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6 Fantasy Baseball Draft Deep Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups

6 Fantasy Baseball Draft Deep Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups

Happy 2024 Major League Baseball season and welcome back to the fantasy baseball season. It’s great to be back bringing you deep sleepers and waiver wire pickups for the six-month crucible that is this endeavor we love. It’s not for the faint of heart, nor those who don’t turn over every stone to find that player who could be the difference in winning a fantasy title.

One major reminder: This is a weekly feature highlighting several players who are rostered in under 30% of leagues. We go deeper than most waiver wire columns. I’ll do my best to offer up more than the standard intro, though some weeks it’s important to get to the point. While it’s fun to be entertaining, we’re here to inform and recommend players. Before going further, special thanks to amigo Pat Fitzmaurice for inviting me to come back to produce this feature.

That being said, let’s jump into the first deep sleepers of the 2024 season. Buena suerte (best of luck) and let’s get to it!

Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers & Waiver Wire Pickups

Kris Bryant (1B, OF – COL): 24%

The 2016 National League MVP has played just 122 games the past two seasons but appears to be healthy going into the season. He’s hit three homers in spring training, after hitting 10 in 80 games last year. The Rockies don’t have a formidable lineup but any bat widely available playing in that hitter haven of Coors Field is worth the flier. Especially as long as he’s healthy.

Jackson Merrill (SS – SD): 24%

Jackson Merrill bypassed Triple-A and made his big league debut in the just-completed Korea series barely a few weeks short of his 21st birthday. He hit the ball hard and went 2-for-5 with two runs scored in the wild 15-11 win over the Dodgers to split the series. Merrill is playing center field, so dual eligibility will be key, as it will be if he comes close to the 15 homers and 15 steals he amassed across two levels in the minor leagues last year. There’s not much depth on the Padres’ roster, so there could be plenty of runway for Merrill to stay in the big leagues.

Colt Keith (2B – DET): 19%

Colt Keith dominated the top two levels of the Tigers’ minor league system to the tune of 27 home runs, 101 RBIs and a .306 average with a .932 OPS. Now it looks like he’s making the progression to the big leagues and will likely start the year in the lower part of a Detroit lineup that has some promise. Grab him now before others see his debut and clamor to pick him up.

MacKenzie Gore (SP – WAS): 26%

MacKenzie Gore has a 95 miles per hour (MPH) fastball and has improved breaking stuff that were major reasons he went as the No. 3 pick in the 2017 MLB Draft out of high school. His raw stuff helped him strike out 151 batters in 136.1 innings last year for a bad Nationals team. Gore struck out 10 Mets in 4.2 innings in a spring start on March 17. He’s struck out 19 hitters in 15.1 innings overall in spring training. The power lefty is primed for a breakout, even on a rebuilding Nationals team.

Griffin Canning (SP – LAA): 20%

In Griffin Canning’s final seven games, he compiled 38.2 innings, allowing 35 hits and struck out 43. He sported a 3.49 ERA, which considering how pitching has gone for the Angels, has to be considered a triumph. He’s allowed three runs in spring training and is locked into a rotation spot with the Angels. He may not be a big source of wins but he could be a good streaming pitcher during the season who could stick around for the long run.

Gavin Stone (SP – LAD): 19%

Gavin Stone was batted around to the tune of a .338 average and a 9.00 ERA across 31 major league innings in 2023. It was not the debut most were predicting for the former top pitching prospect for the Dodgers. An early-season injury was blamed for causing a mechanical flaw, which has been remedied (apparently). Stone has pitched well in spring training, posting a 0.93 ERA and striking out nine batters in 9.2 innings to win the Dodgers’ No. 5 starter job. With that offense supporting him, all he’ll need to do is go five innings and he could be a cheap source of wins while available in more than 80% of leagues.

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