2024 Fantasy Baseball Busts – Corner Infield

by Connor Thomure
2024 Fantasy Baseball Busts - Corner Infield

Here are the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Corner Infield Busts candidates. These first and third basemen are players whose value is too high to draft for the 2024 MLB season. While Fantasy managers don't have to avoid them altogether, avoiding them at their current average draft position (ADP) is recommended.

I'm pretty high on the corner infield position in 2024, so I could only drum up three 2024 Fantasy Baseball Corner Infield Busts that I genuinely believe will disappoint Fantasy managers. This includes two recent top prospects who graduated in 2023. One of them could be considered one of the most exciting players in baseball, but don't be fooled into drafting him too soon.

Don't forget to read about the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Corner Infield Sleepers. The players listed there are great options that could bring just as much value, if not more, than the busts listed below. Also, check out the Fantasy Six Pack Draft Rankings to find out where each of these players ranks heading into your drafts.

2024 Fantasy Baseball Busts - Corner Infield

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Elly De La Cruz, 3B/SS, Cincinnati Reds (Current ADP: 39.6)

Some describe Elly De La Cruz as the most exciting player in baseball due to his blazing speed, effortless power, and aggressiveness on the basepaths. While De La Cruz is an exciting player, he finished his rookie season with a measly 84 wRC+ and .235/.300/.410 slash line. The worst part was his 33.7% strikeout rate, carried by a 32.8% chase rate and 29.7% whiff rate.

Despite a lousy finish in 2023, he still carries an ADP of 39.6 on FantasyPros and 23.09 on NFBC. This places De La Cruz fifth and third among third-base-eligible players on those sites. Amongst corner infielders, he would be 10th and sixth.

On FantasyPros, this places him over Manny Machado, Cody Bellinger, and Paul Goldschmidt, among others. On NFBC, it places him over Rafael Devers, Pete Alonso, Gunnar Henderson, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. I'm not taking Cruz over any of these players in 2024 Fantasy drafts because it's too risky. I haven't seen enough from him to be worthy of taking him this early.

The young infielder will steal lots of bases, but Fantasy managers can find steals easily without reaching for them. He is projected to hit about 19 to 26 home runs and achieve 30-40 stolen bases, but which Cruz will we see? If it's closer to 19 home runs and 30 stolen bases, Fantasy managers will surely be disappointed.

Cruz's price is too demanding for the question marks left over from 2023. His low average and high strikeout rate bring his value down. I've seen comparisons between Cruz and Bobby Witt Jr., but the difference is that Witt has much better bat-to-ball skills than Cruz. In Witt's rookie season, he slashed .254/.294/.428 with a 21.4% strikeout rate.

Royce Lewis, 3B, Minnesota Twins (Current ADP: 64.6)

Unlike last season, Royce Lewis comes into this season with a guaranteed starting spot on opening day. He will be the regular third baseman and likely bat at the top of the order. The first overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Lewis has all the talent in the world.

This talent led to an astonishing .309/.372/.548 slash line across 239 plate appearances. Lewis also made waves in the 2023 MLB Postseason by smashing four home runs in six games. This is great, but Lewis played just 58 games in 2023.

The talented third baseman dealt with three injuries during the season. The first was an ACL tear that happened in 2022. After returning from this, he suffered an oblique injury that forced him to miss 45 days. The injuries didn't stop there. Lewis injured his hamstring in late September, causing him to miss the rest of the regular season. 2023 was not the first time Lewis has dealt with injuries, either. He strained his oblique in 2019, and he tore an ACL in 2021.

I hate labeling a player with as much talent as Lewis as a bust, but I cannot trust him at his current ADP, which stands at 64.6 on FantasyPros and 48.95 on NFBC. The injuries are too much of a worry at his current price, and I prefer Alex Bregman or Nolan Arenado in this range.

Max Muncy, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers (Current ADP: 152.4)

Fantasy Six Pack's Alex Welch listed Max Muncy as a third baseman to avoid in his 2024 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Preview. I couldn't agree more with him on this one. Welch's main point is that Muncy could find himself in a platoon after he recorded a .642 OPS against left-handed pitchers in 2023.

While I am a big fan of the Dodgers for Fantasy purposes, Muncy is the guy in their lineup I am out on. His current ADP is 152.4 on FantasyPros, which ranks him above Jake Burger, Nolan Gorman, Noelvi Marte, and Junior Caminero. Burger and Gorman are the closest comparisons to Muncy, and I'd much rather have both of them over Muncy.

Muncy's current ADP on NFBC is 168.4. This places him over Vinnie Pasquantino, Rhys Hoskins, and Caminero. In multiple articles, I mentioned Hoskins and Pasquantino as corner infielders to target in 2024. This includes my 2024 Fantasy Baseball Corner Infield Sleepers and 2024 Fantasy Baseball First Base Preview.

It wouldn't surprise me to see Muncy fall short of 30 home runs and finish with a batting average right around the .200 mark.

Check out the rest of the Fantasy Baseball content from all of the F6P writers.

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