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Five Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers: Mid-To-Late Round Value Picks (NL East)

MacKenzie Gore - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB News

The NL East has plenty of star players going early in fantasy baseball drafts this season. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Spencer Strider are going in the first round, while Matt Olson, Trea Turner, Austin Riley, Bryce Harper, and Ozzie Albies are all going somewhere in the second round.

Then, players like Zack Wheeler, Pete Alonso, and Francisco Lindor are coming off the board in the third round. However, none of these stars will be on this list because of their early average draft position (ADP).

I've already gone through the AL East, AL Central, and AL West divisions, so check those out if you haven't already. Now, let's dive in and see which players from the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, and Miami Marlins are the best mid-to-late-round value picks in fantasy drafts this season.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:

 

Jarred Kelenic - OF, Atlanta Braves

Outfielder Jarred Kelenic was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Atlanta Braves this offseason, and a change of scenery could be a great thing for him in 2024 and beyond. Kelenic now goes to a Braves team that has a history of developing young talent.

That alone makes him an interesting fantasy option in the later rounds of fantasy drafts. But then, Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos said Kelenic should be starting every day in left field. That would be a huge boost for the outfielder, especially in an offense that features Acuna, Albies, Olson, and Riley.

There's no doubt Kelenic is a talented player. He is the former sixth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and he has flashed his potential at times. Last season, the left-handed slugger hit .283 with 10 home runs, 26 RBI, and 14 doubles across the first 52 games of the year. However, a poor second half -- where he hit .221 with one HR and 23 RBI in the final 53 games -- really hurt his season-long numbers.

Now, he gets a fresh start with a super-talented Braves team. The outfielder is going outside the top 235 in fantasy drafts this year, so he's worth a shot in the final couple of rounds. He has major upside and could be a reliable bat at the bottom of Atlanta's lineup in 2024.

 

Nick Castellanos - OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos is not as big of a sleeper as Kelenic, but he is going later than he should in fantasy drafts this year. Castellanos's ADP on ESPN is at 116, and on CBS, it's at 113. That makes him a valuable pick in the middle rounds.

After struggling in his first season in Philadelphia, Castellanos turned it around in Year 2. He hit .272 at the plate with 29 HRs, 106 RBI (career-high), and 37 doubles. The veteran did only have a walk rate of 5.4% and a strikeout rate of 27.6% -- both of which ranked in the bottom half of the league. His power numbers, though, are extremely hard to ignore, especially in a points league.

The right-handed slugger has a career .276 average and averages 25 HRs and 90 RBI per season. Those numbers give him a high floor in fantasy, as he has reached those marks in two of the past three years. Castellanos also hits at the top of a Phillies offense that features Harper and Turner, which should give him some upside even at age 32.

 

Brandon Nimmo - OF, New York Mets

New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo might not be the sexiest pick, but he's an extremely underrated option in the mid-to-late rounds of fantasy drafts. Nimmo is coming off a career year where he hit .274 with 24 HRs, 68 RBI, 30 doubles, and six triples. Those stats made the 30-year-old a reliable fantasy option all season.

However, Nimmo's average ADP among all fantasy baseball sites is 165. His ADP is actually even higher on Yahoo (184) and CBS (193). That's too low for a player who just hit a career-high 24 HRs in 2023.

The power is a new attribute for Nimmo, which has certainly elevated his fantasy production. Over the past two years, he has hit a combined 60 doubles, 13 triples, and 40 HRs. It also doesn't look like his power numbers will take a big hit in 2024, considering his hard-hit rate (47.9%), average exit velocity (91.8 mph), and barrel rate (9.5%) were the best of his career last year.

The Mets outfielder will be a consistent fantasy option this year, and he is a safe pick toward the end of your draft. Nimmo will also hit in front of Lindor and Alonso in 2024, which should help him top close to 100 runs scored.

 

MacKenzie Gore - SP, Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore has had an up-and-down Major League Baseball career so far through two seasons. The former third overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft has shown his potential at times, but there have been a lot of growing pains for the southpaw. However, the 6-foot-2 pitcher is worth a shot in the final round of fantasy drafts due to his upside.

Gore showed some solid stuff in the first half of the 2023 season, where he had a 3.74 ERA and 87 strikeouts across 14 starts. Some notable performances during that stretch included a 10-strikeout, one-earned run performance across six innings against the Mets, and seven strong innings of one-run ball with 11 strikeouts against the Kansas City Royals.

The back half of the season wasn't as strong for the left-hander, as he finished with a 5.25 ERA and 64 strikeouts in his final 13 starts. He still delivered some strong outings, though, like 6.1 shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox in the middle of August. Those starts all show that the potential is there for Gore, and the 2024 season could finally be the year he breaks out.

 

Braxton Garrett - SP, Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Braxton Garrett is the final value pick on this list. After a strong 2023 campaign -- where the left-hander finished with a 3.66 ERA and 159 strikeouts across 159.2 innings pitched -- Garrett should be in store for another strong year. So, his average ADP of 186 is a bargain.

Garrett was solid in a 17-game sample size in 2022, but he took that next step in a full workload in 2023. The southpaw had 10 quality starts last season, including seven in his final 11 starts of the year. That certainly has him trending up in fantasy heading into 2024.

Garrett also doesn't issue many walks, which should help fantasy managers in both roto and points leagues. He only walked 29 batters in 2023, and in 24 of his 30 starts, he issued one walk or fewer. The southpaw finished in the top 3% among all pitchers with a 4.4% walk rate. That low walk rate and ERA should help him be a reliable fantasy option. 



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