Fantasy Baseball 2021: Sleeper Hitters and Pitchers for MLB Week 16

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 14, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Sleeper Hitters and Pitchers for MLB Week 16

0 of 3

    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    For professional baseball players, the MLB All-Star break offers a chance to relax and refresh ahead of the second half of the season.

    For fantasy baseball managers, the intermission is a time to reflect and reshuffle where needed.

    Chances are your roster needs something at this point (maybe a lot of somethings). This break in the real-life schedule is the opportunity to go find it (or them).

    Luckily, we've done the legwork for you, so all you need to do is target these three sleeper hitters and pitchers—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—coming out of the break.

Patrick Sandoval, SP, Los Angeles Angels (26 Percent Rostered)

1 of 3

    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Fantasy managers are forgiven for being slow to come around on Patrick Sandoval.

    The 24-year-old didn't have a big league roster spot until May and made his first three appearances out of the bullpen. Once he cracked the rotation, his first three starts were snoozers, as he managed only nine combined strikeouts in 14 innings pitched.

    However, Sandoval marked his arrival with a 10-strikeout effort to open June and hasn't looked back since. During this six-start stretch, he has pitched to a 3.63 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.

    He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his starts, has gone at least five innings in each of his past eight outings and went at least six innings in three of his last six. He looks reliable enough to utilize as either a short-term streamer or a long-term member of your rotation.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Boston Red Sox (47 Percent Rostered)

2 of 3

    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Those familiar with Hunter Renfroe's career to date know it typically ebbs and flows between home run barrages and tough-to-stomach strikeout stretches.

    Maybe everyone is waiting for the bottom to drop out? That seems as good an explanation as any as to why the 29-year-old isn't more rostered.

    Renfroe isn't selling out for power the way he has in years past, and while that may cost him a dinger here or there, it protects him from the batting average pitfalls he has suffered. His .263 average and .321 on-base percentage are both the best he has ever posted as a full-time player, and it's not like the power production has disappeared (13 homers and 46 RBI in 79 games).

    If your league allows for mid-week additions, make a run at Renfroe right now. Because the Red Sox and New York Yankees open the second-half slate with Thursday's lone contest, they're one of only six teams to squeeze in four games between now and Sunday.

Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, Chicago White Sox (28 Percent Rostered)

3 of 3

    Gail Burton/Associated Press

    Like most of this year's prospects, Andrew Vaughn got off to a slow start. Considering they didn't have the benefit of a minor league season in 2020, that probably should've been expected.

    Still, there was considerable hype around his bat, and when he didn't deliver on that potential right away, a lot of fantasy managers didn't bother sticking around.

    Let their loss be your gain.

    The 23-year-old was really heating up before the break. Over his final 12 outings, he hit .395 with 19 combined runs and RBI. That stretch featured six multi-hit games and four of his 10 first-half home runs.

    If Vaughn can build off this success, he's not only someone you can roster the rest of this season but he might also warrant serious keeper consideration by the end of it.