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Fantasy Baseball Draft Busts: Xander Bogaerts & J.T. Realmuto (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Draft Busts: Xander Bogaerts & J.T. Realmuto (2024)

Sometimes it’s more important to know who to avoid than it is who to target in fantasy baseball drafts. Here are a few players that are overvalued in fantasy baseball drafts and best left for your leaguemates to pick.

Hitters to Avoid

J.T. Realmuto (C – PHI) | 73.4 ADP

J.T. Realmuto’s ADP is inflated by his position. Obviously, it’s nice to have the luxury of an above-average hitter at catcher. However, overpaying for that luxury isn’t worth it in this case.

Realmuto is on the wrong side of 30, turning 33 this month, and might have started to show chinks in the armor last season. According to FanGraphs, the right-handed-hitting backstop’s 25.6 K% and .252 batting average in 2023 were his highest and lowest marks since he received a cup of coffee for 30 plate appearances in his big-league debut in 2014.

In addition, his 133 combined runs and RBI were his fewest in a non-pandemic shortened season since matching that mark in 2017. His lineup placement significantly impacted Realmuto’s run production. Only 71 of Realmuto’s 540 plate appearances were fourth or earlier in Philadelphia’s lineup last season. He was most frequently slotted sixth, tallying 232 plate appearances in that spot, followed by logging 184 fifth in the order.

Unfortunately, it might get worse. RosterResource pegs Realmuto as Philly’s No. 7 hitter, further reducing his run and RBI potential in 2024. Realmuto has rock-solid power and can swipe bags. He can flirt with 20 homers, and he should reach double-digit stolen bases for the fourth consecutive season.

Nevertheless, an inherent risk always accompanies donning the tools of ignorance. The nature of the position will also cap how many games Realmuto plays. As a result, he’s played 134, 139 and 135 games and tallied 537 plate appearances, 562 and 540 in the previous three years.

Realmuto is the 47th hitter in ADP. The Zeile consensus projections have him only slightly worse than that, ranking him 52nd for 2024. Yet Realmuto was only the 93rd-ranked hitter in a stellar 2023 by our value-based-ranking (VBR) metric. Last year’s VBR is a more appropriate range for Realmuto’s ADP. So, he should be avoided at his top 75 ADP.

Xander Bogaerts (SS – SD) | 94.8 ADP

Xander Bogaerts was the 52nd-ranked hitter in VBR in his first season on the Padres last year. He’s a fine selection as the 57th hitter in ADP if only looking at his VBR. Obviously, that’s not a prudent way to rank and project future performance.

Bogaerts’s 2023 value was buoyed by a career-high 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts. He hadn’t reached double-digit stolen bases since 2017 before the explosion last year. Bogaerts had an underwhelming 21 stolen bases from 2020 through 2022.

MLB’s rule changes last year probably helped Bogaerts, but a repeat of a career year is a tall order. Furthermore, according to Baseball Savant, the veteran infielder’s sprint speed and home plate to first base times were down last year, making his outburst flukey.

Bogaerts’s batted-ball data in 2023 also didn’t align with his .285 batting average, .440 slugging and 19 homers, evidenced by his .252 xBA and .395 xSLG. His 87.6 mph average exit velocity was his second-lowest mark in his career, and his 111.4 mph max exit velocity was his lowest. Bogaerts’s 7.9-degree launch angle was his lowest since 2015.

Moreover, PETCO Park won’t help Bogaerts’s offensive production. It is last in park factor for runs (0.860) and depresses homers (0.931), singles (0.953), doubles (0.891) and triples (0.593). Bogaerts has an across-the-board profile that lacks a standout fantasy statistic, and a dip in homers and stolen bases would dramatically hurt his fantasy value. Finally, Bogaerts is moving to second base this season, a position he’s never played in the majors. If he doesn’t make a seamless defensive transition, he could conceivably carry that over to the plate. Although, that’s only an added reason to fade Bogaerts beyond the statistical case already laid out.

Expert Fantasy Baseball Draft Advice


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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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