Fantasy Sleeper: Delino DeShields Jr.

Delino DeShields Jr. enters 2016 as a sleeper pick. The rule 5 draft pickup by the Texas Rangers is as fast as they come. If there is a player that could steal fifty bases but is not named Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon, it’s Delino DeShields.

At the minor league level, DeShields has consistently stolen bases at a high mark as well as 83 in 2012. DeShields really is one of the fastest players in the game and he should be able to steal almost double the amount of bases as he did in 2015.

DeShields has not shown he can be an above average hitter, but he does have patience at the plate leading to a .344 on-base percentage. He was second to only Joey Votto in swinging at pitches outside the zone showcasing his good bat eye. His .334 BABIP may see some regression towards .300 but with his amazing speed, Delino is capable of carrying an above average BABIP. This is important as it will be a critical factor if DeShields will hit .250 or closer to .270.

In 3 of 4 seasons between A and AA, DeShields managed to hit between 9-11 home runs. Some growth in this department will be a welcome sign. His average flyball distance is amongst the lowest in the league so expectations should be low here.

DeShields has the speed to steal over fifty bases. With some growth in his game, DeShields could hit between five to ten home runs while batting around .250. In OBP leagues, or leagues counting walks, DeShields has slightly more value. He will likely bat at the top of the Ranger lineup being able to score lots of runs.

 

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