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Top 150 Hitters For Fantasy Baseball 2024: Week 2 – 4/11

Top 150 Hitter Rankings for 2024 fantasy baseball.

We are almost 10% of the way into the season, which is not very much but more than enough to shuffle things a bit in the second half of the list. Some of the higher-ranked guys moved a little too, but I’m not ready to make big changes for most of them unless their role has changed or they’ve been injured.

Also, Taxi Squad is coming soon! I want to revamp the format and style and need just one more week to get it where I want it.

  • As a reminder, these rankings are geared toward a standard, daily, 12-team H2H redraft league, as that is typically the most popular fantasy baseball format. They will only factor in the five standard categories: Runs, RBI, Home Runs, Batting Average, and Stolen Bases.
  • I would recommend not paying super close attention to the specific ranks of each player, and honing in more on the respective tiers that they’re in. Each tier represents a grouping of players that I think could arguably perform at a similar level, and/or carry similar levels of risk in terms of injury concerns or playing time obstacles. If Player X is ranked at #55 and Player Y is ranked at #65, but they’re in the same tier, it means that I personally like Player X a lot better, but think there’s a valid argument to be made for Player Y performing just as well.
  • I take rankings like this as more of an art than a science. Every person’s rankings are influenced by their own biases, strategic philosophies, determinations of risk, and projections. It’s why no two rankings are ever exactly alike. My way of evaluating and ranking players has worked out well for me over the years, but it might not be a great fit for you. I can’t possibly predict your team’s specific needs, your league mates’ player evaluations, or your current waiver wire, and if I could it’d be weird. In a bad way.
  • Yes, these ranks vary from the official PL positional rankings that I also developed in the off-season. That’s because these are only mineno input from others. This is a safe space for me where I answer to no one but myself…and you if you leave a comment.
  • I’m doing my best to use five starts or 10 appearances as the threshold for positional eligibility. I have not included presumed eligibilities based on likely new positions, but once those eligibilities are earned I’ll add them in. This is just a maintenance thing and we will update eligibility throughout the season. Feel free to let me know if I’m missing any!

 

Ranking Philosophy

 

To keep things in the same ilk, here are a couple of notes on how I generally evaluate hitters before we dive in:

 

  • In 12-team formats, I just don’t see much value in guys who only provide stolen bases. It’s an important category, especially in Roto, but in shallower formats, there are too many other (and better) ways to get the steals you need without sacrificing production in the other categories.

 

  • If I want to get some insight on whether what I’m seeing is new or if it’s just normal fluctuation, I’d use my favorite tool—the rolling chart, which I’ll also reference as appropriate. You can also get rolling charts from sources like FanGraphs or Baseball Savant. If you have any questions about how to do that or how to read these charts, reach out to me!

 

  • No stat is an island and they should all be taken in proper context. For ranking purposes, the primary starting points I use are plate discipline, wRC+, quality of contact metrics (also known as Statcast batted ball data), lineup context, and the skills we can measure using tools such as our PLV Hitter Attributes. I also use various projections (some free, some I buy) and dollar value generators.

 

  • Positional eligibility, and specifically multi-eligibility, is neat but also isn’t a huge factor in many 10- and 12-team leagues anymore due to the prevalence of multi-eligible players. It’s of more value in deeper contests like the NFBC, or in leagues with limited roster moves (draft and hold leagues, transaction limits/costs, extremely short benches, etc.), but even then the value is fairly situational and context-dependent.

 

  • On a similar note, I don’t penalize players for only qualifying in the utility slot. At most, it is a mild inconvenience if a DH-only player is available at a great value and you already have filled your utility spots.

 

  • Anyone talented enough to make it to the big leagues can be brilliant or putrid for 50 to 100 at-bats—regardless of true talent. Heck, it could even last a month with no change in potential or skill. It also could be wildly meaningful. We can’t and don’t know which of these will be true until it’s over, though track record, scouting, and trends give us hints.

 

  • If you’d like input on a player or have any feedback, your best bet is to reach out to me on the website formerly known as Twitter (@ifthechufits) or in the comments!

 

Read The Notes

 

  • These rankings talk about what I generally project for a player, but these rankings are not projections. They include projections but also take into account performance risk, injury risk, team context, ceiling, and floor.

 

Check out the Hacks & Jacks podcast featuring Scott Chu and Joe Gallina, which also happened to be a finalist for Best Baseball Podcast of 2021 by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA)!

I also host an AMA in the r/fantasybaseball subreddit every Friday (starting sometime in late March) starting around noon ET that lasts through the rest of the day and into the weekend, so feel free to join the fun and ask questions or make comments.

 

Tier 1

 

 

Tier 2

 

  • Just a reminder that we are still waiting to reach the 10% mark of the season. I’m going to be leaving these players in their current place until or unless an injury or role change happens. We’ve got over 90% to go, folks.

 

Tier 3

 

  • I was very tempted to move Michael Harris II up these rankings despite it being so early because I’m excited to see what a season from him looks like when we also have him producing in April.

 

Tier 4

 

  • No, I’m not worried about Francisco Lindor yet. We’ve seen slow starts before and things work out fine. He was unlikely to repeat his 2023 success and this ranking already reflects that.

 

Tier 5

 

  • The ratios are still ugly, but seeing Jazz Chisholm Jr. with a home run and three steals over the last five games while limiting the strikeouts is highly encouraging. Jazz is insanely talented and while he will be streaky, the overall outcome has Top 25 overall upside if he stays healthy.
  • It’s still that time in the season where a good series seriously changes a stat line, and that’s what happened with Elly De La Cruz against the Brewers. Elly racked up six hits (including a double and three home runs), stole a base, and (most importantly) didn’t strikeout out at all. The strikeouts might always be something that makes us pause, but the power and speed upside remains as tantalizing as ever.

 

Tier 6

 

  • The Washington Nationals lead the league in stolen bases with 25, which is more than twice as many as the eighth-place team. That bodes well for everyday leadoff man CJ Abrams, who exploded in the second half last season when the Nats finally decided to let him run. Abrams has three steals so far (which he got all in one day), but he’s putting the ball in play and racking up hits everywhere, so don’t be discouraged. Abrams had just nine steals by the end of June in 2023 (and only three in all of April) so he looks to be in a much better position to reach 50 steals than he was a year ago.
  • Paul Goldschmidt is almost certainly not washed up out of nowhere, but it’s worth asking if the 2023 stat line was a harbinger of things to come. Most projection systems expect him to repeat those numbers, which still puts him in the Top 50 hitters, but only by a little.

 

Tier 7

 

  • Nolan Jones suffers because the team around him inspires absolutely zero consequences, and the 40.4% strikeout rate isn’t helping either. Strikeouts were a major problem for Jones in his minor-league career. I hoped that six games at home would boost the strikeout numbers, but unfortunately, the strikeouts continued at the same pace in Coors and he slugged just .273 in those games. It’s not a panic yet, but it’s not a good feeling, either.

 

Tier 8

 

  • I underranked Marcell Ozuna. This lift is to correct that error.
  • Nick Castellanos is making contact just fine and is hitting the ball fairly hard most of the time (despite the fact that he has zero barrels), but it’s also a lot of fly balls and infield flies which crush his actual production. Castellanos has been a bit of an enigma for several years now, but the end result should still be a Top 75 hitter with Top 50 upside.

 

Tier 9

 

  • Christian Encarnacion-Strand has started out with too many groundballs, but that should correct itself with time as it’s not an issue he’s ever had in his professional career for very long. All it will take is a hot week to get him back on pace for 30 or more home runs. Stay the course, especially since Encarnacion-Strand is playing every day and hitting third.
  • Christopher Morel appears to have locked himself into the third base job for now and also the fourth spot in this lineup. This is an ideal outcome and a reward for his hot start with low strikeouts. You should still be very prepared for a slump from Morel, and until we see that slump and how he responds, it will be hard to change the projections too much.
  • Jarren Duran stayed in the leadoff spot against two lefties this week and that’s exactly how Duran can get to 15 home runs and 30 steals. The 15 home runs are probably the toughest part of that projection as he still has just a single extra-base hit to his name, but Duran should at least get to double-digits.
  • Isaac Paredes is a pulled fly ball machine and I love it. Some expected stats will always underestimate him as they won’t account for his batted ball direction, but Paredes knows exactly how to make sure a 330-foot fly ball isn’t an easy out.
  • Tyler O’Neill is healthy and the new situation appears to be suiting him well. The longer he stays healthy, the better chance he has of knocking on the door of the Top 50.

 

Tier 10

 

  • It’s hard not to be excited about the start from Anthony Volpe, who is taking walks and avoiding strikeouts much better than he did in 2023. The results are a bit lucky so far as it’s not going to be possible to keep up a .372/.460/.581 batting line with a 23.5% fly ball rate and a 26.5% pull rate, but those numbers will correct themselves a bit with time. The real exciting news, though, was that Volpe found himself in the leadoff spot on Wednesday and got on base three times. Volpe’s true breakout would be keeping this kind of plate discipline while in the leadoff role, and I am very excited that he’s been given a look in that spot so early in the season.
  • Spencer Steer started hot in 2023 as well, so this doesn’t necessarily change too much for us yet. Staying successful against the fastball will be key to being consistent in 2024.
  • A healthy Taylor Ward continues to be fun, so enjoy it while it lasts.
  • Max Muncy can’t fall too far while batting fifth for the Dodgers, but that 41.7% strikeout rate is hard to look at. If they can’t get it sorted out, when does Muncy start falling in the lineup and getting more days off against lefties? Hopefully never, but it’s a legitimate concern with how deep this lineup is.

 

Tier 11

At this point, the rankings are changing mostly from attrition. There is roughly a net +10 to all rankings from here on out.

  • I’m not sure why Alec Bohm is walking so much to start the season, but I do know that the zero barrels, a 64.5% ground ball rate, and a 29% hard-hit rate are not exactly an encouraging start to the season. It’s too early to get overly concerned about batted ball data, so here’s to hoping that Bohm gets the ball in the air with some oomph by the end of the month.
  • Vinnie Pasquantino finally gave us his first two extra-base hits of the season on Wednesday (raising his wRC+ from -2 to 60 in one day), and he’s walking more than he strikes out, so the stuff that we want Vinnie P to be is still in there, he’s just not shown us much of it yet. The only part that scares me is the decline we saw in 2023 combined with the slow start, but he’s still a Top 100 hitter for me and should be held in just about every situation.
  • Nico Hoerner’s original rank assumed he’d be aggressive on the base paths and bat leadoff every day for the Cubs. Neither has happened at all as Hoerner was caught in his only stolen base attempt and has hit seventh in the order most of the time. It’s really hard to see a path to the 98 runs and 43 steals Hoerner had in 2023, and honestly, a path to 85 and 30 is pretty foggy too.

 

Tier 12

 

  • I hoped we’d see Thairo Estrada hit higher in the order for the Giants, but alas, he seems stuck in the sixth and seventh spots for a lineup that isn’t all that deep. Estrada spent pretty much all of his 2023 hitting in the top three spots, so the move down would hurt his runs and RBI, and the lost plate appearances are not helpful for a guy who already had a very spotty health record coming into the season.
  • Lars Nootbaar will return to action this weekend, but he falls slightly as I worry that his role will be smaller than I originally hoped with how successful Donovan has been to start the year in the leadoff role.
  • I’ll keep Byron Buxton in the rankings for a little while longer, but if it’s still high strikeouts and low walks over his next 10-15 games, then I’ll be fully moving on.

 

Tier 13

 

  • I still like Edouard Julien, but I think he’s going to be platooned still and the strikeouts are still too high. I really hoped the long stretch of righties would pad this stat line more than it has, but again, I still like him long-term.
  • Maikel Garcia is still hitting the ball hard and leading off every day, but the home runs were never going to continue at anything like the pace we saw in his first six games. A 15-home run and 30-steal season is the ceiling here, with a 10-home run and 25-steal season being more likely. Garcia’s batting average should be pretty good too, something like the .272 we saw last year.
  • Michael Conforto is a power hitter with a fairly extensive injury history and a low strikeout rate. We saw a lot of him in 2021 and 2023, and it wasn’t very good. It’s been a nice start to 2024, but it’s hard to envision Conforto returning to the 30-home run guy he was earlier in his career. 20-25 would be a great success. OBP leaguers can be a little more excited, though, as his career .353 OBP should be quite achievable.
  • Will Benson is hitting second at times and has pop and speed, which is cool. The batting average will be ugly and the strikeouts will cap his upside, which is not cool. I’d avoid him in points leagues or if you want something stable, but if you’re looking for a lottery ticket, Benson can be that guy.
  • Brendan Donovan could move up even more if he keeps the everyday leadoff gig when Nootbaar returns. His overall upside is capped by the very limited power, but in points leagues, he’s a solid contributor and should be a boost to ratios in other formats.
  • Jackson Holliday has arrived! You should be excited and happy and feel free to add him in all formats. Keep in mind, though, that Holliday has exactly 155 games total in the minor leagues with only 64 coming above High-A. That’s a very short track record to go on, and it will likely take some time to adjust to major league pitching and get into the swing of things. It’s the same caveat we give to all rookies, even the top overall prospects, and there’s a reason we always provide the caveat.
  • José Caballero has legit speed and a solid hit tool, which likely won’t make for exciting counting stats but should be enough for ratios and steals. Caballero has the legs to steal 30 bags for the aggressive Rays, and while he will likely fall short of 10 home runs, he’s a reliable fill-in for your middle infield to boost your ratios and speed. It’s a very Jon Berti-like profile, except Caballero is going to play more (hopefully).
  • J.D. Davis is getting everyday playing time in Oakland and those of you who are desperate at third base after the loss of Josh Jung or Royce Lewis should give him a look, especially if you need to make up the power you expected from Lewis and Jung. Davis is capable of swatting 20-25 home runs in a season with not-awful ratios and should help fill the void until you can find something more exciting. Davis’s matchups should be pretty decent for the next few series, and he doesn’t have a scheduled off day until the 17th. Remember that we don’t need to replace a guy’s production with a single waiver move. We take it one week at a time.
  • Kerry Carpenter has sat against every lefty starter the Tigers have faced, and that’s a bummer. He’s droppable in shallower leagues or those with just three outfield spots.
  • Alex Kirilloff had some hype this week, but remember that the Twins have faced just two lefties so far and Kirilloff sat against both of them.
  • Daulton Varsho started out hitting in the middle of the order, but he’s not long for this list if he keeps struggling and batting ninth.

 

Rank Hitter Position Change
1Ronald Acuña Jr.T1OF-
2Bobby Witt Jr.3B-
3Julio RodríguezOF-
4Mookie Betts2B-
5Freddie Freeman1B-
6Kyle TuckerOF-
7Juan Soto
T2
OF
-
8Aaron JudgeOF-
9Shohei OhtaniDH-
10Corbin CarrollOF-
11Matt Olson1B-
12Fernando Tatis Jr.OF-
13Yordan AlvarezOF-
14Bryce Harper1B-
15Austin Riley
T3
3B
-
16Rafael Devers3B-
17José Ramírez3B+UR
18Ozzie Albies2B-
19Pete Alonso1B-
20Vladimir Guerrero Jr.1B-
21Trea TurnerSS-
22Corey SeagerSS-
23Marcus Semien2B-
24Michael Harris IIOF-
25Adolis García
T4
OF
-
26Randy ArozarenaOF+3
27Francisco LindorSS-1
28Jose Altuve2B+2
29Bo BichetteSS-1
30Mike TroutOF+5
31Oneil Cruz
T5
SS
-
32Bryan ReynoldsOF-
33Kyle SchwarberOF-
34Gunnar Henderson3B, SS-
35Manny Machado3B+1
36Jazz Chisholm Jr.OF+1
37Elly De La Cruz3B, SS+1
38Alex Bregman
T6
3B
+2
39CJ AbramsSS+4
40Christian Walker1B+1
41Adley RutschmanC+1
42Christian YelichOF+2
43Dansby SwansonSS+3
44Paul Goldschmidt1B-5
45Cody Bellinger1B, OF+2
46Nolan Arenado3B+2
47Will SmithC+2
48Gleyber Torres2B-3
49William ContrerasC+6
50J.T. Realmuto
T7
C
+1
51Ketel Marte2B+1
52Spencer Torkelson1B+1
53Triston Casas1B+1
54Xander BogaertsSS+2
55Nolan Jones1B, OF-5
56Anthony Santander
T8
OF
+1
57Marcell OzunaDH+14
58Teoscar HernándezOF-
59Josh Naylor1B-
60Nick CastellanosOF-
61Jake Burger3B-
62George SpringerOF+1
63Seiya SuzukiOF+1
64Willson ContrerasC+1
65Brandon NimmoOF+1
66Andrés Giménez2B+2
67Yandy Díaz1B+2
68Luis Arraez2B+2
69Salvador Perez
T9
C, 1B
+3
70Christian Encarnacion-Strand1B, 3B-3
71Christopher Morel2B, 3B, OF+6
72Jarren DuranOF+13
73Yainer Diaz-
74Lane ThomasOF+5
75Riley GreeneOF-1
76Wyatt LangfordOF-1
77Evan CarterOF-1
78Ian Happ-
79Willy AdamesSS+2
80Isaac Paredes1B, 3B+2
81Jorge SolerOF+2
82Tyler O’NeillOF+17
83Ke’Bryan Hayes
T10
3B
+1
84Anthony VolpeSS+12
85Ha-Seong Kim2B, 3B, SS+2
86Spencer Steer1B, 3B, OF+4
87Bryson StottSS+1
88Taylor WardOF+4
89Max Muncy3B-9
90MJ MelendezC, OF+4
91Cedric MullinsOF-2
92Jackson ChourioOF+1
93Jonathan India2B+2
94Masataka YoshidaOF+3
95Alec Bohm
T11
1B, 3B
-4
96Vinnie Pasquantino1B-10
97Rhys Hoskins1B+3
98J.D. MartinezDH+4
99Lourdes Gurriel Jr.OF+4
100Zack Gelof2B+7
101Jordan WalkerOF+3
102Nico Hoerner2B, SS-40
103Logan O’HoppeC+7
104Ryan Mountcastle1B+7
105Chas McCormickOF+9
106Steven KwanOF+10
107Nathaniel Lowe
T12
1B
+12
108Ezequiel TovarSS-3
109Thairo Estrada2B, SS-11
110Jung Hoo LeeOF+10
111Jeimer Candelario1B, 3B-3
112Jake FraleyOF+9
113Jack SuwinskiOF+9
114Lars NootbaarOF-5
115Bryan De La CruzOF+8
116Jeremy PeñaSS+8
117Starling MarteOF+12
118Brandon Drury1B, 2B-
119Jorge Polanco2B, 3B+7
120Nolan Gorman2B, 3B+8
121Mitch GarverC+9
122Cal RaleighC+10
123Francisco AlvarezC+10
124Josh LoweOF+11
125Ryan McMahon2B, 3B+9
126Parker MeadowsOF-1
127Justin Turner1B+9
128Gabriel MorenoC+9
129Byron BuxtonDH+9
130Edouard Julien
T13
2B
-13
131Matt Chapman3B+9
132Maikel Garcia3B+14
133Royce Lewis3B+11
134Josh Jung3B+11
135Michael ConfortoOF+UR
136Will BensonOF+UR
137Zach NetoSS+11
138Brendan Donovan2B, OF+11
139Jackson HollidaySS+UR
140José Caballero2B, SS+UR
141J.D. Davis3B+UR
142Ceddanne RafaelaOF+5
143Andrew Vaughn1B-30
144Carlos CorreaSS-1
145Josh Bell1B-14
146Kerry CarpenterOF-34
147Daulton VarshoOF-41
148Eugenio Suárez3B+UR
149Alex Kirilloff1B, OF+UR
150Luis CampusanoC+UR

 

Photos by Icon Sportswire | Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here bat Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor and mascot for Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and a 3x FSWA Award Finalist. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, cartoon connoisseur, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

23 responses to “Top 150 Hitters For Fantasy Baseball 2024: Week 2 – 4/11”

  1. Charles Lebert says:

    Jackson Merrill?

    • Scott Chu says:

      It’s a nice start but it’s hard to see a path where he hits more than 15 HR or steals more than 15 bases. Probably more like 12 and 10? It’s a great hit tool, but right now it feels a little like empty ratios at the bottom of the lineup.

      If he moves to the top of the order, maybe I can get more excited. That won’t be easy though and I don’t expect it to happen.

  2. Castrovinci says:

    I was compelled to drop Yoshida for Ivan Herrera before seeing your update. What are you seeing from his hitting profile that is keeping you on board?

    • Scott Chu says:

      Expected stats look OK. More worried about the platoon honestly. Giving it a week. That said, there is no reason to have a backup catcher.

  3. RowdyFellaz says:

    Charlie Blackmon has been looking like his old self and leading off. Tovar behind him has still been hitting. He may not have the power anymore, but should be able to make contact, score runs, and steal bases (especially when Nolan Jones, Elias Diaz, etc start hitting)?

    • Scott Chu says:

      I’d consider him for the taxi squad, but the upside is pretty low as he won’t run, is dangerous to start on the road, and won’t hit more than 15 HRs.

  4. BigMike69 says:

    Fraley doesn’t play every day, but he moved up on the list, while Siri is nowhere to be found? I know he strikes out a bunch, but he’s been solid to date and is running much more than before

    • Scott Chu says:

      As I mention in the notes, the last 2 tiers have a net +10 or so. He didn’t actually move – guys just dropped off who were ranked above him.

      Siri is a perennial Taxi Squad guy. He has speed and some pop along with ugly ratios and an extensive injury history. He’s a solid stream.

  5. Bob says:

    Is Hoerner a drop in competitive 12 teamers? For someone like Caballero, Julien, or Cronenworth?

    • Scott Chu says:

      It’s bold, but man…maybe. I technically still rank him higher, but if you’ve got good options on the wire it’s tempting to move on.

      Give it a week or two more. But be ready.

  6. Bob says:

    Ok so how about losing Rafaela for one of the above options?

    • Scott Chu says:

      I get it, that’s fine. Rafaela has 20/20 upside but if you have a different need you can cycle him out.

  7. Paul says:

    Along that same train of thought, is Stott a drop in a 10-team H2H points league? Looking at Morel (streaky I know) or Donovan.

  8. Bob says:

    Morel man, hitting it hard. GO with him.

  9. Albino Skunk says:

    Bryson Stott has been used exclusively as a second baseman this year. I don’t believe he qualifies at shortstop in any leagues.

  10. Rick Server says:

    With eyes on Buxton not doing so hot, would you move on to someone like Cowser now that he’s actually playing?

  11. Charles Lebert says:

    Thank you for responding to my question.

  12. Charles Lebert says:

    Randy Arozarena was dropped in my H2H Points League (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG). Would you drop Chas McCormick for him? I have the #1 waiver claim. Would you use it here? Thank you.

  13. WayneX says:

    I’m no expert but yes. Arozarena will be good in short time. Babip is holding him back for now.

  14. WayneX says:

    Who do you think is a better IL stash. J. Dominguez or McClain? Thanks

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