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2024 Fantasy Baseball bold predictions

With MLB Opening Day coming on Thursday, we figured it would be fun to get the Rotoworld Baseball crew together and gather some fantasy bold predictions for the 2024 season.

This isn’t exactly scientific. If takes a little bit of faith to see the path to fantasy stardom, but you’ll at least see some of the names we are high on going into the season. Perhaps you still have a last-minute fantasy draft this week. Maybe move them up your draft board or take a late-round flier. Heck, depending on the depth of your league, some of these guys might still be on the waiver wire. If our writers are correct (or even close to correct), it could pay off big this season.

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Eric Samulski’s Bold Prediction: DL Hall finishes as a Top-40 starting pitcher

Hall is currently my most rostered player, so it feels only fitting he’s the topic here. Over the last two weeks of NFBC Main Event drafts, Hall is the 108th pitcher off the board, going at pick 260. Hall threw almost 70 innings as a reliever in 2023 with Baltimore, so I think 140 innings is well within reach now that he’s starting in Milwaukee. I also love his arsenal after he made some tweaks last year, including changing his spot on the rubber to get downhill most consistently. He gets 7.0 feet of extension on his 95 mph four-seam and throws it up in the zone often, which should lead to strikeouts. Last year, he also tweaked in his slider mid-season to be four mph harder with a heavier actual break. It still has much of the same horizontal movement, but it’s moving much more vertically which caused the pitch to see a huge bump in Stuff+ grades and I think it will be a real weapon for him in 2024. Hall also possesses a true plus change-up he can use against righties, so I think he has the talent and role to lead to a strong season. - @SamskiNYC

Chris Crawford’s Bold Prediction: Evan Carter will be a Top-40 fantasy player in 2024

Wyatt Langford has been the talk of the Cactus League and understandably so, but it’s his teammate Carter who has the best chance for fantasy success in 2024. The 21-year-old was outstanding after being a late addition to the roster in 2023, and he more than held his own while often hitting in the middle of the lineup for the Rangers during their championship run. On top of having arguably the best hit tool of any prospect in baseball, Carter has begun to tap into plus power in his left-handed bat, and he has the type of speed you see in players who rank among the league leaders in stolen bases. Those skill sets on top of playing in one of the best lineups in baseball give Carter a chance to be a fantasy star, and there’s plenty of reason to think he can reach those lofty heights in 2024. - @Crawford_MILB

Jorge Montanez’s Bold Prediction: Zach Neto goes 20/20 and finishes as a top-100 fantasy player

This would make Neto one of the biggest bargains, going outside the top 250 picks in fantasy drafts this spring. The 23-year-old shortstop made his debut with the Angels last season, just one year after the team selected him 13th overall in the 2022 amateur draft. Neto totaled nine home runs with five steals across 329 plate appearances, flashing some real power and speed upside before he was hampered by oblique and back injuries. And there’s upside in his batting average, given his contact and hard-hit rates. He’s looking healthy with a strong performance in camp. And the Angels have been one of the more aggressive teams on the bases this spring, leading the majors in stolen base attempts. Neto has been among the team’s leaders, indicating he could be looking to run more in the regular season. Overall, he profiles as an all-around five-category contributor whose value can well exceed his draft price. - @Roto_Nino

George Bissell’s Bold Prediction: Jared Jones finishes as a top-50 fantasy starting pitcher

Jones has been justifiably overshadowed nationally by last year’s top-overall pick Paul Skenes, but appears poised to open the season in Pittsburgh’s starting rotation after putting together an extremely impressive spring, allowing just two unearned runs over 11 1/3 innings with a 10/4 K/BB ratio in Grapefruit League action. The 22-year-old righty boasts triple-digit fastball velocity and pairs it with a low-90’s slider along with the occasional changeup and curveball. Unlike most young starters, Jones doesn’t come with any immediate workload concerns as he’s eclipsed 120 innings each of the last two years in the minors. His secondary offerings and command require some improvement if he’s going to blossom into a legitimate upper-echelon fantasy starter down the road, but he’s a realistic top-50 fantasy starter right out of the gate and is available on the waiver wire in the overwhelming majority of fantasy leagues entering the season. - @GeorgeBissell

Matthew Pouliot’s Bold Prediction: Jarren Duran hits 20 homers, steals 40 bases for Red Sox

Duran entered last year with little chance of making the Red Sox and serious questions about whether he figured into their plans at all, but he caught a break when Adam Duvall suffered a fractured wrist and took advantage by hitting .295 with 24 steals in 92 games before a toe injury ended his season in late August. As unfortunate as that injury was, it’s kept his price down this spring, allowing him to be grabbed in the middle rounds of mixed-league drafts. He should prove to be a terrific bargain there. Duran hit just eight homers last year, but he doubled a whopping 34 times in 332 at-bats. Without even factoring in Duran’s very impressive physique, one should assume that some of those doubles will turn into homers last season. He was also one of the game’s most efficient basestealers in going 24-for-26 last season. He’s probably not going to hit .295 again, but if he remains healthy, he has a great chance of finishing as a top-20 outfielder. - @matthewpouliot

Dave Shovein’s Bold Prediction: Kerry Carpenter goes 25/10 and finishes as a top-100 player overall

Carpenter thrust himself into the Tigers’ outfield mix by slugging 30 homers with a 1.025 OPS in just 98 games between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo in 2022, then smacked six more long balls in 113 plate appearances with the Tigers. The 26-year-old slugger didn’t disappoint in his first real taste of the big leagues either -- slashing .278/.340/.471 with 20 homers, 64 RBI and six steals (in six attempts) across 118 games. Some will point to his disappointing finish to the season (zero home runs after August 23) as a sign of regression. More likely though, it was simple fatigue after the longest and most grueling season in his career. He’s set to function as the Tigers’ regular cleanup hitter against right-handers (and some southpaws as well). There’s more than enough power in his bat to fly by that 25-homer mark, and there’s upside in the stolen base department as well as Carpenter owns a 70th percentile sprint speed and wasn’t caught in six attempts during the 2023 campaign. Give him 25/10 with solid counting stats in the middle of an improving lineup and a neutral batting average at worst -- and you have all the makings of a top-100 overall player that’s currently being drafted outside the top-240 players overall on average. - @DaveShovein

Shelly Verougstraete’s Bold Prediction: Kutter Crawford finishes the season as a Top-40 starting pitcher

While things aren’t looking up in Boston these days, fans and fantasy managers alike will love tuning into Red Sox games this summer when Kutter Crawford is on the bump. The 27-year-old earned a spot in their Opening Day rotation this spring, posting an outstanding 1.98 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 13/0 K/BB ratio across 13 2/3 innings. Crawford has an excellent fastball and batters hit just .164/.260/.327 on the offering last season while striking out 36.7% of the time. The pitch also has elite induced vertical break (iVB) and he throws it high in the strike zone, which allows him to get away less than stellar fastball velocity. Things would look rosier if he didn’t call Fenway Park home, but Crawford has the chance to take a step forward and become the pitcher we thought Brayan Bello would be. - @ShellyV_643

D.J. Short’s Bold Prediction: The A’s will have three top-100 hitters in fantasy leagues

The Athletics might not win a lot of games this season, but they’ll have three top-100 hitters in fantasy by season’s end in Zack Gelof, Esteury Ruiz, and, drumroll, Lawrence Butler. Gelof might not be a huge surprise after putting up 14 homers and 14 steals with an .840 OPS over 69 games as a rookie last season. The same goes for Ruiz, who is my odds-on favorite to lead the majors in stolen bases. However, Butler is the name to watch in this group. There’s certainly some questions about his approach after what he did during his first stint in the majors, but he made nice strides between Double-A and Triple-A last year, and it’s been encouraging to see him strike out just five times in 50 plate appearances this spring. The opportunity should be there, and there’s enough category juice in his profile (particularly from a power perspective) to suggest he could prove valuable quickly. - @djshort