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Three Potential Second Base Busts for 2024 Fantasy Baseball Drafts

Andres Gimenez - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

It's never too early to start thinking about your fantasy baseball drafts. With the MLB season right around the corner, doing a little bit of research before your draft could go a long way.

This article will go through which second basemen have a chance to bust during the 2024 fantasy season. These players should be avoided at their current ADP for various reasons. Both the first-base and third-base busts have already been posted, which you can find exclusively here at RotoBaller

Let's now dive in and see which second basemen make this list. 

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Matt McLain, Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Matt McLain put together a fantastic rookie season in 2023. He hit .290 with 16 home runs, 50 RBI, 23 doubles, and 14 stolen bases across 89 games. Those were solid numbers for a player who finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting. There's a lot of hype surrounding McLain as he enters his first full season in the Majors. 

However, the sophomore slump could come into play for McLain in 2024. For starters, his strikeout and walk rates were some of the worst in the entire league last year. He struck out on 28.5% of his plate appearances and only had a 7.7% walk rate. Of course, he was only a rookie, but that's something he'll surely need to improve on in year two. 

On top of that, McLain's advanced stats didn't correlate with his 2023 numbers. His expected batting average was .256, 34 points lower than his actual batting average (.290). He also didn't hit the ball hard, as his average exit velocity was only 89.3 mph. Sometimes metrics don't line up with the results. However, being undisciplined at the plate could be a big downfall for him this season. 

McLain's average ADP sits at 63, and it's even higher on Yahoo, where the second baseman is going around pick 49. Both are too high for a hitter who could show some regression at the plate in 2024. On Yahoo, the Reds' second baseman is currently going ahead of players who should have a high floor in fantasy this season, such as power hitters Paul Goldschmidt, Mike Trout, and Manny Machado


Andres Gimenez, Cleveland Guardians

If you're in a Roto league and are looking for stolen bases in the middle to late rounds of your draft, Cleveland Guardians second baseman Andres Gimenez could be a solid selection. But, outside of that, Gimenez might not provide much value in the middle rounds. He is currently going between the 11th and 13th rounds, depending on league format. 

Gimenez was not the best fantasy option last year after he hit .251 with 15 HRs, 62 RBI, and 27 doubles. The 30 stolen bases were nice for those in Roto formats. However, you likely weren't impressed with the second baseman's production at the plate. He saw his batting average drop 46 points from the 2022 season (.297 to .251), and he won't provide fantasy managers with many walks. Giminez's 5.2% walk rate in 2023 put him in the bottom nine percent of the league. 

There's not a lot to be excited about if you're drafting Gimenez, except for stolen bases. Everything else doesn't stick out, and he could see fewer HRs in 2024 if his low exit velocity remains the same. His average exit velocity in 2023 was just 84.8 mph, which landed in the bottom one percent of all Major League players. There are other second basemen whose ADP is around Gimenez, such as Luis Arraez, Zack Gelof, and Bryson Stott, who are better options in fantasy.


Thairo Estrada, San Francisco Giants

A lot of the same talking points that applied to Gimenez also apply to San Francisco Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada. Last year, Estrada hit .271 at the plate with 14 HRs, 49 RBI, and 26 doubles. He'll provide fantasy managers with some nice stolen base numbers (23), but that's pretty much it. 

Estrada is going a few rounds after Gimenez in fantasy drafts. However, despite his 15th to 16th round ADP, there are better players to take a chance on this late in your league. The Giants' second baseman doesn't hit the ball hard (85.9 mph average exit velocity), and his walk rate (4.2%) landed him in the bottom three percent of the entire league. To put that into context, he only walked a total of 22 times across 120 games and only eight times in the final 60 games of the season. 

Estrada doesn't do a ton at the plate to warrant being picked late in drafts. His 23 SBs were the 10th most by a second baseman last year. However, his other offensive numbers will not help your fantasy team that much. His HRs, RBI, runs scored (63) and walks all ranked outside the top 15 among second basemen in 2023. He should only be an option if you desperately need stolen bases on your roster.

However, at that point, I'd rather stash Orioles' top prospect Jackson Holliday, who usually goes after Estrada in the later rounds. Tommy Edman, who has at least 27 SBs in three straight seasons, is another great selection instead of the Giants' second baseman. 

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