MLB fantasy sleepers 2024: Our top late-round sleeper picks for each position

Sep 27, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) hits a single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 MLB season is right around the corner, and for those among us looking to participate in fantasy baseball, the time is now to find those special players late in drafts that win leagues.

Obviously, these aren't the best players at their positions, just people to keep an eye on late in drafts who could end up being incredible finds. If you're in a position where late in the draft, you realize you don't have a great catcher or reliever to carry you to that title, here are the people to keep an eye on.

Here are our sleeper picks at each position for the 2024 season.

C: Francisco Alvarez, NYM

Pop! Alvarez has it. Of course, his .209 average from a season ago may deter some people from selecting him. That said, Alvarez is just 22 years old and could seriously improve on his contact. Regardless, Alvarez's power might be the best in the game at the catcher position and that makes him worth a flyer late in drafts.

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1B: Kyle Manzardo, CLE

Any time a prospect has a clear path to playing time, it's a recipe for success. Manzardo has incredible power, evident by his .590 slugging percentage with Columbus. For those concerned with Manzardo's low average, he was dealing with a shoulder injury that could have played a role. Given Manzardo's ADP though, he's essentially free and worth a chance in deeper leagues.

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2B: Colt Keith, DET

Another person yet to play in Major League Baseball at all, Keith earned a massive contract from the Detroit Tigers before ever stepping foot in Comerica Park. That alone should be evidence that the Tigers love this kid.

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3B: Jake Burger, MIA

After his trade to Miami last year, Burger started doing much better in the contact department. There was a drop-off in power, but if he keeps up his pace from when he went to Miami, there's a chance for a .275/30 HR player here.

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SS: Anthony Volpe, NYY

Volpe is still young enough to rebound from his horrendous batting average in 2023. Adding Juan Soto to the Yankees lineup should certainly help Volpe see more pitches he likes. Even if he does not improve though, Volpe provides a solid power-speed combo who could be worth a late pick.

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OF: Taylor Ward, LAA

Ward struggled in the first month of 2023. There's no denying that. Before he was forced to miss the rest of the season after taking a pitch to the face though, Ward had started to turn things around. He slashed .272/.342/.468 with a 119 wRC+. He's essentially the same player he was heading into 2023, but now he's being selected outside the top-200 picks in fantasy drafts. That's value!

OF: Tyler O'Neill, BOS

O'Neill has been the victim of bad luck each of the last two seasons, with many of his expected metrics failing to meet reality. A change of scenery could be exactly what O'Neill needs, and Fenway has been very favorable to right-handed hitters in recent years, overperforming their expected weighted on-base average by 12 points in that ballpark.

OF: Jordan Walker, STL

2023 was a whirlwind for Walker, but despite constantly shifting between the majors and minors, Walker remained undeterred. When he returned to the Cardinals in June, he still posted a solid .277/.346/.455 line. That should only improve in his 22-year-old season.

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SP: Chris Paddack, MIN

If Paddack plays a full season, he boasts a high-end middle-of-the-rotation arsenal, but his biggest problem has been staying healthy. Coming off his second Tommy John surgery, Paddack may not surpass 130 innings this year, but when he plays, he'll be solid. Considering his fastball reached 93.9 in his first spring start, right where it was in 2019, he could be on pace to return to form this season. He's essentially free in fantasy drafts, so anyone looking to take a chance on a starter might consider Paddack.

RP: Mason Miller, OAK

In 72.2 career innings, Miller has 107 strikeouts. That's a 37.8% strikeout rate, almost matching what Devin Williams put up in 2023. Miller has not been named the A's closer, and even if he was, he'd still be ... y'know ... the A's closer, but he has the tools to be an elite reliever for fantasy if given ample opportunity.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB fantasy sleeper rankings 2024: Late-round picks at each position