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Later Round Values For RBI - 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers

So you’ve emphasized batters with speed and high batting averages through most of your rotisserie fantasy baseball draft. As you look at your roster construction, your strategy has left you a little short in RBI, time is running out, and your draft is drawing to a close -- what can you do? Well, what if I told you there are some batters with proven track records going after the first 250 picks to boost your RBI count?

Identifying values or late-round fliers to produce RBI can be tricky, as bringing runs at times is situational throughout the season. However, if the batter has a strong power output and plays in a good lineup, they will be put in an excellent position to bring in runners. Unfortunately, these late, great power stats and the solid RBI production can come with a price. In this case, you could be selecting players that can negatively affect categories like AVG and OBP.

While it may seem that we are targeting later options in the draft that produce home runs, this is a great way to find RBI, as these two stats mostly go hand-in-hand.  A proven power bat on a good lineup is the combination we want to look for. 

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Mitch Garver, Seattle Mariners, C/DH

ADP: 190

Mitch Garver has the highest ADP on this list and is considered a value rather than a late-round flier. Garver was signed by the Seattle Mariners earlier this winter to a two-year contract, solidifying his role as the primary designated hitter with Teoscar Hernandez's departure, and also brings occasional starts as the backstop.  

Garver hit 19 long balls last season, tying him for 11th among all catchers, and tallied 50 RBI. With his strong power output, Garver is a sure bet to produce a solid number of RBI, and playing on a team that will be competing is the added ingredient that we are looking for.

The 33-year-old placed in the 83rd percentile with a 12.6% barrel rate last season and placed in the 87th percentile in xSLG with .493. Garver hit very well with runners in scoring position last season with a .306 AVG and .569 SLG, suggesting great situational hitting, which is essential when looking for players to boost your RBI count.

In addition, he hit 13 of his 19 round-trippers with empty bases, which hindered his RBI total in 2023. Hopefully, the right-handed bat can see more opportunities with runners on base, and his strong power metrics suggest that an even bigger 2024 can be expected. Garver is an excellent high-end second catcher in two-catcher leagues or a valuable depth option in shallow leagues.

 

Eugenio Suarez, Arizona Diamondbacks, 3B

ADP: 269

Suarez is another player on this list who has found himself on a new team. Suarez will join the reigning NL defending champion Diamondbacks, who possess one of the best lineups in baseball.  

The corner infielder has been one of the more dominant power hitters over the last half-decade, but saw a significant decline in his home run total in 2023, which is the leading factor in why his ADP is so affordable. The former Mariner hit 22 home runs last season, compared to 31 the previous two seasons. However, despite the drop in long ball count, he still produced a valuable 96 RBI.  

In 2023, Suarez maintained an excellent barrel% of 13.2, which placed him in the 87th percentile of batters, suggesting his home run total could be back in the 30s this season. The veteran certainly can put up some great power numbers for a late pick.  You should ensure that your roster can handle a dip in a few categories, as he recorded a disappointing .232 AVG and .323 OBP with 214 strikeouts, the second-highest in baseball.   

Despite this, if you are looking for RBI in the later rounds of your draft, your team more likely than not has substantial batting average assets that can almost balance out Suarez’s poor output in this category. Suarez is well worth consideration as a corner infielder, and his downsides are already baked into his ADP, making him a low-risk investment in 2024.

 

Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees, OF/DH

ADP: 341

The Yankees designated hitter had a dreadful 2023, hitting under .200 and with declining power. He only hit 24 home runs compared to 31 in his previous campaign.  

Stanton does have a proven track record of being one of the best power hitters over the past decade, making him a safe bet to tally many RBI.  

Despite his drop in power, Stanton had convincing underlying metrics, suggesting a bounce-back might be coming in 2024.  The slugger had an average exit velocity of 93.3 mph, placing him in the 96th percentile, a 15.7% barrel rate (94th percentile), and a 48.4% hard-hit rate (86th percentile).  

Stanton also registered a poor .125 AVG with runners on second and third. Situational hitting can be very unlucky, and he could have easily seen his RBI total increase last season with a few breaks that could have gone his way.

Stanton is a low-risk, high-reward investment on draft day at his current ADP. The towering 6-foot 6-inch giant can save your RBI and HR totals throughout the season, but may severely hinder your AVG and OBP. The Yankees' lineup should be much better with a healthy Aaron Judge and the newly acquired Juan Soto. Target Stanton late in your draft if you need another high-upside RBI bat on your team.

Joc Pederson, Arizona Diamondbacks, OF/DH

ADP: 567

Another newly acquired Arizona Diamondback rounds out this list. The left-handed slugger hit 15 home runs with an RBI output of 51, his lowest since 2018 (excluding the 2020 shortened season). It may seem that as Pederson approaches his mid-30s, his power output might slowly be fading away.  

A closer look might tell a different story. Even though his counting stats suggest declining numbers, his metrics remained strong, which could indicate some unluckiness for the former 11th-round draft pick in 2010.

Pederson was in line with the best batters in the sport regarding hard-hit rate and average exit velocity, where he was in the 96th and 91st percentile, respectively. The metrics suggest his .416 SLG should have been higher than his xSLG, which was .481. The higher the slugging, the more extra-base hits he would hit, meaning more opportunities to bring in runs.

As a left-handed bat, Pederson should be on a platoon's strong side, making him a steal in drafts this season. It will be hard to find hitters who can hit 20 HRs and potentially bring in over 70 runs this late in your draft while potentially splitting time. 

RBI are, at times, a very situational statistic and hard to predict. Targeting players on good teams with a proven track record of power will make them much more likely to tally RBI throughout the summer. These players are in good lineups, and with affordable ADPs, they can significantly boost your team's RBI output.



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