© Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Shawn Childs' MLB Preseason Pro Picks

It's the moment you have all been waiting for: Scout Fantasy's Senior Experts are releasing their respective MLB Preseason Pro picks! Get deep into it with Shawn Childs' hand-picked selections.

Shawn Childs

- Second-most accurate DFS Expert in 2014
- Netted hundreds of thousands of dollars playing Fantasy Sports
- 2-time DFS Championship Finalist
- ONLY HIGH-STAKES PLAYER to finish in the Top 5 Fantasy Players of the Year on FOUR separate occasions!

NL Offensive Sleeper: Hunter Renfroe

Finding a “sleeper” hitter in 2017 is a tough task. There are a couple of young bats in a position to get a step up in playing time. Hunter Renfroe is expected to have a clear path to full time at bats. With success, he could be rewarded with a middle of the order opportunity for the Padres. I expect an excellent 20/80 season with more upside in power. His batting average may have some risk due to his free-swinging approach while possibly chipping in with some steals. Hunter tends to be about the 60th outfielder off the table.

AL Offensive Sleeper: Nick Castellanos

These days I’m confused with the definition of the word sleeper. This will be Nick’s fourth season in the majors while showing growth in the last two seasons. Last year he only played 110 games due to a broken hand. Castellanos is the 23rd third base option in mixed leagues in 2017, which is a great value in my mind. In 2016, Nick was on pace for 24 HRs and 78 RBI if he had 550 at bats. He’s not far from being a 30/100 player while his minor-league resume points to an edge in batting average.

© Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

NL Offensive Bust: Jonathan Villar

I get the excitement after hitting 19 home runs with 62 SBs in 2016. Most Fantasy owners will have a tough time getting away from his speed. In a way, this reminds me of Bill Hall in 2006 who also played from the Brewers. That season Hall hit 35 home runs. He never hit over 18 HRs in any other season in the majors while failing to win an everyday job in most seasons. Villar won’t lose his speed without an injury, so his failure will come in weaker contact leading to a drop in power. If he has a 50 percent reduction in both HRs and SBs, Jon will still have a 12/40 skill set with below par batting average. I view him as B.J. Upton of 2009 and 2010. If Villar didn’t qualify at short, he would be drafted lower. Remember striking out is the quickest way to the bench in the majors something Jonathan did 25.6 percent of the time in 2016 and 25.3 percent in the minors.

AL Offensive Bust: Ian Kinsler

Early in his career, Kinsler appeared to have injury risk. He’s now stayed relatively healthy in five of his last six seasons while coming off his best power season (28 HRs) since 2011. Ian averaged 15 HRs over his four previous seasons before 2016 with some fade in his steals. His swing path will deliver a ton of fly balls will many of his failed homerun swings turning into early outs. Kinsler is a professional hitter who will score runs with some value in speed. I just view him as a 15/10 type player rather than a 25/15, which he will he will be drafted as in 2017.

NL Pitching Sleeper: Koda Glover

If the Nationals are going to make a run at a World Series title, they will need some stability in the 9th inning. Shawn Kelley looks the part based on his K rate (11.0 or higher over the last four seasons), but he does have HR risk (1.2 per nine in his career). If he trips up, Glover should be positioned to steal the job. Koda flashed plus command in his year and a half in the minors leading to a 2.09 ERA and 104 Ks over 86 innings. Last season he pitched through a torn labrum in his hip late in the year with Washington leading to weaker overall results. Nice bench flier for saves in deep leagues.

Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports

AL Pitching Sleeper: Luis Severino

Last year Severino was my breakout pitcher for Scout, and he turned into a total bust (5.83 ERA over 71 innings). His arm did hold value in the minors in 2016 (8-1 with a 3.36 ERA and 80 Ks in 80.1 innings). Over five seasons in the minors, Luis has a 32-12 record with a 2.51 ERA and 403 Ks over 401 innings. He’s pretty much a gift in all shallow leagues with his value having a chance to rise with each game pitched in spring training. Possible SP3 value while being drafted in the reserve rounds in just about every Fantasy format.

Stash and Cash: Yoan Moncada

I’d love for him to make the majors out of spring training, but I sense the White Sox will send him to AAA to start the year. Over 711 at bats in the minors, Yoan has a .287 batting average with 155, runs, 23 HRs, 100 RBI, and 94 SBs. The key to his success will be better contact in the majors. Moncada did whiff 24.3 percent of the time in the minors with only 177 at bats in his career at AA. Impact speed with enough size to produce winning power as well. With growth in his approach, Yoan could move quickly. The White Sox may have cleared the way for him to make the major-league roster by releasing Brett Lawrie. Easy player to overdraft, so it’s important to get a feel for his draft day value.


Dr. Roto - Click here for Doc's WINNING Preseason Pro picks!
- FSWA 2011 Newcomer of the Year
- Winner of multiple FFWC and Scout Fantasy Online Championship leagues
- Beat out entire field of 500+ players in his Beat Dr. Roto contest in 2014
- Four-time SiriusXM Expert Host League Champion
- Member of Tout Wars, LABR, FSTA Expert Leagues
- Winner of NFBC, NFFC, RTsports high stakes leagues
Shawn Childs - Click here for Shawn Childs, The Rainman's Preseason Pro picks!
- Second-most accurate DFS Expert in 2014
- Netted hundreds of thousands of dollars playing Fantasy Sports
- 2-time DFS Championship Finalist
- ONLY HIGH-STAKES PLAYER to finish in the Top 5 Fantasy Players of the Year on FOUR separate occasions!
Adam Ronis - Click here for Adam Ronis, The Triple Threat's Preseason Pro picks!
- Three-year Tout Wars participant with two mixed league championships
- Finished second in the DFS Tout Wars contest in 2015
- Participates in high stakes baseball leagues like the NFBC, including the Online Championship and Draft Championship leagues
- SiriusXM Host League Champion three of the last four seasons
- FSTA Award winner for Best Fantasy Sports Radio program in 2015

Scout Fantasy Top Stories