The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Who To Target With the Last Pick of Your Fantasy Baseball Draft

If you’ve made it to the last pick of your standard fantasy baseball draft and been left wondering who to target as the clock winds down, don’t worry. We’ve all been there. To be honest, the last few picks of your draft can be the hardest and most confusing. It kind of requires a lot of research and time to parse out the best options. But that’s why you have us here at Fantrax! We’ve put in quite a lot of work over the last few months to get you ready for the big day. And with my last article for draft prep season, I wanted to make that last pick of your draft much easier.

So, with that in mind, all you have to do is ask yourself what your team really needs. Then, when you have an answer, scroll down and look at the options provided.

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.

It’s the Last Pick of Your Draft And You Need…

a starting CATCHER.

If he’s somehow still there:

Mitch Garver C Mariners ADP 170

No one seems to be in any rush to draft catchers this year, so perhaps Mitch Garver could still be hanging around. If so, jump on the 30-home-run upside and hope his DHing will keep him in the lineup all season.

A good backup option:

Henry Davis OF Pirates ADP 219

I wrote about Henry Davis a few weeks ago here. That was before his main competition for time behind the plate, Yasmani Grandal, went down with plantar fasciitis. After a really solid spring showing (slash line of .306/.381/.694 with four home runs and 11 RBI), it’s looking like the former first-round pick might be ready to deliver some of that 12 home run/10 steal/1.015 OPS upside he displayed in 55 games in the minors last season. Hopefully, he’ll gain catcher eligibility in the process.

If those guys are gone and you want upside:

Alejandro Kirk C Blue Jays ADP 268

Speaking of the competition going down with injury, it was recently announced that Danny Jansen broke a bone in his wrist. This all but assures that Alejandro Kirk will get lots of at-bats at least early in the season. Though his eye at the plate was still sharp (10.7% K rate), the 25-year-old’s batted-ball metrics took a big hit in 2023. Some speculation says his late appearance at Spring Training (due to the birth of his child) could have caused the rough start (.217 AVG as late as May 15). With the last pick of your draft, probably worth the dart throw if you neglected catcher.

a Corner Infielder.

If he’s somehow still available:

Jeimer Candelario 1B/3B Reds ADP 201

I know Jeimer Candelario’s ADP would suggest he’s long gone by the time you’re making your last pick, but in my last two 12-team for-real drafts he went at pick 253, and then went undrafted in a shallow league that only went 252 players deep. That’s probably because over his eight season’s, the 30-year-old has only hit over 20 home runs once. But that was last year in pretty much the worst home-run-hitting environment (Comerica Park ranks 30th according to Park Factors). Now he’ll play half his games at Great American Ballpark which ranks 1st. Seems like a worthy last pick of your draft if he lasts that long.

Rookies with a regular job:

Colt Keith 3B Tigers ADP 280

I wrote about Colt Keith as a third base sleeper. He was really good last year in the minors, compiling a very impressive .306/.380/.552 slashline with 27 home runs, 101 RBI over 126 games at two levels. The Tigers were so impressed they signed the 22-year-old to a 6-year, $28 Million contract during the offseason. If the Tigers bet on him before he even played a Major League game, you should feel comfortable betting on him with the last pick of your draft. He’ll even gain second base eligibility soon after the season starts.

Jordan Westburg 2B/3B Orioles ADP 329

Also wrote about Jordan Westburg as a third base sleeper. It’s looking like he has a starting job. He was super impressive in the minors last season (.939 OPS over 67 games) before tepid big league results (.260/.311/.404 over 68 games). That’s destroyed the hype and made him essentially free on draft day. For the last pick of your draft, you can do far worse.

Rookies with a (mostly) regular job:

Sal Frelick OF Brewers ADP 279

The Brewers liked Sal Frelick’s rookie performance so much that they gave him an audition at third base this spring. The 23-year-old had never played the infield during his three years in the minors, but seemingly has done enough to win a starting job there, especially against righties. He’s got some great plate discipline (10.8 % BB rate in combined minors and majors). Has the tools to be a real base stealer (81st percentile foot speed). And with a .314 career minor league average, could be a help in at least three categories.

Michael Busch 3B Cubs ADP 406

I also wrote about Michael Busch as a third base sleeper. To sum up: he’s got a tremendous minor league track record (career .283/.390/.529 slashline), never got a chance to play regularly because the Dodgers’ depth is so ridiculous, and will now get reps at first base and DH on a fairly regularly basis after an off-season trade. Even if you don’t need him, at least keep him on your radar.   

a Middle Infielder.

If you can wait for eligibility:

Colt Keith 3B Tigers ADP 280

Just wrote about Colt Keith in the section above. Expect second base eligibility very soon after the season starts.

If you’d rather not wait:

Jordan Westburg 2B/3B Orioles ADP 329

Just wrote about Jordan Westburg in the section above. At this point, might want to leave him on your waiver wire and draft the rookie below. Keep him on your watch list, though.

Rookie with starting job:

Jackson Merrill SS Padres ADP 361

Jackson Merrill, the top prospect in the Padres’ organization (and 30th overall according to Fangraphs), has made the Opening Day roster. In fact, he’s already started his first two Major League games this Wednesday and Thursday. In addition to picking up a couple of hits, the 20-year-old just missed his first home run, hitting a 107-MPH laser to the top of the right-field wall. He projects for both power and speed (went 15 HR/15 SB in just 114 minor league games last season) and will shortly gain outfield eligibility as San Diego’s starting center fielder.

an extra Outfielder.

If he’s still there:

Kerry Carpenter OF Tigers ADP 220

A mild hamstring strain this spring has dropped Kerry Carpenter’s ADP a little. But he’s still the same player I wrote about as a sleeper last month. He’s been super solid in his two partial seasons with 26 home runs and an .808 OPS over 149 games. His underlying numbers back it up, too (mid-60s percentile and better for all batted-ball metrics). And six steals late last season suggest he might be willing to take advantage of his 70th percentile sprint speed. Looks like he has a starting job in the middle of the improved Tigers lineup also. If he gets overlooked in your draft, take advantage.

Rookies with a starting job:

Jackson Merrill SS Padres ADP 361

Wrote about Jackson Merrill as a nice middle-infield last pick of your draft. But you’ll get an outfielder out of him too if you’re willing to wait a week.

Ceddanne Rafaella OF Red Sox ADP 379

Though his first cup of coffee with the Red Sox didn’t go great (.241/.281/.386 in 28 games), Ceddanne Rafaella still carries some big upside (20 HR/36 SB in just 108 minor league games in 2023). He currently projects to be the starting center fielder. That’s due to his solid spring (.277/.333/.574 with 3 HR/2 SB). He could play some middle infield during the season, too, which would provide fantasy managers with extra flexibility. Overall, certainly worthy of a flier.

If he makes the team:

Nelson Velazquez OF Royals ADP 300

Fortunes have turned a little this spring for Nelson Velazquez. Since writing about him as an outfield sleeper, the 25-year-old has slashed just .156/.250/.188 so far with no home runs. It’s spooking fantasy managers and pushing his ADP out of standard drafts. It could be spooking the Royals, too, who might very well elect to start Nick Pratto at DH. That would likely push Velazquez to the minors to start the season. But that hasn’t actually happened yet. And if you’re looking for a bright side, the righty has only struck out at a 25% clip. Much better than even last season (28.5 %). If you could really use a power bat, I think it’s still worth a shot.

If you don’t mind some injury risk:

Alex Kirilloff 1B/OF Twins ADP 415

Health has always been the biggest issue for Alex Kirilloff. We’ve never seen what a full season from him would look like. He’s still just 26 years old. He had a pedigree (1st-round pick in 2016). And his minor league career slash of .324/.381/.525 once intrigued us. As a currently healthy starting first baseman and DH, could we dream about post-hype production? Sure, that’s what the last pick of your draft is for!

an extra Starting Pitcher.

If he’s still available:

Cristopher Sanchez SP Phillies ADP 224

Anyone else excited to see if the improvements Cristopher Sanchez made last year hold up this season? I am. I was so excited, in fact, that back in January I included him in my late-round pitchers to target article. Basically, the lefty exhibited elite control (1.45 BB/9 rate) while inducing an obscene amount of ground balls (95th percentile). That’s a nice combination when you play at Citizens Bank Park, where fly balls are surely not desirable (ranked 4th in home runs yielded according to Park Factors). I know the 27-year-old isn’t exactly killing it this spring, but keep in mind he’s been experimenting with a cutter and has no competition for a rotation spot. If he falls to you very late, points league or not, accept the gift.

If you want to fill your RP spot with a starter:

AJ Puk RP Marlins ADP 327

After 142 career appearances out of the pen, AJ Puk will likely draw his first career start soon after the 2024 season begins. Especially so with all the injuries to Miami’s pitchers. Hopefully, the career 11.15 K/9 rate and 3.72 ERA translate well to a starter’s role. After striking out 23 and yielding just two earned runs over 13.2 spring innings (1.32 ERA), so far so good.

Two SPs worth a shot:

James Paxton SP Dodgers ADP 298

I also wrote about James Paxton as a late-round target way back in January. The gist is: the lefty compiled a 3.34 ERA/1.14 WHIP with a 9.96 K/9 rate until a knee injury prevented him from “finishing pitches” and inflated his final numbers. He did this while in one of the worst pitching environments in baseball (Fenway Park ranks as the 2nd worst according to Park Factors). Now, after signing with the Dodgers, he’ll throw half his games in a much more favorable location (Dodgers Stadium ranks 19th). Fine, you’ll likely need an IL spot handy, but with one of the league’s best offenses backing him, I like my chances with Big Maple.

Louie Varland SP Twins ADP 308

I wrote about Louie Varland as a late-round target in a deep league a while back. To sum that up: he had two really good stints last season. One was his first seven starts (3.51 ERA/1.15 WHIP/8.56 K/9) and the other was down the stretch as a reliever (only two earned runs in 12 innings with 17 strikeouts). Fast forward to this week and now the 26-year-old’s ADP is a bit less deep. The Twins just announced that Anthony DeSclafani will start the year on the IL and might require season-ending surgery. So that means the righty will take his place and become Minnesota’s 5th starter. Deep league or not-so-deep, he’s a worthy roster add at the end of drafts.

a Relief Pitcher who could get you some saves.

If he’s still available:

Robert Suarez RP Padres ADP 241

Well, if you had concerns that Robert Suarez wasn’t the closer, you’re probably feeling a lot better now. The Padres called on him in their first save opportunity on Thursday and the 33-year-old eventually nailed it down. Yes, he did allow two inherited runners to score in the 8th inning and made things close. But he rebounded with a 1-2-3 9th and struck out two. The righty’s got the job for now. Could be a chance for cheap saves.

Looks like he has the job:

Will Smith RP Royals ADP 305

I’m going to make a wild prediction that Will Smith’s World Series streak will end this season. Did you know he’s been on each of the last three winners? In any case, he’s the presumptive favorite for saves in Kansas City after signing there as a free agent. I should also add that he pitched better than the surface numbers might indicate last year. The 34-year-old’s xERA (3.35) was over a run lower than the actual ERA (4.40). And the whiff rate on his slider, although down, was still a pretty impressive 39.6%. Seems like the lefty is still capable of dominance. Just remember the Royals aren’t likely to do a lot of winning.

Still in a competition:

Kyle Finnegan RP Nationals ADP 268 & Hunter Harvey RP Nationals ADP 308

Hunter Harvey seems like the better pitcher these days, but Kyle Finnegan appears more likely to open the season as the closer. But monitor closely because Finnegan’s back has been acting up lately and after not pitching since March 12th, he didn’t exactly impress on Thursday (1 earned run on 3 hits in just two-thirds of an inning).

Tyler Kinley RP Rockies ADP 620 & Justin Lawrence RP Rockies ADP 500

This one seems like a true battle. Both Justin Lawrence and Tyler Kinley had the closer role at points last season. Both had their ups and downs, too. Neither has been flawless this spring either. Kinley’s been slightly better (4.26 ERA/1.26 WHIP), but that’s not saying too much (Lawrence: 9.82 ERA/2.05 WHIP). Having a Rockies closer is never too fun anyway, so I’d prefer to stay clear of this mess, to be honest. But the price sure is cheap.

Joel Payamps RP Brewers ADP 471/Abner Uribe RP Brewers ADP 514/Trevor Megill RP Brewers ADP 604

The injury to Devin Williams has created a saves vacuum in Milwaukee. While he’s out for about three months, Joel Payamps is the favorite to grab the most saves. Abner Uribe is a youngster impressing everyone in camp. And Trevor Megill is the dark horse. This could just end up being a saves free-for-all. But Payamps is probably the one worth rostering at the moment. If you go here, though, you better be staying tuned.

Should get saves during the first month or so:

Griffin Jax RP Twins ADP 593

It’s looking like Jhoan Duran will need some time to recover from a “moderate”oblique strain. Those can take a month or more to heal. Griffin Jax has pretty much been flawless this spring (0 runs in 7 IP with 12 Ks), so he’s the guy to own in the interim.

…a player to stash on the IL.

Fortunately, I wrote an entire article about this last week. If you want lots of info on these players, check that out. Otherwise, I’ll just list them all here for you in ADP order:

Gerrit Cole SP Yankees ADP 133

Kodai Senga SP Mets ADP 251

Lars Nootbaar OF Cardinals ADP 295

Shane Baz SP Rays ADP 320

Max Scherzer SP Rangers ADP 377

Kyle Bradish SP Orioles ADP 410

Jacob deGrom SP Rangers ADP 540

Jasson Dominguez OF Yankees ADP 580

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.