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2024 Fantasy Baseball: Second Base Sleepers

Fantasy baseball is all about value. There is a point where groupthink takes over, and a sleeper is no longer a sleeper. Ultimately, our intention is to draft players that outperform their acquisition cost. If you do that enough times, chances are that the 2024 Fantasy Baseball season will go pretty well for you. We do need to remember, that the second base base sleepers we’re going to discuss in the next few paragraphs might not be super exciting, and value can be found anywhere.

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Second Base Sleepers for 2024 Fantasy Baseball

Brandon Drury, Los Angeles Angels

While batting third for the Los Angeles Angels doesn’t mean what it used to, it’s still pretty impressive. Brandon Drury is in a prime RBI spot, and based on the last two seasons, he is more than capable of producing.

In 125 games last year, Drury put together his second straight strong performance. He hit a solid .262 to go along with 26 home runs and 83 RBI. Should he remain healthy and keep last year’s pace, although I’m not banking on either, a 30/100 season is possible. The attractive thing here though, is that we aren’t expected to pay that price for Drury either.

Over the last two years, we have seen some notable skill improvements. His barrel rate has had a substantial increase to 10.4% and then 11%. That came along with a 46.3% hard hit rate and a career-best maximum exit velocity of 112.5. While not exciting, there is a lot of production to like if you aren’t looking for stolen bases from this spot.

Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins

The big thing for Jorge Polanco is the need to stay healthy. If he does, he could easily finish 10 spots ahead of his preseason draft cost, and that is worthy of our attention.

We last saw a full year from Polanco in 2021 and it was quite the season. Polanco hit .269 with 33 home runs, 98 RBI, 97 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases for good measure. Last year Polanco only played in 80 games, but we did get solid production when he was on the field with 14 home runs and 48 RBI along with a .255 average.

Beyond the statistics, there was a to like, and that is why he is one of our second base sleepers for 2024. Polanco posted a career-high 13.8% barrel rate last year, and there is growth potential thanks to his .454 to .486 gap between SLG and xSLG. Additionally, we saw Polanco’s line drive rate rise to 24.5% while his soft contact rate dropped to just 14.4%.

Luis Rengifo, Los Angeles Angels

On the surface, it seems strange that we have two Angels as part of our second base sleepers, but there easily could be days in which neither play the position. The deeper we get as far as leagues, and also draft and holds that don’t allow waiver moves, Luis Rengifo becomes a valuable commodity. By a nature of common practice, I don’t like to truly overrate multi-positional eligibility. However, there are situations where it takes on the deciding factor.

In the case of Rengifo, he is eligible at second base, third base, shortstop, and outfield. In short there are more places in which he is eligible than not. Couple that with the fact that he will be batting leadoff at least against southpaws, and there is something to take notice of here. Last year, the switch hitter batted .324 against left-handers, but that dropped to .240 against right-handers. As a consolation though, 12 of 16 home runs did come against right-handers as well as 33 of his 51 RBI.

Overall, he hit .264 in 126 games. A 9.2% walk rate put gives him value both as a leadoff hitter and in OBP leagues along with a strikeout rate of just 18.4%. Evidence of that is also found in his O-Swing as it went down from 39.9% to 32.2% as he showed increased discipline.

Never to be confused with a true power hitter, Rengifo did bring his barrel rate up from 5.4% to 7.6% while increasing his hard-hit rate to 36.1% from 32.3%. Additionally, we saw his soft contact decrease to just 13% so he is not a true liability in the power department.

Jordan Westburg, Baltimore Orioles

After a strong minor league career and top prospect pedigree, Jordan Westburg made his debut with the Orioles last summer. After hitting 18 home runs and driving in 54 runs in 67 games at Triple-A last year, Westburg’s performance with Baltimore was nondescript. In 68 games, Westburg really didn’t make an impact as he hit .260 with three home runs, 23 RBI, and four stolen bases.

In 2022 at Double-A, we saw Westburg’s true upside as he drove in 101 runs to go along with 27 home runs and 12 stolen bases. Action at the major league level is different than the minors, and we can’t overrate either body of work. After last season though, Westburg is essentially free in most leagues, so that does represent some opportunity for 2024.

After his promotion, we saw Westburg’s strikeout rate rise to 24.6% while his walk rate dropped to 7%. Adjustments to both could make a big difference in 2024. It is also difficult to truly buy into his ISO decrease from .272 to .144, as the right answer is likely somewhere in the middle.

With a solid 13.4-degree average launch angle and 44.5% hard-hit rate, there is something to work with here. Westburg’s O-Swing was only 26%, so his approach wasn’t terrible through the adjustment period. Starting off the season at the end of Baltimore’s lineup also helps to remove pressure.

For more of the great fantasy baseball rankings and analysis you’ve come to expect from FantraxHQ, check out our full 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit! We’re here for you all the way up until Opening Day and then on into your championship run.

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