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Overvalued Second Basemen for Fantasy Baseball Drafts (2024)

Nico Hoerner - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, MLB News

The worst mistake fantasy managers can make in a fantasy baseball draft is taking a chance on a player in the early rounds that winds up busting. Whether the player gets injured or has a poor year at the plate, it's hard to recover from. That's especially true if you select the player in the first couple of rounds.

This year, four second basemen are going inside the first three rounds (Mookie Betts, Ozzie Albies, Marcus Semien, and Jose Altuve). All four players, though, are priced appropriately in 2024 drafts. Betts, Albies, Semien, and Altuve carry very little risk this upcoming year.

However, there are plenty of other second basemen going too high in drafts this season. So, here are three second basemen who will fall short of their ADP this year, including two going within the first six rounds.

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

 

Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner is fresh off his best season in the majors. He won his first Gold Glove and batted an impressive .283 at the plate with 43 stolen bases. However, Hoerner doesn't do enough in the other categories to make him a worthy pick in the fourth or fifth round.

Outside of that .283 average and 43 stolen bases, he had just nine HRs, 68 RBI, 49 walks, and 27 doubles. Now, if you really need stolen bases at this point in the draft, he's a nice pick. He'll likely steal 40-plus bags again. But it's hard to target someone like Hoerner (who has an ADP of 59.6) only for his elite stolen base numbers.

The 26-year-old will have plenty of opportunities to steal bases in 2024 and that'll be important for his fantasy value. His numbers outside of that, though, make him a tricky selection. It's also fair not to expect much from him in the other departments based on his metrics from the 2023 season.

His expected slugging (.356), average exit velocity (86.6 mph), barrel rate (1.8%), hard-hit rate (33.4%), and sweet spot rate (33.2%) all ranked in the bottom half of the league. As a matter of fact, his barrel rate landed him in the bottom 2% of the entire league last year. Hoerner is a great contact hitter, but he might struggle to keep up his fantasy value in 2024.  

 

Matt McLain, Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Matt McLain came out of nowhere last year and finished top five in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. McLain certainly deserved to finish that high after an impressive year at the plate, totaling 16 HRs, 50 RBI, 23 doubles, 14 stolen bases, and a .290 average.

There's no disagreeing that McLain was solid in 2023, but a sophomore slump could be on the horizon. For starters, the second baseman has not had a great spring. He was working through an oblique injury at the beginning of March, and now a shoulder issue has popped up. On top of that, the 24-year-old is 0-for-13 with seven strikeouts in 14 plate appearances in spring training.

Most of the time, you should take spring training stats with a grain of salt. However, it's obvious that McLain is not 100%, and there's a chance his shoulder issue could keep him out for a couple of days. With Opening Day in one week, the second baseman does not appear to be fully ready for the season. 

The metrics also don't really support McLain's rookie numbers, so we could see a drop in several categories. His .256 expected batting average was 34 points lower than what he finished the year with (.290), and his strikeout rate (28.5%) landed him in the bottom 16% of the entire league.

There's a lot that the Reds second baseman has to fix heading into 2024. With a limited spring training, though, he might not have the time to fix those issues quickly. That's why he will likely fall short of his 62.8 ADP.

 

Andres Gimenez, Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians second baseman Andres Gimenez isn't going nearly as high as Hoerner or McLain in drafts, but he is still a player who will fall short of his ADP in 2024. Gimenez is currently going in the ninth to 11th round this year with an ADP of 116.6.

There's not a lot that Gimenez does well for fantasy purposes, outside of stolen bases. Last year, he swiped 30 bags. Nevertheless, he was disappointing in several other categories across the board, including HRs (15), RBI (62), doubles (27), and batting average (.251). He also finished the season with a 5.2% walk rate, which landed him in the bottom 10% of the entire league. 

Gimenez has always been known as a contact hitter, and that won't change in 2024. Like Hoerner, if you need stolen bases, he could be a solid target in the middle rounds. Just know what you are getting into with the Guardians second baseman. He doesn't hit the ball hard -- 84.8 mph average exit velocity last year -- and that could limit his home run totals this year.

There's nothing wrong with taking Gimenez in the middle rounds, but he doesn't carry much upside. That will ultimately hurt his fantasy potential in 2024. I'd rather take a chance on Zack Gelof, Jackson Holliday, or Christopher Morel, all of whom are going after the 25-year-old in drafts.



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