Why You Must Have These Platoon Hitters In Your Fantasy Baseball Lineup

Why you should consider platoons in deeper leagues.

We need to talk about platoons.

Platoons, usually, for most real-life baseball teams are utilized as an amalgamation to replicate above-average production at a position when acquiring one player to be a constant, above-average producer at that position isn’t a possibility.

Of course, this route, as is the case with fantasy, can tax a roster from an available roster spot standpoint, but when done correctly, the results can be extremely impactful. Just look at the San Francisco Giants of a few years ago, who did this with aplomb with the likes of LaMonte Wade Jr., Joc Pederson, Darin Ruf, Austin Slater, and Steven Duggar among others.

It’s a slightly less common practice in the fantasy world, especially in leagues where bench spots are limited and rosters a bit more constricted.

But, for those with slightly more forgiving bench allotments, particularly in deeper leagues, it can pay serious dividends, particularly with under-valued (at least in fantasy terms) players.

Just take last year alone.

If you rostered say, Connor Joe (who was markedly better against left-handed opposition) and Jake Fraley (who sees almost all his work against right-handed pitching), and rotated the two at one outfield spot last season, you would’ve come away with the following production.

Now, granted, the caveat here is that because they’re on different teams when Joe faced a left-hander and Fraley faced a right-hander didn’t always line up. That part of threading this needle is slightly more tricky. However, the potential results are significant, especially in leagues where bench options become less plentiful with additional teams.

2023 Stats

Per FantasyPros data, Joe was rostered in 42% of leagues last season. Fraley? He was rostered in 12% of leagues.

That combined data might look familiar. Familiar in the sense that it was very much in line with a number of impact fantasy players who were probably selected in the very early rounds of the draft last year.

Notable Hitters In 2023

*All rostered rate data via FantasyPros.

Now, there are some plate appearance discrepancies here, but you get the drift. If you’re looking to replicate the counting stats of elite players in a deeper league, platoon bats might be the way to go. Additionally, it is worth noting, that it’s harder to do this across the board, even in a league with slightly fewer bench spots, making it more of a strategy for one or two positions. Also of note, injuries can certainly upset the apple cart.

And while this strategy is also probably a bit easier with outfielders or perhaps first basemen for fantasy managers to pull off considering that’s where many platoons occur in real-life baseball, the strategy isn’t without potential. Especially for just getting that type of production onto your roster. It’s a tightrope to walk to be sure, but the payoff could be immense.

With that in mind, if you’re considering the strategy, here’s a look at some of the best platoon options in the league at the moment.

** All 2024 rostered data is via FantasyPros.


Jarred Kelenic – 26%**


Kelenic is on the verge of qualifying as someone who pops up in the deep league waiver wire column, which is mildly shocking considering the tear he’s been on to start the year.

Some of the counting stats aren’t there yet, but Kelenic is batting .426 with a .517 on-base percentage, four runs scored, and three RBI in his first 29 plate appearances. The average and on-base percentage are nowhere near sustainable, especially not with an eye-watering .706  (!)BABIP so far.

But, Kelenic is also sporting a .346 xwOBA and an 11.8% barrel rate so far, something that should play well in a deep Atlanta lineup, even when some statistical regression hits. Translation? The fantasy production is coming.

Kelenic has always had plenty of potential, it’s what made him one of the elite’s elite prospects prior to his Major League debut. So in that sense, his torrid start is nothing new. It’s also not surprising for those who saw Kelenic hit .308 with seven home runs, a .982 OPS, and a 169 wRC+ in 101 plate appearances before May of last season.

Furthermore, there was also the argument that putting Kelenic on a team that doesn’t play at pitcher-friendly T-Mobile could improve his numbers considerably.

Jarred Kelenic’s 2023 Splits



But that shouldn’t, and doesn’t, take away from the fact that Ryan Mountcastle crushes left-handed pitching. Even if his home splits against left-handers were his overall splits for both home and on the road, he’d still be anywhere from very above average to elite when hitting against left-handers.

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.

One response to “Why You Must Have These Platoon Hitters In Your Fantasy Baseball Lineup”

  1. Aaron says:

    I play in a lot of daily leagues, and used Fraley a lot last year. But this year, using Fraley and Kerry Carpenter has been frustrated. They are getting more off days than last year, and the off days don’t overlap as much as I’d like. For me, the headache of switching in and out the players wasn’t worth it. In my draft and holds, I am utilizing this strategy but looking at the series matchups instead of the game matchups.

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