2024 Fantasy Baseball: 7 potential draft busts from the infield

Fantasy baseball analyst Dalton Del Don offers up a series of draft-bust candidates per position — first up, the infielders.

Carlos Correa, SS, Minnesota Twins

Correa is more affordable at draft tables coming off a down year, but there’s real concern his health issues continue. He’s played in 150 games and hit 25 homers just once during his nine-year career, hasn’t recorded a stolen base since 2019 and has long-term concerns regarding his ankle (that caused him to fail his physical after signing with the Giants). The Twins also have plenty of intriguing bats who could move Correa down Minnesota’s lineup.

Marcus Semien, 2B, Texas Rangers

There’s no particular reason to doubt Semien, but just realize that some of his substantial fantasy value comes purely through volume. He has an MLB-high five straight seasons (not counting the COVID year) with 700+ plate appearances — only one other player has that many in total since 2010.

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Durability is a good thing! But Semien turns 34 years old this season, and he attempted 49% fewer stolen bases last year despite steals being way up across the league. Semien is a good, not great hitter — THE BAT X projects him to post a wRC+ on par with Brandon Lowe — so drafters spending a second-round pick on him are relying on the volume (and the fleeting bags). I’m fading a player at such a high ADP who needs to keep beating the injury odds while in his mid-thirties.

Ha-Seong Kim, 2B/3B/SS, San Diego Padres

Kim was one of fantasy’s biggest bargains last season, swiping 38 bags after being an afterthought at draft tables. But fantasy managers are counting on the stolen bases to repeat while drafting him as a top-85 pick, and projections call for regression to the 25 range. Kim’s average exit velocity was in the bottom 7% of the league last year, and he’ll be moving to shortstop full-time in 2024.

Kim feels like a “paying for last year’s stats” situation to avoid.

Thairo Estrada, 2B/SS, San Francisco Giants

Estrada hit nearly 25 points higher than his expected batting average (.248) last season when he finished with an average exit velocity and walk rate both in the bottom 4% of the league. San Francisco has decreased home runs for right-handed batters by 17% over the last three seasons, and Estrada is at risk of moving toward the bottom of the Giants' lineup after the team added Jorge Soler and Matt Chapman. Counting stats may be lacking for a player going around pick 150.

Luis Arráez, 1B/2B, Miami Marlins

Arráez has somehow become overrated despite batting average being the most underrated fantasy category. He’s never eclipsed 10 homers or stolen five bases in any season during his career. Arráez also managed just 71 runs scored and 69 RBI last year despite batting .354 over 600+ plate appearances thanks to Miami’s anemic lineup. His expected batting average last season was .329, which is right in line with his career mark (.326). THE BAT X projects a .311 BA with five homers, five steals and modest counting stats over 600+ PAs; that’s not nearly enough production for a top-125 pick.

Willy Adames, SS, Milwaukee Brewers

Adames saw his numbers drop across the board last season despite setting a career-high in plate appearances (638). His .217 batting average was probably a bit unlucky, but Adames’ wRC+ has dropped three straight seasons since leaving Tampa Bay. He had an average exit velocity in the 14th percentile and recorded the worst O-Swing% (35.6) of his career in 2023.

[2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

Adames won’t break your fantasy team, but Ezequiel Tovar offers far more upside at the same ADP.

Zack Gelof, 2B, Oakland Athletics

Gelof’s ADP (138.2) suggests he’s going to come close to maintaining his 30/30 pace (thanks in part to a .331 BABIP) over half a season last year. But he’s a major batting average risk who’s useless against lefties (38 wRC+), likely to hit in the .230s. Counting stats will also be a problem while playing in baseball’s worst lineup and in an extreme pitcher's park, so Gelof looks a bit overvalued in fantasy drafts.