Welcome back to Hitter Profiles for the 2024 fantasy baseball season.  If you are reading this then you are just as excited as us here at Razzball for baseball to get back underway.  This preseason our profiles start by circling around the league going division by division outlining some of my favorite buys and sells by ADP.  For those of you who into the podcast world, fellow Razzball expert Mike Couillard and I are welcoming guests every week to talk through all the early ADP insights on Cards & Categories with the AL Central version welcoming Keelin Billue.  So without further ado let’s walk through one of the most wide open divisions in baseball to pick some boom and bust candidates in the AL Central!

Important Note: All views focus on 5×5 rotisserie formats with NFBC ADP and Yahoo position eligibility.


Vinnie Pasquantino – Royals (ADP 163)

Vinnie was a sleeper in many circles going into the 2023 season.  Unfortunately, a shoulder injury from the prior year was not fully healed and came back to torpedo his breakout campaign.  Vinnie himself has owned this offseason that he is finally healthy for the first time in the past year and a half.  In 2023, he hit at a 20-25 homer pace with a xBA sitting at .282 while walking nearly as often as he struck out.  There is easily 30 homer power in the bat despite his home ballpark holding him back ever so slightly.  Vinnie P. Will find himself in the #2 or #3 hole this season for the Royals while using the DH role to stay in the lineup every day.  It is easy to see a season with 30 homers, .285 average, and 180 R+RBI which is much more exciting than guys like Yandy Diaz or Alec Bohm at this point in the draft.

Kerry Carpenter – Tigers (ADP 211)

One of my favorite values heading into drafts in 2024 is Kerry Carpenter or KCarp as we will coin him.  A cleanup hitter with 25 homer power already on display that will hit between .260 and .270.  He is going in round 18 providing too much value to pass up.  With a fly ball rate in the mid-30s there is still room for power growth if KCarp leans into the launch angle movement.  Coming into his age 26 season, we have seen improvement in his patience at the plate and can only expect more maturation with another season in the bigs.  Hiding in Detroit is certainly holding down prices as he can easily outperform guys such as Steven Kwan, Brandon Nimmo or Tommy Edman.

Ramon Laureano – Guardians (546)

Digging deep for our last buy of the AL Central, we are looking at a player that should be free at drafts or sitting at Mr. Irrelevant status at best.  Ramon is projected to bat 5th in a Cleveland lineup this season that was top five in steals last year.  He has always teased speed and could be a 20-steal threat without too much effort.  Is he a burgeoning star that we once hoped he was going to be?  No.  However, a bat that could manage a 15/20 season in a league where speed is going to be at a premium for fantasy owners, Laureano is a guy to watch and there will be worse throws of the dart at the end of the draft.



Edouard Julien – Twins (ADP 213)

Julien had helium last year when he made his debut and teased fantasy owners with his power by hitting 16 long balls in 109 games.  That said, he has been a bit divisive at draft tables this spring going as high as pick 134.  However, for Julien, there are just too many red flags in his profile to invest at his current ADP.  His 31.4% strikeout rate would have been fifth worst amongst qualified hitters while his xBA sits at .233 rather than his season line of .263.  If we start to look at the defensive questions at second base, we start to invoke Keston Hiura memories from back in 2020.  Give me Whit Merrifield, Jorge Polanco or even Gavin Lux later in the draft than the Julien prices that are sure to disappoint.

Andrew Vaughn – White Sox (ADP 228)

Since we have hit all other teams in the AL Central, it is only right that we end at the bottom of the standings with the White Sox.  Unfortunately, even when you have only four players being drafted in standard leagues, there are still land mines to be avoided.  Vaughn has a pretty swing and draft pedigree to boot, however, at some point, we have to simply look at the results and own that Vaughn has hit his ceiling.  At this point, we have to hope that Vaughn can clear .260 and 20 homers in a rough lineup that will do nothing to help his counting stats.  Give me Justin Turner or Jose Abreu a few rounds later and enjoy the veteran consistency and clubhouse presence.