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Draft Guide Preview

Preview: 2020 Prospect Sleepers: NL/AL Central

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: May 7, 2020, 10:24 am ET

Since before draft season began, we've been providing looks into our 2020 Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide to help give you the knowledge you need to make smarter decisions when your league's draft rolls around.

Complete with content covering various league types — from projections and rankings to tiers, ADP reports, mock drafts and exclusive expert columns — this year's edition is the finest we've ever produced and will prove to be an essential tool on draft day. 

With MLB’s Opening Day still unknown, we're offering a look at prospect sleepers who you should keep your eye on in the AL/NL Central. 

Have a look: 

 

AL CENTRAL

Yermin Mercedes, C, Chicago White Sox — It's not often that a 27-year-old is listed as a prospect -- and it's obviously even rarer to be considered a long-term one, but Mercedes is an exception. The 27-year-old has hit at every level for the Orioles, Nationals and White Sox organizations, and last year he hit .317/.388/.581 with 23 homers in 95 games with those numbers even better once he was promoted to Triple-A (.310/.386/.647 in 53 games for Charlotte). Mercedes has a smooth, line-drive stroke, and the right-handed hitter has above-average power potential as well. While he's not a great defender, he's decent enough behind the plate to believe he can stay at catcher in the long-term. Mercedes gets the "long-term" designation because the White Sox have Yasmani Grandal and James McCann behind the plate this year, but he could be the backstop of the future for another organization if Chicago were to trade him. If that happens, he's worth an addition.

NL CENTRAL

Packy Naughton, LHP, Cincinnati Reds — First of all, yes, Packy Naughton is a fantastic name. The 2017 ninth-round pick is also a pretty good pitcher as well, and posted a 3.32 ERA while reaching Double-A Chattanooga last summer. The former Virginia Tech hurler isn't overpowering, but he can get up to 94 mph, and he can locate the pitch to all four quadrants of the plate. His best pitch is change; a pitch that comes from the same arm-speed as his fastball, and its late fade makes it a potential swing-and-miss pitch in the MLB. He also shows a slider, and all three pitches are located for strikes. He's more of a high-floor pitcher than a high-ceiling hurler, but Naughton has a chance to help the Reds by the end of 2021, and is underrated in terms of potential fantasy impact.

 

For all AL/NL Central prospect sleepers and more from the MLB Draft Guide, you can purchase here! Take advantage of our package deals and gain access to our MLB Season Pass product, be sure to grab our MLB DFS Toolkit as well and don't forget to pick up our MLB Cheatsheet for FREE with promo code FREECHEAT!