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Five Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Target In Mid-to-Late Rounds of 2024 Drafts

Mitch Garver - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

We are still a ways away from the thick of fantasy baseball draft season, but enough drafts have been completed to start getting an idea as to when players are being drafted. It is never too early to start strategizing for your drafts.

While there are many different draft strategies and tactics, it is generally recognized that fantasy drafts aren’t won early on, but by hitting on picks later in the draft. The tricky part is identifying the right players to draft.

In this article, I will use early average draft position data to pick five middle-to-late-round players to target in 2024 fantasy drafts. Hopefully, these picks will end up returning greater value than their current ADP. I will only focus on players with a current ADP of around 150 or later.
 

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

Five Fantasy Baseball Hitters To Target In 2024

TJ Friedl, OF, Cincinnati Reds

Fantasy Baseball ADP: 149.5

TJ Friedl put together a solid first full season in 2023, slashing .279/.352/.467 with 18 home runs, 73 runs scored, 66 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. While he’s a late bloomer at 28 years old, I think he has plenty of opportunity to build on his fantasy success.

He should continue to hit at the top of a young, exciting Reds lineup and should play every day, as he owns a career .350 batting average against lefties despite hitting left-handed. He doesn’t hit the ball hard but could approach 20 HR again thanks to playing his home games at Great American Ball Park. He should be able to give fantasy managers at least 20 steals with his speed and doesn’t strike out, which boosts his value in points leagues.

Finding value at outfield will be tough this season, especially in five-OF roto leagues. Friedl may not be quite as good as he was in 2023, but a player who can approach 20 HR and 20 SB with decent counting stats and a respectable batting average and on-base percentage should be a useful, safe fantasy player in 2024.

 

Mitch Garver, C/DH, Seattle Mariners

Fantasy Baseball ADP: 195

Mitch Garver has proven to be a formidable power threat in fantasy throughout his career, with his main issue being health. He only made 344 plate appearances in 2023 with the Rangers but slashed .270/.370/.500 with 19 HR and 50 RBI. Despite currently being the 16th catcher off the board, I think he could return starting value in his first season with the Mariners.

The main risk for Garver is his health, but he has by far the most upside compared to the other catchers being drafted around him. He also has the benefit of being C-eligible but will likely spend a good portion of his playing time at DH, as the Mariners already have an established starter in Cal Raleigh.  

Catcher is one of the weaker fantasy positions overall, making it difficult to find quality players in deeper leagues or two-C leagues. Garver is currently a cheap option who should provide a decent batting average and a lot of power if he’s healthy, which makes him a low-risk pick with a ton of upside.

 

Willy Adames, SS, Milwaukee Brewers

Fantasy Baseball ADP: 186

Willy Adames had possibly the worst full season of his career in 2023, slashing .217/.310/.407 with 24 HR, 80 RBI, and five stolen bases. Consequently, he is being drafted as the 19th shortstop with an ADP of 186. Given his career numbers, I think Adames can bounce back this season, making him a player to draft.

Adames is just 28 years old, so it’s not as though age has caught up to him. He has never been a huge hitter for average but owns a career .247 batting average in 2,922 PA. This still leaves something to be desired in roto leagues but is fine for points leagues. 

He also owns a career 88.4 mph average exit velocity compared to 87.4 mph in 2023. He still managed to hit 24 HR, so any regression in this department could push him close to 30.

Overall, there is no reason Adames can't experience some positive regression heading into 2024. He should continue to produce solid runs and RBI numbers hitting in the middle of the Brewers lineup and could provide even more power and average. This would make him a solid pick in his current range.

 

Eloy Jimenez, DH, Chicago White Sox

Fantasy Baseball ADP: 219.5

You would think that a player who slashed .272/.317/.441 with 18 HR and 64 RBI in just 489 PA last season would be drafted inside the top 200 picks. However, Eloy Jimenez currently has an ADP of 219.5, likely because he is only utility-eligible and has a history of injuries. Despite this, I think he is an excellent late-round pick.

This is the most straightforward of my picks in that Jimenez would clearly be a higher-end fantasy pick if he could just stay healthy. He owns a career .275/.324/.487 slash line in 1,777 career PA and has always hit the ball hard. His 489 PA in 2023 was the most since 2019, and the only time he spent on the injured list was for an appendectomy.

The skill set is not in question for Jimenez, which cannot be said for most players going this late in drafts. His health is a risk, but his current ADP minimizes that. Further, he did play 14 games in the outfield last season, so while he may not start the season as outfield-eligible, Jimenez could pick it up at some point.

 

Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B, Cincinnati Reds

Fantasy Baseball ADP: 235

Jeimer Candelario had a great 2023 season with the Nationals and Cubs, slashing .251/.336/.471 with 22 HR, 70 RBI, and eight stolen bases. He was rewarded this offseason with a three-year, $45 million contract with the Reds. Despite this, Candelario is currently being drafted well outside the top 200 picks. His current price makes him a late-round target.

Candelario’s new team and ballpark should help maximize his skill set. He doesn’t hit the ball hard but will now have the benefit of Great American Ball Park. He should also slot into the middle of the aforementioned Reds lineup, which is filled with young, excited hitters. This should help ensure solid run and RBI numbers.

Corner infield is usually pretty deep, but Candelario’s new team makes him stand out. He should receive plenty of playing time in one of baseball’s most hitter-friendly parks. This could give him the perfect context to build on his 2023 season, and fantasy managers don’t currently have to pay up for that prospect.



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