Just spent more time than I care to admit (47 seconds) thinking about if this is the first San Francisco Giants player I’ve ever called a sleeper. Congratulations, Thairo Estrada, you’re the first Giants hitter I’ve liked since Barry Bonds! What does Thairo Estrada win? *digs through pockets* How does a losing Powerball ticket sound? No? A stamp card for TCBY? I’m not sure if TCBY is still in business, but if they are, you only need seven more yogurts for a free one. Not interested? Geez, picky, picky. By the way, I kinda like J.D. Davis too at his current ADP, but not enough to write a whole post. How did Thairo Estrada breakthrough like Jim Morrison on mescaline? Last year his stats were: 14/21/.260 in 488 ABs and he’s currently being drafted around 185th overall, so that’s a sleeper, said like The Simpsons’ Jasper would say, “That’s a paddlin’.” This is going to be one of those sleepers, where I just try to prove that a 15/20 hitter wasn’t a fluke last year, because Thairo Estrada was a top 100 overall guy on the Player Rater last year, so we just need a repeat performance. By the by, I’m finding a lot of success in the 90th to 95th overall on the Player Rater from last year. Eyeing Taylor Ward, Rowdy Tellez, and Thairo in that five-player range. Also, in there is Ian Happ, who I kinda like, but that’s for another day. So, what can we expect from Thairo Estrada for 2023 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Psyche! Before we get into the Thairo Estrada sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve begun to roll out my 2023 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. It’s an early Hanukkah miracle! Or late Hanukah miracle, depending on when Hanukkah is this year. The Jews should really decide on one day to start Hanukah each year, and stick with it. It’s better for branding. Anyway II, the Thairo Estrada sleeper:
When discussing the Giants, it’s important to get one thing out of the way — playing time. Gabe Kapler likes to tan his 16-pack abdomen, and platoon everyone. One person overheard Gabe, exiting a Suncoast Tanning Salon with a fresh coat of orange, saying, “Platooning makes me seem smart,” so it’s not going anywhere. Thankfully, Thairo Estrada has no platoon splits, and I think the new addition, Carlos Correa, only helps Thairo. In Yahoo, Thairo Estrada will have 2nd base, shortstop and outfield eligibility (just missed on OF eligibility in ESPN), and the Giants said he will play all over the field as a super utility. Hey, if it’s cool with him, it’s cool with me. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him get 3B eligibility in-season, too. That’s gonna make him way more valuable in ways we can’t imagine. Let’s try *imaging shizz*…I see leprechauns hanging laundry on a clothesline in a 1930s tenement. Not sure why, but imaging shizz can lead to all kinds of things imagined. Either way, this isn’t me getting excited for a Giants’ player only to watch them sit half the time.
Thairo Estrada hit lefties to a tune of .283 in 152 ABs, and 16.4% strikeout rate. His numbers vs. righties? Goofy similar. He struck out 16.5% of the time and hit .250. Hit seven homers vs. both and stole 15 vs. righties and 6 vs. lefties, but in almost half the number of chances, so it was basically even. His home numbers were 6 HRs and .260 and his away numbers were 8 HRs and .260. Dude’s a machine of consistency. A player of consistency I’m pointing out because remember the goal: To prove last year wasn’t fluky. It’s impossible to figure what the tangerine at manager will do with the lineup, but Thairo appears to be the most likely to be the leadoff guy. At worst, he’s hitting number two. Even though he makes a lot of contact, as the strikeout rates showed, he’s not going to challenge .300. He kinda makes too much contact. That’s gonna hurt his BABIP and average. He hits a lot of weak grounders. Oddly enough, when he elevates the ball, he can hit it out.
His Launch Angle was 8.1 with a 29.5% fly ball rate, which isn’t great, but his HR/FB% was 12% and it’s been high in the last few years of the minors, showing when he elevates he can flash power. Not saying he can, but if he gets to 33% fly ball rate, he could shock with 20+ homers. As of now, Steamer, which is no-no-notorious for being conservative, has him down for 18 HRs in 143 games. Recent minor league numbers might be doing some of the lifting: 210 at-bats in Triple-A and he hit nine homers. Maybe we see as high as 20 homers, but that does seem high. The positive here is 14 homers from last year is being pointed at and me being like, “Yeah, easy to reach, next question.”
The stat that makes all of this come together — the 90 runs, the .260 average and the 15-ish homers? It’s the steals! Without the steals, none of this is going to play. Difference between you drafting a Jean Segura-type at 200 overall and drafting a potential Andres Gimenez. It’s why we’re here. 15/20 gets the bird going cuckoo out of the side of my head. 15/5 does not. And the steals ain’t going anywhere. It’s easily his best trait! For 2023, I’ll give Thairo Estrada projections of 87/16/63/.262/23 in 574 ABs with a chance for more, especially on power.