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Fantasy Baseball 2019: Ranking Sleepers to Track for MLB Week 22

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 28, 2019

San Francisco Giants' Evan Longoria hits an RBI-double against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

In the earlier stage of his career, Evan Longoria was viewed as a top fantasy baseball target. 

The 33-year-old third baseman no longer has the overall numbers in San Francisco that he had with Tampa Bay, but he is performing well at the plate of late. 

Longoria is one of a few streaky position players worth tracking for the final weeks of the fantasy baseball season. 

On the mound, a few under-the-radar hurlers are worth looks in an attempt to create some separation between you and your playoff rivals. 

                           

Top Sleepers To Track

Position Players

1. Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco

It is hard to believe only 39 percent of owners in Yahoo and ESPN leagues, per Fantasy Pros, have jumped on the Longoria bandwagon. 

Since August 1, the former Rays infielder has eight multi-hit outings, half of which occurred over the last week. 

During his most-recent string of form, Longoria mashed a pair of home runs and drove in eight runs. 

In Tuesday's loss to Arizona, the 12-year veteran extended his hitting streak to four games. If you go back to August 10, he has a base knock in all but one contest. 

A four-game set at home against San Diego should keep Longoria's batting run alive, as the Padres enter Oracle Park after giving up nine runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday.

In 47 plate appearances versus the Padres, the three-time All-Star has a 1.200 OPS with 15 hits, five home runs and 15 RBI. 

If he continues his current run, Longoria could hit 20 dingers for the 10th time in his career, but he might have trouble matching the RBI totals he had with the Rays. He is currently at 57 RBI, which is fewer than all but one of his years in Tampa. 

                              

2. Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland

Longoria isn't the only experienced infielder getting hot in August, with 32-year-old Jason Kipnis providing a jolt to the Cleveland lineup. 

The second baseman, who is owned by 24 percent of Yahoo teams and 16 percent of ESPN squads, continued his strong month at the dish by going 1-for-5 with two runs, a home run and two RBI Tuesday. 

Kipnis' slugging percentage and OPS are up 20 points since August 1, and he hit five of his 14 home runs during that stretch. 

The increase in production is partly due to the addition of Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig to the Indians order, which has given Kipnis and others more pitches to look at. 

With opposing hurlers trying to avoid the damage Reyes and Puig cause with their power, they are pitching around them more and forcing the rest of the lineup to hurt them. 

Kipnis is the direct beneficiary of that strategy since he typically hits beneath them in the order. His numbers have also gone up due to the ability of the two sluggers to reach base. 

                               

3. Asdrubal Cabrera 2B/3B/SS, Washington

4. Randal Grichuk, OF, Toronto

5. Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado 

                      

Pitchers

1. Tony Gonsolin, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Tony Gonsolin is available in most leagues, with only a 15 percent owner rate on Yahoo. 

In his last two starts, the rookie conceded two earned runs on seven hits to the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. 

The length of those appearancesfive in one and four in the otheris a bit concerning, but the 25-year-old is putting up strong enough numbers to earn fantasy consideration. 

If the rotation holds to form, Gonsolin's next appearance for the Dodgers should be Thursday at Chase Field against Arizona. 

After that, a favorable schedule that includes home series with Colorado and San Francisco and a trip to Baltimore awaits the top team in the National League West. 

It may be hard for some to throw trust behind a first-year pitcher with five MLB appearances, but Gonsolin has proved he can get the job done. 

                    

2. Jordan Lyles, SP, Milwaukee

Since joining the Milwaukee Brewers, Jordan Lyles has given up eight earned runs over 27 innings. 

The 28-year-old's most impressive outing was his last one against Arizona, when he didn't concede a hit in six innings. 

Lyles, who faces St. Louis Wednesday, is owned in just over one-fifth of Yahoo competitions and 16 percent of ESPN leagues. 

Although there could be concerns about the right-hander reverting back to his poor form from Pittsburgh, where he was 5-7 with a 5.36 ERA, there is enough of a sample size with the Brewers to trust him. 

After Wednesday, Lyles should be in line to face Houston, Miami and St. Louis before his team's schedule gets a bit easier. 

Some of those matchups could scare away potential owners, but Lyles proved by conceding one run in five innings to Oakland that he can silence the bats of contending teams. 

                     

3. Jacob Waguespack, SP/RP, Toronto

4. Adrian Houser, SP, Milwaukee

5. Homer Bailey, SP, Oakland

                     

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.