The biggest domino in MLB Free Agency just fell with Shohei Ohtani announcing that he will be signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers after spending the first six seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Angels. To no one’s surprise, Ohtani signed the biggest deal in MLB history, coming in at $700M over the next 10 years. The two-way superstar, and two time Most Valuable Player, was the headliner of this free agent class, and the Dodgers have long been one of the more logical options for Ohtani. He’ll now join a Dodgers lineup that features Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, amongst others, and despite an elbow injury keeping him off the mound in 2024, he’s still one of the better offensive fantasy options. We all know how good Ohtani is, but just how high is his fantasy value now that he heads to a better Dodgers lineup? Just how high should Ohtani go in 2024 fantasy baseball drafts?


In leagues where you can play Ohtani as a hitter or a pitcher, his fantasy value may take a bit of a hit since you likely won’t be getting any starts from him in 2024, but with the bat, he’s still a first round fantasy selection. Ohtani hit 44 home runs and stole 20 bases while hitting .304 and posting a .412 OBP last season. Over the last three seasons, he’s posted a .379 OBP and .585 SLG, which is insane, and he did that while also pitching every six-ish days!

Simply put, one could feasibly state that the Dodgers signed the top bat and arm in free agency this offseason with this Ohtani deal. Yes, we won’t see Ohtani on the mound in 2024, but come 2025, the Dodgers will get to reap the rewards of Ohtani, both the pitcher and the hitter. He makes so much hard contact that no stadium can really contain him, and while some may be quick to point out that the Angels’ Park Factor is higher than the Dodgers’, it’s not that far off, and in terms of home runs, they are pretty close. Regardless, can any stadium in Major League Baseball really contain Ohtani’s batted ball profile? I mean, the guy has a 16 percent or higher barrel rate in three straight seasons, not to mention a 97th percentile or better average exit velocity in each of the last three seasons.

The biggest thing for Ohtani in 2024 is going to be how his counting stats are impacted by being in a far better lineup than he was last season and in years past. He still put up 90+ runs and 95+ RBI the last three seasons, but instead of Mike Trout, Taylor Ward and Anthony Rendon around him, he now has Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and more. Health willing, Ohtani could put up a year that rivals his 2021 and 2023 seasons.

If we take a quick peek to beyond 2024, assuming there is nothing wonky that occurs with his elbow during his rehab, he should return to being one of the more dominant arms on the mound, and maybe the Dodgers can sprinkle some of that magic they seem to have, unlocking a new level of dominance for the already outstanding Ohtani. We won’t see any of that until 2025, but this is a good pitching system for Ohtani to continue finding ways to remain nearly unhittable on the mound.

I don’t expect the elbow issue to be a detractor to his offensive performance in 2024. While I don’t think he hits north of .300 again, could we see him put up a .280 average with 40+ home runs, 100+ runs, 100+ RBI, and 15+ stolen bases? I don’t think it’s crazy to say that! He’s a slam dunk first round draft pick in fantasy baseball this year, and the only real knock on Ohtani is that you can only play him in the utility spot. However, don’t complain about that, just enjoy the massive fantasy production you will get from the superstar.