2024 Fantasy Baseball Updates: Jackson Chourio Makes the Spring Training Team and More

By | March 19, 2024

Spring Training isn’t over yet, but with the Dodgers and Padres playing a regular season game in South Korea on March 20 and the U.S. version of Opening Day just over a week away, the teams are very close to finalizing their selections. . In an effort to help fantasy managers distracted by basketball, hockey and NFL Free Agency in recent weeks, here’s a recap of the spring’s biggest storylines.

Late signings

Several veterans have finally found homes in recent weeks.

Cody Bellinger has been very inconsistent in recent years, but there are reasons for optimism after returning to the Cubs after hitting .307 with 26 home runs, 97 RBI and 20 steals as a member of the club last season.

That same optimism is hard to find for Matt Chapman, who will have to overcome the pitcher-friendly nature of Oracle Park in his attempt to bounce back from a disappointing ’23 campaign (17 HR, 54 RBI, 66 R).

Finally, Tim Anderson is worth a last-round dart throw now that he’s the Marlins’ starting shortstop. The 30-year-old was terrible last year (.582 OPS), but had hit over .300 in each of the previous four seasons.

On the pitching side, Blake Snell signed with the Giants on March 18. The southpaw should post strong ratios on a team that calls an offense-suppressive park home, but he will struggle to post a high innings total after missing most of the spring. course.

Meanwhile, Jordan Montgomery continues to see his fantasy value drop as he waits for a contract.

Pitcher pain

The list of starting pitchers who will open the season on the IL appears to be larger than usual this year, as the following players recently succumbed to injury.

The Yankees had a dismal spring highlighted by the loss of Gerrit Cole (elbow) for a few months. Mets starter Kodai Senga should return from a shoulder injury in May, while the Orioles will be without John Means for most of April and Kyle Bradish indefinitely due to elbow injuries. Baltimore is still in better shape than Boston, which has lost Lucas Giolito (elbow) all season.

And the biggest bullpen news is that No. 1 closer Devin Williams is now a late-round pick who will miss about half the season with a back injury. Finally, the Twins will have to sit out the ninth inning for a while, as Jhoan Duran will miss a few weeks with an oblique strain.

Several other starters will miss some time, including Justin Verlander (shoulder), Sonny Gray (hamstring), Taj Bradley (chest), Gavin Williams (elbow), Edward Cabrera (shoulder), Emmet Sheehan (general soreness) and Braxton Garrett (shoulder ).

The biggest injury on the hitting side came to TJ Friedl, who will miss about half the season with a broken right wrist. Elsewhere, Vaughn Grissom (groin) will have to wait until late April to debut with the Red Sox and Rays slugger Josh Lowe is off the schedule due to an oblique injury.

Primo prospects

Check out the following spring stats for some of baseball’s top prospects:

Wyatt Langford, Texas Rangers (ADP 187.1): 5 HR, 17 RBI, 12 R, .378 BA, 1.198 OPS

Langford is perhaps the biggest story of spring training and is a no-brainer to make his Major League debut on Opening Day. He will be a 20-20 player and should be drafted 100 spots ahead of his Yahoo ADP.

Evan Carter, Texas Rangers (ADP 103.0): 2 HR, 2 SB, .325 BA, .878 OPS

While Carter hasn’t been as productive as Langford, he has done more than enough to make the team. His ADP feels appropriate, as he could be called up shortly after Langford leaves the board.

Jackson Chourio, Milwaukee Brewers (ADP 150.8): 0 HR, 0 SB, .286 BA, .661 OPS

Armed with a long-term contract, Chourio looked like a lock for the Opening Day roster before posting uninspiring spring results. The 20-year-old was still part of the team, but his current ADP is starting to feel overly aggressive.

Jackson Holliday, Baltimore Orioles (ADP 210.0): 1 HR, 2 SB, .300 BA, .883 OPS

Holliday, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2022 MLB Draft, is ready for the majors. The bet here is that Holliday makes a loaded Orioles roster, but those drafting the youngster in deep roto leagues may want to pair him with a late-round selection of Jorge Mateo.

Jackson Merrill, San Diego Padres (ADP 240.2): 2 HR, 2 SB, .351 BA, .995 OPS

Merrill is locked into the Opening Day center field job. He has flown under the radar and is an excellent pick at his current ADP.

Parker Meadows, Detroit Tigers (ADP 246.6): 2 HR, 1 SB, .314 BA, .997 OPS

Meadows should open the season as the Tigers’ starting center. With a mediocre .323 OBP in the minors, the challenge for Meadows will be to fill a full-time role and become a 20-20 player.

Colton Cowser, Baltimore Orioles (undrafted): 4 HR, 1 SB, .364 BA, 1.246 OPS

Cowser should play as the fifth overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. It remains to be seen if the Orioles have room to give him a role on their talented roster. Despite a spectacular spring, he may have to spend more time in the minors.

Cruz returns to action

Oneil Cruz has clearly recovered from the broken ankle that limited him to nine games last season. The towering 25-year-old needed just 31 at-bats to tie for the Spring Training lead with seven home runs. Cruz has the highest ceiling of anyone in his current ADP range (72.0), as he could be a 30-30 player this year.

Too bad he can’t skate

While AJ Puk would have been a great name for a hockey player, he continues to pitch for a living, and he’s turning heads in the Marlins camp after moving from reliever to starter. So far in spring training, Puk hasn’t allowed a run over 8.1 innings while striking out 15 batters. The southpaw is destined to be part of the April rotation and should have at least double his current Yahoo selection rate of 23%.

Another jumper on the pitching side is White Sox left-hander Garrett Crochet, who has struck out 12 in nine shutout innings. The 24-year-old has earned Opening Day honors and could have enough skills to overcome his lackluster supporting cast and become a fantasy asset.

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