The Cleveland Indians have a handful of quality players to draft for your fantasy baseball team. Sports Illustrated’s fantasy baseball analyst Shawn Childs highlights the deep sleepers and breakout players in his team preview. Childs labels pitcher Triston McKenzie as a deep sleeper and believes he could become the Indians' sixth starter in 2020. Childs also spoke highlight of outfielder Domingo Santana and relief pitcher James Karinchak.
Childs spoke with Cleveland Baseball Insider's Matt Loede in the above video.
You can read the full transcript from their conversation below:
Corey Parson: Major League Baseball could soon be back. That means fantasy baseball could soon be back. I'm Corey Parson with SI.com. Joining me to talk some Cleveland Indians is SI fantasy and gambling analyst Shawn Childs and Cleveland baseball insider Matt Loede. Matt, let me start with you. Do you see a potential breakout player on this pitching staff?
Matt Loede: Well, there's no question that this pitching staff is very deep. That's what's given them the ability over the last 10 months to trade two major starters in Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. One pitcher that you have to look for is reliever James Karinchak who last year, at the triple-A level, struck out 42 batters in just 17 innings. He's a fireballer, a guy Terry Francona in the front office really like and a guy that I think could have a big impact out of the bullpen this year for the tribe.
Corey Parson: Shawn, let's dig a little bit deeper. Do you see any possible sleepers on this Indians' roster?
Shawn Childs: A guy I'm really, really intrigued about is Triston McKenzie. I've followed him last year. I thought he would help in the fancy market, maybe in the middle of the season, but he had an upper back injury, ended up missing the whole year. Then, coming into spring training, there was really not much press about him. Nobody really talked about him. So he was really, really flying under the fantasy radar. But over his career, in the minors, he's gone 26 and 16, ERA under three, 394 Ks in 329 innings. He has a big fastball plus curveball. It's kind of, you know, thin on the side of, say, a 'Chris Sale,' but not the same motion and stuff like that. He's a little more upright. He has high upside and he's going to come quickly. He did make some progress and I did find some reports later on. It's just a matter if he's probably going to come into the season, maybe the 6th or 7th starter. If they go with the doubleheaders, he could get pushed a little quicker. So I'm really, really intrigued about him this year because he could be an impact player when he comes in. As far as a sleeper, Domingo Santana is a guy that really played well in the first half of last year. Had an injury so his stats got really knocked down after the All-Star break. He's really flying under the radar, especially with Cleveland a little cloudy in the outfield. So he's a guy that probably you can get well over pick 300 as a potential to hit home runs, steal some bases. Batting average has a little bit of risk, but he hits, you know, when he is well playing, he has a high contact batting average even that that somewhat offsets his high strikeout rate, which is close to 30 percent in his career. He's really good, really good back in Philly, especially if there is if Cleveland is willing to play him every day.
Corey Parson: All right. Thanks a lot, fellas, for all the latest news from the majors. Make sure you keep it locked right here at SI.com.
For more on the Cleveland Indians from SI: https://www.si.com/mlb/indians/