answered in the affirmative, I agree.  It was a lost year.  So, we’re left with 2013.  If he had a 41.3% fly ball rate like he had in 2013 last year with the same 13.6% HR/FB, he would’ve had 20 homers last year.  Now, I said to throw out 2014, but he had a 18.2 HR/FB that year.  If he had a HR/FB% that high with a 41% fly ball rate, he would have 26 homers.  These are not numbers that I’m trying too hard to achieve.  He’s done them before and he’s only 27 years old.  None of this has even accounted for his sneaky speed.  He won’t be a 20 steal guy, but 7-10 steals has been his norm.  So, a guy that makes great contact, that has sneaky speed and is due to break out with power?  Um, yeah, I’m intrigued!  For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 79/21/90/.288/10 and get the sponsorship with Proactiv set up, because the breakout is finally here.

149 Comments
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Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Grey

He is asking for one of these players for Manzara: Posey, Edwin, Votto, Altuve, Donaldson, Correa, Bautista, Cain, Trout, DeGrom, Harvey, Scherzer, Tolleson and KRod. Is anyone worth giving up to get Manzara

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Grey

What are your thoughts on Ray Black. Is he worth getting as a minor league draft pick

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

What is fair trade value for Manzara

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Thinking of offering this: Choo kemp and Glasnow for Bumgarner. Thoughts?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

Grey he is thinking it over overnight will give me an answer in the am. A buddy of mine thinks he can do better than what I offered.’

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Would you trade Conforto to get Manzara

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

The guy with Iwakuma wants to do Iwakuma and Mazara for Tolleson and Cain. Accept or pass

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

no Lorenzo Cain

Don't look now
Don't look now
6 years ago

Grey,

Which side do you prefer?

Odor and Heyward
Or
Chapman, Giles, and Cueto

Any of them not top 100 keepers?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Would you do Choo or Kemp for Samardzija?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

Offer him Choo for Samardzija?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Grey

Who would you rather trade for? Iwakuma or Wei-Yen Chen?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

trying for Samardzija

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

Who should I offer for him

luke skywalker
luke skywalker
6 years ago

AB R H HR RBI SB BB K TB AVG OBP SLG
No restrictions

Stanton and Carrasco for Rizzo and Brantley

SteveNZ
SteveNZ
6 years ago

What up, fools?

SteveNZ
SteveNZ
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Always lurking. Work has been pretty crazy for the last couple of months. In with time, I see, Jason Hayward became the best outfielder in baseball. Closely followed by Zobrist it seems.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  SteveNZ
6 years ago

@SteveNZ: kiwi krack-a-lackin

J-FOH
J-FOH
6 years ago

Is it weird I want to talk about season 1 so late in the game.

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: Nope, let it out. I might even go back and watch it again

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: I saved all of them on the DVR. I want to watch the pilot again. So great when they arrest billy bob in episode 4

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: The wife and I started watching it last night on Hulu

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
6 years ago

What you think of Fargo finale?

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey:
Totally I had rewatched the motor motel
massacre from the week before Just felt like a bit of letdown but show was amazing.
Are they doing another season?

Don't look now
Don't look now
6 years ago

Grey,

Who would you rather have in a keeper format, JD Martinez or Jose Fernandez?

Thanks

ScreechOwl
ScreechOwl
6 years ago

Good thing we have these articles to keep us cheered up through the more depressing sports seasons.

I mean, we have the holidays, but we’re about to find out how awful the new Star Wars movie is, officially killing the franchise forever in my mind. We’re about to lose the Chargers to a no-name suburb of San Jose (wait, that was the 49ers — we’re losing our team to one of two possible L.A. suburbs). The weather is actually almost cold enough for water to, like, almost freeze, and somehow that has led to the Ducks forgetting how to play hockey. It RAINED last week.

I think this is the SoCal version of the apocalypse.

boomer19
boomer19
6 years ago

Good day. Hope the season is treating you well. I have a keeper question for you. I have Harper and the 13th overall pick and was think about trading him for Machado and the first overall pick. First overall would have the option of Miggy, Kershaw and Rizzo. 13th overall would be in the Marte, Upton, Tulo range. Which would you prefer in a 13 team 5×5 Roto league where we can keep for 3 years? Thanks.

Boomer19
Boomer19
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

Thanks. I am leaning towards doing the deal too although I am torn who I would take between Kershaw and Rizzo because the 5 keepers I have are all hitters.Still think Rizzo and then worry about pitching later?

Hyde
Hyde
6 years ago

Hey Grey,

I was just discussing belt with another manager. It’s a H2H points league and we can keep 20 guys. I’m already up against the wall with the amount of keepers I have (owning 9 outfielders has something to do with it…somebody’s gotta go).

Anyway, CBS projects him to get 399pts next year based on our scoring, but we all know their projections are horseshit. Belt had 383pts last year.

I also own Fielder, who I’m not sure I trust for much longer. He got like 487pts last year.

Should I target Belt for a trade or just roll the dice with Fielder given my keeper situation?

Hyde
Hyde
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey:

Thanks!

Hyde
Hyde
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey:

I was able to move Choo for him. Bonus.

I have no idea if CBS counts Fielder as a 1B next year (18GP @ 1B, 20 required, but we use Primary Position+Games Played for eligibility), so I may end up needing Belt more than I thought!

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Hey grey, I’ve been lurking on this site for about a year now. Just wanted to say your fantasy advice is fantastic and thoroughly helped me this year, your player projections are scary accurate.

Anyway, what site do you use generally to find out stuff like hard hit % and players who lead the league in stuff like that?

Jim
Jim
6 years ago

Hey Grey,

I’m in a 12 team head to head, 6×6 (add XBH and QS), keep 6 forever. Already keeping Kris Bryant, Chris Davis, Gerrit Cole and Carlos Carrasco (must keep at least 2 pitchers from the 6 total keepers).

I tend to keep bats since there is so much pitching to go around but I have Cueto and think he’ll be good pitching in SF. Other keepable options are Hosmer, Polanco, Dickerson, Schoop, Pence, Conforto. Do you think I should go with Cueto and a bat, or two bats? Who do you like best?

Thanks!

Theo
Theo
6 years ago

Who would you value higher in a keeper league (obp instead of Avg)?
Schwarber or Lindor

FrankGrimes
FrankGrimes
6 years ago

I want to kill myself
every time I’m reminded
Belt was drafted 100 picks
before AuShizz
(Trout was taken 25th that year)

Det. John Kimble
Det. John Kimble
6 years ago

Great write-up Grey. Definitely got me at least considering Belt.

Simple question. Would you prefer Belt to Piscotty, who looks to be in line foe a regular OF spot?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Grey. Why are ppl down on Kemp and Choo

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

Everytime I offer either Choo or Kemp in any trade offers they all say they don’t want either one. I’m curious as to why they don’t

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: lol

SwaggerJackers
SwaggerJackers
Reply to  SheriffMcRawDawg
6 years ago

@SheriffMcRawDawg: They don’t want them for the same reason you’re trying to trade them. Those players are aging, the shine is off them, and most people prefer to trade for young upside players like Springer.

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
Reply to  SwaggerJackers
6 years ago

@SwaggerJackers: I’m with you man, I wasn’t the one who asked

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Reply to  Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

@Scott Kimmel: for one choo just decided to go from 20 steals a year to about 3 in one fell swoop, no gradual decline of any type. after last year i’m betting people are higher on kemp than they were one year ago today.

J-FOH
J-FOH
6 years ago

This is funny. I had him as my breakout sleeper last year (see writers pics post) and if it wasn’t for injury….damn. I was waiting for the pic of the kid from freaks and geeks and it never came…it never came.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: don’t you mock me. It was a tough first half and I dropped him all over. Billy bob has given me ideas. Don’t make me put pig blood in the plumbing

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: keep up it Albright….keep it up *cracks knuckles*

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: *painfully types* I already do

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Grey

Is giving up either deGrom or Harvey worth it to get Berrios

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

ok thanks

Nick
Nick
Reply to  Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

@Scott Kimmel: Scott, I’m worried someone is trying to fleece you here. Berrios isn’t projected to be as good as either of the guys you mentioned, and he has no MLB experience. If someone is mentioning Berrios as a significant piece in a trade to get DeGrom or Harvey, they are trying to rip you off.

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Nick
6 years ago

nick he wanted either Scherzer, deGrom or Harvey for Berrios which I declined very quickly

JoeG414
JoeG414
6 years ago

Please rank as a late OF pick is a deep daily roto mixed 6×6.
Conforto , Piscotty , Grichuk and Yelich.

Bubba with 3 B's
Bubba with 3 B's
6 years ago

What does dropping AVG and HR in favor of OBP and SLG do for Belt’s value?

zombie
6 years ago

Thanks Grey. I’m in. Indbeltably.

zombie
Reply to  zombie
6 years ago

@zombie: Indubeltably. But you get it. Or not.

Dru
Dru
6 years ago

Any idea when we can expect Rankings to come out?
Thanks!

Dru
Dru
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

THANKS!!!!!

Tigres
Tigres
6 years ago

Grey! Hoping for the Belt full-season breakout. Who you like more, Belt or Puig?

SwaggerJackers
SwaggerJackers
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Belt or Duda?

Wilson
Wilson
6 years ago

Cueto joins SF, is his value becoming higher?
I have him on hand but he was killing me in the last three months.

Wilson
Wilson
Reply to  Wilson
6 years ago

And, Archer or Cueto for next year? Thanks.

BringBackPluto
BringBackPluto
Reply to  Wilson
6 years ago

@Wilson: Not Grey, but 1) Cueto’s value definitely goes up a fair bit, but 2) not enough to even come within a round of Archer’s ADP, imo.

Wilson
Wilson
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey:

Where will Cueto be ranked In SP list next year? Thanks

Ryan
Ryan
6 years ago

Nice, I have Belt as a possible keeper, only costing me a last round pick. I also have the above mentioned Eric Hosmer who I’m sure will be worth more than his drafting cost in most leagues. That said, would you take Hosmer in 9th round or Belt in the 24th? 12t H2H w/. ops cat.? Lookin forward to getting back to baseball but still focused on these football playoffs!

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
Reply to  Ryan
6 years ago

@Ryan: I’d take Belt.