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Auction Draft Targets Under $5: Hitters - Fantasy Baseball Auction Leagues (2024)

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Welcome RotoBallers to our salary cap league strategy article targeting hitters with an average auction value (AAV) of under $5.

In the salary cap draft format, fantasy baseball managers are not bound by the rules and structure of the snake draft. The ability to put your money toward the players you prefer feels liberating. But the freedom of roster construction in a salary cap league comes with an added challenge of being financially responsible. You won't be able to fill your roster with the hyped superstars, but if you bid shrewdly on targets under $5, you'll find that you'll have paved a smooth road to the fantasy baseball championship.

In this article, we will target the hitters with average auction values of less than $5 that should offer the most value. In this price range, there are still many hitters with high ceilings. Be sure to check out the article for pitchers under $5.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Ryan Mountcastle (1B, BAL) - $3

Rarely is one of the top hitters of one of the game's top offenses available for just $3. And considering the type of production we've seen from Ryan Mountcastle in the past, we won't see him at a $3 AAV for much longer.

Mountcastle was solid in 2023, slashing .270/.328/.452 with 18 home runs, 68 RBI, 64 runs, and three stolen bases through 115 games. He was particularly incredible after returning from a bout with vertigo in June, slashing .326/.407/.492 with seven home runs, 29 RBI, 30 runs, and a stolen base in his last 55 games. That success is underlined by fantastic expected stats, with a .502 xSLG and .356 xwOBA putting him among the top hitters in the league.

Mountcastle is a true no-brainer pick-up at his $3 AAV.

 

Carlos Correa (SS, MIN) - $3

One down year was all it took for fantasy baseball managers to give up on star shortstop Carlos Correa. Admittedly, he was unimpressive in 2023, slashing .230/.312/.399 with 18 home runs, 65 RBI, and 60 runs in 135 games.

However, there wasn't much of a decline in skill in 2023, more so a case of the balls falling the wrong way, as supported by his .253 xBA, .421 xSLG, and career-low .272 BABIP. His production was likely also worsened by a lingering foot injury, which Correa says has healed over the offseason.

Fully healthy and likely to not face as much misfortune in 2023, the 29-year-old should be able to provide fantasy production at a low cost.

 

Brandon Lowe (2B, TB) - $2

Brandon Lowe proved he can still mash with the best of them in 2023, slashing .231/.328/.443 with 21 home runs, 68 RBI, 58 runs, and seven stolen bases through 109 games.

Of course, a power-hitting talent of his breed is usually available at $2 for a reason. Lowe hit the injured list multiple times last year, bringing him to just 174 games played in his last two seasons. Injuries are, unfortunately, the main thing weighing against Brandon Lowe. But with just a $2 AAV, you should be fine putting a gamble on a second baseman only two years removed from a 39-HR season.

 

Zach Neto (SS, LAA) - $2

Given his quick call-up and back injury, Zach Neto did well in 2023 to slash .225/.308/.377 with nine home runs, 34 RBI, 38 runs, and two stolen bases through 84 games as the starting shortstop for the Los Angeles Angels.

While the 2022 first-round pick didn't spend too much time in the minors, he was mighty successful in the at-bats he did get, slashing .321/.410/.551 with 10 home runs, 40 RBI, 39 runs, and eight stolen bases in 48 games.

ATC projects a solid sophomore season, with Neto expected for a line of .248/.326/.419 with 18 home runs, 63 RBI, 66 runs, and 10 stolen bases through 132 games. He's supporting that projection with an incredible spring training, slashing .270/.300/.541 with two home runs, seven RBI, five runs, and three stolen bases through 40 plate appearances. His five-category production at a middle-infield spot makes him a fantastic value pick-up at just $2.

 

Matt Chapman (3B, SF) - $2

A slow-moving free-agency market has done a number on Matt Chapman's draft stock, as the former All-Star has dipped to a mere $2 AAV.

He wasn't terrible in 2023, slashing .240/.320/.424 with 17 home runs, 54 RBI, 64 runs, and four stolen bases through 140 games. It doesn't hold a candle to the production of his Oakland days, but the 30-year-old will enter 2024 with a good shot at finishing as a top-20 third baseman.

ATC projects him to slash .235/.327/.438 with 24 home runs, 70 RBI, 71 runs, and three stolen bases as a San Francisco Giant. Still able to smack the cover off the ball (93.4 mph average exit velocity, 17.1% barrel rate, and 56.4% hard-hit rate all ranked above the 98th percentile in 2023), Chapman's reliability and past production are more than enough reasons to grab him for just $2.



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