Fantasy baseball 2024 second base previews, auction values: Marcus Semien, Matt McLain and more

The rankings are for mixed leagues, standard 5×5 roto. This format is obsolete for many, who play points leagues or head-to-head, or DFS or sim games. I try to note where format makes a difference. But it’s called “standard” for a reason and we have to start somewhere.

The boldface price at the end of each player comment is what I would pay for him in a mono league auction (AL-only or NL-only). They are not projections of roto dollar values. Rather they are bets, calculated with an eye toward constructing a winning team in this format. You will note that my prices are usually (but not always) lowball. I find that sticking to my guns on the low end enables me to pay the extra bucks for the players I really want.

You should not use these prices in mixed league auctions. If you do, you will lose out on great players because they are worth more in mixed leagues. At the same time, you will pay way too much for mediocrity, which is the cardinal sin in mixed leagues.

In a 15-team mixed league, much less a 12-team or 10-team league, there is no getting around the fact that good players will be available for one dollar, or as reserves or free agents. The pool of good players exceeds the number of roster slots. Mediocrity is essentially free. This destroys a linear pricing structure.

Some people like to go into a mixed league auction with projected roto earnings as a guide. That’s fine, as long as you know that in reality you can pay $60 for Ronald Acuña and $60 for Gerrit Cole and not suffer in the end game, as long as you save enough money to top a $1 or $3 bid in the endgame for mediocrities you think will step up. My general aim is to have about $27 left for my final nine players.

The designations Reserve A and B are those not worth bidding on who have a chance to play sooner or later, more or less. By opening day, several of them will be worth auction bids. PFA means Possible Free Agent, or not worth a roster slot now but worth an eye.

No doubt I have missed some prospects who will contribute in 2024, but I tried to note all those reasonably close to 2024 action. Feel free to ask about others, or to comment in general. If I’m wrong, please tell me so we all know better before draft day.

Marcus Semien (TEX)  Has topped 700 PAs five times. This doesn’t mean he won’t get hurt, but it removes all doubt that Semien will play every game that he possibly can — and his manager allows it. It doesn’t seem to hurt Semien’s performance, it must be said.

Speaking of the current managerial penchant for resting players, if there is a performance benefit, I can’t see it under a microscope. Must be one o’ them analytics. And, of course, there are more injuries than ever. But, hey, they may miss games, but they never miss a workout.

Semien swings at strikes and doesn’t swing at balls — near the top on both lists — and he doesn’t miss (7.8% Sw/Str). His hard hits are below average at 37%, but it doesn’t matter because he hit 209 balls hard. Plays this year at age 33, but I don’t see anything changing in the six months since we saw him last. $27

Matt McLain (CIN)  I’m breaking my rule by ranking him at second base — he played more games at shortstop — because he should be drafted at second base. I followed my rule with Mookie Betts, and in many, if not most, cases we are better off with Betts in the outfield. At second base, Betts would rank first.

McLain’s strikeout problem is more about not swinging at strikes, and that’s the best kind of problem. He hit more home runs right of center field than left — just wait until he learns how to pull. He has 90th% sprint speed and a willingness to run. McLain also has strong BA potential (and actual) with his 94th% Sweet Spot rate, which is those batted balls between 8° and 32°, batted balls that are most likely to be hits. He’ll bat in a prominent lineup slot. That makes five cats. Bid him up to at least $26.

Ozzie Albies (ATL)  Great year but just 13 SBs while the world was running more — sprint speed down to 54th%. He ranked 20th among second basemen in the cat. To me, this knocks Albies out of the second round, certainly in 12-teamers. Hitting skills are stable but figure his results to be down a bit. $25

José Altuve (HOU)  Terrific 90 games and kept it up in the postseason, but in AL leagues I’m scared to pay for 120 games, so I don’t typically get him. In mixed leagues, I’ll take a shot in the fourth round — which I doubt will be allowed — and then start looking for his replacement. $20

Nico Hoerner CHC)  Every year I read all the preseason “bold predictions” and laugh at them. I make them myself and laugh at them too. We’re a brave bunch of toe-dippers. I mean, “Nico Hoerner will steal 43 bases,” now that’s a bold 2023 prediction. “Marcel Ozuna will hit 40 home runs.” A reputable journal wouldn’t print them. And yet.

Every reason to expect a rough repeat, indeed I’ll take the over on four of last year’s five cats, all but SBs. Hoerner is a royal pain in the ass at the plate, and on the bases, to every pitcher he faces. Also figures to hit more home runs as he picks his spots to load up, though he’ll never hit a great many. Turns 27 in May with 397 games of experience. Pretty perfect alignment. Hey, NICO HOERNER WILL STEAL 37 BASES! $24

Zack Gelof (OAK)  You always want to watch these phenoms for a late fade, but it didn’t happen here. Power/speed projects to 30/30 in 150 games, the speed half fully backed by 91st% sprint speed. I’m not so sure about his power as he sees fewer of the fastballs that he mashed (.597 slug), and he does strike out too much. But 21-23 HRs will help, and while .267 may be on his high side, BA disaster appears unlikely. He’s in a weak lineup but he bats second.

Hitters on bad teams — bad hitting and bad pitching — get one little edge: they see more “here, hit it” pitches than hitters in more competitive circumstances. Who cares if Zack Gelof hits a home run when it will make the score 9-3? I don’t think the edge amounts to much, but we take what we can get. $23

Ketel Marte (ARI)  Lost most of his speed but he has been successful in 84% of his SB attempts since 2018. Perhaps he will develop more of a taste for them, join in the D-back fun. Not bettable, but he’ll hit, and hit for power, and walk in a prominent lineup slot. $24

Bryson Stott (PHI)  Maybe he’s not great, but he sure is good. Established himself in 2022, then took a step up in every skill except his speed, and there he merely translated his 88th% into 31 SBs. The only negative is his lineup slot, not a severe handicap on the Phillies, but he still takes a little hit. At age 26, I’m paying for a full repeat. $24

Gleyber Torres (NYY)  Good O-zone swing rate of 29.5% coupled with an easy career-low 9% swinging strikes — these things give him a little edge on every pitch, and clearly Torres has the ability to capitalize. Likes to run but his 27th% speed and mediocre success rate warn that the stop sign is likely to go up. Plus, Yankees don’t run, it’s not dignified. But Gleyber can hit. $22

Andrés Giménez (CLE)  Horrible start, not his first, and actually Giménez didn’t really get going until September. But he did, and he got his slugging vs. righties up to .405, and he’s still only 25. Odds are high that we haven’t seen his best yet, but I’m tempering my home run expectation because it is very difficult to hit 20 home runs with such low hard hit rates (27% last year, 31.3% career). But then his career .264 BA is an asset these days and should improve. $21

Ha-Seong Kim (SD)  Testimony to how good a player can be with dreadful hard contact numbers. I’ll go along with the notion that 17 home runs are likely a career high, but he’ll still hit 13 and steal a lot of bases with a respectable BA and a better OBP.

According to, Kim is a lifetime .279 slugger against ground-ball pitchers. But against a finesse fly-balling lefty and a bad bullpen on the road, he’s a DFS lynchpin. Qualifies at shortstop and third base. $19, two more in OBP leagues.

Nolan Gorman (STL)  Tough call, as he offers a huge range of reasonable outcomes. Three True Outcomes in 49.1% of his PAs, that’s more extreme than it looks, plus 48.2% fly balls. Gorman can’t hit for average given the profile, not over time, but once a hitter of this type has established that he is a major leaguer, he usually does hit for average for the extended periods we call “streaks.” These streaks are balanced by slumps of roughly equal length and depth.

Gorman established himself, I think it’s fair to say, and he has already manifested the streak/slump pattern. He finished strong, allaying suspicions that the league caught up to him.

Important: the Cardinals played him against lefties on many occasions when they could have done otherwise, and Gorman handled them. I think it’s safe to say he’s the regular going in. On the other hand there is the very real deep slump possibility. And if Gorman doesn’t hit, his defensive shortcomings won’t help him stay in the lineup.

To me he’s just the kind of guy to pursue in mixed leagues, and to be more wary of in NL leagues. Not to avoid him, by any means, because he has legit 35-HR potential, but to limit my bidding. $16, one more in OBP leagues. 

Trevor Story (BOS)  He never was a great hitter, but he had, and has, great speed, and great power, which was not great coming off the elbow injury. Story is probably entitled to a mulligan, and if so, a 30/30 season is not a pipe dream. But it is unlikely due to 31.4% Ks since leaving Denver, and batting .227 in 137 games for Boston. That might not bounce back much, like .237 is the over/under based on current skills. He’ll bat sixth or seventh, no good for Runs but OK for RBIs.

So I have him at 22/22 with 74/88 hitting .238, for which I will gladly pay $18. That allows him a little down time, and yet I think it gets him at most tables.

Luis Arraez (MIA) Production should increase in a better lineup all year, but he needs that, and maybe more, to earn his pay at his now-higher price. He can’t be expected to hit .354 again. He can be expected to hit his career BA of .326, which is a powerful jolt to the category, enough to raise a roto team BA from .250 to at least .257 in mixed leagues, higher in NL leagues.

My problem with paying up for Arraez is that you can’t have two of him. OK, there aren’t two of him in baseball today, but a few other hitters are going to top .300 without much power/speed, and those guys will be available long after Arraez is gone. And you have to pass on them. $17

Jonathan India (CIN)  I like him but he’s missed one-third of the past two seasons and hit .246. Playing hurt gives him something of a pass. Speed is only a little better than average but he knows what he’s doing and should maintain, likewise his power. Not an asset at second base, they played him at DH in 15 games and we may see a lot more of that, which would tend to keep him healthy, or so we can dream. One thing is certainly true: you can’t get hurt playing the field if you’re not playing the field. $17

Thairo Estrada (SF)  Home park and anemic supporting cast dock him three notches, and thus a $19 player is a $16 player. He’s good and, at age 28, a career year is certainly possible, but to pay more is an act of faith.

Gavin Lux (LAD)  Also qualifies in the outfield in most leagues. He seemed all set to break out but broke down, — a nasty right knee ACL tear. Expected to be ready to take over shortstop in LA. As long as that’s true, Lux is worth bidding almost as high as last year, and gotta figure he’ll be cheaper than that. $14

Tommy Edman (STL)  A .246 BA doesn’t cut it with a 6.6% walk rate. BABIP was down and should bounce back, hard hits and GB/LD rates are fine, and Edman’s occasional power elevates him from the pure rabbit ranks. But he needs to use the opposite field more. And the Cardinals seem to be aware that a lifetime .319 OBP does not belong at the top of the lineup. We are aware that 27 SBs don’t mean as much as they used to. Caution is advised. $14, one less in OBP leagues.

Jorge Polanco (SEA)  I was thinking that this is a good year to get him — he doen’t get hurt every year — but through 2021 his K rate was 17%. Last year it was 25.7%. That radically reduces his chance to hit for average, and he’s unlikely to reach 10 SBs. Seattle cuts chunks off his power and production. Polanco definitely has value, an acceptable fallback in mixed leagues, but I’m not reaching. $13

Jeff McNeil (NYM)  Off year, and played hurt. Should bounce back to .300, with his usual 10/10. The big question for his roto value is where he hits in the batting order, and that is unknown at this time. It could be anywhere from second to ninth. Therefore we can only project McNeil for neutral production, which makes basically four C- cats and one A cat. That makes McNeil a good mixed league fill-in, but unfortunately he is likely to go higher, to someone who has lots of low-average power. Fits the boring regular profile to a tee in NL leagues. $14

Brice Turang (MIL)  Bid assumes he is full-time, which I assume because 1) Turang was a No. 1 pick and they almost always get chances to play every day, and 2) the Brewers haven’t made any moves to muddy the waters.

I had him as a reserve on a couple of teams last year, and he did little besides stealing one base per week — not nothing but not much. Strike zone control was pretty good for a rookie — 21% Ks and 8.5% walks — but his problem is a poor 27% Hard Hit rate along with 39% fly balls.

To me, it is foolish for Turang to even think about hitting home runs when, if he really muscles up and gets lucky, he will hit 11. If he paid no attention at all to power, he would still probably hit 3-5, so what is there to lose in turning himself into an on-base machine, who relentlessly exploits his 96th% speed? Nothing, indeed it would be huge team gain, from a 62 OPS+ to like 115. He’s already a great fielder at second base, et voilà a championship-caliber baseball player.

My fantasy is not bettable, but it is reasonable to expect improvement solely from playing every day. Turang is certainly on the list of those capable of 50 SBs, with a very comfortable current ADP of 425. I rather doubt it will be so easy in March. $13

Brandon Drury (LAA)  Career trajectory is an inverted bell curve, the opposite of expectation. Already 31 years old, but mighty consistent for three years now and should be able to do it again. Hits righties, which certainly helps. Also qualifies at 1B. Solid mixed league MI if you need power, and who doesn’t? $13

Whit Merrifield (PHI)  Sprint speed holding up at 83rd%, but it’s disconcerting that his SB% fell to 72% while the rest of baseball was over 80%. Also flashing red are his deep blue Statcast numbers, plus his defense at both second base and the outfield (where he also qualifies) took a hit. Also bats righty, which the team does not need. I’m low-balling Merrifield. $13

Luis Rengifo LAA)  Also qualifies at third base, shortstop and the outfield. He backed up his 2022 and then some, and his skills appear stable. That said, the reason he starts every year as a part-timer is that although he’s a switch-hitter, he is much better against lefties — 90 points of OPS over his career and .928/.727 last year. Given the roster construction and injury rate in today’s game, plus Rengifo’s versatility, he is almost sure to get almost fulltime PAs, assuming that he stays healthy himself.

It must be worth it for teams to back themselves into such offensive corners — Rengifo against righties is hardly the worst — because they must have that 12th and 13th stiff pitcher! Any offensive edge they’ve given up they get back right there! Science marches on.

Biceps tendon surgery in mid-September ended his season, though he should be fine. Expect more of the same. $12

Luis García (WAS)  The team sent him down during a bad July slump, but he played fairly well before that and I figure they were sending him a “don’t take this for granted” message. Whatever, García played better late and, at age 24, retains all of his BA-plus-moderate-power/speed potential. He’ll have to earn a more prominent lineup slot, but definitely worth a mixed league MI shot when the pickings get slim, even at second base if you are already strong at MI. Solid mediocrity in NL leagues, with a good chance for a little better. $12

Brendan Rodgers (COL)  Call me a bitter old man, but I don’t want a player who has never attempted a stolen base in the major leagues. It’s like an insult to the game. But never say never, and it’s true that 1) Rodgers has never been healthy for a full season, 2) was a prospect of pedigree, and 3) plays half his games in Coors Field. As long as he has the job, you won’t get nothing. $11

Xavier Edwards (MIA)  How fast must a player be to steal 50 bases? Not that fast. Ronald Acuña stole 73 with 65th% sprint speed. A 50+ SB season has been done only nine times since 2015, mostly by elite speedsters like Billy Hamilton and Dee Strange-Gordon, but in 2016 Jonathan Villar stole 62 with 77th% speed.

So based on Acuña, over 200 players can do it. You can throw out 160 of them on playing time alone, knowing that you will be wrong on two or three. That leaves a good 40 possibilities. Me, I think it’s very possible that 10 actually will. The 2023 MLB stolen base success rate of 80.2% is begging for it, and more. Which doesn’t mean it will happen.

Edwards is one who can do it. He stole 32 bases in 93 games in Triple-A. He also hit .351 with just 6.9% strikeouts, which took a hit in the majors of course, but 16.7% Ks is plenty good for his first cup of coffee.

We don’t know what the Fish are planning, but Edwards played pretty much every day down the stretch and made the postseason roster. It’s pretty likely that the team does not have nine better offensive players. I think a $10 bid is safe enough, with plenty of profit potential, though he will go for a buck in many leagues. Almost a must as a reserve pick in mixed leagues. Little power, like near zero, so bear that in mind.

Michael Massey (KC)  Poor defensive grades, but he only made three errors and definitely improved. This is a big year for Massey, as the Royals have prospects who will replace him if he doesn’t develop, but he also improved with the bat. Little roto stud potential, but 20/15 with a respectable BA is not far away. Strikeouts are not too bad at 21.5%, and he’s not helpless against lefties. What he really needs is to use the opposite field more, and hit the ball on the ground more. A 10.1% HR/FB does not justify a 45% FB rate. Between the two, that’s why he hit .229. $10

Jordan Westburg (BAL)  I like him, but not so much this year, and I’d like him more in most other ballparks, as Camden Yards is now tough on righty power. They sat him against some righties because they were in a pennant race, which again figures to happen in 2024 — unless the O’s run away with the division, which is more likely than you might think. I can see a relatively easy path for every team in the division to take a dive this year, except the O’s, and maybe the Red Sox, but then the Sox already took their dive.

Westburg’s problem was too many groundballs to the left side. In his age 25 season. He’s a legit prospect with a .278/.371/.506 minor league slash and will steal a few bases, but if the team decides to play Jackson Holliday, someone else won’t play, and it could be Westburg if he doesn’t start hot. $9

Edouard Julien (MIN)  Came up mashing, righties anyway, so whether he plays against lefties is one question. The other is can he play second base — he wasn’t so hot. Elite 20% walk rate in the minors translated to an elite 15.7% in the majors. Takes a lot of the sting out of 31.4% Ks, but that has to come down or he won’t be a star. Just 10% swinging strikes, which is something to work with. Good reserve pick in mixed leagues if they’ll let you. $9

Brandon Lowe (TB)  Plenty of power but he’s a platoon player in an ordered universe, and the Rays like their universe ordered. And a broken kneecap can be troublesome.  $9

Josh Rojas (SEA) Again demonstrated that he is a great baserunner: 12 SBs and zero caught stealings with 35th% sprint speed. His bat, however, is an open question even against righties. Too passive: he put the first pitch in play just 43 times (12.3%) and hit .400, but the pitcher got ahead of him in 31.7% of his PAs, and his OPS then was an ultra-atrocious .329.

Good fielder at 2B and 3B (where he also qualifies), but the plans for Rojas are unclear. Platoon player is most likely, and then he faces the trials of the part-time player in a tough hitter’s park. I liked him last year but it didn’t happen, and now he may never get another full shot. $7

Davis Schneider (TOR)  Gotta be right up there all-time: in his first 21 games Schneider slashed .403/.535/.881. He was, of course, punished for this insult to the diamond deities, finishing the season 5-for-49. He strikes out a lot.

Surely the Blue Jays are hoping that Schneider beats out Cavin Biggio or Santiago Espinal, because both of the latter are sub-par regulars. I figure Schneider will be in the opening day lineup, but the rest is up to him. I’m only guessing whether it will be feast or famine — just that it’s quite likely to be one or the other, rather than a steady hum. But then, given a full shot, the ups and downs probably will add up to a steady if unspectacular hum. $7

Thomas Saggese (TEX)  I can’t remember a year with so many legitimate high-average power prospects, and at all positions. You don’t expect them at second base, but here he is — minor league .298/.369/.508 with 15-SB speed and doesn’t turn 22 until April. Strikeouts need work at 24%. Saggese has played all over the infield and is probably one injury away from a good long look. Reserve A

Brendan Donovan (STL)  Also qualifies at 3B, the outfield, and possibly 1B (14 games). Disappointing season, but he still hit .294/.371/.460 against righties. Flexor tendon surgery on his throwing shoulder ended his season early, but he’s expected to be fully recovered by spring training. Good hole filler in mixed leagues, especially if he’s leading off against righties, but it’s hard to know what you’re getting in NL leagues. $7

Alan Trejo (COL)  Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, but I can’t find data confirming that balls are hit harder in the thin air. I know it’s true, I’ve lived in Colorado for 30+ years and I’ve seen it from Little League on up. But I’d like to see it spelled out. By the same token, pitch velocity should be up too, which isn’t supposed to correlate with good hitting.

The connection with Trejo is that playing half his games in Coors Field, his hard hit rate was the fifth-worst of 349 hitters with 220+ PAs. And yet he’s got some power. Baseball continues to refute our certainties. Good fielder, and also qualifies at third base. $7

Ji Hwan Bae (PIT)  Also qualifies in the outfield, but did not show everyday player capability in 111 games. Great speed and defensive versatility make for a nice bench player — if the defense is good, which Bae’s wasn’t, and a .608 OPS is a long way from helping. I’ll be unhappy if my roster construction requires me to bid $7 for his steals. I want the guys who figure to get more PAs this year, not fewer.

Connor Norby (BAL) And yet more high-average power with a bit of speed. I’m not at all sure that Thomas Saggese (above) should rank higher, either for this year or beyond. The ranking is based on my impression that Saggase is closer to playing time than Norby. Spring watch. Reserve A

Andy Ibáñez (DET)  An odd type — good fielder, free-swinging, fly-ball hitter who doesn’t strike out much (16% career). His problem is that he hits a lot of fly balls to the opposite field, but they are not home runs, or even often doubles. He could hit .300 if he changed his approach, but there is no sign of that. Seems to be the third baseman (16 games), and also qualifies in the outfield, but he hasn’t done enough to play more. He has done enough to play less. $7

Owen Miller (MIL)  The Brewers tried to shoehorn him into a weak-side platoon role, which didn’t take. Has some pop and great speed, and also qualifies at 1B and 3B. There’s no star potential, but he should kick in a little. $6

José Caballero (TB)  Again, no star potential, but he will steal bases in part-time duty. Some chance to win the shortstop job outright — he already qualifies there, and perhaps elsewhere in the fullness of time. But these are the Rays. $4

Harold Castro (COL)  Not much for us, but he is quite capable of hitting .300 on the Rockies. Which means he would play more. Great $1 guy. $3

Adam Frazier (KC)  Occasional power, occasional speed, given the occasional start. $3

Mauricio Dubón (HOU)  Fills in competently wherever and whenever — no doubt he’s good enough for a weak-side platoon (.293/.339/.470 career against lefties) — but strictly limited for us. Also qualifies in the outfield. $3

Michael Stefanic (LAA)  Little power or speed but the guy has hit .326 in five minor league seasons, and he also walks as much as he strikes out. They finally called him up and he did exactly what he should have at .290/.380/.330. Highly unsexy – Stefanic was undrafted – but how can the team not find a place for him to play? He’d even make an effective, if unorthodox, DH if he can’t play defense. Nice cheap MI in AL leagues if you have a lot of low-average power, and he’d be mixed-league relevant as a fulltime leadoff hitter, which actually seems pretty likely given time. $3 for now — spring watch.

Rámon Urías (BAL)  He’ll probably make the team despite all the prospects clamoring to play, because 1) hot prospects rarely sit on the bench, 2) he bats right, which they need, and 3) he’s pretty good. $3

Cavan Biggio (TOR)  Good utility guy who also qualifies at 1B and OF, but offers little for us. $3, one more in OBP leagues.

Elvis Andrus FA  Can maybe still help a team as a utility IF. I suppose I would bid $3, but I wouldn’t be happy.

Kyle Farmer (MIN)  Still something of a threat against lefties (.781 OPS), but he’s now 33 and won’t play as much unless there are injuries, which I suppose there will be. Also qualifies at SS and 3B. $2

Lenyn Sosa (CWS)  Just 24, but six years in the minors, his .279/.320/.431 line tells a tale of something, but not enough to stick as is. No speed. Good chance to make the team, not far from a real job, and still a chance to develop his BA and/or power. $1 if he’s still in camp on draft day

Santiago Espinal (TOR)  Played less, as expected. Played worse, as should have been expected. He can hit .270 with a homer and a steal per month, and he’s defensively versatile (qualifies at third base and 16 games at shortstop). You can do worse for a buck. $1

Romy Gonzalez (CWS)  Might be the starting second baseman — him or Nicky Lopez — but it’s hard to see that long-term. He has home run power and runs pretty well, but 37% Ks and 2% walks will not get it done. I guess $1.

Kolten Wong (FA)  Perked up with the Dodgers — might have something left. $1

Nicky Lopez (CWS)  Also qualifies at third base, but strictly singles and not much of a stolen base threat. $1, maybe.

Christian Arroyo (MIL)  I hope it doesn’t come to this. $1

Brett Wisely (SF)  Turns 25 in May. Has a four-year minor league slash of .284/.374/.470 with 33 SBs per 150 games. Overmatched in the majors in 131 PAs. Bats left, and has played all over, including shortstop and center field. Not a great bet, but there’s a chance. Reserve B

José Rodríguez (CWS)  Wild swinger but has the hit tool, including surprising power, and he runs well. A good spring will win him the job, but holding it is another matter. Right now Reserve B, but will be worth a few dollars if he makes the team, and a few more dollars if he shows better plate skills in March.

Nick Gonzales (PIT)  He must be better than he looks to me. The No. 7 overall pick of the 2020 draft has a pretty impressive .284/.382/.506 minor league line, and he’s quick, but doesn’t run much. He can crush a meatball but was otherwise helpless. Gonzales could win the job with a good spring, but it’s far from guaranteed, and even if he does, I’d like to see him late in March against some good pitchers before throwing dollars around. Reserve B

Ronny Mauricio (NYM)  Torn ACL. In early January, they said 6-8 months recovery, so there is a chance for a significant contribution. Rough around the edges as expected at age 22, but he oozes talent and also baseball skill. Mauricio crushes pitches and wants to steal bases. A smooth ride is unlikely, but keep your eyes on his rehab, looking to make a pre-emptive FAB bid. PFA

Alejo López (ATL)  They snapped him right up after the Reds let him go. Turns 28 in May. No great shakes, but a baseball player, a switch-hitting infielder with a little pop and speed. Worth a buck if he makes the team, which is not terribly likely. PFA

Oliver Dunn (MIL)  Older prospect at age 26. Posted a .902 OPS at Double-A Reading and even better in the AFL. The Brewers are accumulating infielders and Dunn has a chance to emerge from the pack, but of course he strikes out too much. PFA

Mark Mathias (SF)  Getting on in years at age 29, but gets on base and may find a hole-filling role. In NL leagues. PFA

Vidal Bruján (MIA)  Blazing speed but continually overmatched in the majors. May not get another real chance. PFA

Ben Cowles (NYY)  May make the fringes of prospect lists now after the Yankees sent Cowles to the AFL. Nothing spectacular but will make a minor 5-cat contribution if, hey, he can contain his strikeouts. Plays shortstop and third base too, and should get at least a cup of coffee this year. PFA 

Luis Urías (SEA)  Not much point in bidding a buck here. No speed, bad BA, moderate power that disappeared last year, and not a good second baseman, although he’s fine at third  (19 games). PFA

Luis Guillorme (ATL)  He’s better than 2023 but roto-limited at best. Adequate hole-filler in NL leagues. PFA

José Fermin (STL)  Plays at age 25. Seven years in the minors have only produced .256/.347/.370, and he doesn’t run much. PFA

Zack Short (NYM)  Turns 29 in May. A Quad-A kinda guy who may come up and help a little. Also qualifies at short and third. PFA

(Top photo of Marcus Semien: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

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