2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down

by Joe Bond
2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down

We are starting to get a sense of players that are going to live up to their draft price and those that aren't. Let's discuss a few of those in the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down.

I'm stepping in for Connor this week as something came up so I apologize for the delayed article (this is usually out on Monday's). Nonetheless, we are here and there is a lot to discuss.

This week we look at possible bounceback candidates, top prospects, superstars who might be getting on a heater and two other players that it might be time to finally give up on.

2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down

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Stock Up

Tyler O'Neill, OF, Boston Red Sox

No other player in MLB has seen their stock rise more this early season than O'Neill. He was being drafted on average around 227 (OF55). Once thought of as one of the better players in the game, especially after 2021 when he hit 34 home runs, stole 15 bases while hitting .286, he has not been able to come anywhere near that since.

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This season he has started off incredible, hitting for .313 and a league-leading seven home runs (tied with Mike Trout and Marcell Ozuna). In my opinion, I think he can be a very good player the rest of the season, but this is an unsustainable pace. His statcast numbers are off the charts, even better than his 2021 season.

Michael Busch, 1B, Chicago Cubs

F6P's own Ryan Kirksey did a great job summarizing Busch in his latest Ryan's Reflections. But yeah, five straight games with home runs will most definitely make your stock rise.

Elly De La Cruz, SS, Cincinnati Reds

Elly is on a heater right now. He started out batting .242 with no home runs and even more concerning and 45.9% strikeout rate through April 7th.

Since then he has batted .296 with four home runs, and dropped his strikeout rate to 17.2% over that time.

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I'm still slightly worried that there is a lot of swing and miss in his bat and we will see lots of up-and-downs with him over the season. In fact, we are kinda seeing that again as he has gone 0-13 in the last three games, but if you had any hopes of buying low on him, those are long gone.

Yariel Rodriguez, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Yariel Rodriguez is a rookie in name only having already pitched professionally in both Cuba and Japan. Last season though, he did not pitch at all as he was still under contract with his Japanese team. This offseason he signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rodriguez had exclusively pitched as a reliever since going to Japan, but the Blue Jays are going to stretch him out to be a starter. Through his first appearances at Triple-A and the major league level, things seem to be going well.  At this point, he has made three appearances to pitch a total of 10 innings. In those innings, his strikeout-to-walk ratio is a very impressive 16:5.

He is primarily a two-pitch pitcher, but both his fastball and slider generate plenty of whiffs to keep the strikeouts sustainable. As he continues to build arm strength, the hope is he can be used as a more traditional starter. Then, he can hopefully start earning wins. Otherwise, he should still be valuable for strikeouts and ratio help in rotisserie leagues.

Stock Down

Hunter Brown, SP, Houston Astros

Hunter Brown had one of the worst outings that you will likely all season. He only recorded two outs while giving up nine earned runs. His season ERA now sits at 16.43 with a 3.91 WHIP.

Looking at Baseball Savant does not paint a prettier picture. He has given up some of the hardest contact in all of the minor leagues. He currently is in the bottom five percentiles in expected ERA, expected batting average, whiff %, and hard-hit %. In other words, he isn't getting the swings and misses he is used to which is causing him to get hit very hard and surrender runs in bunches.

Last season, Brown's cutter generated whiffs at a 20% rate. This season it is at 7%. His knuckle curve was credited with a 30% whiff rate last season, and this season, it is at just 5%. He needs to get those whiffs and groundballs (career-worst 44% at this point) back to be successful.

Until we see some improvement, he needs to be moved to your fantasy bench.

Jackson Holliday, 2B, Baltimore Orioles

The No.1 prospect in baseball is not having a great start to his MLB career. he only has a single hit in 19 at-bats, with a whopping 10 strikeouts.

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I would like to say stay patient with him in your leagues, but despite the talent, it very well could be that he will need to get sent down to get his confidence back up.

If you do stick with him then I highly suggest you keep him on your bench.

Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

Even the Buxton truthers out there have to be losing faith at this point right? He has started 2024 even more miserably than 2023.

There isn't a lot to look at to say there is signs of life coming as his xBA is .202 while his BA is .200. His swinging-strike percentage is at a career-high 20% while his walk rate is at a measly 1.9%. Those are not good indicators that things are turning around any time soon for him.

Triston McKenzie, SP, Cleveland Guardians

McKenzie was a favorite for a late-round sleeper pick by many, hoping that last year's poor start was due to injury and he could pitch more like he did in 2022.

Well, the opposite has happened and he is worse. His ERA sits at 6.23, K/9 is down at 3.46 and even worse is his BB/9 is up at 8.31.

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He has had two very bad outings against the Mariners and Yankees. His one solid outing was against the White Sox (who hasn't had a good outing against them?), but he still walked four batters in that one.

I'd say give him another turn or two in the rotation to figure things out. He at least gets the Athletics next.


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