As I’ve said numerous times, one of the most important aspects of fantasy baseball sleepers is their playing time. Sexy eh-eff stats will only get you so far if you’re drafting a hitter who is in a platoon or worse, no path to at-bats. I’m making an exception for Rowdy Tellez. His numbers are impossible to ignore. Legit hate that he’s a lefty and Major League managers have a blind spot with splits. No matter what the numbers say a lefty is vs. lefties, somehow managers always use that as a reason to get a hitter a ‘mental’ break. This year: Rowdy Tellez hit .333 in 27 ABs vs. lefties, better than he hit vs. righties. ACKSUALLY, hitting .267 vs. righties. In 2019, it was more of the same, hitting .270 vs. lefties in 115 ABs, and .208 vs. righties in 255 ABs. Some would be concerned that Charlie Montoyo would platoon him out when facing righties, and, who knows, but that would be some Galaxy Brain shizz and doubt it happens. Speaking of Galaxy Brain shizz, why do I want to call Charlie Montoyo “Tony Montana?” It’s close but not quite, so I will call him the same I call everyone I see without a mask, but making due with their clothes, Scarf-face. Any hoo! A platoon is a slight concern, but about those Rowdy Tellez numbers that are impossible to ignore, or rather: So, what can we expect from Rowdy Tellez for 2021 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Rather than list all the numbers, here’s a screenshot to make you jump and/or jive:
You know how I feel about Pete Alonso. I want his children. Not like a kidnapping-type scenario where I hide in the mailbox near the corner of his house that is frequented every morning by some guy who must have an Etsy or eBay business. Not that I’ve spent that much time in the mailbox! If I didn’t think I’d get laughed out of the building, I might’ve ranked Pete Alonso in the top 20 again this year. He had a bad few weeks in 2020, you need to get back in on him! Wait, is this post about Pete Alonso? Oh, Rowdy Tellez! Right. Gary Sanchez has major issues with his strikeouts, and just contact, in general. If you’ve ever seen him ACKSUALLY make contact, you know what’s up. If you haven’t, the ball zips out of the park. Sadly, he’s become barely a .200 hitter. Finally! Next up, Rowdy Tellez, look at that MaxEV. MaxEV isn’t when Rachel Ray saturates a dish with olive oil. This ain’t about a soggy focaccia, boys and five girls. It’s the hardest contact a hitter makes. If you’re worried about normalization, then stop being so basic! If you’re more specifically worried about MaxEV normalizing, Rowdy had a 115.2 MPH MaxEV in 2019. He hits the ball hard. Hitting the ball hard is a very good trait for a hitter. The top 20 from 2019 is a who’s who of wonderful. The top 20 from 2020 only has one weird name, Alex Dickerson, and his name isn’t weird to see there as much as a signal that he could be a sleeper, too.
Tellez more! Tellez more! Tellez more!
Rowdy Tellez isn’t just hitting the ball hard; he’s doing it after nearly cutting his strikeouts in half. He went from 28.4% K% to 15.7% this past year, and upped his walks from 7.1% to 8.7%. His O-Swing went from 38.3% to 30.7% and his Z-Swing went from 62% to 71.4%. To explain that in layman’s terms, he stopped swinging at balls outside the zone and swung more at strikes. So, let’s get this straight, Rowdy Tellez was more aggressive in the zone, while hitting the ball harder than everyone but two of the biggest sluggers in baseball? If you can’t catch me as I faint, I don’t fault you, but I am about to fall over. Not too get too Bold Predictiony, but Rowdy Tellez is about to have a better season for fantasy than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Barring injury and some extremely stupid platooning, I’m not sure how Rowdy Tellez isn’t a top 100 player overall, and he’s going around 275th overall. Find a better sleeper, I’ll wait. Okay, I’m done waiting. For 2021, I’ll give Rowdy Tellez projections 80/28/93/.287/3 in 506 ABs with a chance for more.