2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year’s CJ Abrams

by Chad Simpson
2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's CJ Abrams

We go into each Fantasy Baseball season looking for cheap steals that won't compromise all of our other categories. The guy who you can get late in drafts or take off the waiver wire who can dominate steals for you. One player we are looking to find is this year's CJ Abrams as we enter the 2024 Fantasy Baseball season.

CJ Abrams burst onto the scene in 2023 for the Washington Nationals and fantasy managers alike after being part of the package the Padres sent in their ill-fated acquisition of Juan Soto. Abrams posted a survivable .245/.300/.412 triple slash to go with 18 HR and 47 SB. Not too shabby for someone you likely got late in the draft.

This year Abrams is no longer the unknown commodity and his ADP and Ranking reflect that as he is going off the board in the top 40 picks. So our task becomes not to pay up for CJ Abrams, but instead to find the next version of him in a player completely off the ADP radar. Let's look at the contenders as we break down three young hitters with late-round draft costs to grab cheap steals and counting stats.

2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's CJ Abrams

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Bo Naylor, C, Cleveland Guardians

Catcher is an impossible place to find speed with the exception of J.T. Realmuto over the past few years. Naylor only had five steals in 2023 but that gets interesting when you realize he had less than 200 AB. A 20 SB season in the minors in 2022 means Naylor is the rarest of speed+upside players, a catcher with 20/20 upside.  With an ADP of 224 he is my preferred catcher for Adley Rutschman drafters and for people who draft their first catcher later in the draft.,  Look for Naylor to provide AVG, OBP, HR and Steals for you in 2024

Verdict: Winner

Johan Rojas, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

As my good friend Tony BPS of Prospects1500 liked to point out, once called up Rojas being in the lineup more often than not led to a Phillies victory down the stretch. Now whether that is anecdotal or not is up for debate as Rojas posted a .302/.342/.430 triple slash in 59 games stealing a hefty 14 bases but hitting just two home runs.

However, Rojas combined with his MiLB numbers for 2023 hit 11 HR in total. If Rojas can take a step forward not only could he be CJ Abrams, he could be a much bigger deal as a threat to steal 50 bases. Rojas currently has an ADP of 372. Though I am doing a good job of trying to raise that ADP up a bit he is still being criminally underdrafted.

Verdict:  I don't think the counting stats quite gets there but do we really care if he gets to  20 HR if he posts a .300 AVG and 50 SB we are looking at a superstar in the making.

Harrison Bader, OF, New York Mets

Four facts...

  • I am a Mets fan.
  • I thought Bader would be a top 50 player on the Yankees.
  • Along with many, I have been screwed by him his entire career.
  • We are still going to discuss him.

Jokes aside Bader is the perfect CJ Abrams type doing just enough of everything alongside the steals that if it clicks you have a guy who can win you leagues. Coming off a year where he hit just .232  with seven home runs and 20 stolen bases the hope is that the fresh start and lowered expectations on a rebuilding Mets squad lead to a bounce-back year.

Currently coming off the board at nearly pick 500  it doesn't get much more free than that. The hopeful outcome is a year along the lines of a .250 AVG 12 HR and 30 SB if he can hit those marks he will greatly outperform his ADP.

 

Verdict: Another year, another Bader letdown


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