Get ready for your season with theScore's 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit.
It's so easy to get burned by the hype machine. A player enters a new situation, gains position eligibility, or hits a certain age, and expectations go through the roof. Then the struggles begin, and they continue all season.
The result, unless the name is Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, is a major drop in ADP the following year. In many cases, this opens the door for major value, and a post-hype sleeper is born. It doesn't mean these players will suddenly return first-round value for a 10th-round pick, but they have far more potential than their draft positions suggest.
Here are the best post-hype sleeper candidates for the 2018 season:
(ADPs courtesy: National Fantasy Baseball Championship)
Carpenter entered 2017 as a consensus Top-70 pick, but after a disappointing offensive campaign, he has dropped like a stone in 2018 drafts. With the Cardinals planning to move him all around the diamond, he should regain eligibility at various positions in certain leagues. Though he hit a paltry .241 last season, he reached base at the strongest clip of his career with a .384 OBP. Hitting near the top of an improved lineup, he's in an excellent position to exceed expectations.
Carpenter's back has been bothering him throughout the spring, and he may open the season on the disabled list. That could push his draft position even lower.
Desmond's drop wasn't as precipitous as Carpenter's, but there was plenty of fanfare with him moving to hitter's haven Coors Field. It didn't go according to plan, though he missed 67 games, preventing him from finding much of a groove. He hit an absurd amount of ground balls (62.7 percent), which didn't help matters, and his perceived value has thus dropped. But with an abundance of power and speed, he needs to be scooped up.
Cueto had a 2017 to forget, as he was one of many major-league pitchers to suffer from blister issues, limiting him to 147 1/3 innings and a 4.52 ERA. Anyone who selected Cueto around his expected spot as the 10th pitcher off the board was left reeling. That's scared everyone away, as he's now the 57th hurler being selected, behind the likes of Gio Gonzalez and Lance McCullers.
At 32 years old, there's a risk he's simply hitting the downside of his career, but he also showcased an atypically high walk rate and issued more home runs per game than in any season since his rookie campaign.
This is a surprise. Other than a lower batting average (.249) than usual, Seager's 2017 numbers were largely comparable with his career numbers. He has played at least 154 games in six straight seasons and has 20 or more home runs each time while driving in enough runs to provide value in three rotisserie categories. And yet, he's fallen from being the fifth third baseman taken to the 17th. It doesn't make sense.
He did have a career-worst .262 BABIP while rarely registering soft contact, but where things may have really gone awry is his fly ball rate ballooning to 51.6 percent while his HR/FB rate dropped to 11.2. In other words, he hit the ball right at defenders.
Nothing went well for Polanco in 2017. Somehow, he scored only 39 runs despite usually hitting in the top six in the Pirates' lineup. Granted, the Pirates featured one of baseball's worst offenses, and while plenty of blame can be placed on Polanco and his sudden loss of speed and power, the rest of the roster didn't do him any favors. At his ADP this season, he'll be much less damaging if he fails to rebound, and could put a team over the top if he comes back strong.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)