From Obscurity to Stardom: The MLB Free Agents Who Are Defying Expectations in 2024

Dodgers' Teoscar Hernandez (Dodgers/MLB)

This offseason, while Shohei Ohtani dominated the headlines, lower-ranked free agents like Teoscar Hernandez and Jurickson Profar slipped under the radar, signing one-year deals with modest salaries.

However, their impact on their teams has been immense, with both players poised to become starting outfielders in the National League All-Star Game.

Jurickson Profar (Padres/MLB)

Hernandez, signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers for $23.5 million, has been a revelation, providing a much-needed right-handed bat in the lineup. He’s on pace for 36 home runs and over 100 RBIs, making him a steal for the Dodgers.

Profar, re-signed by the San Diego Padres for just $1 million, has been a shockingly strong performer, battling Ohtani for the NL lead in batting average and leading all NL outfielders in wRC+. Despite being unranked on Kiley McDaniel’s list of top free agents, Profar has been a game-changer for the Padres.

These signings highlight the importance of looking beyond the big names and exploring the lower-tier free agents who can make a remarkable impact on their teams. Let’s examine some of the other successful signings from this offseason, ranked according to their position on McDaniel’s list.

From Michael Wacha to Andrew Heaney, these players have proven that you don’t need to break the bank to make a splash in free agency.

With their impressive performances, they’re helping to reshape nature of the league and proving that sometimes, the best value can be found in the most unexpected places.