2024 Fantasy Baseball: Our favorite comeback player for the season

Making the right call on a comeback player can be a huge, season-defining boon in fantasy baseball. Here are our top targets to set things right in 2024.

Hoping for a full season from this former hyped prospect

It may seem as if Eloy Jiménez is a name from the distant past, but he's still only 27 years old. He also happens to be hitting clean-up for the White Sox and he's crushing in spring training:

Availability has been the big issue for Jiménez in recent seasons, but, when the man plays, he's plenty productive. He's a .275 career hitter with a 31-homer season on his resume. If he can simply reach 130 games played this year — which, for him, would be no small achievement — he's gonna clear the fence at least 25 times.

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We're still waiting for the first stolen base of Jiménez's major league career, so he's not about to help you across every category. But if you're looking for a player with significant power upside at a no-risk ADP, this is your guy. The back half of the White Sox lineup is kind of a mess, but that won't be an issue for Jiménez in terms of RBI potential. He'll be driving in Benintendi, Robert and Vaughn. — Andy Behrens

A former ace looking to find his old form on a new team

Injuries can throw nasty curveballs in fantasy, so I understand the hesitancy of drafting Jack Flaherty. It's been a while since we've seen him play anywhere near his 2019 campaign, when he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting. But after finding a new home in Detroit and having an offseason to get physically and mentally healthy, the early indications are Flaherty is primed for a bounce back.

Fantasy managers are mistakenly dismissing the best spring of Flaherty's career. In 18.5 innings, he sported a 2.95 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with 26 strikeouts. He's only 28 years old, so at full strength and having spent the offseason re-tooling his arsenal of pitches to that of his former self, Flaherty will once again be relevant in mixed leagues. And hey, in a worst-case scenario, pick him up for his first two starts against the White Sox and A's and go from there. — Dan Titus

A young, talented pitcher being underrated in drafts

McKenzie endured two 60-day IL stints last year, one for a teres major injury at the outset of the season and another for an elbow strain after he made two June starts. The right-hander returned for a pair of outings at the end of September, which allowed him to head into the offseason feeling that the ailments were behind him.

Fast forward to spring training, and McKenzie has proven to be healthy by keeping pace with the rest of Cleveland’s starters, both in terms of participating in throwing sessions and taking his regular turns for Cactus League starts. A healthy McKenzie is an absolute pro at inducing playable fly balls, which is evidenced by his lifetime 1.05 WHIP and .234 BABIP allowed. He’s being drafted more than 100 picks later than last year, and at that price, I’m willing to take the plunge. — Fred Zinkie

A veteran slugger with 'bounce-back' written all over him

When Hoskins tore his ACL on an awkward step while angling to catch a popup, it could not have come at a worse time with him going into free agency. Then Bryce Harper was placed at first base and ended up staying for good. That put Hoskins on the outs in Philly, though the landing spot in Milwaukee is pillow-soft.

[2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

Before Hoskins got hurt, he averaged exactly 30 home runs a year in Philadelphia’s hitter’s haven in his previous four full seasons. During that same span he had at least an OPS of .819 in three seasons, with the fourth finishing at .794. Now he goes to another hitter’s park in Milwaukee, which is ninth in home run rate by right-handed hitters — the Phillies’ Citizen Bank Park was seventh.

Hoskins also goes to a lineup that needs some pop from a first baseman. In recent spring training games, Hoskins was hitting in the second through fourth spots of the batting order.

Look for Hoskins to resume being one of the more underrated power bats in the game, hitting in that Milwaukee lineup and ballpark. With another 30-homer season, Hoskins will pay off being the 24th first baseman off the board at an ADP of 191.6. — Jorge Martin