Ten predictions for 2024 that will leave you speechless

It’s always fun to review MLB projections before the season and see which numbers stand out.

Now is the right time to do so in 2024. Let’s look for players with noteworthy stat lines, using projections from FanGraphs’ depth chart.

Here are 10 players with surprising projections for 2024, five hitters and five pitchers.

1) Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves AVG of .318, 37 HR, 55 BR, 7.3 WAR

Let’s start with the reigning National League MVP, who is projected to be MVP again. And if Venezuela’s Acuña achieves these figures, he could decisively win the prize. Acuña is projected to be the most valuable player in baseball by WAR, and by far the most valuable player in the National League (Mookie Betts is second with 5.9 WAR). He is projected to have another incredible season in both power and speed and win the MLB batting crown (slightly ahead of compatriot Luis Arraez). With this type of campaign, Acuña would likely become the first MVP to achieve this in consecutive years since Venezuela’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012 and 2013.

2) Juan Soto, Yankees: 39 HR, 132 BB and 110 K, wRC+ of 171, WAR of 6.8

The projected most valuable player in the American League is the Yankees’ new superstar, with Dominican Soto slightly ahead of his teammate. Aaron Judge (6.1 WAR). While Acuña projects as the more complete player, Soto projects as the best pure hitter in both leagues. His wRC+ of 171 means he would be 71% better than a league average hitter, and puts Soto just ahead of Yordan Alvarez, Acuña, Judge, and Shohei Ohtani. Soto is also projected to lead the major leagues in walks as usual, and along with Arraez, is one of two hitters with more walks than strikeouts. And he is projected to reach his career high in home runs. It will be a peak year for Soto in New York as the 25-year-old seeks his first MVP trophy.

3) Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays: 36 HR, wRC+ of 144, 99 K in 154 J

2024 projections put a lot of confidence in the Dominican Vlad Jr. In the age 25 season, they see the great return of Vlad Jr. in 2021, who dominated the league. Guerrero is projected to hit 10 or more home runs by 2023, and his total of 36 home runs makes him one of the top 10 projected hitters for this year. He is also expected to be the sixth-best overall hitter in the major leagues. Vlad Jr. would be the only hitter to hit more than 30 home runs with less than 100 strikeouts.

4) Jung Hoo Lee, Giants: .291 AVG, 116 wRC+, 9.1% strikeout rate

Similar to what happened with Masataka Yoshida a year ago, the 2024 projections have high expectations for an exceptional contact hitter coming to MLB from a top-tier international league. The Giants’ big offseason signing this time is Lee, who made the jump from the KBO in South Korea. The 25-year-old left-handed hitter is projected to finish in the top ten in the MLB batting title race and top five in the National League. Projections indicate that he will be a much better than average hitter in the Major Leagues. Perhaps most impressive is that, based on these numbers, his strikeout rate would be the second-lowest among all hitters in the majors, behind only Arraez (7.1%). Projections were largely on target with Yoshida in 2023, which hopefully bodes well for Lee in San Francisco.

5) Wyatt Langford, Rangers: wRC+ of 121, 16 HR and 10 BR in 97 J

The projected best rookie hitter for 2024 is not Lee (116 wRC+), nor Jackson Holiday (108) or Evan Carter (108). He’s another Ranger who was taken last year and has yet to make his MLB debut. Langford, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 draft out of the University of Florida, has been invited to spring training and has a real chance to make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster. There is a lot of hype surrounding the powerful outfielder, who is ranked 13th in MLB’s overall prospect rankings, and projections see Langford as an immediately impactful player in the Major Leagues. After what Carter did in the postseason for the World Series champions, it’s impressive that Texas has another young rising star who could be just as good.

1) Spencer Strider, Braves: 15-7, 3.18 ERA, 257 K

We already know that Strider has one of the great strikeouts of the big top. The highlight of his stat line here is that he is projected to win the MLB Triple Crown. The mighty Braves ace is projected to lead the Major Leagues in wins, ERA and strikeouts. This would make him the first pitching Triple Crown winner over a full season since Justin Verlander (LA) and Clayton Kershaw (NL) in 2011, and the first Triple Crown winner including both leagues over a full season since Venezuela’s Johan Santana in 2006. Will go. (Shane Bieber won it in the shortened 2020 season.)

2) Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Dodgers: 200 K in 184 IP

Everyone wants to see what Yamamoto can do in the big leagues, and if the projections are correct, the answer is “big things.” The Dodgers’ new ace is projected to reach 200 strikeout marks in his first season, much like Kodai Senga did for the Mets in 2023, when he was an immediate Cy Young contender. Yamamoto is one of 14 pitchers who are projected to have over 200 strikeouts in 2024, and he is expected to lead the Dodgers’ pitching staff in both strikeouts and innings pitched, meaning he will be the ace that Los Angeles has. Was looking for when he signed the prestigious. Japanese right-handed player.

3) Tarik Skubal, Tigers: 3.34 EFE, 198 K, 4.0 WAR

You may have forgotten what Skubal did late last season, but the 27-year-old left-hander looked to be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Skubal posted a 2.80 ERA and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings after returning from injury in July, with a big increase in velocity and new performance making him one of the top pitchers to watch in 2024. Conjecture He believes that Skubal is real. He is projected to be a top-ten pitcher in the majors by WAR, and has the second-best ERA among starters, behind only Strider.

4) Carlos Rodon, Yankees: 3.79 EFE, 194 K in 163 IP (10.7 K/9)

Yankees fans will be interested in this: Rodon projects a big season in 2023 after battling injuries. The left-hander is projected to reach nearly 200 strikeouts, return to double-digit territory in K/9, and nearly cut his ERA. In the half after 6.85 points in his debut in New York. The Yankees signed Rodon to form a great duo with Gerrit Cole, and a year like this will get him back to that level.

**5) Edwin Diaz, Mets: 35 SV, 2.78 ERA, 95 K in 64 IP (13.4 K/9), 36.7% strikeout rate **

We go to the other side of town to finish. Puerto Rican Diaz is set to make his long-awaited return to the Mets’ closer role after missing all of 2023, and projections suggest he’ll pick up right where he left off in 2022 in his prime. Diaz is projected to lead the Major Leagues in saves and is second among relievers in ERA (behind Dominican Jhoan Duran), second in strikeouts (behind Venezuelan Jose Alvarado), second in K/9 (behind Cuban Aroldis Chapman Behind K) and ranks first in K%.

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