2024 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers – Hitters

by Connor Thomure
2024 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers - Hitters

Welcome to the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers - Hitters edition.

This article highlights six hitters with an ADP later than 300. Fantasy managers are sleeping on these hitters, but now it's time to wake them up. Each hitter listed here has a fantastic upside that can bring the average Fantasy team from good to great. Every Fantasy manager will have one of the game's best hitters, but how that manager supplements the top players is where the difference in a title contender comes into play. Striking out on the late-round picks is an easy way to find a manager at the bottom of the standings.

Listed here are three veterans and three young guns, all going for a discounted price compared to where they will finish the season ranked. Pick these guys in drafts before your opponents can.

I separated the veterans and young guns because when I'm drafting sleepers or breakout candidates, I do not only want veterans or only young guns. I want a solid mix of both to protect my team throughout the season. If a Fantasy manager drafts only younger guys, but more than one or two starts the year in the minors, they'll be screwed at the beginning of the year. If they draft only veterans at the end of the draft, they might start to lose late in the season when their opponent's younger guys start earning playing time.

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2024 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers - Hitters

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Veterans

Orlando Arcia, SS, Atlanta Braves (ADP: 348)

Orlando Arcia is a stat accumulator who should be considered late in drafts. I'm not a fan of drafting stat accumulators unless they can be drafted late. Arcia is the perfect 2024 Fantasy Deep Sleeper for three main reasons.

  1. Arcia is an everyday hitter for the best offense in baseball.
  2. He is being drafted with an ADP of 348.
  3. Arcia scored 66 runs and 65 RBI while missing 24 days after being hit on the wrist.

The Atlanta Braves finished 2023 as the best offense in baseball, scoring 947 runs and combining for a .845 OPS. Arcia will play every day in this high-powered offense, returning all key members except Vaughn Grissom and Eddie Rosario. Fantasy managers will not get a much safer option for 2024 at Arcia's cost. After Arcia, there are plenty of players with question marks.

The Braves shortstop missed 24 days after taking a fastball of the wrist in April. If Arcia had been healthy during this period, he likely would have finished the year playing in over 150 games and scoring 70+ runs and 70+ RBI. In addition to the run production, Arcia has a slim 20.1% career strikeout rate and has been on the injured list just twice in his career, including the wrist incident in 2023.

Josh Bell, 1B, Miami Marlins (ADP: 327.6)

Is it me, or does Josh Bell's 327.6 ADP seem low? Last season, his ADP was 176.4, and there is no reason for such a steep decline.

Bell's 2023 season should be divided into two separate sections. The first covers his time with the Cleveland Guardians, and the second covers his time with the Miami Marlins.

TeamGamesAVGOBPSLGRRBIHRwRC+
Cleveland Guardians97.233.318.38326481196
Miami Marlins53.270.338.480262611119

If we judge Bell based on his entire season, it was disappointing, but if we judge it based on his time at the end of the season with the Marlins, I'd say it was impressive. In 53 games with his current team, Bell recorded 54 hits, 20 extra-base hits, 26 runs, and 26 RBI. If you extend these numbers over an entire season, Bell would have about 60 extra-base hits, 78 runs, and 78 RBI. Fantasy managers can get this all the while having solid strikeout and walk rates that have led to his career .347 on-base percentage.

Bank on Bell having a season that resembles the player he is used to being. The best thing about it is that we will get to have him after pick 300.

Michael Conforto, OF, San Francisco Giants (ADP: 375.3)

Michael Conforto was a star from 2017 to 2020, but since then, he has lost his touch. He hasn't been terrible, but he wasn't what he used to be. However, this spring, Conforto is impressing with his swing and statistics.

He's slashing .400/.545/.467 with two runs and two RBI through seven games. It's an excellent start for the veteran, and it's enough for me to draft him at the tail end of the 2024 Fantasy Drafts in hopes of a turnaround season.

YearAVGOBPSLGRRBIwRC+
2017.279.384.5557268147
2018.243.350.4487882119
2019.257.363.4949092127
2020.322.412.5154031158
2021.232.344.3845255104
2023.239.334.3845858100

Even at his worst, Conforto is a league-average player. According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, Conforto said " I was on the heavier side last year and I think that affected my legs.... I felt pretty gassed by the end of June." In his article, Baggarly says Conforto weighed 225 plus but is now down to 210, which he weighed when he was a star on the Mets.

If Conforto is down to 210, feels much lighter, and is better conditioned, I see no reason he can't return to being an above-average player this season if not even a star.

Young Guns

Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Cleveland Guardians (ADP: 372)

Cleveland Guardians' top prospect Kyle Manzardo is off to a hot spring and is looking to claim a starting job on the opening-day roster. RosterResource lists Manzardo as the starting first baseman and Josh Naylor as the designated hitter.

Manzardo lacks power but has enough skill to make solid contact with almost every at-bat. In 97 minor league games in 2023, he slashed .236/.337/.464 with 27 doubles, 17 home runs, 50 runs, and 55 RBI.

This spring, Manzardo has played in 10 games. He's slashing .389/.476/.500 with two doubles, four runs, and two RBI. The 23-year-old has yet to hit a home run. It's clear that Manzardo can play in the majors and should be in there on opening day.

Predicting what a rookie can do is challenging, but Manzardo is a safe bet due to his price. His 372 ADP is about as free as it gets. Even if he doesn't make the opening-day roster, it won't be long before he earns his shot.

Zach Neto, SS, Los Angeles Angels (ADP: 325.4)

One of my favorite up-and-coming baseball players is Zach Neto. The 23-year-old and former top-100 prospect already has half a season under his belt. As a rookie in 2023, he hit .225/.308/.377 with nine home runs, five stolen bases, 17 doubles, 38 runs, and 35 RBI.

While it's not an excellent slash line, there are positives to take from it. If Neto played all 162 games, he would've finished with roughly 20 home runs, 10 stolen bases, and just under 80 runs and 80 RBI. I'll take those numbers every day from a player that I can draft in the 300s. At just 23 years old, he can even build on that and could reach 25 and 15 if he continues developing well.

This spring, he's slashing .281/.294/.594 with five extra-base hits, five runs, seven RBI, and two stolen bases. The on-base percentage is way lower than anybody wants and will likely keep him from the top of the order to begin the season. However, the slugging percentage is precisely what everybody wants to see out of a late-round shortstop.

Ceddanne Rafaela, OF, Boston Red Sox (ADP: 347)

Currently, in a battle for a starting spot in the Boston outfield, Ceddanne Rafaela is my favorite to land the gig. It will be his elite defense that allows him to start at centerfield, but it will be his bat that keeps him there long-term.

Similarly to Neto, Rafaela spent some time in the majors in 2023, and it wasn't all that pretty. However, he did come up and only played part-time as a member of a platoon. Most players can't handle being in a platoon, and it hurts their stats, especially when said player is a rookie. I believe the Red Sox will give Rafaela that chance in 2024 to play every day.

Rafaela is slashing .242/.324/.576 this spring with four runs, seven RBI, and two stolen bases. The most impressive part of his spring is the extra-base hits. He belted two doubles and three home runs in 13 games. Ultimately, however, Rafaela will primarily provide Fantasy value with his speed by garnering stolen bases at a high level. The speedster stole 39 bases in 136 games between Double-A, Triple-A, and MLB. He combined for over 80 runs and 80 RBI as well.

Rafaela could smash 20 homers and steal 40 bases this year while going at the end of drafts if given the opportunity. Sign me up for that.


Thank you for reading the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers-Hitters article. You can also check out the rest of the Fantasy Six Pack Baseball Draft Kit.

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