2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Pasquantino vs Encarnacion-Strand

Vinnie Pasquantino vs Christian Encarnacion-Strand

by Corey Pieper
2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Pasquantino vs Encarnacion-Strand

Fantasy Six Pack's 2024 Spring Training Fantasy Baseball coverage continues with a look at a new ADP battle. Today we move to the first base position with our 2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Pasquantino vs Encarnacion-Strand.

Begin by reading Fantasy Six Pack's first base preview. There is a lot of information in that article that will set you up for first-base fantasy success.

Our next ADP position battle is between first basemen. One side is the Kansas City Royals' Vinnie Pasquantino and the other is Cincinnati Reds' first basemen Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Both players have similar ADPs per FantasyPros ADP data. Each player played just over 60 games last season. In Encarnacion-Strand's case, it was that he was just a rookie who had his initial call to the major leagues. Pasquantino only played 61 games in his sophomore season due to a shoulder injury.

Both players have ADPs that make them likely to be corner infield options for you rather than first base. But what if you want to play with an entirely different setup that requires two starting first basemen? That can be done on Fantrax. It is the easiest and most customizable fantasy baseball website available.

Read on to see which first base option wins this 2024 ADP battle: Vinnie Pasquantino or Christian Encarnacion-Strand?

2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Pasquantino vs Encarnacion-Strand

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Vinnie Pasquantino, Kansas City Royals (@dynastyfbb)

FantasyPros ADP 151 overall 20th among first baseman
2023 Stats: 24 R, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 0 SB, 247 average
ATC Projection: 68, 20 HR, 74 RBI, 1 SB, 274 average

Fantasy baseball managers seem to quickly forget how good Pasquantino looked last season. Through May 10, he batted .298 with 7 HR, 19 RBI, and 146 wRC+. He walked more than he struck out in that timeframe. We can only dream of what the full, healthy version of that season could have offered.

You can’t say the decline over the next month completely stemmed from an injury, but it seems like the shoulder played a factor. Up until May 10 his average EV sat at 91.8 MPH with a hard hit rate of 49.6%. In the month after that point, his average EV dropped to 85.3 MPH with a hard hit rate of 26.8%. That's a major dropoff preceding the need for surgery.

ATC projects him at No. 8 among first basemen in wRC+ for 2024. He gets a boost for OBP leagues. And remember, he was on pace for 27 homers last season. Assuming he remains healthy this year, he could approach 30 home runs in the heart of the Royals lineup.

On the other hand, Encarnacion-Strand comes with playing time concerns in Cincinnati. His strikeout rate neared the 30% mark last season, dangerous territory for someone competing for a full-time role. If he experiences any struggles in his first full season in the majors, there’s an even bigger edge for Pasquantino in this battle.

I’m betting on the guy who will consistently bat cleanup and has shown the ability to hit for a high average with plenty of counting stats to accompany it.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Cincinnati Reds (@copieps)

FantasyPros ADP 136.8 overall 18th among first baseman
2023 Stats: 29 R, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 2 SB, 270 average
|ATC Projection: 58 R, 23 HR, 69 RBI, 3 SB, 266 average

The world waited for Christian Encarnacion-Strand to get the call to the major leagues last season. There was some belief that it would be after spring training when he hit 4 home runs while batting a robust 577. Instead, the team sent him to Triple A where in 67 games he hit 20 home runs with a 331 average. It was mid-July when the team finally decided to recall the young slugger.

After getting to Cincinnati, all he did was continue to hit for power. 13 home runs in just 63 games should have people dreaming of a thirty home run season for the slugger. Especially when you consider that he will be playing half his games in the best park to hit home runs. So why are all the projection systems in the lower 20s for a home run total?

There is a roster crunch in the Cincinnati infield which may cause Encarnacion-Strand to lose playing time. There are six players for the four infield positions plus designated hitter: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Jeimer Candelario, Elly de la Cruz, Matt McLain, Jonathan India, and Noelvi Marte. Unless there is a trade, someone is going to miss out on playing time. Defensively Encarnacion-Strand is limited to first base or designated hitter. While he will still get at-bats, there is a playing time concern.

Encarnacion-Strand didn't have enough at-bats to qualify on Statcast. What he does have for Statcast data fully supports a premiere power hitter. If you are a believer in him finding more playing time, there is every reason to believe that he will outperform his projections. Then, taking him at his current ADP could be a steal.

2024 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battle: Pasquantino vs. Encarnacion-Strand Summary

There is nothing more valuable in fantasy baseball than playing time. It doesn't matter how talented someone is if they are not on the field.

That is why among these two first basemen the choice has to be Vinnie Pasquantino. While he has missed time the last two seasons with injury, neither injury appears to be chronic. He had surgery to repair his torn labrum from last season. He is back playing in spring training games which bodes well for his health. If he is healthy, he will likely be batting cleanup every day for the Royals.

Encarnacion-Strand may not have been injured once he reached the major leagues, but he also dealt with an injury at the beginning of his last season. His injury was a herniated disk in his back. While there is no guarantee it will flare up again, it is also possible. Add that to the playing time concerns referenced above, and there are too many questions to take Encarnacion-Strand over Pasquantino.

Keep checking back for the next 2024 fantasy baseball ADP battle now that first base is complete.

Check out our 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!

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