There’s no top rookie for 2024 fantasy baseball, if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, and, let’s hope I did, because I’ve already drank the tea so I can’t re-read them. Asked a few people their general take on who the top rookie would be in redraft leagues for 2024 fantasy baseball, and I got a bunch of names. A bunch of names that I will go over in the upcoming weeks. That’s right! Welcome to our 2024 fantasy baseball rookie outlook series where I will cover all the 2024 rookies who will be worthwhile for 2024 fantasy baseball redraft leagues. I am not the dynasty guy. That is Itch. I am not the keeper guy, that’s Jakkers. I’m just your redraft guy. The top rookie for 2024 fantasy baseball is only important, because that’s how I usually kick off this series. Starting ten or so years ago with Mike Trout, I would start with the top rookie each year. If you want to make money in Vegas, I’d bet the field or a long shot this year, because there’s no clearcut guy. I asked a bunch of people who this year’s Corbin Carroll would be and the one name that returned the most votes (two of ten) was Evan Carter. Well, technically, the odds-on favorite was Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but I won’t go over him until he signs somewhere. This is the most divided that people have been on who the top rookie will be for an upcoming year. Last year, there were two possible top prospects with Carroll and Gunnar, and this year there’s, like, a ten-way tie for the top rookie. There is a chance in the spring we see a Jordan Walker-like bump that we saw last year when he started hitting so well in Spring Training, and someone else will emerge, traveling up the draft boards, but there doesn’t seem like there will be a top 75 rookie drafted this year in redraft leagues as of right now, like Gunnar or Corbin last year (barring, again, Yamamoto). This leaves us, brings us really, to Evan Carter, our top rookie because he received 20% of the vote for top rookie! Evan Carter spent time in the three-hole in the stacked Rangers’ lineup in the lineup, so we know what they think of him. So, what can we expect from Evan Carter for 2024 fantasy baseball?
That Evan Carter was already called up also takes the heat off the projections for this post in the “Will he break camp?” or “Won’t he break camp?” nonsense. He absolutely will. This year he was called up for the final month and went 5/3/.306 in 62 ABs. (Since he kept rookie eligibility, he was eligible for a rookie outlook post — lucky him!) Last preseason, Itch said, “A left-handed hitter with smooth actions at 6’4”190 lbs, Evan Carter is a unique player with incredible plate skills. Brandon Nimmo comes to mind, but Carter is on course to be a better athlete with a better hit tool. He slashed .287/.388/.476 with 11 home runs and 26 stolen bases in 100 games at High-A and finished up with a white-hot week in Double-A (.429/.536/.714). I suspect he’ll look like a big leaguer this spring and open in Double-A on a fast track to the majors, while I’m on the fast track to beating up Grey.” What? Itch nailed Carter, and this year before being called up, he went 12/22/.295-ish in 105 MiLB games. Think Itch would agree that steals are about desire and Carter obviosuly desires stealing more than Nimmo. Otherwise, that comp tracks. A 24/.280 hitter plays, then throw in 20+ steals, then eyeballs go wide and I start drooling. But first, a clip:
— MLB Now (@MLBNow) October 17, 2023
Shows you the kind of speed he has, and how he can lace a ball, if you missed watching him in the playoffs. Then, going further back, his first homer:
Tha Carter VI just dropped!
— MLB (@MLB) October 4, 2023
From one rapper to another, here’s what I said when he was called up, “Evan Carter looks about as well-rounded as they come — think 20+ HRs, 20+ SBs, .280+ average. He’s like Kyle Tucker 2: Without Reasonable Doubt.” And that’s me quoting me! Nothing’s changed in my mind for Evan Carter. He started his major league career with a 32% strikeout rate, which worries me a little bit, but, if being real, not much. He walked so much for a rookie (16%), and he might settle in as the Rangers’ number two hitter, if not their three-hole hitter as he was at times in the postseason. He just turned 21 and he looked like he has a solid case to be made for the top rookie for 2024 fantasy. Him and everyone else, as we’re learning. For 2024 fantasy baseball, I’ll give Evan Carter projections of 81/16/72/.264/24 in 541 ABs with a chance for more.