Here’s a great thing about fantasy baseball, maybe any fantasy sport, I don’t know. Guys that come up with great expectations, who fizzle out at first, don’t just disappear and stop having potential, but other guys come along, steal the spotlight and overshadow those first guys who had great potential. This induces a buying opportunity. Now that I think about it, it’s not just fantasy baseball or sports. Same could be said for anything or anyone. Think of a cousin who seemed destined for great things, but then was sidetracked by drugs or a fantasy sports problem. If one day he gets cleaned up, he’s got that potential again. Dot dot dot. Unless you’re thinking about him harnessing his potential for selling drugs or winning fantasy sports leagues, because if he gets cleaned of those problems, then he’s not going to have that potential again. Reminds me of the early 2000s when I focused in on buying Apple stock at $12 a share and I was like, “That company was once great and can be great again, so I should buy this stock.” Of course, I didn’t or I wouldn’t be here telling you this. Instead, I bought Boston Market stock shares and they soon went bankrupt and I’m an idiot. By the way, I’m here to tell you never buy stocks on an empty stomach. Either way, I had the idea to buy Apple and that’s all that matters! Any hoo! Dansby Swanson is Apple stock in 2004. He was once great, and can be great again. So, what can we expect from Dansby Swanson for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
When sorting by 500 plate appearances, Dansby Swanson has the 11th best line drive rate, and the 17th lowest percentage of balls hit with ‘soft’ contact. You know soft contact, that’s like when you dated that one girl for three years because you had to stay with her long enough so you forgot about the initial soft contact when you were both drunk and “that kind of thing never usually happens.” Besides Miguel Cabrera and Asdrubal Cabrera (must be that surname), the bottom of the soft contact list is a who’s who of guys you likely want — Freeman, Betts, Muncy, yadda3. Dansby’s closest approximation for batted ball profile is The Greek God of Hard Contact, Nicholas Castellanos. Call him Approxellanos. So, 25 homers, .275-.285 feels fair for Swanson. Of course, he’s never done those numbers before. If he carried his 37% fly ball rate over with a full season, he’d need a 16% HR/FB to get him there. It’s a boost from his previous years, but, at 26 years of age (in February), his power should be growing still, and a 13% HR/FB (this year) up to 16% feels very doable. Of course, what Swanson has that Castellanos doesn’t is frozen dinner vs. made-a-month-ago-in-a-Greek diner–Wait, I’m back in that Boston Market train of thought. Swanson has 10-steal speed, and Castellanos doesn’t. Swanson is by no means a speedster, but he’s also not flat-footed. He had a higher sprint speed than Ozzie Albies last year, who had 15 steals. 25/15/.280 for Swanson? Okay, prolly not, but that’s way within the realm of possible outcomes. Might not even be the least likely outcome, but more like a 30% outcome. Also, there’s at least a 50/50 chance Swanson hits in the two-hole and Albies hits in the seven or eight-hole. Considering I saw Swanson go thirteen rounds (195 picks; it was a 15-teamer) after Albies, and has a current NFBC ADP after 200 overall while being capable of nearly the same line, that sounds like a major sleeper to me! For 2020, I’ll give Dansby Swanson projections of 82/22/72/.274/12 in 566 ABs with a chance for more.