Dan Vogelbach was sent to the Mariners at the trade deadline last season and looks to have a role with the big league club this season. Can fantasy owners now consider him a sleeper heading into 2017?
The Cubs were loaded with prospects last season which put them in prime position to be aggressive at the 2016 trade deadline. One of their many moves was dealing Dan Vogelbach to the Mariners for Mike Montgomery. While his debut was rocky, he does look to have carved out a role with Seattle entering 2017. Could fantasy owners now pinpoint him as a possible sleeper?
Vogelbach was drafted by the Cubs in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft. Coming out of high school it was clear that his bat skill was well advanced and he had clear raw power. He hit .322/17 HR in his first full season of minor league ball. He did not stop there either as he would post a .284/19 HR line the following season.
These performances would accelerate his stock, and he quickly rose the ranks of the vaunted Cubs’ minor league system. When he was dealt to the Mariners, he was coming off his best minor league campaign to date as he posted a .292/23 HR/96 RBI at AAA in 2016. Even more impressive was that he notched 97 BB to go with his 101 K, further showcasing his eye at the plate.
The scouting reports on Vogelbach varied in some ways. While most agree that his speed and defense will lead him to a DH role eventually, there are some who disagree on whether or not he will be a platoon masher or good enough to start against both. In terms of his fantasy value next season, fantasy owners need only to be focused on what he can bring from his probable platoon time at first and some DH appearances.
He currently looks slotted to be the starter at first base for the Mariners with Danny Valencia being the other side of the platoon. Nelson Cruz will be the DH but will have his fair share of OF starts, opening the door for DH opportunities as well. The at-bats will be there for Vogelbach to make the most of.
Vogelbach’s power can play anywhere. So even though some may be scared off by Safeco Field, they should realize that he can muscle the ball out of every park and that he can take advantage of his gap splitting ability as well at Safeco. Fantasy owners can also find confidence in his plate control. He has drawn 336 BB in the minors to go along with 393 K, further speaking to just how patient he is at the plate.
Fantasy owners should peg Dan Vogelbach a sleeper due to his plate approach, raw power, and spot in an underrated lineup. If he can maintain his job by not falling on his face in spring training, Vogelbach could flirt with a .270/18 HR/60 RBI type of line this season.
It may be early to target certain sleepers just yet, but Dan Vogelbach certainly looks the part of one. He has a rock solid resume, continually showed his bat control in the minors and will have the at bats to shine. Do not sleep on him this spring.