5 Shortstop Sleepers for 2024 Fantasy Baseball

Consider Drafting These Shortstops in 2024

Shortstop can be a position that can “make or break” fantasy teams, especially in traditional 5×5 category leagues. As a result, it can be common for fantasy managers to spend early draft capital on the shortstop position to build a foundation for their team in their respective drafts.

Pursuing such a strategy in this year’s draft season makes sense, especially considering the bevy of talented shortstops available who could be the cornerstone of any successful fantasy team.

Bobby Witt Jr. had a breakout season where he hit .276, mashed 30 home runs, stole 49 bases, and collected 96 RBI. Trea Turner hit 22 home runs, stole 24 bases, and collected 79 RBI in a “down” first season in Philadelphia. Lastly, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, and Elly De La Cruz remain top options, though they carry their share of risk and question marks for the upcoming season.

What if managers though want to wait until later in the draft for shortstop production? Surprisingly, some intriguing options could be taken in the 180+ ADP range and be positive regular players on any fantasy roster. Here are five shortstops in that ADP range who could be sleepers for the upcoming season.

*All ADP data via NFBC as of February 25th.


Willy Adames – 183.15 ADP*


Adames is the 19th-ranked shortstop in NFBC, according to ADP. He ranks behind Anthony Volpe (15th), Thairo Estrada (16th), Tommy Edman (17th), and Trevor Story (18th).

There is no question that Adames is coming off a disappointing 2023 in Milwaukee. Granted, he hit 24 home runs, his 5th straight season of 20 or more home runs. That said, his average plummeted from .262 in 2021 to .238 in 2022 to .217 last season, a career-low. He also saw his OPS plummet from .758 in 2022 to .717 in 2023 and his hard-hit rate go from 43.6% in 2022 to 36.5% in 2023.

With so many categories declining in 2023, it makes sense why many fantasy managers are steering away from Adames. On the other hand, he still possesses more value than some may think, and he could be motivated to have a big season, especially since he will be a free agent after this season.

Adames did see a decline in not just hard-hit rate but average exit velocity from 2022 (88.9 MPH) to 2023 (87.4 MPH). However, he maintained a strong barrel rate of 12.4% a season ago. While that was a 0.6% decline from the previous season, it still ranked him in the 82nd percentile in barrel rate, according to Savant.

In addition, compared to the other four shortstops ranked above him, Adames still fared well last season not only in barrel rate but in many expected metric categories. That can be seen in the table below, as Adames led the group of five in barrel rate, average launch angle, and xSLG.

Adames-Edman-Volpe-Story-Estrada Comparison-2023

Granted, Adames will have to improve the quality of contact in 2024 if he wants to avoid his mediocre slash line from 2023 and his .259 BABIP, which was a career-low.

On the other hand, Adames showed a more reasonable approach in his plate decisions down the stretch last year. He ended up producing a 0.43 walk-to-strikeout ratio, a career-high. Furthermore, his decision value rolling PLV chart showcased a hitter who ranked in the 90th percentile at the end of the year in terms of runs added per 100 pitches.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

If Adames can get back to his 2022 exit velocity and hard-hit numbers, then it wouldn’t be surprising to see Adames be at least a top-10 shortstop in fantasy baseball by the conclusion of the 2024 season. His improvement in plate discipline in 2023 should help him in 2024, especially if the power numbers bounce back up a bit in his age-28 season.

That kind of rebound should also help him earn a nice little contract and pay increase in free agency next winter.


Carlos Correa – 248.86 ADP*


Much like Adames, Correa had a disappointing 2023, which was especially deflating after he signed a big contract with the Twins last winter (despite the Giants and Mets making and rescinding offers due to concerns with Correa’s long-term health).

Correa went down across the board in nearly every offensive category in his second season in the Twin Cities. His average plummeted from .291 in 2022 to .230 in 2023. His OPS dropped from .833 in 2022 to .711 in 2023. Lastly, he hit 18 home runs in 590 plate appearances, the first time he’d been under the 20-homer mark in a full season since 2018 (when he hit 15 in 468 plate appearances).

Thus, it makes sense why fantasy managers are conservative about the 29-year-old Correa and his outlook for the upcoming 2024 season.

Correa is a two-to-three category player at this point in his career, as he has not stolen a base since the 2019 season. Then again, it’s not out of the question to think that he can bounce back in those other offensive categories in 2024, especially if he’s fully healthy and with the offseason drama of 2023 behind him.

Last year on a decision value end, Correa plummeted significantly around the midseason mark (specifically the 1,000-1,250-pitch mark). However, he bounced back significantly after that point and became a top hitter again in the category. That was evidenced by his runs added per 100 pitches ranking in the 90th percentile by the conclusion of the season.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

It was interesting to see Correa trade contact for power throughout the season.

In the first half of the year, he hit 11 home runs and posted a slugging percentage of .401 in 307 plate appearances. After the All-Star break though, he only hit seven home runs and his slugging slightly declined to .396. On the flip side, his average improved from .225 in the first half to .237 in the second half.

Correa’s PLV power and contact rolling charts from 2023 illustrate the contact for power trade-off Correa made during the season, especially after the All-Star Break.

In the first half of the season, Correa demonstrated that he could be a 20-25 home run hitter. In the second half, he showcased the profile of a hitter who could match his .272 career batting average.

Can Correa put both of those halves together in 2024? It’s hard to tell, especially considering his struggles to stay fully healthy last year (he only played in 135 games in 2023).

That said, finding out what kind of hitter Correa can be in 2024 is a risk worth taking for fantasy managers around the 248th pick range.


J.P. Crawford – 278.23 ADP*


It was hard to take Crawford seriously as a fantasy shortstop option before 2023.

In 2021 and 2022, when Crawford took over the shortstop duties full-time in Seattle, the former Phillies first-round draft pick hit a combined 15 home runs and stole six bases in 1,290 plate appearances. Going into 2023, he was primarily seen as a streaming option who could be worth picking up off waivers when one’s regular shortstop was on the IL.

Crawford though broke out of that mold in 2023 and put himself on many fantasy managers’ radar.

In 638 plate appearances, the Mariners shortstop slashed .266/.380/.438 with 19 home runs, 94 runs scored, and 65 RBI. He only had two stolen bases, but being a legitimate four-category shortstop was promising to witness, especially in the eyes of fantasy managers who took a chance on him last season.

A big difference for Crawford was that he focused more on pulling the ball in 2023. Consequently, the batted ball profile shows that he not only did that but also pulled more line drives as well, which explains the home-run jump.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

In addition to pulling the ball more, Crawford increased his average exit velocity on batted balls from 85.1 MPH in 2022, which ranked in the bottom 8th percentile of the league, to 88.3 MPH, which ranked in the 29th percentile. He also saw a massive jump in average launch angle in 2023, which can be seen in the launch angle rolling chart average via Savant.

Courtesy of Baseball Savant

Those are all some impressive improvements, right?

Well, Crawford isn’t done yet. He also proved to be solid in his plate decisions last year.

In 2023, Crawford produced a 0.75 walk-to-strikeout ratio, which shows his excellent patience in the batter’s box. His decision value and hitter performance rolling charts from a season ago also show that Crawford parlayed his excellent batting eye into solid overall production.

It’s easy to dismiss Crawford because he’s been a disappointing base stealer throughout his career.

However, that shouldn’t delude fantasy managers from taking a flier on him in the later rounds. He’s a shortstop who can be a positive asset in four of the five traditional league categories, and he’ll be an even bigger boost in leagues that utilize OBP or OPS as well.


Tim Anderson – 399.05 ADP*


Anderson finally has a home, as the Marlins signed the former two-time All-Star shortstop to a one-year, $5 million deal last week after spring training began.

It was a brutal season for Anderson last year in nearly every way imaginable. In 123 games and 524 plate appearances, Anderson slashed .245/.286/.296 with a .582 OPS and only one home run and 52 runs scored. His defense also took a step back, as he produced a -1 OAA, which ranked him in the 42nd percentile, according to Savant.

Lastly, Anderson was involved in a fight with Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez after a slide at second base that not only resulted in Anderson getting knocked down by a Ramirez punch, but being the butt of frequent internet jokes for the remainder of the year.

Safe to say, it was a year to forget for Anderson in his last season on the South Side.

Can he bounce back in his new and warmer surroundings in Miami though?

On a positive note, Anderson has remained strong at making consistent contact, based on his contact PLV rolling chart from last year.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

The only issue was that he hit more groundballs in 2023 in comparison to 2022.

His average launch angle, which has never been great, declined from 3.3 degrees to 2.0 degrees from 2022 to 2023, respectively. His batted ball profile also shows Anderson hitting a significant amount of pulled and center-hit groundballs in 2023, which produced a lot of outs (and a paltry .250 xBA).

Courtesy of Pitcher List

Anderson is 30 years old, so the former White Sox franchise player is at a crossroads in his career. This may be his last chance to prove that he can be an everyday guy and it’s likely he’ll be regulated to a bench role if he gets off to a slow start or produces something similar offensively to what he did a year ago.

On the other hand, Loan Depot Park, the Marlins’ home field, has been a haven for singles, doubles, and triples, according to Statcast Park Factors. It’s possible that the fresh change of scenery, especially in terms of home park, can help the high-contact Anderson get back on track.


Marco Luciano – 567.14 ADP*


The acquisition of Nick Ahmed doesn’t bode well for Luciano’s chances over the full course of the 2023 season. However, with Brandon Crawford officially gone (and a St. Louis Cardinal), everything is lined up for Luciano to be the Giants’ Opening Day shortstop.

Luciano made his MLB debut at the end of the season even though he posted ho-hum numbers in Triple-A Sacramento (.209/.321/.418 slash; .738 OPS). On the other hand, Luciano’s power proved to be eye-popping in both Sacramento (.209 ISO) as well as Double-A Richmond (.223 ISO), which explains why the Giants gave him a chance at the end of the 2023 campaign.

The power didn’t develop as materialized in the big leagues, as Luciano only posted a .077 ISO and didn’t hit a home run in 45 plate appearances. However, he hit three doubles and the exit velocity numbers were impressive: 93 MPH average exit velocity; 111.8 MPH max exit velocity; and 54.5% hard-hit rate.

Here’s an example of Luciano flashing that batted-ball profile in this gap double off of the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw which Luciano hit 107.5 MPH.

View post on imgur.com

The power potential is there for Luciano in 2023, and he could be a sneaky candidate for 10 or more stolen bases if new manager Bob Melvin gives him the green light.

Unfortunately, the big concern with Luciano is the high number of strikeouts he accumulated at both the major and minor League levels.

With the Giants, he produced a 37.8% strikeout rate. It wasn’t much better in Sacramento (35.9%) or Richmond (29.8%) either. Furthermore, his contact ability PLV rolling chart showcased some red flags with his ability to consistently put the bat on the ball, though to be fair, it was a small sample size.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

On the flip side, Luciano did sport a walk rate of 13.3% and walk-to-strikeout ratio of 0.35 in his San Francisco debut, which isn’t bad considering how much he struck out.

There’s some intriguing long-term potential with Luciano, and frankly, he’s probably more of an option in keeper and dynasty leagues rather than re-draft ones. It feels like 2025 may be his true breakout season rather than 2024.

However, he’s a shortstop that fantasy managers should pay attention to, especially if Melvin fully gives him a shot to prove himself at the major league level in 2024. The toolset is there for Luciano to be a sneaky fantasy sleeper at shortstop in both the short and long term.


Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien is a high school educator and baseball blogger based in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to writing for Pitcher List, he writes about the Kansas City Royals at his own blog, the Royals Reporter, which can be found at royalsreporter.com.

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