I considered making this post: Tyler Austin and Jake Cave, 2019 Fantasy Baseball SleeperS! Though, I likely wouldn’t have capped the S. I did that for you, Dear Reader. I didn’t make this a duo sleeper post, because I think I have OCD and I like to keep shizz tidy and stylized as all previous sleepers. That doesn’t mean if Jake Cave breaks out I won’t continue to go back to this post, because I’m equally excited about both Tyler Austin and Jake Cave. Or as Google suggests, Jake Man Cave. Yes, he is a man, but I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing. So, why not just do a separate post for Jake Cave? Because no one cares about him. I tweeted at Jake Cave and he seems to barely care:
— Jake Cave (@JakeCave8) December 2, 2018
He responds with a GIF? Really? That doesn’t scream confidence to me. What, you can’t reply fully to a random Twitter person who you don’t know who is obviously only interested in you as a fantasy baseball entity who wants to keep calling you Jack Cave? Anyone that apathetic worries me. Though, you can’t spell apathetic without Pac. So…hmm. Even with his inability to hit lefties (.194 vs. lefties), he had the 22nd highest barrels per at-bat, the same as Javier Baez, and Cave’s average home run distance was 419 feet, which was 5th in the majors for that many plate appearances. If this were about Jake Cave, and not Tyler Austin, I’d tell you Cave was the 2nd lowest for soft contact (8.6%), making better contact overall than Joey Votto, Voit, Matt Carpenter, Freeman, Betts, Just Dong and, well, every other player in the majors except Eugenio Suarez. Unlike Tyler Austin, Cave looks like he has the starting job, and could be the one guy who no one drafts who ends up on 100% of fantasy teams by season’s end, cranking so many homers that everyone is going to be like, “What?” Pause. Eyes bulge. “WHAT?” If this were about Jake Cave and not Tyler Austin, I’d tell you my Jake Cave 2019 projections were 61/22/68/.259/4 in 476 ABs with a chance for more. However, this is not about Jake Cave. Anyway, what can we expect from Tyler Austin for 2019 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Unlike Jake Cave, I don’t see any discernible splits for Tyler Austin. I also don’t see him currently rocking an everyday job, which is a bee in my bonnet. Yes, otherwise, it would be an onnet, but this is still a concern. Austin is one of those guys who hits righty and has a bad LLAMAS tag. This alone could be the death of his fantasy value. What he has going for him is his ability to play 1B, DH and corner outfield spots, and primarily the benefit of having 1B eligibility. I know, we’ve now fell down the Well of WTF. We’re Baby Jessica screaming, “First base eligibility is a good thing for a sleeper?!” Unlike past years, I ‘m actively looking for sleeper first basemen because of what a shambles the position has become. With his multi-position viability, Austin could see 400 at-bats without having a set position. If you’re an enterprising AL-Only player, I could see drafting Cave and Austin and playing them depending on matchups. Okay, besides the fact that Austin might platoon, what is actually interesting here besides his dad who mocks Greg Bird to the media? Member all of those sexy things I said about Jake Cave? Tyler Austin actually has him beat in a few areas. He had more barrels per at-bat, his exit velocity on average was higher and Steamer projects Tyler Austin for 22 homers and 4 steals. The same I projected Cave for! One may even call Austin/Cave a draw for the stick figures, if you were calling a bat a stick and being punny. Lost in Luke Voit’s explosion on the Yankees was a guy the Yankees sent to Minnesota having himself an equally impressive one quarter of a season for power. Austin hit 17 homers in only 244 ABs. For 2019, I’ll give Tyler Austin the projections of 64/25/71/.248/3 in 467 ABs with a chance for more. Best case scenario, Cave and Austin both play 90% of the time and break out. Yes, there’s a worst case scenario where neither play, but shush on that. Also, this would’ve been titled Jake Cave, 2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper, if he had just replied to me and not GIF’d me. Like the number 69, it pays to be nice!