5 Second Base Sleepers for 2024 Fantasy Baseball

Consider drafting these second baseman in 2024.

More so than in years past, second base seems to be deeper than ever fantasy-wise. Mookie Betts and Marcus Semien now playing the position on a regular basis certainly helps, but there has also been an influx of rookies and younger players who’ve had breakout years while maintaining or gaining fantasy eligibility at second base.

From Matt McLain and Zack Gelof to Nolan Gorman and Edouard Julien, there are plenty of solid options available.

And that’s all without mentioning strong 2023 seasons from veterans like Ketel Marte, Luis Arraez, and Ha-Seong Kim. At any rate, the depth presents a number of different ways to approach the second base position in drafts.

Drafting Betts or Semien early is a perfectly viable route, as is waiting for someone further down the draft board. If you’re more inclined to follow that particular road, these might be some second basemen for you to consider drafting.

*All ADP data via NFBC.


Brendan Donovan – 288.56 ADP*


One of two St. Louis infielders to make the list, more on the other later, Brendan Donovan brings plenty to the table for fantasy managers.

The 27-year-old hit .284 with a .365 on-base percentage in his second Major League season, clearing the .280 mark in terms of batting average for the second year running.

Donovan once again showed strong plate discipline, but this time he paired that with increased quality of contact metrics.

Brendan Donovan Since 2022

The 27-year-old’s barrel rate jumped from 3.4% to 5.8% and his xwOBA rose to .354 from .339. Unsurprisingly, that led to a spike in power production, as Donovan established new career bests in home runs (11) and slugging percentage (.422).

Purely as a second baseman alone, Donovan looks like a draft-day steal, either in standard-scoring leagues or in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring.

However, when you consider taking his eligibility across the diamond into account, he makes for a borderline must-draft player later in drafts, one who will likely easily outperform his ADP. That’s especially true in leagues with corner infield or middle infield spots.


Zack Gelof – 132.28 ADP*


On one hand, Zack Gelof is playing for the Oakland A’s, which puts a rather significant dent in his fantasy upside. The infielder, who enjoyed a quality rookie season last year, will return as a staple in an Oakland lineup that scored fewer runs than any other team last season, 56 fewer runs than the next closest team, in fact, and hasn’t added many Major League options this winter outside of Miguel Andujar and Abraham Toro.

All of that isn’t ideal for Gelof, who hit .267 with a .337 on-base percentage in 300 plate appearances for the club last season.

Playing in the Oakland Coliseum, which has the league’s third-lowest overall park factor in the last three years, per Statcast, certainly doesn’t help either.

However, the flip side to all that is it should once again lock Gelof into regular plate appearances at the top of the lineup. It’s certainly a positive for the infielder, who showed last year that he could rack up solid counting number stats, like 14 home runs and 14 stolen bases, in short order with an influx of plate appearances.

All this as well despite a collection of quality of contact metrics that ranged from good or encouraging, like an 11.1% barrel rate, to average (a .333 xwOBA and a 41.3% hard-hit rate), to not so ideal (a 27.3% strikeout rate and a 33.7% whiff rate).

And while the surrounding lineup could be better, the 24-year-old should continue to produce additional plate appearances with the A’s.

Unless he’s traded, he seems a near lock for 400 to 500 (or more) plate appearances, making a 25 home run, 25 stolen base season a real possibility.


Jorge Polanco – 266.43 ADP*


Playing for a team other than the Minnesota Twins for the first time in his Major League career, there’s a lot to like about Jorge Polanco’s fantasy upside now that he’s in Seattle with the Mariners.

There’s the fact that he has an xwOBA north of .340 in each of his last four full seasons, or that he set career-highs with a 13.8% barrel rate and a 40.6% hard-hit rate last year. Or the fact that a switch to T-Mobile Park might just boost his power upside even more.

Jorge Polanco Since 2021

Well, ok, it’s actually all of that. But, it’s all of that coupled with the fact that Polanco has a chance to hit after Julio Rodríguez every day.

Of course, we’re a long way from Opening Day, and because of that, lineup choices have yet to come into focus, but without Teoscar Hernández, Jarred Kelenic, and Eugenio Suárez on the roster anymore, there’s a real argument to be made for Polanco batting directly after Rodriguez.

Current Mariners Hitters In 2023


Nolan Gorman – 191.63 ADP*


The aforementioned second St. Louis infielder on this list, if you can live with the strikeouts, and perhaps a slightly lower batting average as a result, Nolan Gorman makes for a quality fantasy option at second base later in drafts.

Because outside of that, the 23-year-old does just about everything else well at the plate.

Ability to make quality contact? Yep, he’s got that in spades after posting a .354 xwOBA, a 48.5% hard-hit rate, and a 16.5% barrel rate last season. The xwOBA marked the second straight year he’s topped a .340 xwOBA and the 2023 barrel rate finished in the 97th percentile.

How about walks? Gorman’s got you covered there as well, with an 11.4% walk rate that was the third-best among all second basemen with a minimum of 450 plate appearances.

And it’s not just the underlying metrics either.

Gorman was plenty productive in the counting stat department, clocking in with 27 home runs (perhaps a bit unsurprising given the barrel rate) and an additional seven stolen bases.

After stealing just one base as a rookie in 2022, if the infielder can chip in with yearly stolen base totals in line with his 2023 total, it would boost his fantasy ceiling exponentially.

Even if his limited role against left-handed pitching continues, Gorman still possesses top-five upside at the position.

Nolan Gorman In 2023

Despite the plate appearance splits, Gorman still finished with the third-most home runs at the position and the fourth-most RBI.


Eduoard Julien – 211.72 ADP*


Julien, like Gorman, probably isn’t going to hit for an extremely high average if his underlying and expected metrics in 2023 carry over. The Twins infielder hit .263 as a rookie but also logged just a .233 xBA, a 29.1% whiff rate, and a 31.4% strikeout rate.

However, Julien, like Gorman, is going to contribute at a quality rate in a number of other avenues, fantasy-wise.

Already one of the league’s best in terms of drawing walks and hitting for power, Julien had the fifth-best walk rate at 15.7% among batters with a minimum of 400 plate appearances. He was also one of just 15 players to rank in the 85th percentile or better in terms of both walk rate and barrel rate, logging a 13.1% metric in the latter category.

All told the 24-year-old hit .263 with a .381 on-base percentage, 16 home runs, three stolen bases, and a .345 xwOBA in 408 plate appearances.

If he can improve his ability to make contact on pitches inside the zone, even by just a little, Julien should be in for a breakout season. The infielder is already adept at not offering at the wrong pitches outside the zone finishing the year with the league’s lowest out-of-zone swing rate among batters who logged at least 400 plate appearances.

However, the reason for his higher strikeout and whiff rate numbers has largely come due to missing pitches in the zone. Among the 212 batters with at least 400 plate appearances, 172 had a better in-zone contact rate than Julien at 77.6%.

However, even if the swing-and-miss numbers repeat themselves to a degree in 2024, the second baseman provides a quality fantasy floor, especially in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring and particularly now that Minnesota has traded Jorge Polanco, clearing up a pathway to not only significant playing time but significant plate appearances near the top of the order.


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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