Fantasy Baseball 2020: Latest Projections for Zac Gallen, Top Sleeper Pitchers

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 29, 2020

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen follows through on a pitch as he warms up the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 11-9. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The initial impression Zac Gallen left on Major League Baseball has earned him plenty of interest from fantasy baseball owners ahead of the 2020 campaign. 

The 24-year-old is not yet on the list of top fantasy pitchers, but he could move in that direction if he shines for the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Gallen is one of a few hurlers expected to be chosen in the mid-to-late rounds that may provide a significant boost behind the top flamethrowers on your roster. 

Matthew Boyd and Chris Archer will be selected later in drafts than the right-hander, but they might be solid sleeper picks despite playing on two of the worst teams in the majors.


Projections for Top Sleeper Pitchers

Zac Gallen, SP, Arizona

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 15: Zac Gallen #59 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field on September 15, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

A change of scenery at the trade deadline did not affect Gallen's effectiveness on the mound. In seven starts with the Miami Marlins, he produced 43 strikeouts and a 2.72 ERA in 36.1 innings.

Although his ERA was slightly higher in eight appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he put up 10 more strikeouts and conceded three more earned runs in 7.1 additional frames. 

Gallen's 10.8 strikeouts-per-nine innings and 2.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio make him a solid mid-round pickup. 

The one concern going into 2020 is how many wins he can earn after he went 3-6 for a pair of struggling franchises. 

If he earns more victories, Gallen could outperform his current average draft position of 117, per Fantasy Pros.

At the moment, Gallen should be one of the first few starting pitchers slotted into your roster, as he will likely land in the ninth or 10th round in 12-team leagues.

Prediction: Ninth round.


Matthew Boyd, SP, Detroit 

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Even though Detroit is expected to reside in the basement of the American League Central, Boyd could still be a decent part of your rotation. 

The southpaw recorded his first 200-strikeout season in 2019, and he put up 11.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings. If he fans batters at a similar rate, he may provide value at the back end of rotations. 

Although Boyd has not managed an ERA under four in his career, the southpaw has produced back-to-back nine-win seasons. 

It is worth noting five of his nine victories in 2019 occurred against AL Central sides, and if the Tigers play a schedule loaded with divisional contests, the 29-year-old will provide a boost to your roster. 

The statistical concerns have put his ADP at 156, and if you can snag him in the 13th or 14th round, it may be a nice value selection. 

Prediction: 13th round.


Chris Archer, SP, Pittsburgh 

Scott Kane/Associated Press

Archer has fallen off the fantasy radar since he was traded from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh. He produced a trio of 10-win seasons with the Rays, but he only has nine victories over the last two seasons. 

The 31-year-old's 3-9 record and 5.19 ERA from 2019 will turn away most owners, but his late-season performances could convince you to take a late-round flier on him.

Archer conceded six earned runs over 17 innings in three August starts, and if he turns in some similar outings, he carries good back end value.

If you are willing to take the risk on him, wait until the final few rounds in 12-team leagues. He may not be worth a gamble in 10-team leagues. 

Archer's current ADP is 259, and he may be one of the best low-risk, high-reward fantasy pitchers given his past numbers. 

Prediction: 21st round.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference