The projected 2024 All-Rookie Team

February 14th, 2024

You've got to love player projections. We obviously do; we've recently written about each team's top projected player for 2024, the most improved players, some projected stat leaders, and a handful of projections that will simply blow your mind.

Today, we're adding rookie projections to that growing list of content.

Using the Steamer projections on FanGraphs, here's a look at the top projected rookie by WAR at each position.

C: , Yankees
76 G, 11 HR, .716 OPS., 98 wRC+, 1.6 WAR

Wells made his MLB debut last September against none other than -- and picked up a line-drive single in his first career at-bat. Although Steamer projects he will post only a .410 slugging percentage, the lefty hitter showed considerable pop in his first taste of the Majors, racking up nine extra-base hits, including four home runs, in his final 11 games. He put up a career .476 slugging in the Minors. He will have to share time with former Platinum Glove winner , but with now in San Diego, Wells is in line for considerable playing time in the Bronx and possibly a breakout season.

1B: , Angels
115 G, 12 HR, .770 OPS, 114 wRC+, 1.3 WAR

Schanuel has always had an exceptional knack for reaching base. He recorded a .500 or better on-base percentage through three seasons at Florida Atlantic University and during his short time in the Minors. The Angels promoted the 2023 first-round Draft pick after he spent just 22 games in their system, and he kept finding ways to get on. Schanuel posted a .402 OBP, walked more than he struck out, and reached safely in each of his 29 games. That's tied for the third-longest streak to open a career in AL/NL history, behind Alvin Davis (47 games in 1984) and Truck Hannah (38 in 1918). Schanuel's projected .363 OBP places him seventh among first basemen, between and . However, after collecting only four extra-base hits in 109 MLB at-bats, he knows that he needs to add more power this year.

2B: , Tigers
118 G, 14 HR, .753 OPS, 106 WRC+, 1.8 WAR

After dealing with injuries throughout his first two pro seasons, Keith stayed healthy for the bulk of 2023 and put his raw power on full display. He slashed .306/.380/.552 in 577 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A. He bashed 27 homers, including one that traveled a Statcast-projected 473 feet. He ranked third among all Minor Leaguers in extra-base hits (68) and fifth in total bases (280). The Tigers are very confident Keith's prodigious pop will translate well at the highest level; they gave him a six-year contract in January, making him just the seventh player with zero days of Major League service time to sign an extension. If Keith can avoid the injury bug, his projection for 14 homers and a .427 slugging might be a little too conservative.

3B: , Reds
118 G, 14 HR, .760 OPS, 101 wRC+, 1.7 WAR

Marte gave us a glimpse of his bright future during his 35-game MLB debut last season. It featured three homers, six steals, a .316 average and an .822 OPS. He had a four-hit, three-RBI game on the penultimate day of the regular season and ended the year riding a 16-game hitting streak, the longest by a Reds rookie since 1946. Like Keith, Marte brings 60-grade power, but he complements his strength with a fantastic 29.1 feet per second sprint speed. Those wheels and his stellar 91.3 average exit velocity contributed to Marte's .295 expected batting average. That tied for 12th among all hitters (min. 50 balls in play). He is projected to bat .267 with 14 dingers and 12 steals.

SS: , Orioles
125 G, 9 HR, .734 OPS, 108 wRC+, 2.6 WAR

When will Holliday make it to The Show? Maybe it's on Opening Day. What position will he play? It could be shortstop or second base. But one thing is for sure: We all want to see the game's No. 1 prospect performing in the bigs as soon as possible. Holliday advanced through four levels of the Orioles' system last season as a 19-year old. He batted 323 with a .941 OPS, cementing himself as baseball's best hitting prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. With a plate approach that's advanced far beyond his years, Holliday has nearly as many walks (126) as strikeouts (130) in the Minors. That's helped him register a .442 on-base percentage, and his projected .350 OBP ranks inside the top five at shortstop and inside the top 10 at second base.

OF: , Rangers
134 G, 16 HR, .758 OPS, 109 wRC+, 2.1 WAR

Overlooked by many entering the 2020 Draft, Carter showed that he could do it all once he was called up last year. He recorded a .303/.415/.574 slash line over 147 plate appearances split between the regular season and the postseason for the World Series champions. His 15% walk rate and 16.1% chase rate during that span demonstrated the 21-year-old's full command of the strike zone. Carter could stand to run more in '24 after he went 6-for-6 in steal attempts, and he provided value in the outfield as well (+3 outs above average). Carter has a projected .251/.348/.410 slash line with 16 homers and 14 steals in 576 plate appearances, but he has the potential to accomplish much more.

OF: , Giants
134 G, 12 HR, .784 OPS, 115 wRC+, 3.4 WAR

How about another newcomer with a terrific batting eye and fabulous bat-to-ball skills? Lee may be the best of the bunch in those areas. The Giants' new everyday center fielder batted .340 and struck out only 304 times in 3,947 plate appearances in the KBO. Steamer projects Lee to have a 9.1% strikeout rate, which would trail only reigning NL batting champion (7%). His .291 average would rank fourth in the NL, behind Arraez, and . There are questions about how much extra-base power Lee will bring to the Majors -- he had single-digit homers in five of his seven seasons in Korea -- but his pure hitting prowess and defensive ability give him a WAR that's among the top 15 outfielders.

OF: , Brewers
130 G, 16 HR, .720 OPS, 93 wRC+, 1.4 WAR

Chourio, at just 19 years old, put himself into on-field and off-field record books within the past handful of months. In September, he became the fifth teenager since 1958 to have a 20-homer, 40-steal season in the Minor Leagues and the first since Acuña in 2017. The toolsy youngster finished with 22 dingers, 44 stolen bases and an .805 OPS. A few months later, the Brewers rewarded the sport's No. 2 prospect with an eight-year, $82 million contract, the richest for a player with no Major League experience. , the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, is the only rookie in Milwaukee Brewers history to produce a 15-15 season. Chourio is projected for 16 HRs and 16 SBs this summer. He won't turn 20 until March 11.

DH: , Rangers
113 G, 17 HR, .811 OPS, 122 wRC+, 1.4 WAR

There are other big prospects worthy of this spot, including the Rays' and the D-backs' . Not that either of them or Langford is forecast to see a ton of time at DH right away, but we've got to put someone at this position. Our choice is a top prospect with a relatively bullish projection. Langford's projected wRC+ is tied with White Sox slugger for 16th among outfielders. His .811 OPS puts him between and . That's a lot of belief in someone with only 200 career Minor League plate appearances, but Langford's 10 homers, 12 steals, and .360/.480/.677 slash line indicate his readiness for the big stage. In Carter and Langford, the Rangers could have two of baseball's top six prospects in the same outfield on Opening Day.

SP: , Dodgers
29 GS, 184 IP, 200 K, 3.98 ERA, 3.4 WAR

There are few players, rookie or otherwise, who have a bigger spotlight on them this season than Yamamoto. He was a three-time Pacific League MVP in Japan. His contract contains the most guaranteed money for any pitcher in MLB history. And he's on a team that has four MVPs in the clubhouse. Yamamoto's projected ERA would be more than two runs higher than his career mark in Nippon Professional Baseball (1.82), but he does sit 16th among starters in WAR and K-BB rate (19.5%). He is also one of 14 pitchers projected to reach 200 strikeouts.

SP: , Cubs
26 GS, 148 IP, 150 K, 3.84 ERA, 2.6 WAR

The Cubs were connected heavily to Yamamoto early in the offseason, but as his price point reportedly sailed beyond their comfort range, they pivoted to the other prized Japanese arm on the open market. If you watched last year's World Baseball Classic, you are probably familiar with what Imanaga brings to the mound. He struck out seven and issued no walks over six innings during the tournament, and he was Team Japan's starter in the legendary final versus Team USA. The 30-year-old left-hander isn't as overpowering as Yamamoto, but he does possess solid control, as evidenced by his 4% walk rate last season in NPB. He's projected to lead the Cubs' rotation in WHIP (1.21) and K-BB rate (17.9%).

RP: Yuki Matsui, Padres
64 G, 64 IP, 80 K, 3.33 ERA, 0.7 WAR

Who will be the Padres' closer this season? Matsui and appear to be the top options, and Steamer does give Suarez a big edge in saves (22 to 7). However, Matsui is projected to be the club's most valuable reliever and pace the group in many other categories, including K rate (30%) and opponents' batting average (.213). Matsui was a multi-inning reliever earlier in his career, but he was extremely dominant as a one-inning pitcher over the past three seasons in NPB. That stretch included 95 saves, 215 strikeouts and a 1.42 ERA across 152 innings. Matsui's unique blend of stuff and size could leave Major League hitters flummoxed.