2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year’s Lane Thomas

by Chad Simpson

We go into each Fantasy Baseball season looking for the next breakout player. The guy who you can get late in drafts or take off the waiver wire. One player we are looking to find is this year's Lane Thomas as we enter the 2024 Fantasy Baseball season.

Lane Thomas burst onto the scene in 2023 for the Washington Nationals and fantasy managers alike. Thomas posted a robust .268/.315/.469 triple slash to go with 28 HR and 20 SB. Not too shabby for someone you likely got off waivers.

Thomas this year is no longer the unknown commodity and his ADP reflects that as he is going off the board in the top 125 picks. So our task becomes not to pay up for Lane Thomas, but to instead find the next version of him in a player completely off the ADP radar. Let's look at the contenders as we breakdown three young hitters with late-round draft costs to break through just like Lane did.

2024 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Lane Thomas

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Sal Frelick, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Frelick a popular prospect just two years ago finally made his MLB debut in 2023 but failed to wow fans with just three home runs and seven stolen bases in  223 plate appearances.

Frelick is now taking infield reps in hopes of securing his roster spot now that Jackson Chourio has arrived in the outfield. In his last full MILB season, he posted 11 home runs and 20 steals at age 22.

If Frelick can tap into more power at age 24 a 20/20 season is certainly possible.

Verdict: Too many things need to go right for Frelick and the stress of learning multiple new positions usually takes a toll on the bat.

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 Lane Thomas, he could be a much bigger deal as a threat to steal 50 bases. Rojas currently has an ADP of 372.

Verdict"  I don't think the power quite gets there but do we really care if he gets to  20 HR if he posts a .300 AVG alongside 15 HR and 50 SB we are looking at a superstar in the making.

Luke Railey, OF, Seattle Mariners

Railey, who was traded by the Rays in the offseason to Seattle, is coming off a solid year where he hit 19 home runs and had 14 steals.

In Seattle he should have more playing time and receive the green light to steal more bases. The one concern with him is the contact rate but Seattle has done wonders for a guy with a similar profile in J.P. Crawford. He is currently going off the board at around ADP 400 and in many leagues comes with added 1B eligibility.

Verdict: This is my pick for the 2024 Lane Thomas as I project Railey to hit .279 with 24 HR and 21 SB

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

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