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3 Fantasy Baseball Draft Busts to Avoid (2024)

3 Fantasy Baseball Draft Busts to Avoid (2024)

Imagine you get home from work as a site reliability engineer, a long day behind you. You are ready to unwind and scroll through the world of news, proud of your day’s work and excited for the opportunity you received today to lead a complicated new project.

After a few minutes of scrolling, you come across an article called “Site Engineers Who Will Bust in 2024”, where a random person has thoroughly researched your work history to write an article about how you are going to underperform on this new project. And gives legitimately solid reasons on why they feel that way.

I imagine that it would be extremely interesting to read about oneself. Or possibly soul-crushing.

Anyways, below are three MLB players I think will bust in 2024 based on their average draft position (ADP).

2024 Fantasy Baseball Busts

Bobby Witt Jr. (SS – KC)

Prior year fantasy drafts since 2021, where people were buying upside/youth in the early first round:

2021 

2022 

  • Projected #5 – Bo Bichette – Finished 19th, played 159 games

2023

Other than Witt Jr., all these top picks had strong lineup protection around them at the time.

Bobby Witt Jr. finishing ninth last year with his lineup around him being guys like Salvador Perez, Maikel Garcia, and MJ Melendez is crazy impressive.

But where is everyone seeing his increase in value coming to take him over players like Corbin Carroll? Carroll had a higher batting average, higher OPS, more stolen bases (and caught less stealing), higher slugging, and higher ISO for a team coming off a World Series run.

I suppose I could see the argument that no pitcher will ever challenge Witt Jr., so he might get on base more and try to steal more bases, and, therefore, he is an elite OBP/SB guy.

But that’s a pretty bad argument for No. 2/No. 3 overall. He’ll finish the season outside of the top 10.

Luis Robert Jr. (OF – CHW)

Out of all qualified batters in MLB, Luis Robert Jr. is one of:

  • Six total that had an out-of-zone swing percentage higher than 40%.
  • Nine total had a swing-and-miss percentage higher than 33%.
  • Twenty-five total that had an in-zone swing-and-miss percentage higher than 21%.

Surprisingly, though, he was in the top 10 for barrel percentage in 2023 at 15.4% — slightly above Ronald Acuna at 15.3%.

Is anyone curious what Luis Robert’s barrel rate was in 2022 as his swing-and-miss and chase rates were similar to 2023?

8.9%.

If I were a betting man (which I am), I’d bet the barrel rate decreases in 2024 while his swing-and-miss/chasing pitches tendencies stay constant.

Give me Adolis Garcia over Luis Robert.

Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY)

Nothing personal, I love his game, grit, energy on the mound, pitch rotation, all of it.

But at 13 overall, you are paying for what Gerrit Cole has already accomplished. Taking on high injury risk and the potential for Cole to sit a few weeks mid-summer as the Yankees have their eye on the postseason is not ideal.

MLB Leaders in Pitches Thrown:

  • 2022: #1 – Gerrit Cole
  • 2023: #1 – Gerrit Cole

Drafting Cole in the top 15 is expecting 200 innings pitched, elite strikeout numbers and the Yankees to win 95 games. Let’s be real, even those who support Cole going in the first round, do you think he’s going to lead the league in pitches for the third year in a row? Something that has never happened this millennium?

I’ll take Jose Ramirez going one pick later. Mid-round pitching is too strong this year to draft a pitcher that early expecting a repeat Cy Young season.

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