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6 Injury Bounce-Back Players for 2024 Fantasy Baseball

The 2023 MLB season was filled with injury problems. Every year in fantasy baseball, injuries ruin the entire season for many fantasy managers, and last year was no different. No matter how stacked your roster is, health and availability will always be instrumental to any team’s success (both in fantasy and real life). While certain players will come back from injury problems and start producing like normal again (Mr. Trout, to name one), I have chosen six under-the-radar potential bounce-back players that I believe will add depth to your fantasy baseball rosters.

Just two quick little disclaimers: Firstly, I did not put a minimum or maximum quota of GP/IP/ABs during the 2023 season while compiling this list – some players did not play at all, some came back at the very end, and some were just inconsistently able to take the field for the entirety of the season. All injuries in fantasy baseball impact your team in different ways and at different levels of importance, so I did not see it fit to make strict criteria that an injured player must meet.

Secondly, I chose these players based on their impact in standard points leagues – it is worth noting that although I think these are all good players, they are most impactful in points leagues as opposed to cats/roto.

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6 Bounce-Back Players to Target in 2024 Fantasy Baseball Drafts

Hyun Jin Ryu, SP, Free Agent

Hyun Jin Ryu went through his second career Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2022 and returned at the beginning of August 2023. Although we got a small sample size (11 Starts, 52 IP), Ryu looked really good and delivered promising stuff. His K/9 and ERA both vastly improved from his few starts in 2022 and from the end of the 2021 season (that’s when he really started to struggle and lose command). He also quickly was taken off his pitch limit, so there are plenty of reasons to believe that Ryu will be given a middle/back-end rotation job and pitch lots of quality innings in 2024

Dustin May, SP, LAD

Similar to Brantley, May has struggled to stay on the field over the past two seasons. He briefly came back from Tommy John surgery for six starts last year, but then re-injured his throwing arm, sidelining him again for the rest of the season. I cannot guarantee that May will be ready to go right at the start of 2024 (at least completely unrestricted), but when he comes back, I expect him to pretty quickly return right back to his form. When he’s at his best it’s very simple why you would want a guy like him on your fantasy team; He strikes out a lot of batters, he doesn’t give up many home runs (or any type of run, for that matter), and he gets lots of wins, being on arguably the best team in baseball.

Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Free Agent

Hoskins tore his ACL in spring training last year and was sidelined for the entire 2023 season. It also doesn’t seem like he will be returning to the Phillies after the recent announcement that Bryce Harper will be moving to first base full-time. Expect a team in need of a cleanup hitter to pursue Hoskins and expect him to sign and immediately deliver. From 2018-2021, excluding the shortened 2020 season, Rhys was able to hit over 25 HRs and more than 70 RBIs each year. He also doesn’t strike out nearly as much as other hitters who have similar skill sets. Keep him in mind while drafting – he is a very solid first-base option in your points leagues. [Editor’s Note: Hoskins has reportedly signed with the Brewers which is a nice landing spot as far as ballparks go.]

Marco Gonzales, SP, PIT

Marco Gonzales was shut down in July of last year and was then traded to the Braves, and then from the Braves to the Pirtaes during this offseason. Gonzales has been a serviceable pitcher for about a decade now, having a 4.14 ERA over 155 career starts. This is more of a late-round sleeper pick rather than an early-round game-changer, but still, he is worth considering. He is playing with a chip on his shoulder after being replaced in Seattle and then tossed around a little bit, so keep that in mind too.

Anthony Rendon, 3B, LAA

Anthony Rendon has not played a full season since signing with the Angels in 2020 but he has to eventually, right? Right? The truth is I don’t know how many games Rendon will be 100% for in 2024 but he is just so talented and such a great ballplayer that he is worth taking the risk on (saying that his draft stock has dropped significantly over the years). There is talk that he will try and play some games as the team’s DH, so I’m optimistic that’ll help him ease back into playing more games.

John Means, SP, BAL

It’s been over two years since John Means has been a full-time starting pitcher, but man was this guy good. John Means is fully healthy going into 2024 after returning from injury at the end of 2023, and there is no reason not to believe he won’t return to his vintage self – no runs or walks surrendered, and lots of innings pitched and wins (especially now that Baltimore is a top team and will give him ample run support).

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.

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