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Fantasy Baseball’s Most Underrated Players

I don’t like the term “ underrated.” In fantasy baseball the term “undervalued” projects better. The value a player brings to our team is our greatest caveat. It’s what makes or breaks a league. The motto I run my team by is “Productivity + consistency outweighs potential.”

What makes someone undervalued? Unluckiness, bad coaching, or simply just age. For the people who have waited to draft, these are your “dark horses” that will make you seem like a genius. Like Sonny Weaver Jr. on Draft Day or Alex Anthopoulos since 2020.

These are five players I believe have stardom in their blood but we are only asking for consistency. Stardom would be a bonus. On a weekly occasion, I’m going to point out the undervalued to the Fantrax community. Let’s see which five make the list this week.

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Fantasy Baseball’s Most Underrated Undervalued Players

Trevor Megill, RP, Milwaukee Brewers

At 6 ‘8 255, Megill is an absolute giant on the mound. After being optioned multiple times in 2023, Megill finished on a high note. After the All-Star break, Megill pitched to a 2.70 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP. With Devin Williams being sidelined with a recurring back injury, I project Megill to slot into the closing role in 2024.

In 34.2 IP, Megill had 52 strikeouts. His 35.1 K% is a supreme number that only the elite have. His knuckle curve is his most dominant pitch, batters had a .162 XBA and a .212 XSLG. Megill also produces extreme whiffs on his curve, Batters had a 53.4 whiff% on his huge breaker. Megill’s fastball averaged 99.1 MPH, 1 MPH more than in 2023. Is there anything more pretty than a hard fastball with a high spin rate? The answer is no.

Not only was his 2023 good, Megill was very unlucky. He had a 3.63 ERA but a 3.23 XERA. Which is a very stable number in any bullpen. I project Megill to have a 1.22 WHIP and 18 saves in 2023.

Brewer’s manager Pat Murphy hasn’t decided on a closer yet but with Joel Payamps brilliance as a set-up man in 2023, don’t be surprised if Megill notches the first save of 2024. I have him as my 362nd-ranked player ahead of the 2024 season. With all the information we have about Williams, Megill’s new ADP should be around 300. A depth arm that can turn into a star in 2024, mark my words.

Griffin Jax, RP, Minnesota Twins

Jax is my favorite undervalued player heading into 2024. With Duran out for an unknown time, expect Jax to be running the ninth inning in Minnesota. After a very good 2022, Jax was promoted to more high-leverage roles in 2023. He did not disappoint, posting a 3.86 era but a 2.86 XERA. A full point lower.

Jax doesn’t miss bats like Megill does but he is a master at missing barrels. Batters had a 86.8 EV% with only 6 barrels on 183 batted balls. XBH is considered a reliever’s worst nightmare, batters had a .311 XSLG on Jax, which would be in the 93rd percentile of the MLB.

Don’t sleep on Jax’s ability to get swings and misses. He had a 31.4 chase% in 2023.  With a 4 pitch mix, Jax’s sweeper and 4 seam fastball are by far the most effective. His changeup had a -3 run value and wasn’t a factor to left-handed batters, leading to Jax incorporating a curveball in spring training, which should change eye levels to lefties.

Before the season, His ADP was 331.7 for me. With a 0.00 era in spring training, Jax should be gaining steam on draft boards with the uncertainty of Duran. At this rate, If you can get Jax by 250-270, that’s a draft steal for your bullpen.

Brandon Lowe, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays

Not only has Lowe been a premier 2nd baseman of the last 5 years, he’s among the best offensive second basemen when healthy. That’s always the question with Lowe, health. In only 109 games in 2023, Lowe had 21 home runs and 68 RBI. He provides a smooth lefty swing with elite pop that should be prioritized in your lineup.

His offensive metrics are what catch my eye. His value should be more compared to his original stats. Lowe hits the ball incredibly hard, having a 91.4 EV% and a 47.5 Hard Hit%. As a second baseman, that’s unheard of.

What really has caught my eye is his 11.5 BB%. It nullifies his 27.5 K% and makes it reasonable. Post All-Star break, Lowe returned to “ star “ form, slashing a line of .253/.348/.484 SLG and cutting his K% to 23% in the second half. Reports out of Rays camp say “He’s never felt better”. His power is worth the gamble.

Just look at 2021, Lowe at 39 home runs and almost 100 RBI. With a better Ray’s team, the sky’s the limit for Lowe. I have him at a 328.3 ADP, which is completely too low for his talent. I’ll leave you with 3 words, “ take the risk”.

Kerry Carpenter, OF, Detroit Tigers

After a nice stint in 2022, Carpenter was an unexpected producer in 2023. In 118 games, Carpenter had 20 home runs and 64 RBI. After improving greatly in 2023, Carpenter cut his K% and was better versus breaking and offspeed pitches.

Detroit is usually cold half the year but Carpenter loves the heat. He absolutely dominates the fastball, batting .339 and having a .590 SLG. Touted as a high-average player in the minors, Carpenter was extremely solid against both sides of pitching.

Carpenter mostly batted fourth and fifth in the lineup but if he stays at fourth in 2024. Parker Meadows and Riley Greene are both run-scoring threats, plenty of more RBI opportunities for Carpenter to have.

Carpenter has a .282 AVG with 3 home runs in spring training. The question will be if he gets consistent at-bats versus LHP with a stacked outfield. His ADP is currently 212 for me, projecting 23 home runs and 72 RBIs for the 26-year-old. After an above-average year, take Carpenter earlier than expected and thank me later.

Riley Greene, OF, Detroit Tigers

Greene is the only player I have drafted on each of my teams in 2024. The former first-round pick has been haunted by injuries in his short career. In 99 games in 2023, all advanced metrics declared Greene an elite hitter. Greene had a .289 XBA, .499 XSLG, and an astounding .477 XWOBCON.

Touted as a hitter with raw power and elite contact skills, Greene has shown tremendous promise in 2 years. In 2023, Greene batted over .300 versus breaking pitches and fastballs. Not only is that extremely intriguing but Greene was an above-average hitter versus LHP and RHP.

At only 23, Greene’s potential is unlimited. He is not a finished product, his 4.4 LA needs to increase but his ability to hit the ball extremely hard is a bonus. His .384 BABIP would’ve been top 16 highest in the MLB if qualified.

With an up-and-coming Tigers team, Green is hopefully going to bat 1st or 2nd. Greene’s ADP right now is at 235. If he can stay healthy, the league should be on watch. I project him to have 20 home runs and 80 runs scored in 2024.

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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