The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

My Guys – League Winners for 2024 Fantasy Baseball

Last year, I released a My Guys article discussing players I was targeting in every fantasy league I played in. After a strong 2022 prediction season, I was hoping for similar results in 2023. For the most part, the article was a success. Adley Rutschman, Zac Gallen, Zach Eflin, and Tristan Casas were all excellent. Wander Franco had the makings of a success before the incident and Brandon Marsh posted career numbers. The only real disappointments were Matt Chapman, Taylor Ward, and Jonathan India. All in all, most of those calls were pretty successful. I am hoping for another round of success in 2024.

Ready to make the 2024 MLB season the best yet? Fantrax offers a fantasy baseball league for everyone. Want to get started right away? Then jump into a Best Ball League or a Draft and Hold. Maybe you have an existing league but want the most customizable fantasy baseball platform in existence? Then you definitely need to check out the Fantrax Commissioner! And of course, whether you play roto or points, you can head to the Fantrax Mock Draft Lobby to start your draft prep for the 2024 fantasy baseball season.

2024 Fantasy Baseball My Guys

Catcher- Sean Murphy – Atlanta Braves

At the beginning of last season, Murphy seemed like one of the best catchers in baseball. Through June, Murphy was slashing .294/.390/.556 with 14 home runs. Add in the fact he was batting in the middle of one of baseball’s best lineups and there was clearly a lot to like. The wheels fell off for Murphy during the second half leading to decreased playing time. He was included in an article I released in December trying to figure out what to make of a few players who saw their numbers regress during the final months of the season. The outcome was that fantasy managers should be buying back into Murphy for 2024.

One of the biggest issues for Murphy’s fantasy value last season was his playing time. As Murphy struggled, the team turned to Travis d’Arnaud more down the stretch. One of the biggest assets a catcher can have for fantasy baseball is availability and Murphy lacked that. However, this should not be an issue in 2024. To start, Murphy is one of, if not, the best defensive catcher in baseball. He ranks as the top catcher in blocks above average and in at least the 84th percentile for caught stealing, framing, and pop time. Even if his bat is struggling, the Braves have no reason to not get him into the lineup. Going with that, he has had yet another off-season to get to know the pitching staff. Murphy came to Atlanta via trade and familiarity is something often overlooked for catchers. Murphy has that going into 2024.

Adding to Murphy’s case for playing time is the fact that d’Arnaud was not very good last season. d’Arnaud’s wRC+ dropped from 120 in 2022 to 83 in 2024. Now 35 years old, things to not figure to get much better. On top of d’Arnaud’s offensive numbers taking a step back, his defensive numbers did as well. The Braves will not be able to excuse keeping Murphy out of the lineup as much in 2024 which instantly adds to his value.

Besides besmirching d’Arnuad, Murphy is just a really good hitter. Here are some notable comparisons for Murphy’s 2023 numbers:

  • Murphy posted a higher barrel rate than Ronald Acuna Jr.
  • His sweet spot percentage was higher than Corey Seager
  • His average exit velocity was higher than Francisco Lindor
  • Murphy also posted a higher max EV than Randy Arozarena

Murphy is an elite offensive talent who happens to play catcher. That is a rare combination and one that makes him an extremely enticing fantasy option. He also gets to play in perhaps the best lineup in baseball which should allow for plenty of runs and RBIs. As mentioned in my previous article, fantasy managers need to understand the bad luck that Murphy experienced in 2023. That will not happen again in 2024 making him my favorite catcher to target. Going in drafts as C8 in drafts makes him an excellent value every fantasy manager should be targeting.

First Base- Spencer Torkelson – Detroit Tigers

One of my favorite places to find value in drafts is in post-hype prospects. The guys that got all of the hype before making their Major League debut and then were absolute disappointments to fantasy managers. This is why Casas was on my list last year and is why Torkelson is on my list this year. The interesting part about Torkelson is that he has already broken out. Torkelson managed to hit 31 home runs last season and it seems like people are still disappointed with him. I am taking full advantage of this and drafting him everywhere.

Torkelson’s 2023 season looks even better if you exclude the first month of the year. From May 3 forward, Torkelson slashed .238/.322/.472 with a 116 wRC+. He hit 29 home runs over that span and his numbers really should have been even better. The low batting average is what sticks out from that slash line but was really impacted by a low .269 season-long BABIP. This number should get higher in a park that is one of the more favorable to get hits in for right-handed batters.

Another encouraging sign looking ahead is that Torkelson began swinging more as the season went on. Torkelson has always had an excellent understanding of the strike zone and has posted whiff rates close to the league average. The issue has been an overly passive approach which can lead to a lot of deep counts. As you can see from PLV, Torkelson was more aggressive with his swings toward the end of the season which likely helped to fuel the 145 wRC+ he posted from August 12 forward.

Spencer Torkelson PLV

Torkelson is not a finished product, but in his age 23 season, he hit over 30 home runs with an average EV of 91.8 mph and a barrel rate over 14%. He is only going to continue getting better as is the Tigers’ lineup around him. The former first-overall pick took some time to develop, but he is quickly proving he was not a mistake. Going as 1B11 in drafts, I am trying to take Torkelson every chance I get. He is my favorite first baseman to target in fantasy for 2024.

Second Base – Jorge Polanco- Seattle Mariners

If you fail once, try again. Jorge Polanco seems to be the one player I cannot quit and whose value keeps getting better and better in fantasy baseball drafts. Now on a new team, Polanco is once again a perfect player to target in your fantasy drafts for 2024.

Injuries resulted in Polanco only appearing in 80 games last season. He dealt with a knee injury before the season, two separate hamstring injuries, and then an ankle injury at the end of September. Durability concerns have been a consistent theme throughout Polanco’s career and 2023 did nothing to assuage those concerns. This season, the durability concerns are fully factored into his draft price. Polanco is going as the 24th-second baseman in fantasy drafts. This is behind guys like Gavin Lux, Brandon Drury, and Whit Merrifield. A low-risk pick with plenty of upside.

Polanco’s deflated draft price is not the only reason he is an intriguing pick. When on the field, Polanco has been as consistent as they come offensively. After posting a 124 wRC+ in 2021, he has followed that up with 119 and 118. Last season, his barrel rate spiked to a career-high 13.8% which marks the third straight season that number has been in the double-digits. He also hits a ton of line drives leading to high BABIPs and providing his batting average with a stable floor.

Polanco is not the flashiest pick at second base. He is not going to lead the league in any one category, but he can provide value to all five. He should bat in the middle of Seattle’s lineup which should lead to plenty of counting stats. Since 2021, Polanco has the fifth highest wRC+ amongst all qualified second basemen. Higher than Marcus Semien, Ozzie Albies, and Gleyber Torres. Health is the only thing holding Polanco back from being a top-ten option at the position. Right now, fantasy managers can draft Polanco at his floor which makes him the perfect selection in drafts.

Shortstop – Ezequiel Tovar- Colorado Rockies

I have already written about Tovar twice, so I will keep this section brief. Tovar is another player that fits the description of a post-hype prospect. After a phenomenal 2022 Minor League season, expectations were high for Tovar entering 2023. The results were a 70 wRC+ with a 27% strikeout rate. This subpar season has many fading Tovar heading into 2024 making now the perfect time to buy.

Tovar first appeared in my articles discussing candidates for positive power regression. Tovar was one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball when it came to the correlation between home run and barrel rate. To read about why, I encourage you to check out that full article. For now, let’s just say that Tovar is going to hit more home runs in 2024. Fantasy managers should expect 18-22 home runs from Tovar just based on positive regression alone. Factor in natural development and his ceiling grows even higher.

On top of home run upside, Tovar is also a plus runner and was viewed by scouts to have a 60-grade future hit tool. The strikeout rate from last season is a concern, but that is also out of character for Tovar compared to the rest of his professional career. At just 22 years old, Tovar has plenty of time to continue developing. With a glove that is going to keep him in the lineup, Tovar is a great fantasy value. He is currently going as SS20 in most fantasy drafts and is my favorite player to target at the position.

Third Base – Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles

This piece has essentially been written since the end of February. The only downside to getting ahead of things is that real-life events happen that can drastically change the fantasy landscape. The original my guy for third base was Noelvi Marte. Marte is now suspended for the first 80 games of this season and should not be a primary target at the position. So, what is my strategy now?

My picks for most of the players listed above are later-round selections. Obviously, walking away from a draft with Freddie Freeman, Kyle Tucker, Francisco Lindor, and Marcus Semien would be amazing, but that is not realistic. The one position I am targeting early on in drafts now is third base. The options at the top of drafts seem to be far and away better than the next tier. Jose Ramirez, Austin Riley, and Gunnar Henderson are the three guys topping my list, but Henderson in particular has become a primary target of mine.

After a slow start to the season, Henderson’s bat exploded. From June forward, there were few players in baseball as productive as Henderson was. He hit 23 home runs, stole eight bases, and posted a 133 wRC+. The quality of contact numbers were phenomenal as Henderson averaged an exit velocity of 92.2 mph with a barrel rate north of 11%. Entering 2023, the one area of skepticism was his ability to elevate the ball. Henderson averaged a launch angle of 11.4 degrees. Still just 22 years old, Henderson is already one of the premier hitters in all of baseball.

From a fantasy perspective, there is still untapped upside. Henderson only stole 10 bases last season despite the new stolen base rules. During the 2022 season, Henderson stole 23 bases in the Minor Leagues. His sprint speed remained high ranking in the 86th percentile and there is plenty of reason to believe he could steal 15-20 bases in 2024.

The biggest issue with drafting players early is that you draft them at their ceiling. This does not feel like the case for Henderson. In just his second season, Henderson could continue to take steps forward in his contact skills and ability to drive the ball resulting in fewer strikeouts and more home runs. If he just replicates his production from last year, you are rafting the 3B4 and 3B5 price. If he runs more and continues developing his bat, he could finish as the top option at his position. Plus, you get the added bonus of shortstop eligibility when you draft him.

OF1 – Riley Greene- Detroit Tigers

The start to Riley Greene’s Major League career has been a bit disappointing. Greene posted a 96 wRC+ in his debut season back in 2022 but showed significant improvement last season. His wRC+ jumped to 119 but the fantasy community still feels lukewarm on Greene’s 2024 outlook. Greene is a prime breakout candidate in 2024 with a very reasonable draft price.

Entering 2023, many in the fantasy community seemed to be on board with predicting Greene to break out. After a slow start (.234/.293/.327 slash at the end of April) everybody seemed to just give up. May brought about a resurrection in Greene’s production as he slashed .365/.435/.573 before leaving the game on May 30 with an injury. He was forced to miss a month of action but returned to have a strong second half of the season before seeing it end prematurely with Tommy John Surgery.

Injuries and all, there is still plenty to like about Greene’s value heading into 2024. One of the biggest issues for Greene early in his career has been getting the ball in the air consistently. Through May 30 of last season, his average launch angle was just 4.9 degrees which prevents him from turning his plus raw power into game power. His 600 PA home run projection through that date was just 13. From July 8 forward, Greene saw his launch angle nearly double to 8.5 degrees. His 600 PA home run projection during that period was 19. PLV shows how Greene’s power increased dramatically last season after a slow start:

Riley Greene PLV

Greene’s xBA last year was .289 and his xSLG was .499. While those stats are not great predictors, they do speak to Greene’s talent level. He is going to be 23 for almost the entire 2024 season and still has plenty of room to continue developing into one of the game’s best offensive outfielders. His raw toolset is enough to turn him into a top fantasy option if he can continue getting the ball in the air more consistently. Durability concerns are helping to deflate his draft price down to OF40 in drafts. He is a great player to target in that area with plenty of upside. Worst case scenario he is the same player he was this season which was just 19% better than the league average offensively.

OF2 – Brandon Nimmo- New York Mets

There might not be a player on this list who is a better value than Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo’s injury-prone label has continued to stick with him pushing him way too far down draft boards. Quietly, Nimmo should have already shed this label. He appeared in 55/60 games in 2020, 151 games in 2022, and 152 games in 2023. Three of the past four seasons have been healthy seasons for Nimmo, but nobody in the fantasy community seems to be paying attention.

Nimmo turns 31 on the 27th but continues to show improvements at the plate. In 2023, Nimmo posted career-highs in home runs, barrel rate, max EV, average EV, and his highest pulled fly ball rate since 2018. If you blindly pull up Nimmo’s Baseball Savant page, he looks like one of the best hitters in baseball:

Brandon Nimmo ImageTurns out, Nimmo was one of the best outfielders in baseball last season. Of the eight highest wRC+ posted amongst outfielders last year, Nimmo is the only one with a current ADP outside of the top 60. The best part is that it is not even close. Nimmo is currently being drafted as OF44 with an ADP of 190. The players going around him are Lars Nootbaar, Jarren Duran, Daulton Varsho, and Masataka Yoshida. This is incredible value late in drafts.

Nimmo is not going to ever be a prolific base stealer, but he still provides strong four-category contributions to your fantasy team. Batting at the top of the Mets lineup provides plenty of run-scoring chances, is a career .270 hitter, and is showing more power in recent seasons. His value grows even higher if you play in an OBP league thanks to his excellent walk rates.

Nimmo has no business going as late as he is in drafts. Being more of a boring player with past injury concerns is causing him to slide down draft boards which needs to change. Nimmo is my favorite outfielder to target this season.

Pitcher – Grayson Rodriguez- Baltimore Orioles

I have written a lot of words already and those of you still with me are probably tired of reading my reasoning. The short story: Grayson Rodriguez was viewed as a can’t-miss prospect for years before a bit of prospect fatigue set in. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball during the second half last season thanks to some subtle but significant adjustments.

The biggest thing to worry about with young pitchers is often innings restrictions. The good news with Rodriguez is that he threw 163.1 innings between Triple-A and the Major Leagues last year. He is currently going in drafts behind guys like Blake Snell, Logan Gilbert, and Framber Valdez making him a phenomenal value around rounds 3/4/5.

If you want to read more about why Rodriguez has big things in store for 2024, check out this phenomenal piece on Pitcher List from Cam Levy!

Bonus Relief Pitcher – Adbert Alzolay- Chicago Cubs

Alzolay stepped into the closer role late last season for Chicago and performed well in his chances. Alzolay was a darling of the deeper fantasy community who wanted him to make it work as a starter, but now he is fulfilling his potential as a closer. There remains some skepticism over whether or not he will be the full-time closer, but new manager Craig Counsell has always preferred one guy to finish games. Going behind pitchers like Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen makes Alzolay a phenomenal closer target later in drafts.

For more of the great fantasy baseball rankings and analysis you’ve come to expect from FantraxHQ, check out our full 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit! We’re here for you all the way up until Opening Day and then on into your championship run.

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.