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Fantasy Baseball Players To Watch For 2024 (April 1 - April 7)

We're through the first series of games of the 2024 baseball season and there are already some interesting trends and some surprising players off to hot starts. Some players are validating some pre-season assumptions or maintaining spring momentum, while others are looking to affirm their initial taste of MLB success.

It's a long season though, so some of these names may fade and we'll see them replaced with new ones here as we move forward. There will also be more data to go off of that'll make some of this information more actionable for season-long and even DFS purposes.

In this series, we may take a look at some hot/cold bats, two-start pitchers, bullpens in flux, bounce-back candidates, and more! For this initial article, we'll look at some notable hit streaks, a few pitchers making their first start post-Tommy John surgery, and some question marks in bullpens.

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

 

Players to Watch: Hitters

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

What I'm Watching: extra-base hit streak

Gurriel began the regular season hitting a home run in each of the Diamondbacks' first three games. While that streak came to an end on Sunday, the 30-year-old still went 2-for-4 with a double, so he's got an extra-base hit in four straight games to begin the year. Not only that, the 2023 All-Star is one of the top hitters for fantasy thus far, going 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI, six runs scored, two walks, and a stolen base.

Ke'Bryan Hayes

What I'm Watching: multi-hit game streak

Hayes had a phenomenal spring where he hit .412 over 18 games and 51 AB, which included seven multi-hit games. The 27-year-old has carried that momentum into the regular season, opening the 2024 campaign with four straight multi-hit games. The youngster also has four walks to just two strikeouts. He's yet to steal a base, but he stole as many as 20 in the 2022 season, so expect those to come, especially with how much he's getting on base. Oh, and don't look now, but the Pirates have started the season 4-0.

Jackson Chourio

What I'm Watching: hit streak to begin a career

Chourio skyrocketed up top prospect lists last year, then saw the Brewers sign him to an eight-year $86 million contract in the offseason, and then he made the Opening Day roster. What has he done with the opportunity? The 20-year-old had a single and a stolen base in his major league debut, and has had at least one hit in each of his next two games for a tidy little three-game hit streak to begin his major league career. Jordan Walker tied the record last season in which he hit in 12 straight to begin his career, so Chourio has a ways to go.

Wyatt Langford

What I'm Watching: hit streak to begin a career

This is basically the same story as Chourio. Langford has a hit in each of his first three games as well. These two could very well end up being the AL and NL Rookies of the Year.

 

Players to Watch: Starting Pitchers

Max Meyer

What I'm Watching: 2024 debut, post-Tommy John

Meyer has always had electric stuff, and in 2022 he made one start at Single-A, 12 starts at Triple-A, and two MLB starts but needed Tommy John surgery which caused him to miss the rest of 2022 and all of the 2023 season. Meyer made three spring appearances where he totaled seven IP and didn't allow a run, which earned him a spot as the Marlins' fifth starter (that and a plethora of injuries to the Marlins' staff). The 25-year-old will make his 2024 debut on Monday at home against the Angels.

Casey Mize

What I'm Watching: 2024 debut, post-Tommy John

Mize has much more of an MLB track record than Meyer (39 MLB starts), but we're basically looking at the same thing here. The righty is coming off of Tommy John, missed all of 2023, and will make his 2024 debut on Tuesday. This guy was the No.1 overall pick in 2018 and it seems we haven't seen him at his full potential yet. He'll get the Mets on the road at Citi Field to begin his season.

Luis Gil

What I'm Watching: 2024 debut, post-Tommy John

Rinse and repeat. Gil struck out 23 batters in 15 2/3 IP this spring. He'll get the D-backs in Arizona on Monday.

Jared Jones

What I'm Watching: can he do it again?

Jones made his pro debut in 2021 at the age of 19 and in 2024 he made his MLB debut at the age of 22. The youngster allowed three earned runs in his debut, but the righty struck out 10 Marlins over five-and-one-third IP. The Pirates saw something in him to garner him a starting rotation spot and he exceeded expectations in his first start, but can he do it again? It'll be a tall task against the Orioles, but at least it'll be a home start for him next Friday.

Bobby Miller

What I'm Watching: can he do it again?

Another case of rinse and repeat. Miller had strong K rates in the minors before 2023, but it ticked down below a K per inning last season between his four Triple-A starts and 22 MLB starts. The 24-year-old came out firing in his 2024 debut though, striking out 11 Cardinals while allowing just two hits and zero runs. He gets a home date with the Giants on Wednesday.

 

Players to Watch: Relief Pitchers

Hunter Harvey / Kyle Finnegan

What I'm Watching: which one will emerge as the closer?

After a strong spring, many had believed it would be Harvey taking over as the closer for shaky Kyle Finnegan, but Harvey came on in the eighth on Saturday and allowed a walk, two hits, and two earned runs in an inning of work. Finnegan came on in the ninth, pitching a relatively clean inning (one BB, zero ER) and earning the save. It seemed speculation was wrong. Fast-forward one day, though, Harvey pitched a clean-ish eighth inning (one BB, zero ER) and Finnegan imploded (three hits, two HR).

Chad Green / Yimi Garcia / Tim Mayza

What I'm Watching: who gets a save first?

There hasn't been a save situation for the Jays yet and all three of those guys have pitched. With Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson out it will be interesting to see who gets handed the ball in the first save situation, although with those two presumably not out for long, there may only be a few opportunities for whoever it ends up being.

Kenley Jansen

What I'm Watching: is he injured?

Jansen earned the save for the Red Sox on Thursday but was unable to pitch in a save situation on Saturday due to back tightness. The 36-year-old thinks he'll be fine with a few days rest, but we'll have to see. He dealt with the same issue in the spring and this sounds like it could be a recurring problem throughout the season for the veteran. If he can't go it's thought that RHP Chris Martin could be in line for saves, but it was Justin Slaten who earned the save on Sunday (after making his MLB debut the night before).



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