Almost didn’t write this fantasy baseball sleeper post. Not because I don’t like Rowdy Tellez. I like him a lot. I almost didn’t write it because I had written a fantasy baseball sleeper for Rowdy Tellez two years ago and I didn’t really want to go back to the same well, like a shook Baby M. After a good think on the subject, and, after meeting with my spiritual advisors (my dog, Ted), I realized I wasn’t writing Rowdy Tellez sleeper because of him, but because of me, which shouldn’t be a reason to not write a sleeper post. If I need to write a Rowdy Tellez sleeper post every year, then so help me I will write a Rowdy Tellez sleeper every year. Nay, as Fonzie’s horse would say, I will write a Rowdy Tellez sleeper post every day. This will be the winter of Rowdy Tellez sleepers. I, Grey Albright, will make one promise to you in my role as your Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbrievate), and that’s to write a Rowdy Tellez sleeper post every day for the rest of my life, if you agree to read it. You don’t agree to read more than one Rowdy Tellez sleeper? Oh, great, then this will be the only one. Also, one other reasons why I felt like I just had to write the Rowdy Tellez sleeper was because of how low he was being drafted and every time I looked up stats for another sleeper, I kept seeing Rowdy Tellez doing as well or better. So, what can we expect from Rowdy Tellez for 2023 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Psyche! Before we get into the Rowdy Tellez sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve begun to roll out my 2023 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. Also, I set up an NFBC league that starts drafting next Monday, but it’s a slow draft, so you don’t need to be by computer all day or anything. It’s a 15-team Draft Champions league, so 50 rounds, 4-hour per pick and no waivers. Draft and hold, as the kids say. If you want to draft against me, click this linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway II, the Rowdy Tellez sleeper:
First off, I dug into Rowdy Tellez’s shift statistics and how much better he could be in 2023 just due to the ending of the shift. I think better, but I never landed on an exact amount of how much better, so I’m kinda gonna table it. Sorta. It’s better, but maybe five points better or 50 points better? Well, prolly somewhere in the middle, tee be aitch, but he should hit much better than his previous .219 average, so people are going to think it’s all associated with the shift ending, and it likely won’t be. He was shifted on nearly 80% of the time, which is just absurd, so, yeah, maybe it will matter. The key for Rowdy Tellez is even if the shift ending means nothing for him, he had an obscenely low BABIP (.215). He was either very unlucky or hurt massively by the shift.
There’s no way someone like Rowdy Tellez, who had the 15th most barrels per plate appearance (8.8), who hits fastballs as well is he hits them is going to have a .219 average, even if he runs like a block of wood covered in molasses. He had a top 2% max velocity, and the 36th average highest exit velocity. The ball screams off his bat. Trying hard to avoid using expected stats, because they’re super broke and no one is fixing them. How’sever, it’s no surprise his expected stats are much higher than they were in reality. He’s a .250 hitter, not a .220 hitter. Lot of time spent on batting average, but it matters with him. If he hits .250 last year, he ends up around 70th overall on the Player Rater. As it was, he was 94th on the Rater, and he’s being drafted around 180th (I expect that to come down still in some drafts, but not as far down as it would take for him to lose value). So, he has nearly 100 draft spots worth of value to gain if he’s just neutral on average and everything else stays the same. Hells yeah that’s a sleeper!
None of this even talks about his power, which is Rowdy Tellez’s greatest attribute, in a great home park. Maybe he doesn’t get to 40 homers, but that’s on the table as a possibility. My biggest issue with him is he’s kinda the dog’s breakfast vs. lefties. Last year, 4 HRs, .209 in 115 ABs. A platoon hurts a bit with counting stats, and that throws up a red flag with weekly leagues, but I actually think he could be a benefitted there. If a lefty starts the game, then Rowdy Tellez might not start, but a righty comes in and so does he. In a weekly league, there would be a lot fewer sonavabenchings. Either way, 35 HRs and .250 with upside on both has great value at his current ADP. For 2023, I’ll give Rowdy Tellez projections of 71/36/91/.251/1 in 533 ABs with a chance for more.