2024 Breakout Prospects For Fantasy Baseball

These players are ready to have big seasons worth your attention.

There is no denying that this is the article that I look forward to writing the most each offseason. Calling your shot on prospects who could be several years away is one of the greatest feelings in fantasy baseball. Being able to predict breakout prospects can help transform a dynasty rebuild or keep your team in contention for longer than it should be. Last season, I wrote a similar article and picked Aeverson Arteage, Wikelman Gonzalez, and Kevin Alcantara. Arteaga was a bit disappointing (although I still have plenty of faith in his future). Gonzalez was a success posting a 2.98 ERA from May forward, and Alcantara is now ranked well inside most top-100 lists. Here is hoping for similar success in this article.

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List Dynasty page for more prospects and dynasty content from the staff.


2024 Breakout Prospects


Henry Bolte, OF, Oakland Athletics


For a group that prioritizes upside, the dynasty baseball community has been slow to come around on Henry Bolte. The A’s selected Bolte in the second round of the 2022 draft out of a California high school. He impressed scouts with his raw power and rare athleticism. Standing at 6’3”, 195 pounds, Bolte plays an excellent center field defense with offensive projection that screams upside. So, why is the fantasy community not paying attention?

With upside often comes risk. We have seen it with Elijah Green and I already wrote a whole article featuring players with high upside and high risk at each position. Bolte was intentionally excluded from that list for a few different reasons. The first is his defensive skills. Bolte is a gifted outfielder with great arm strength who could play at any of the outfield positions. His speed and instincts will likely keep him in center field adding to his real-life value. Even if the bat takes some time, his glove will help carry him to the Major Leagues.

Before getting to the second reason Bolte was excluded from that list, let’s first discuss Bolte’s early career results. His professional debut in 2022 was disappointing with a 48.7% strikeout rate, but Oakland still sent him to Low-A for the 2023 season. At just 19-years-old, Bolte put together an impressive 113 wRC+ showing off elite fantasy upside. His speed, which was already mentioned, is good for more than just defense. Bolte stole 32 bases last season in just 112 games. His 600 plate appearance pace was 39 steals providing plenty of fantasy appeal.

Bolte’s raw power is another point of intrigue. Bolte only hit 14 home runs last season, but his large frame provides plenty of projection. Nobody is debating whether he has pop. With a small leg kick and lightning-quick hands, Bolte can do damage to all parts of the park. Just watch this home run here:

While this is not a comparison to Aaron Judge, his power is Judge-like. Unlike most power hitters, Bolte routinely drives the ball to the opposite field and has the raw skills to get away with it. His home run per fly ball rate sat at 25% last season with an opposite-field rate of over 40%. The highest HR/FB% of any Major League batter last season with at least a 30% opposite-field rate was Nolan Jones at 22.2%. Bolte’s power is as, if not even more, impressive than that. Imagine the kind of upside if he learns to start pulling the ball even more. His game power could also explode via a slight swing adjustment. Right now, Bolte hits too many ground balls to consistently tap into his pop. If he can start elevating the ball more, his home run totals will take off.

The main concern with Bolte has always been his contact skills. Bolte’s patient approach leads to deep counts resulting in high strikeout rates. This is where the 2024 breakout appeal starts. The 2023 season started much like 2022 ended. Bolte was striking out way too much and on August 3rd, his strikeout rate sat at 36.8%. This high strikeout rate kept his batting average down at .250 and is the primary reason many in the dynasty community are not paying attention to him. Digging deeper, from August 4th forward, a switch seemed to flip. Across his final 146 plate appearances, Bolte hit .274. More importantly, his strikeout rate dropped by over 10% down to 25.3%. This is not to say Bolte became more aggressive as his walk rate grew even higher to 13%. Bolte was making more contact and getting better pitches to hit.

This kind of growth from a player with Bolte’s raw toolset should make every dynasty manager excited. He has all the makings of a breakout prospect that is just a few steps away from everything clicking. The best part is that Bolte is still just 20 years old. There is plenty of time for him to continue developing with as much upside as almost any prospect in baseball. His fantasy ceiling is a .260 hitter with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Picking Bolte as a breakout is betting on his hit tool improvements sticking in 2024.


Chase Petty, SP, Cincinnati Reds


This breakout pick is more widely accepted in the dynasty community. Petty, the Twins’ first-round pick from 2021, has shown consistent growth since joining the Reds’ organization before the 2022 season. Petty was the prize return in the Sonny Gray trade and could yield significant dividends for Cincinnati.

During the draft process, Petty was viewed as the high-upside pick. He had already touched triple-digits in high school and his slider was viewed by many to be a plus offering, This high-octane combination is what landed him in the first round. His developmental path has been different than many envisioned. Typically pitchers with big stuff struggle to control it consistently. Here is a snippet from a pre-draft scouting report from lastwordonsport.com: “As for his delivery, there is clear effort to it. At times, it can appear to be violent, and he becomes susceptible to flying open with his shoulder, resulting in control issues.”

Petty’s professional career has not unfolded like many scouts projected. His stuff took a bit of a step back but in a good way. To this point, his fastball sits more 94/95 than the upper 90s we saw during the draft process. His control of his secondaries has continued to improve, but they have failed to generate the whiffs many expected. Petty struck out just 23.7% of the batters he faced in 2022 and 24.1% in 2023. Mediocre strikeout numbers are typically a red flag in the fantasy community.

The results have not been all discouraging. Petty has turned himself into a control specialist which is a skill not many Minor League pitchers possess. He pounds the zone with excellent location. He throws enough strikes to post low walk rates (7.7% in 2022 and 5.5% in 2023) but also avoids the “mistake pitches” that haunt pitchers. A stat nobody seems to be talking about: Chase Petty did not allow a single home run in 2023. He threw 68 innings and did not allow a long ball. His ability to keep the ball on the ground is a skill that could prove especially fruitful in Great American Ballpark.

A control specialist with low walk rates is not the kind of guy that fantasy managers typically fight over. So, what has me so confident that Petty is ready to break out in dynasty for 2024? The answer is fairly simple. Petty’s career progression has been one of steady improvement. He first transformed from a high-variance guy to somebody with an extremely safe floor. Now, this off-season he is showing signs of tapping back into his upside. Working at the baseball performance center, Petty is once again sitting in the upper-90s. Now, facing live batters and pitching in a training facility are two completely different beasts. However, seeing Petty tap back into this velocity should have everybody paying attention:

Petty is the perfect mold for a pitcher in Cincinnati’s farm system. In an environment as hitter-friendly as Great American Ballpark, keeping the ball on the ground and limiting walks is a recipe for success. Pairing his already excellent slider with increased velocity to his four-seamer should result in Petty’s strikeout rate taking off. He has the floor to at worst be a back-of-the-rotation starter with the ceiling few other Minor League pitchers possess. Petty is on the verge of a breakout in 2024 and should fly up prospect boards. Get in on him now while you still have the chance.


Allan Castro, OF, Boston Red Sox


Last season the Red Sox had one of the biggest breakout prospects in baseball in Roman Anthony. Why not go back to that well for a breakout pick for 2024. Castro signed with the Red Sox out of the Dominican Republic back in 2019. The team had to wait until 2021 to see him make his professional debut and the DSL results were nothing to write home about. He split the 2022 season between the Complex League and Low-A with a high swinging strike rate and little to no power. Castro was far from on any dynasty manager’s radar.

That is starting to change now after a strong 2023 season. The switch-hitting outfielder showed off plus speed and a vastly improved hit tool in 112 games split between Low and High-A. One part of Castro’s game that has always been apparent is his excellent plate discipline. He has a strong understanding of the strike zone and is more than willing to take a walk. The previous issue was deep counts often put him in a position to strike out thanks to his suspect contact skills. After posting a swinging strike rate above 20% in 2022, Castro nearly cut this number in half in 2023. His strikeout rate fell from 24% to 18.3%. He already had an ultra-smooth swing path (especially from the left side) producing plenty of line drives. The improvements to his contact skills have put his hit tool firmly in the plus category.

Strong plate discipline, plus speed, and a now a plus hit tool seem like a pretty solid base for a prospect nobody is talking about. Now, let’s get to what makes him a prime breakout candidate for 2024. Castro’s game power has yet to fully show up. He hit just three home runs in 2022 and finished 2023 with just seven. These are not the kind of numbers that project well at the Major League level. The interesting part is how Castro’s numbers started to shift later in 2023.

Considering Castro is just 20 years old, he is constantly developing. His open stance from the left side and big leg kick from the right side both figure to help produce more in-game power than we have seen up to this point. Digging deeper, it seems that Castro was able to unlock something as the season moved along. From July 30th forward, Castro hit four home runs and slugged .471. Prorating just those final 133 plate appearances over a 600 PA season, Castro would be on pace for 18 home runs. Notably, his pull percentage increased by 5.4% after his promotion to High-A. This will help him unlock even more game power moving forward.

Castro is flying completely under the radar in dynasty leagues. While everybody obsesses over Roman Anthony, Castro will be the next Red Sox prospect to break out. The power is coming. He may never be a threat for 30 home runs, but a 20/20 player with strong OBPs is not out of the question. Buy in now before Castro breaks out in 2024.


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