The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Spring Training 2024: Grapefruit League Report

Spring Training is officially underway! Pitchers and catchers reported last week, and position players arrived at camp early this week. There’s been no shortage of player news, and the volume will only increase from here on out. From injuries to playing time, there’s a lot to keep track of during draft season. The Grapefruit League report will help you stay up to speed on all the major action coming out of Florida each week, including the fantasy implications. Let’s get to it!

Ready to make the 2024 MLB season the best yet? Fantrax offers a fantasy baseball league for everyone. Want to get started right away? Then jump into a Best Ball League or a Draft and Hold. Maybe you have an existing league but want the most customizable fantasy baseball platform in existence? Then you definitely need to check out the Fantrax Commissioner! And of course, whether you play roto or points, you can head to the Fantrax Mock Draft Lobby to start your draft prep for the 2024 fantasy baseball season.

Grapefruit League Notes

Atlanta Braves

Jarred Kelenic (OF)

The Braves plan to give Jarred Kelenic everyday at-bats this season despite his career struggles against lefties (.566 OPS). If Kelenic can hold his own against southpaws like last season (.774 OPS across 92 PA), his fantasy value could see a nice boost. Kelenic has power and speed but has yet to be able to put everything together for a full season. A change of scenery to one of the best lineups in baseball could be just what Kelenic needs. His current NFBC DC ADP of 227.6 is well worth the cost of finding out.

Baltimore Orioles

Kyle Bradish (SP), John Means (SP), Gunnar Henderson (3B/SS)

The Orioles had a brutal start to Spring Training. Kyle Bradish has a partially torn UCL and will begin the season on the IL. He received a PRP injection in his elbow and has already started a throwing program, including playing catch from 90 feet. Bradish expects to play in 2024, but there’s a lot up in the air. Draft him as a bench arm until there’s a clearer timetable for his return.

John Means is about a month behind schedule due to a Tommy John-related elbow flare-up and should start the season on the IL. Monitor his spring, as the Orioles will likely take it easy with Means.

Injuries to Bradish and Means could open things up for Tyler Wells and Cole Irvin. Wells is the more interesting arm for fantasy. As a starter, Wells posted a 3.80 ERA and 1.02 WHIP across 113.2 innings last season. He also finished with a solid 17.2% K-BB%. Irvin bounced between the rotation and bullpen in 2023 with mixed results. He ended the season with a 4.42 ERA and 1.28 WHIP across 77.1 innings pitched. Both pitchers are worth keeping an eye on this spring.

On the hitting side of things, Gunnar Henderson is dealing with a strained oblique. Henderson should be ready for Opening Day but pay close attention to his progress in the next few weeks.

Boston Red Sox

Jarren Duran (OF), Kenley Jansen (RP)

The Red Sox announced Jarren Duran as the team’s leadoff hitter. Last season, Duran led off against righties but dropped in the order against lefties. More at-bats should mean plenty of runs scored and a boost in stolen bases. Duran also brings low-to-mid-teens power and a solid batting average to the fantasy table.

Kenley Jansen is dealing with lat soreness. It doesn’t sound too serious, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. If healthy — and barring a trade — Jansen will open the season as Boston’s closer.

Detroit Tigers

Riley Greene (OF), Sawyer Gipson-Long (SP)

Riley Greene faced live pitching for the first time since recovering from Tommy John surgery in his non-throwing elbow. Greene is coming off a solid season. He posted a 119 wRC+ with 11 homers, seven steals, and a .288 batting average across 416 plate appearances. Assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, Greene is an outfielder to target in 12-team leagues and deeper.

Sawyer Gipson-Long suffered a left groin strain last week, delaying his Spring Training debut. This is unwelcome news, as Gipson-Long is battling for a spot in the Tigers’ Opening Day rotation.

Houston Astros

Justin Verlander (SP), Josh Hader (RP)

Justin Verlander is a few weeks behind schedule with a shoulder issue. He hasn’t had any problems throwing this spring, but the situation is worth monitoring. Verlander missed the start of last season with a shoulder issue, and cracks started to show in his 2023 stat line. Verlander’s velocity ticked down, and his 14.8% K-BB% was his lowest mark since 2015. Verlander turned 41 this week, which also won’t do him any favors.

After signing him in January, the Astros officially named Josh Hader their closer. Expect Hader to rack up saves, with Ryan Pressly and Bryan Abreu operating as Houston’s top-tier setup guys.

Miami Marlins

Eury Perez (SP), Braxton Garrett (SP), A.J. Puk (RP)

Eury Perez‘s innings will be limited this season. The Marlins have yet to establish a number, but Perez pitched a total of 128 innings last season (91.1 innings in the majors). Pencil in 150 innings for the young hurler in 2024.

Braxton Garrett is nursing a sore shoulder. He’s still been able to throw, so it’s likely a minor issue. Just keep tabs on it.

A.J. Puk is getting stretched out as a starter this spring. The back of the Marlins rotation isn’t set, so there’s an opportunity for Puk to take advantage. As a reliever, Puk registered a 32.2% strikeout rate and 5.4% walk rate across 56.2 innings with Miami last season. Those numbers will likely regress as a starter, but there’s enough upside with Puk to take a flier in 15-team leagues and deeper.

Minnesota Twins

Byron Buxton (UT), Ryan Jeffers (C), Louie Varland (SP)

For all you Byron Buxton believers out there, he entered Spring Training healthy and claimed he plans to steal 30 bags this season. Buxton is a high-risk/high-reward player with pop, speed, and a problem staying on the field — he’s only cracked 100 games once in his nine-year career. Consider yourself warned.

The Twins plan to evenly split playing time between Ryan Jeffers and Christian Vazquez, similar to 2023. While Jeffers is the better fantasy play, I’d only pencil him in for 100-ish games this season.

Louie Varland is in the mix for the Twins’ final rotation spot. Varland began last season in the rotation, but was sent down to the minors for some seasoning after 10 starts. He returned in September as a reliever and thrived, recording a 1.50 ERA with a 17:1 K:BB across 12 innings. It’s possible Varland starts the season in the bullpen, with Anthony DeSclafani likely rounding out the Twins’ Opening Day rotation.

New York Mets

Harrison Bader (OF)

Harrison Bader will be the Mets’ everyday centerfielder. Bader’s fantasy value lies primarily with his legs. He has 86th percentile sprint speed and stole 20 bases last season and 17 bases in 2022, despite spending 157 days on the IL between the two seasons. Bader will likely be buried at the bottom of the Mets’ lineup but will still be an asset in steals when healthy.

New York Yankees

Carlos Rodon (SP)

Carlos Rodon is in bounce-back mode after a terrible 2023 season. He reported to camp in better shape, and his fastball reportedly touched 97 MPH in a live batting session last week. If his velocity sticks through spring, he’ll shoot up draft boards.

Tampa Bay Rays

Shane Baz (SP)

Shane Baz will likely make his season debut sometime this summer. The Rays will play it safe with their young starter following his Tommy John surgery in September 2022. For fantasy, expect 100-110 carefully managed innings in 2024, given Baz only has 40.1 innings under his career belt.

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.

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.