Breakout: OF David Dahl
Colorado Rockies outfielder David Dahl was on pace for 99 runs, 22 home runs, 90 RBI, and six stolen bases if he finished with 550 at-bats in 2019. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by 62 games due to a right ankle injury and an abdomen issue.
His high contact batting average (.428) offset his weakness in his strikeout rate (26.6). He didn’t have much of a change in his walk rate (6.8).
Dahl had a dominating month in June (.315 with 25 runs, seven HRs, and 32 RBI over 111 at-bats). Over the first three months, he hit .317 with 53 runs, 12 home runs, and 51 RBI over 281 at-bats.
His average hit rate (1.735) drifted backward while showing strength in his RBI rate (19).
Over seven years in the minors, Dahl hit .306 with 52 home runs, 230 RBI, and 76 steals over 1,648 at-bats. His strikeout rate (20.8) in the minors was about league average with a below-par walk rate (6.3).
Injuries have been plentiful in his career, leading to only one season with over 500 at-bats (2014).
His HR/FB rate (17.2) was a step down from 2018 (23.2) with less loft on his swing (fly-ball rate – 32.5 and 37.7 in 2018). There’s a lot to like here, but his injury history is priced in his ADP (147). The shorter baseball season does remove some of his downside risks.
Dahl has the talent to deliver a .290/100/30/100 season with a full season of at-bats.
Sleeper: OF Sam Hilliard
Hilliard offered some late-season power for fantasy teams after getting called up from the minors in 2019. With the Rockies, he hit .273 with seven home runs and 13 RBI over 77 at-bats.
His strikeout rate (26.4) was high while showing strength in his walk rate (10.4).
Over five seasons in the minors, Hilliard hit .277 with 378 runs, 89 home runs, 358 RBI, and 124 stolen bases over 2,154 at-bats highlighted by his success last year at AAA (.262 with 35 HRs, 101 RBI, and 22 SBs over 500 at-bats).
His contact batting average (.403) and average hit rate (1.731) graded well in his minor league career.
Fantasy owners have priced him as a starter based on his ADP (277) in the high-stakes market this spring in 12-team leagues.
The Rockies have multiple options in the outfield, which does create some cloudiness with his playing time. The DH does open another avenue for at-bats. Hilliard has a streaky bat that plays in a high scoring ballpark.
Value: 2B Garrett Hampson
Over four seasons in the minors, Hampson hit .311 with 22 home runs, 163 RBI, and 130 steals over 1,342 at-bats.
His strikeout rate (15.2) was favorable in the minors while offering a top of the order walk rate (10.4).
Last year he struggled over his first 202 at-bats with the Rockies (.208 with 24 runs, three HRs, 17 RBI, and five SBs).
Hampson emerged as a late-season fantasy option after hitting .330 over his final 97 at-bats with 16 runs, five home runs, ten RBI, and ten stolen bases.
Overall, his strikeout rate (26.9) was out of line with a weaker walk rate (7.3). He ranked 373rd in his hard-hit rate (25.7) with a bump in his HR/FB rate (10.5).
Hampson showed growth in his average hit rate (1.554) while still trailing his minor league contact batting average (.351). The Rockies would love for him to step forward in his approach to add speed to the top of the batting order.
With the change to the DH in the National League, Hampson looks to have a better chance to be in the lineup every day with Daniel Murphy likely pushed to a semi-DH role and Ryan McMahon sliding over to first base. His ADP (199) had been dropping in drafts in March, but I expect a push higher with his ability to steal bases. Hampson should outperform his draft slot in 2020.
Deep Sleeper: SS Brendan Rodgers
Over five seasons in the minors, Rodgers hit .296 with 66 home runs, 245 RBI, and 24 steals over 1,526 at-bats.
His strikeout rate (19.3) should be about league average in the majors while needing to improve on his walk rate (6.5).
The Rockies selected him third overall in the 2015 MLB June MLB Draft.
He now has a full season at AA (.270 with 23 HRs, 79 RBI, and 12 SBs over 507 at-bats) with growth in 2019 at AAA (.350 with nine HRs and 21 RBI over 143 at-bats).
The Rockies called him up mid-May, but Rodgers wasn’t ready (.224 with no HRs and seven RBI over 76 at-bats). His season ended in late June with a right shoulder that required surgery.
Colorado didn’t expect him to be ready for the start of spring training, but Rodgers was fully cleared to play in early June.
Upside player, but he should start the year at AAA. Only a flier for now.
Deep Sleeper: P Kyle Freeland
Freeland went from a hero in 2018 (17-7 with a 2.85 ERA and 173 Ks over 202.1 innings) to a zero last year (6.73 ERA). He lost value in both his walk rate (3.4) and strikeout rate (6.8) while not starting in an area of strength.
His season began with two disaster starts in April, leading to a 4.81 ERA with more risk in May (10.17 ERA, 2.026 WHIP, .342 BAA, and 11 home runs over 25.2 innings).
The Rockies sent him back to AAA for six weeks (0-4 with an 8.80 ERA and 28 Ks over 29.2 innings). Despite his struggles, Colorado wheeled him out for another eight disappointing games (6.75 ERA, 1.625 WHIP, and .317 BAA, and nine home runs over 40 innings).
Freeland missed a month late in the year with a groin injury.
His average fastball (92.4) isn’t an edge with only one pitch of value (cutter – .235 BAA).
Over his first 66 games in the majors, he went 28-18 with a 3.39 ERA and 280 strikeouts over 358.1 innings.
Only a back inning eater with WHIP risk and minimal upside in strikeouts, but Freeland may surprise over short stretches with a rebound in confidence.
READ MORE: 2020 Colorado Rockies Fantasy Team Preview