5 First Base Sleepers for 2024 Fantasy Baseball

Consider drafting these first baseman in 2024.

First base.

The portion of the field long home to many of the game’s best and most elite sluggers, the position doesn’t disappoint again this year for fantasy managers. Headlined by the likes of Freddie Freeman, Matt Olson, Pete Alonso, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the group is now joined by Bryce Harper, who enters fantasy draft season as a first-base eligible player for the first time.

There’s also Paul Goldschmidt, who’s still very good at hitting a baseball, as evidenced by 91st percentile or better finishes in xwOBA (.367, 91st percentile) and hard-hit rate (50.8, 93rd).

Young, breakout hitters like Spencer Torkelson and Triston Casas give the position more depth now and down the road as well.

However you decide to approach first base in drafts this spring, there are a number of undervalued players, at least in terms of current ADPs, to keep in mind. The type of sleeper picks that could prove to be extremely beneficial in the race for fantasy playoff spots come the fall.

These are some of those first baseman.

*All ADP data via NFBC.



Justin Turner – 250.44 ADP*


To date, most of the Toronto Blue Jays‘ offseason moves on the position player side of things have involved glove-first options, players like Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Kevin Kiermaier.

Combine that with the fact that Matt Chapman is still a free agent and it left somewhat of a hole in the heart of the Blue Jays’ lineup.

Enter Justin Turner, who should benefit greatly from logging plate appearances alongside the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and George Springer.

Turner is no longer making the kind of consistent quality contact that he did earlier in his career with the Dodgerscase in point, his xwOBA has finished in the .330s in each of the last two seasonsbut he’s doing enough to provide solid fantasy production in the right situations.

Justin Turner Since 2015

And hitting in Toronto alongside the aforementioned trio of sluggers is certainly one of those situations. And while Turner’s quality of contact stats have dipped across the board, he’s continued to limit strikeouts, as well as swings and misses at a rate very much in line with his previous norms. That ability to make plenty of contact should certainly help offset the decrease in xwOBA and barrels where his surface-level (and fantasy) production is concerned.

Justin Turner’s Plate Discipline Metrics Since 2015

Last year, the veteran hit .276 with a .345 on-base percentage, 23 home runs, and four stolen bases while adding 86 runs scored and 96 RBI. The home run production in particular is one category to watch.

Despite playing in a hitter-friendly park in Boston for half his games, Turner’s expected home run tally was, in fact, higher than his actual home run total in 20 of the league’s 30 ballparks, making a departure from Boston actually beneficial for his fantasy ceiling. One of those 20 ballparks? That would be Rogers Centre, where Turner’s xHR number would’ve been 25.


Triston Casas– 105.01 ADP*


Lost potentially in a second consecutive 78-win season for the Boston Red Sox is that Triston Casas seemed to figure some things out at the Major League level.

The first baseman showed glimpses of upside in a 27-game cameo during the 2022 season, connecting on five home runs in 95 plate appearances while logging a 20.0% walk rate, a .358 on-base percentage, and a 120 wRC+. However, he also hit just .197 with a massive 56.6% ground ball rate. A .208 BABIP probably had a bit to do with the production, but it was still a relatively mixed bag and one that came in a small sample size.

Things took a decided turn for the better in 2023.

Casas’ surface-level metrics tell a good enough story. The infielder hit .263 with a .367 on-base percentage and 24 home runs in 502 plate appearances, carrying over the high walk rate and quality power numbers that he’s previously shown both in the Majors and minors.

Borrowing on the story metaphor, and expanding it slightly to include films, a look at Casas’ underlying metrics takes things from simply a quality story, to a potentially award-winning one.

Because despite finishing in the 33rd percentile or worse in both whiff rate (28.1%, 33rd percentile) and strikeout rate (25.1%, 29th percentile), Casas made a ton of loud contact.

What’s perhaps even more encouraging is that the 24-year-old did all that while logging an elite chase rate (22.1%) and cutting down on hitting grounders considerably in a significantly larger sample size.

Triston Casas’s GB% By Season

The first baseman should also continue to benefit from hitting behind Rafael Devers (.351 on-base percentage, .227 ISO) in the top half of the Red Sox lineup next season.

Last year, 209 of Casas’s 502 plate appearances came hitting sixth, but he saw fairly consistent starts as the team’s cleanup hitter in the last month of the season. Prior to August 21, the 24-year-old made just two starts hitting fourth or higher in the lineup. From August 21 onwards, the first baseman made 17 of his last 21 starts hitting either fourth or third. During that stretch, he hit .309 with a .423 on-base percentage and four home runs in 97 plate appearances.

Currently being selected as the 10th first baseman off the board in drafts, per NFBC data, Casas is also sporting a rather high 105.01 ADP at the moment. He makes for an ideal option to wait on later in drafts for fantasy managers who would rather utilize early-round picks on players at other positions.


Vinnie Pasquantino – 169.99 ADP*


A popular breakout pick in 2023, Vinne Pasquantino largely lived up to the hype before his season was cut short due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Now returning to the Royals’ lineup, plenty has changed since Pasquantino last took the field for Kansas City.

First and foremost, Bobby Witt Jr. enjoyed a torrid second half for Kansas City, signaling that the breakout season was well and truly on. The shortstop hit .303 with a .347 on-base percentage and 133 wRC+ from June 1 onwards and finished the year with a .369 xwOBA and .533 xSLG.

Pasquantino should not only benefit from regularly hitting somewhere after Witt Jr. but also in front of a (somewhat) new-look lineup that sees Hunter Renfroe and Nelson Velázquez take on regular roles.

Renfroe has hit 20 or more home runs in each of his last six full seasons, while Velazquez collected 24 barrels and 17 home runs in only 179 (!) plate appearances last season. And while it remains to be seen if the improved Royals lineup will make a real-life impact in terms of making up ground in the American League Central, the group does provide a decidedly better fantasy environment for Pasquantino to find success in from run-scoring and RBI opportunities perspectives.


Yandy Díaz – 131.52 ADP*


Let’s look briefly at a pair of blind resumes.

As you can probably tell, Player A had a slightly better season at least comparatively, particularly with more plate appearances, but we’re not talking about too significant of a gap here. Both seasons were decidedly elite, to the point where there probably shouldn’t be that much of a gap in their current ADPs.

Except, there is a gap in the current ADPs between the two. And a rather significant one at that.

Player A is Freddie Freeman. Player B? That would be Yandy Díaz, as you may have guessed from the sub-header.

Per NFBC data, Freeman is (and rightfully so) being selected as the first player off the board among first basemen, with an 8.28 ADP.

You have to do a lot of digging after that to find Diaz, who is being drafted well behind Freeman, Casas, and 11 other first basemen, with a 131.46 ADP.

And while the Rays infielder certainly doesn’t have the lengthy track record that Freeman does, something that may be playing a slight part in the ADP numbers, this was by no means an outlier or fluky season for Diaz.

The 32-year-old has logged an xwOBA north of .350 in three of the last five full seasons, including a .365 metric in 2022. Elsewhere, he finished last season in the 90th percentile in each of the following metrics: xwOBA, xBA, average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and chase rate. His whiff rate and strikeout rates (both in the 86th percentile) just missed out on fitting the bill for that last sentence.

His 2023 season was about as legitimate as it gets, and for as much as the Rays pitching staff will look different next season without Tyler Glasnow, Robert Stephenson, and Andrew Kittridge, the lineup should still be a strong suit of the team. In fact, the Rays, a team that finished with the fourth-most runs scored in the league last year, have a chance to be even better at the plate.

Randy Arozarena, Isaac Paredes, and Josh Lowe will all return after logging wRC+ numbers at least 25% above league average, meanwhile, top prospects Junior Caminero and Curtis Mead could step into larger roles, providing even more of a spark at the plate. This is all to say that as long as Diaz continues to make quality contact, he should also continue to be in a strong spot where RBI and run-scoring chances are concerned.

Even if his ADP were somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 spots higher, Diaz would probably still be a sleeper heading into this coming season based on his breakout year in 2023, but with a 131.39 ADP, he looks awfully like a potential league winner as we sit here in February.


Rhys Hoskins – 199.55 ADP*


Like Pasquantino, Rhys Hoskins is coming off an extended absence due to injury. Hoskins missed the 2023 season due to a torn left ACL he suffered during Spring Training.

After spending the entirety of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, the slugger is now in Milwaukee after having signed with the Brewers as a free agent this winter.

As far as fantasy environments and the fantasy impact of a player’s new potential role, it’s hard to find a better situation than what Hoskins is walking into in Milwaukee.

Pretty much everything you want when assessing the fantasy upside of a player’s situation is there. It’s all ideal.

American Family Field has the seventh-best park factor where home runs are concerned in the last three seasons, per StatcastAdditionally, Hoskins’ xHR tally for his career for American Family Field sits at 162, the fifth highest of any MLB stadium and eight above his actual career home run total.

Then there’s the fact that, despite a bevy of off-season trades that saw veterans depart Milwaukee, the Brewers still employ Christian Yelich and William Contreras.

The duo was excellent last year, both topping the .360 mark (at .367 and .370 respectively) in terms of on-base percentage. Yelich in particular was impactful as a table-setter, hitting .278 with the aforementioned .370 on-base percentage, to go along with a .358 xwOBA, a .454 xSLG, a 12.3% walk rate, and 28 stolen bases.

Where Milwaukee really struggled last season was finding consistent production after Yelich and Contreras, who more often than not hit first and second in Craig Counsell’s lineup.

Milwaukee Brewers 2023 Lineup Splits

Rookie Jackson Chourio should certainly help in terms of improving the lineup depth after the aforementioned duo, but Hoskins seems poised to step in right away as a staple in the heart of the Brewers order in that third or fourth spot.

And if his production in 2024 is anything close to what it’s been in the past, it should lead to a strong fantasy season.

The slugger has logged at least 27 home runs in his last full five seasons and has yet to finish a year with an ISO below the .200 mark. Elsewhere, his barrel rate has finished in single digits just one, when it was 9.7% in 2019. Furthermore, Hoskins has also finished in the 75th percentile or better in xwOBA in four of his last five seasons.

Currently being drafted after 18 other first-base eligible players and with an ADP at nearly 200 (it’s currently 199.55), per NFBC, Hoskins seems a strong bet to not only outperform that ADP, but a number of the players being selected ahead of him at his position.

Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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