2023 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings
Aaron Judge had lots to smile about last year. (Keith Allison)
Welcome to our first 2023 Fantasy baseball cheat sheet of the offseason. Free agency frenzy is upon us, so these rankings are definitely fluid, but represent a pretty good indication of how we think the outfield landscape looks in terms of potential value this year.
Note that we’re using the 20-game rule for position eligibility, so every one listed below either played 20 games in the outfield in the bigs in 2022 or it was their primary position in the minors. That’s why you won’t find Bryce Harper ranked here. So be sure to check your individual league eligibility rules.
Need an outfielder for your Fantasy baseball team this offseason? While you wonder whether the Cubs’ offseason additions can make them competitive, let’s review the top 150 flyhawks in the game. Thanks to Tim McLeod for his help compiling these rankings.
Outfield definitely has undergone a shift this year, with some great young talent such as Julio Rodriguez joining the ranks. Veterans like George Springer bounced back, and as always, question marks abound, such as: what version of Fernando Tatis Jr. will we get in 2023? Can Tyler O’Neill stay healthy and get back to his 2021 level or even build on it? There’s also plenty of multi-position eligible gems to be found, like Daulton Varsho.
This position isn’t nearly as deep as it used to be. Once you get past the top 20 to 30 outfielders, things drop off very quickly. You’d be wise to grab an OF1 and OF2 pretty early on, or you’ll be left with a lot of uncertainty on your roster.
Without further ado, let’s get to our…
2023 Top 150 Fantasy Outfielders
1. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: All Judge did last year was set a new AL home run mark (see video below), while striking out only slightly more often, stay healthy enough to set a new career-high in at-bats (and almost every other cat) and become a true stud in all formats, including OBP leagues. The AL MVP, and league leader in runs, homers, RBI, walks and OPS, nearly left the Bronx as a free agent, but in the end, the Yanks ponied up enough green to keep him in pinstripes for the rest of his career. Judge is a superstar, so he apparently hangs with similarly elite folks.
2. Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves: It’s easy to forget that three years ago Acuna likely went first overall in your league, so realistically, you may never get a chance to get him cheaper than this season. Last year, his power was never less impressive, leading to an unproductive season (injuries didn’t help). However, Acuna is finally 100 per cent healthy and has designs on an MVP award. Going to bet against him? We wouldn’t.
3. Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros: Alvarez saw more action in the outfield, and even though he’s considered the team’s primary DH, there’s no concern that he won’t see enough time in the field again this year to qualify for 2024 as well. He missed a fair amount time with injuries last year, yet still managed to score more runs than ever while enjoying the best season of his career. Alvarez was named to the All-MLB first team, and at the age of 25, there could be even more upside in his game, as scary as that sounds.
4. Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros: Tucker is already damned good, and could get much better thanks to the elimination of the shift (some projections expect him to record 10 to 15 extra hits). He was healthier last year, and while he didn’t hit for average quite as well, he still managed a second straight 30-homer season. Better yet, Tucker continues to improve his contact rate while emerging as a much bigger stolen base threat. He’ll be 26 in January, so could still bounce back as an elite OBP asset.
5. Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners: Rodriguez had a rookie year for the ages, making the All-Star team after enduring some early-season struggles. He wound up hitting well and showing great extra-base pop in a very productive campaign. We’d love to see J-Rod get his walk rate back to where it was at Double-A, but come on — the kid just turned 22. There were some really superb rookies in 2022, but he stood above them all thanks to his power.
6. Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers: Betts enjoyed a nice comeback season, reaching 40 doubles for the sixth time while pounding a career-best 35 dingers. His strike zone judgment wasn’t nearly as good as usual, leading to the lowest OBP of his career, so if that rebounds and the power holds, he’ll be even more studly. And six-time All-Star Betts even helped his team in free agency; his mere presence on the Dodgers was enough to convince J.D. Martinez to sign with them for less than he could have gotten elsewhere.
7. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: It seems so strange to see Trout down here, but injuries have taken their toll as he hasn’t played over 140 games in a year since 2016. However, we know what he can do: how about 40 homers in just 119 games last season? Trout piled up solid counting cat numbers, but his days of being a threat on the basepaths are over (just four steals over the last three years combined). As a result, you can expect to still see him on your draft board at the end of the second round.
8. Juan Soto, San Diego Padres: Soto was slugging under .500 for the first time in his career when the Nats rocked the baseball world by sending him out west to San Diego. With the Padres, what little speed he possessed disappeared, and so did the pop, with a sub-.400 slugging percentage. Driven to bounce back, Soto planned to play in the Dominican Winter League and while it’s surprising the team would let him, it does speak to his determination to get back to his pre-2022 level.
9. Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays: Arozarena regressed somewhat from his strong first full season in 2021, but was solid nonetheless last year. He matched his personal best in homers (tying for the team high) even if his slugging dipped again. It’s a damn fine baseline, even if Arozarena never exceeds it, although it’s reasonable to wonder if he has more to give.
10. George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays: While Springer managed to stay healthier (for him) last year, he didn’t exactly shed his overrated label. Still, a fourth 25-homer season was sweet, and he did improve his contact rate. We all know what Springer is capable of if he can play 140 or more games, but he’s no longer 20-something, so a sudden batch of good health would be surprising. You’ll have to decide if the reward justifies the risk.
11. Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres: Tatis has sure had his share of off the field issues, but when he’s played — and stayed healthy — he’s hit extremely well while supplying a tremendous power-speed combo. He enjoyed a career year in 2021 before a broken wrist and then suspension wiped out his 2022. (Tatis also qualifies at SS.)
Fernando Tatis Jr (38)
Opponent: Los Angeles Dodgers
Pitcher: Walker Buehler
— Padres Home Runs (@PadresHR) February 13, 2023
12. Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies: Schwarber somehow managed to hit .291 in 41 games after getting dealt to Boston in 2021, but was back to his usual hitting-under-his-weight ways last year. Still, you know his power is monumental as he shattered his personal best in dingers en route to his first 100-run season. Schwarber did whiff a ton, but how about reaching double-digits in steals? That was sure a nice bonus for owners — especially when combined with his elite power.
13. Cedric Mullins II, Baltimore Orioles: After his massive 2021 breakout, Mullins took a step back last year. His stolen base success rate keeps regressing, and he lost much in the power and BA departments. Mullins remains a great source of steals, but paying for a return of his 2021 form would not be wise. He’s a fantastic outfielder, but his xwOBA (17th percentile) suggests he is overrated and further regression is likely.
14. Daulton Varsho, Toronto Blue Jays: Varsho massively exceeded expectations in a breakout season last year. He actually didn’t hit as well, but exploded power-wise while flashing very nice speed. Varsho’s strikeout rate regressed, but the fact he still qualified at catcher proved huge. Speaking of huge, him getting traded to Toronto could be the final piece in what the Jays hope is a World Series title in 2023. (Varsho also qualifies at C.)
15. Adolis Garcia, Texas Rangers: Colour us surprised. Garcia actually built on his breakout 2021, staying healthy, swiping a ton of bags and even upping his walk rate to the point he managed a .300 OBP. He spent most of his time batting cleanup and will likely reprise that role in 2023.
16. Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox: This Cuban has had a tough time staying on the field and last year was a total disaster after he broke out in 2021. Robert did manage a new career high in at-bats (just 380), but his extra-base pop regressed significantly. Still just 25, he just needs a season of good health to reach his massive potential.
17. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox: One of the key members of the ChiSox core, Jimenez bounced back nicely last year after a very forgettable 2021. Injuries capped his counting cat numbers, but he nearly matched his best BA ever and his power recovered. Consider Jimenez a top 40 dynasty league asset.
18. Starling Marte, New York Mets: Two-time All-Star Marte was having another strong season before it ended early thanks to a busted digit. His extra-base pop bounced back, and although his BA continues to drop, his overall numbers were solid. Still, the injuries are a concern; only once has Marte played more than 145 games in a season.
19. Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves: Part of the young core the Braves have locked up long-term, Harris had a spectacular rookie season, scoring a boatload of runs with impressive speed. If he can develop better on-base skills, look out.
20. Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins: We’re still waiting for Buxton to play more than 140 games in a season, but he was healthier last year, relatively speaking. This homegrown talent, who is signed to a very team-friendly deal, has superstar potential if he can avoid injuries. In addition to possessing prodigious power, Buxton is a very good basestealer, but his totals have been capped by health woes, so even if he can somehow play a full season, expecting 20 thefts may be overly optimistic at this stage.
21. Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians: Kwan’s fantastic rookie season helped propel Cleveland to a surprising AL Central title last year. He showed decent extra-base sock, great contact skills, nice speed and a sweet BA. Kwan is also a damn fine fielder, earning a Gold Glove.
22. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers: Yelich is a shell of his MVP self, but at least he offered some positive value last year with his runs and steals. The power and production, however, left something wanting. Yelich did pound a 499-foot dinger in early September — the second longest by anyone last year — so it’s not as if he isn’t capable; he just didn’t show that enough. The good news is he stayed healthier and continues to bounce back, BA-wise with a tad more extra-base pop, but his walk rate dipped.
23. Tyler O’Neil, St. Louis Cardinals: After his massive breakout in 2021, O’Neil crashed back down to earth, thanks in no small part to a litany of injuries. The good news: he showed a better batting eye than ever, so if you’re seeking a potential bounce back candidate, he needs to be near the top of the list.
24. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees: After a moderately healthy (for him) 2021 season, Stanton once again dealt with injury issues last year, missing over 50 games. He also scuffled to a career-worst .211 BA despite his walk rate bouncing back somewhat. The power remains prodigious, but he’s no spring chicken and the injuries could be catching up to him.
25. Bryan Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates: Reynolds was not able to duplicate his fantastic 2021 season last year. He missed some time on the COVID list and then with an oblique injury, but what really hurt is he wasn’t the OBP stud he’d been the year before. The subject of incessant trade rumours, Reynolds had a lot more troubles against lefties last season, so that trend will need to reverse if he’s going to get back to his 2021 form.
26. Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox: A member of our 2022 Wire Troll All-Star team, Vaughn saw more action last year, putting up some solid counting cat totals. The expectations will grow this year given that he now has to replace Jose Abreu at first base, but Vaughn definitely has the pedigree (third overall pick in 2019 draft) to get the job done. Expect an even bigger leap from Vaughn in 2023. (Vaughn also qualifies at 1B.)
27. Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks: Carroll showed much promise in his first taste of the bigs last year, recording a nice slash line of .260/.330/.500 while remaining rookie eligible — and thereby clocking in as a top ROY candidate for 2023. This kid can hit and run with the best of them, so it should be fun watching him develop towards his potential.
28. Nick Castellanos, Philadelphia Phillies: Castellanos’ first season in Philly was an unmitigated disaster. Not only did his BA plummet, but he had his lowest homer total since he was a rookie. Castellanos had a career best OBP in 2021, but really regressed in that regard thanks awful strike zone judgment. He’s got some work to do to live up to the five-year, $100-million deal the Phillies gave him last winter.
29. Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies: Injuries ruined what was shaping up as a nice comeback season for Bryant. He was likely going to hit his most home runs since recording a second 30-plus season in 2019. Bryant’s modest speed seems to be disappearing, although his foot woe last year clearly affected that, so if that can bounce back even somewhat, and he can maintain his power recovery while actually staying healthy, then this former Cub first rounder will be very useful.
30. Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets: Yet another player the Giants were interested in before he re-signed with the Mets, Nimmo stayed healthy enough to set a new career high in at-bats while his extra-base power bounced back a touch. The down side is his slash line regressed significantly, especially his OBP in his weakest season since 2019. Considering his lack of speed, we’ll need to see even more power from Nimmo to buy in fully.
31. Anthony Santander, Baltimore Orioles: Good health paved the way for Santander to emerge as the Orioles’ leading power hitter last year. He tacked on a career-best walk rate, and even with zero speed (that could ultimately prove a liability) and a BA that’s regressing, he offered some nice value. If Santander can get back to his 2020 level of power, we’ll really be onto something as there’s no doubt that there is a bit of upside in his raw power still to be achieved.
32. Hunter Renfroe, Los Angeles Angels: Renfoe missed several weeks with hamstring and calf woes last year, yet still just missed his third 30-homer season. His BA dipped a tad, but he maintained a decent OBP before being shipped to the Angels this winter. Renfroe has established a nice baseline value and now he moves to a much better hitter’s park, so if he can stay healthy he could enjoy a career year.
33. Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs: Happ quietly put together a career year, hitting better than ever while setting personal bests in many counting cats. Unfortunately, his extra-base sock has been in decline three years running, so that trend will need to reverse itself if he’s going to maintain this ranking. Still, as a switch-hitter who plays Gold Glove level defense, Happ’s job security seems fairly safe for now.
34. Teoscar Hernandez, Seattle Mariners: Many of Hernandez’s homers turned into doubles last year and the Jays peddled him to Seattle in the offseason. Better health will help the counting cat numbers, but given his BABIP, don’t be surprised to see some BA regression.
35. Mitch Haniger, San Francisco Giants: Hanigar, who — believe it or not — owes much of his career development to A.J. Pollock, had a season to forget. Ankle and back woes cost Haniger most of 2022 and his hitting regressed when he did play. The good news is his walk rate bounced back a bit and his down year did not deter the Giants from opening their wallets and inking him to a three-year, $43.5 million deal. The regression in Haniger’s K rate is a tad worrisome, but assuming he’s healthy, he should be able to address that.
36. Jake McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks: With his breakout season in 2022, McCarthy established himself as the right fielder of the present — and future — in Arizona. If he can get his walk rate to where it was at Triple-A, he’ll be an even bigger asset, especially in OBP leagues.
37. MJ Melendez, Kansas City Royals: A key part of the latest wave of Royal prospects to make the leap to the bigs, Melendez enjoyed a very promising rookie season. After being recalled at the beginning of May, he quickly established himself as an everyday player, hitting decently and showing nice pop while ranking 60th in the bigs in barrels. Best of all: Melendez also qualifies at catcher.
Heads up @Royals record books, here comes MJ Melendez.
The backstop claims the club's rookie mark with his 4th leadoff homer of the year: pic.twitter.com/VAQOjaiMLd
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 28, 2022
38. Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels: Ward solidified his hold on LF in Anaheim with a breakout season. In seeing his most action ever, he turned in a productive campaign while his walk rate continued to improve. Given his dramatically improved strike zone judgment, Ward is trending up.
39. Austin Hays, Baltimore Orioles: We’ve definitely seen that Hays is capable of being an above average outfielder, but not on a consistent basis. Last year he stayed healthier, but his homers turned into doubles in a less productive campaign. Hays’ BA keep regressing, and he’s not the best asset in OBP leagues. We’d like to see a higher percentage of hard hit balls from him this year.
40. Whit Merrifield, Toronto Blue Jays: Merrifield continued to show durability and upped his walk rate with the Royals, and then took his extra-base pop to the next level after getting traded to the Jays at the deadline. Of course, he was not exactly an everyday player in Toronto, so he fell well short of matching the career high in plate appearances he set in 2021. Beyond PT issues, we also worry about Merrifield’s hard hit rate, which has dipped significantly in recent seasons and is unlikely to bounce back at his age. (He also qualifies at 2B.)
41. Seiya Suzuki, Chicago Cubs: Suzuki had a solid North American debut, but it’s clear he’s capable of more, so expecting improvement is reasonable. Specifically, we’d like to see him reduce his K rate and do a better job on the basepaths while cutting down on the infield flies.
42. Oscar Gonzalez, Cleveland Guardians: Called up in late-May, Gonzalez put together a fine rookie effort, but it’s hard to imagine him duplicating his .296 BA unless there’s significant improvement in his strike zone judgment. Still, we love his line drive rate, which was higher than the likes of Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado and Jose Abreu.
43. Jurickson Profar, Free agent: Profar timed free agency well, putting up arguably his finest season in 2022, and while he’s yet to be scooped up yet, there are still teams (like the Mets and Yankees) that need outfield help. In seeing his most action ever, his hitting bounced back somewhat, while his home run prowess came much closer to his previous bests after a couple of down years. Unfortunately, that seems to come at the expense of some speed for Profar. And while he was fed more fastballs, he struggled against the pitch after murdering them in 2021.
44. Joc Pederson, San Francisco Giants: It’s not a concern in redraft leagues, but if you own Pederson in a dynasty format, we’d suggest you keep an eye on how much time he spends at DH this year, as his OF eligibility could be in jeopardy soon. At any rate, the Giants thought enough of him to extend him a qualifying offer this offseason, and he accepted. Pederson dealt with some injuries and a slightly reduced role also cut into his PT, yet he was extremely productive and again made better contact — all while dealing with the highest cutter velocity he’s ever faced.
45. Michael Conforto, San Francisco Giants: Health has been a major concern for Conforto, who missed all of last season in the wake of shoulder surgery. But the free agent’s rehab went well enough that he finally found a new home when the Giants came calling. Seemingly an emerging stud in 2019 and 2020, Conforto backslid significantly in 2021 as his extra-base sock continued to wane. He did better work against cutters but struggles with curves and sliders, so that will need to be reversed for him to return to his previous value.
46. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Arizona Diamondbacks: Part of the package Arizona received in the Varsho trade, Gurriel is a solid outfielder, although he’s regressed the last couple of years. Last season, Gurriel’s home run power went AWOL, driving his slugging down for the third straight time and hurting his Fantasy value. Going to the worst home run park in the majors isn’t going to help.
47. Andrew Benintendi, Chicago White Sox: The ChiSox penned free agent Benintendi to a five-year, $75-million deal in mid-December after his first All-Star appearance last season. He was racking up some sweet counting cat totals in KC, but struck out far more often after getting dealt to the Yanks. Still, it was a great season overall for Benintendi, who did positive work against every kind of pitch.
48. Harrison Bader, New York Yankees: Acquired by the Yanks at the trade deadline, Bader didn’t wind up playing for them until September as he was dealing with plantar fasciitis. And after putting up some solid run numbers in St. Louis in the first half, he did not hit well in his limited time with the Yanks. Overall, the power drop was concerning, yet he matched his regular season total of homers in just nine playoff games. Bader never hit cutters better, but struggled much more with sinkers, changeups and sliders. There’s speed upside here assuming his foot issues are over.
49. Lars Nootbaar, St. Louis Cardinals: Nootbaar spent most of his time in RF, but can play CF and LF as well, versatility that will stead him well. Expect an uptick in his productivity in 2023.
50. Riley Greene, Detroit Tigers: Greene was below replacement level player value in his first season, but don’t you dare undervalue him as he has a lot more power than he exhibited in 2022.
51. Randal Grichuk, Colorado Rockies: Grichuk’s offensive contributions have slipped since his career year in 2018, but he managed a decent amount of runs last year.
52. Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs: Bellinger endured another terrible year, although not as bad as 2021 as he did get on base a bit more often. Still, the further we get from 2019, the more it seems like that was the outlier.
53. Masataka Yoshida, Boston Red Sox: Japanese veteran Yoshida will make his North American debut this season after enjoying the finest year of his career in 2022. His batting eye is superb, so expect a sweet BA, decent pop and the odd steal with fantastic contact skills.
54. Jeff McNeil, New York Mets: McNeil’s hit tool is his best skill, but it’s clear that the power display of 2019 was an outlier. (He also qualifies at 2B.)
55. Ramon Laureano, Oakland Athletics: Laureano has moved to the top of the list of Oakland’s tradeable assets, so bear that in mind as we head into the season, as that could affect his value. Last year, his extra-base sock slipped and his walk rate has been in regression for a couple of seasons. To make matters worse, his contact rate keeps dipping as well. There’s speed and power here, but a lot of red flags, too.
56. Marcell Ozuna, Atlanta Braves: This Dominican veteran saw his most action since 2019, and he was slightly better last year, but we’re never seeing his 2020 version again.
57. Seth Brown, Oakland Athletics: Brown finally broke through as an everyday player and had a fairly productive year. But bear in mind he’s already 30, so any upside is very limited. (Brown also qualifies at 1B.)
58. Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals: Three years ago, Carlson was the Cards’ top prospect, but other than the promise he showed in 2021, things have not gone according to plan. His extra-base pop never looked more inept last year.
59. Adam Duvall, Boston Red Sox: Signed to a one-year deal in January, Duvall will bring some power to the Red Sox lineup, assuming there’s no residual effect from his 2022 wrist woes that left him struggling and ended his season early.
60. Alex Verdugo, Boston Red Sox: After a strong debut for Boston in 2020 when he looked like a budding star, Verdugo has been in regression from a BA and slugging perspective.
61. Harold Ramirez, Tampa Bay Rays: Ramirez has reached arbitration eligibility, so you know his days are numbered in Tampa Bay. He saw more action last year and hit for a sweet BA, but is a liability on the basepaths. (Ramirez also qualifies at 1B.)
62. Jesse Winker, Milwaukee Brewers: Winker’s sole season in Seattle was a shitshow, so he was dealt again this winter, this time back to the NL Central. In fairness, he was pretty beat up last year, so he should hit better this season.
63. Mike Yastrzemski, San Francisco Giants: Yaz hasn’t been the same player the last two years after bursting onto the scene in 2019. He saw his most action ever last year, but that could change if he doesn’t do a better job vs. lefties (575 OPS).
64. Trey Mancini, Chicago Cubs: Mancini is expected to play 1B/DH for the Cubs, but has never quite recovered from colon cancer. He had a nice first half with the O’s last year, but struggled in limited PT after getting dealt to the Astros. (Mancini also qualifies at 1B.)
65. Brandon Marsh, Philadelphia Phillies: The Phils acquired Marsh at the deadline to shore up their defense in CF, but he wound up hitting better and putting up decent counting cat numbers after the trade.
66. Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers: Taylor followed up his 2021 All-Star season with a dud as he proved vulnerable to lefties. While that could affect his PT this year, the fact he can play multiple positions helps ensure him at-bats. (Taylor also qualifies at 2B.)
67. Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers: Taveras got extremely hot near the All-Star break, making him an attractive waiver wire grab, but a cold August and disastrous September put a damper on his season. Still, there was progress here and his power-speed combo holds intrigue.
68. Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers: Lux’s pop bounced back a tad last year, but is still nowhere near what he hinted at in 2019 and 2020. (He also qualifies at 2B.)
69. Joey Gallo, Minnesota Twins: Just a season ago, Gallo had an elite walk rate while flirting with 40 homers. Some even suggested he bat leadoff for the Yanks. Uh, yeah. Gallo crashed and burned in New York and wasn’t much better in L.A. Still, it’s hard to give up on this kind of power and patience.
70. Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners: As bad as Kelenic’s rookie season was, things were even uglier last year (.240 wOBA). Well, he’s going to come cheaply, so the reward could be great for a low risk.
71. Eddie Rosario, Atlanta Braves: Assuming he doesn’t get an extension, Rosario will be part of a huge 2024 free agency class. He’ll need to play more and do better if he wants to cash in.
72. Trent Grisham, San Diego Padres: We’re a tad more bullish on Grisham than most despite his struggles last year. The reason? He’s going to pile up runs in a stacked Padre lineup.
73. Myles Straw, Cleveland Guardians: Straw saw slightly less PT last year and, based on his play, he probably deserved even more pine time. His glove will keep him in the lineup, so hopefully the work he’s done this winter with the hitting coaches will help him get back to being a .250ish hitter.
74. Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics: A key player the A’s received in the huge, three-team William Contreras trade, Ruiz has speed galore, and now the path to PT to do something with it. Major sleeper alert here.
75. Juan Yepez, St. Louis Cardinals: Yepez had a fairly productive rookie season, and if he wins the DH role, he offers some upside potential as a breakout candidate.
76. Lane Thomas, Washington Nationals: Thomas broke through as a more or less full-time big leaguer last year, but he didn’t hit nearly as well as anticipated. There’s still value here, but it’s capped.
77. Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies: Blackmon’s offensive regression continued last year and, to make matters worse, his counting cats were hurt by a late-season knee injury that needed surgery.
78. Manuel Margot, Tampa Bay Rays: Injuries cut into what was shaping up as a potential career year for Margot. He’s young enough to still have upside so could be a nice surprise if he can see more action this season.
79. Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins: After finally breaking through in 2019, Kepler has struggled to stay healthy and duplicate those efforts. In fact, he’s been in regression since. Staying on the field would help.
80. Austin Meadows, Detroit Tigers: Meadows was a popular sleeper pick heading into 2022, but injuries and mental health issues cost him most of the campaign and he struggled badly when he was able to play — especially from a power perspective. Expect a slight rebound, but injury risks remain a concern.
81. Christopher Morel, Chicago Cubs: Morel will enter 2023 as the Cubs’ super utility player, so he may wind up qualifying at more than just two positions. He enjoyed a solid rookie effort, piling up a goodly amount of runs while flashing decent speed on the basepaths, but will need to address his free-swinging ways if his BA is to improve. (Morel also qualifies at 2B.)
82. Michael Brantley, Houston Astros: Brantley is not the hitter he once was, but realistically, keeping him on the field is a much larger issue. If his shoulder is healthy, anticipate a slight rebound, but don’t expect much power.
83. AJ Pollock, Seattle Mariners: One of the best baseball products from Connecticut, Pollock has authored over 1,000 career hits, but he’s getting long in the tooth and may be best suited to play only against lefties (935 OPS against southpaws vs. 593 against righties last year).
84. Alex Kiriloff, Minnesota Twins: After showing some promise as a rookie in 2021, Kiriloff dealt with more wrist problems and ineffectiveness last year, seeing even less PT. He’s expected to be over his wrist woes by Spring Training, but all this lost time is hurting.
85. Jake Fraley, Cincinnati Reds: We’re not sure how much — if any — upside there is here, but Fraley is a sleeper after batting .295 with 11 homers in the second half. We also love his improving contact rate.
86. James Outman, Los Angeles Dodgers: Outman’s MLB debut may have been brief last year, however he looked anything but overmatched. With Bellinger out of the mix, Outman has a path to regular playing time, making him an intriguing option for 2023.
87. Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals: Walker is one of the top prospects in baseball, but it looks like his future is in the outfield rather than at the hot corner. (He also qualifies at 3B.)
88. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates: McCutchen has stayed relatively healthy since missing most of 2019, but in the wake of that injury, he’s regressed fairly consistently. And while he saw slightly more PT last year, his ISO was never lower.
89. Mark Canha, New York Mets: Canha bounced back to extent last year, but is best employed in OBP leagues, partially because of his propensity of being hit by pitches, pacing all of baseball in that department in 2022.
90. Tyrone Taylor, Milwaukee Brewers: Taylor has played the equivalent of 1.5 MLB seasons and has gotten progressively worse since his first taste of The Show. He’s a decent hitter, but doesn’t really do anything very well.
91. Oswaldo Cabrera, New York Yankees: In just over a quarter season worth of action, Cabrera recorded a WAR of 1.5. Do the math.
92. Drew Waters, Kansas City Royals: After getting dealt from Atlanta to KC, Waters got a chance to play in the bigs, putting up power numbers that would see him flirt with 30 homers and 100 RBI over a full season.
93. Enrique Hernandez, Boston Red Sox: Hernandez could wind up being the man that replaces Xander Bogaerts at shortstop for the BoSox.
94. Avisail Garcia, Miami Marlins: Hamstring woes cost Garcia a good chunk of 2022 in what was perhaps the least productive season of his career.
95. Victor Robles, Washington Nationals: A few of Robles’ doubles turned into homers and the speed returned, but his promising 2019 season seems like a long time ago.
96. Akil Baddoo, Detroit Tigers: Baddoo’s extra-base pop sure dried up last year, leading to below average results (-9.5 runs below average based on wOBA).
97. Joey Meneses, Washington Nationals: In limited PT, Meneses has hit well over the last couple of years (156 WRC+), but he’s no spring chicken, so the only upside he offers will come through more at-bats. (He also qualifies at 1B.)
5 HRs in 9 games.
Joey Meneses is here. pic.twitter.com/zUcO8ZjexC
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 14, 2022
98. Tony Kemp, Oakland Athletics: Kemp hit the ball on the ground more last year, but his hard contact morphed into medium contact, taking a big bite out of his slash line. (He also qualifies at 2B.)
99. TJ Friedl, Cincinnati Reds: Friedl is a flyball hitter and if his HR/FB ratio keeps rising — as does his PT — he should top 20 jacks with full-time at-bats.
100. Jorge Soler, Miami Marlins: Soler will DH for the Fish, but is projected to hit cleanup:
#MiamiMarlins batting order:
CF Jazz Chisholm Jr.
3B Jean Segura
2B Luis Arraez
DH Jorge Soler
LF Bryan De La Cruz
1B Garrett Cooper
RF Avisail Garcia
SS Joey Wendle/Jacob Amaya
C Jacob Stallings
— Marlin Maniac (@MarlinManiac) January 22, 2023
101. Edward Olivares, Kansas City Royals: Oliveras has shown improvement at the plate each season, last year getting to the point where he made a positive contribution. He can be somewhat productive given enough PT, but how much he’ll get is an open question.
102. Oscar Colas, Chicago White Sox: Colas has nice across the board skills, but his arm in particular is a real weapon. His raw power will play well in RF, and while he’ll have competition, he should win the job this spring.
103. Bryan De La Cruz, Miami Marlins: Given his minor league pedigree, De La Cruz may have some BA upside.
104. Chas McCormick, Houston Astros: McCormick is never going to hit for a high BA, but he had a solid year with the stick in 2022. However, he’ll need to get more PT to make a real Fantasy impact.
105. Brendan Donovan, St. Louis Cardinals: Donovan definitely had some hot stretches last year, but was generally inconsistent. He’s another player that gets a Fantasy boost thanks to his flexibility. (Donovan also qualifies at 2B and 3B.)
106. Hunter Dozier, Kansas City Royals: Dozier is the definition of mediocre, but his multi-position eligibility gives him some value. (He also qualifies at 1B and 3B.)
107. Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers: Mitchell provided a spark to the Brewers in his brief time in the bigs, delivering some big hits. He has a chance to be an electric player thanks to his speed-power combo.
108. Sal Frelick, Milwaukee Brewers: Frelick sure looks ready for a shot after a minor league season in which he scored a ton of runs and showed emerging power.
109. Nick Gordon, Minnesota Twins: Gordon showed more power last year, but he’s another player that derives most of his value through positional eligibility (especially if your league has him as SS eligible). (He also qualifies at 2B.)
110. Jose Siri, Tampa Bay Rays: Siri saw a lot more action last year, but he needs to address his swing and miss tendency to take a step forward and establish himself as a full-time big leaguer.
111. Kyle Stowers, Baltimore Orioles: Stowers took some time to get through the Oriole system, but is now in a position to deliver some value — especially if he can show the same kind of walk rates he did in the minors.
112. Ji Hwan Bae, Pittsburgh Pirates: Bae was not overmatched in the least in his first taste of the bigs, The youngster could be a sleeper.
113. Brian Anderson, Milwaukee Brewers: Anderson’s hitting has regressed in each of the last four seasons and considering Milwaukee’s American Family Field is not exactly a hitter’s park, we don’t see this trend changing. (He also qualifies at 3B.)
114. Tommy Pham, New York Mets: Pham scored plenty of runs last year and if he gets enough PT, could do so again in a better lineup this season.
115. Raimel Tapia, Boston Red Sox: Tapia has always hit for a solid BA, although he’s regressed in that regard in recent seasons. Given his minor league deal, he’s going to have to battle onto the roster to earn PT.
116. Michael A. Taylor, Minnesota Twins: Taylor has hit better in the last couple of years, but he’s unlikely to get the same kind of PT now that he’s in Minny.
117. Wil Myers, Cincinnati Reds: Remember how good Myers was in 2016-17? Other than a very strong showing in the pandemic-shortened season, it’s pretty much been all downhill since. (He also qualifies at 1B.)
118. Matt Vierling, Detroit Tigers: Originally a Cards’ 2015 pick, Vierling opted to attend Notre Dame before the Phils grabbed him in the fifth round in 2018. The hitting ability he hinted at in 2021 sure went AWOL last year.
119. Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds: Despite seeing more action than ever last year, Senzel regressed, putting up a weak BA and even more appalling .306 slugging percentage. This could be his last shot to stick in the bigs.
120. Dylan Moore, Seattle Mariners: Need steals? Moore’s a good option. Need anything else? Look elsewhere. (He also qualifies at SS.)
121. Jack Suwinski, Pittsburgh Pirates: Suwinski had a solid rookie season, scoring a decent amount of runs considering the Pirate lineup, but his inability to hit lefties will limit his opportunities for now.
122. Kyle Isbel, Kansas City Royals: One of the boatload of Royals that weren’t allowed into Canada to play the Jays because they weren’t vaccinated, Isbel’s extra-base pop was a disappointment last year, but he’s expected to get more PT in 2023, so consider him a deep sleeper.
123. Yonathan Daza, Colorado Rockies: Hollow batting average, thy name is Yonathan Daza.
124. Gavin Sheets, Chicago White Sox: After spending a good chunk of 2021 in Triple-A, Sheets stuck around the bigs virtually all of last season, but the power he hinted at as a rookie didn’t exactly materialize as hoped.
125. Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees: Hicks was more productive last year and even provided some help in steals, but remains a far cry from his 2017-18 self.
126. Connor Joe, Pittsburgh Pirates: Unless he sees a big spike in PT, getting dealt away from Colorado doesn’t help Joe’s cause given that his OPS at home last season was over 100 points higher than on the road. (He also qualifies at 1B.)
127. Kerry Carpenter, Detroit Tigers: After being named Detroit’s Minor Leaguer of the Year, Carpenter is ready to have a sizeable role in the majors.
128. Jesus Sanchez, Miami Marlins: Sanchez doesn’t offer speed, and his power and BA both regressed last year. There’s upside here, but also bust potential.
129. LaMonte Wade Jr., San Francisco Giants: In about a half-season worth of at-bats last year, Wade struggled to get on base. (He also qualifies at 1B.)
130. Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels: Despite seeing his most action yet last year, Adell’s BA, power and walk rate all took tumbles. He’s still young enough to deliver on his promise, but patience is wearing thin.
131. Tyler Naquin, Free agent: A quad injury cost Naquin about a month last year, and his offense experienced major regression in the wake of his 2021 breakout.
132. Austin Slater, San Francisco Giants: Slater’s strike zone judgment bounced back somewhat last year, but is still a far cry from what he showed in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
133. Trayce Thompson, Los Angeles Dodgers: Thompson wasn’t quite as pull-happy last year, but his HR/FB rate was again very fortuitous. Expect that to regress to the mean.
134. Luis Gonzalez, San Francisco Giants: Gonzalez’s flyball rate dipped quite a bit last year, resulting in a lot less power.
135. Aledmys Diaz, Oakland Athletics: Diaz wasn’t nearly as valuable last year as he’d been in a fairly solid 2021 campaign. (He also qualifies at 2B.)
136. George Valera, Cleveland Guardians: Valera (hand) will be a bit behind this spring, but his power-production potential is very intriguing. The question is will he be sunk by his poor contact skills?
137. Corey Dickerson, Washington Nationals: Dickerson was super inconsistent last year, but at the very least a fine DFS option when he was hot, like in August. But the decline in power is worrisome
138. Alex Call, Washington Nationals: Call saw sliders nearly a quarter of the time last year, but hit them well. Changeups and split-fingered fastballs, however, gave him trouble.
139. Alek Thomas, Arizona Diamondbacks: Thomas did manage to put up 0.5 WAR in his first taste of the bigs, but his performance seemed underwhelming considering his dominance at Triple-A the last couple of years.
140. Michael Toglia, Colorado Rockies: Toglia is a massive switch-hitter who the Rox nabbed with their first round pick in 2019. There’s sleeper potential here.
141. Diego Castillo, Arizona Diamondbacks: After being DFAed by the Pirates, Castillo was dealt to the desert. He struggles to hit for average, but has some pop so could provide value if he can emerge as a super sub. (He also qualifies at SS and 2B).
142. Nate Eaton, Kansas City Royals: As a bit of super sub, Eaton could see action at several defensive spots this year, both in the outfield and infield. (He also qualifies at 3B.)
143. Pedro Leon, Houston Astros: Thanks to his superb on-base skills, we really like Leon’s floor as a Fantasy asset. (He also qualifies at 2B.)
144. Colton Cowser, Baltimore Orioles: After a very strong season at three different minor league levels that had him flirt with 20-20, Cowser is generating plenty of hype.
"That's Colton being Colton."
No. 4 @Orioles prospect Colton Cowser (MLB's No. 41) gets the @NorfolkTides on the board with his 19th home run of the year, 5th at Triple-A. pic.twitter.com/xyXrmd2Cuc
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 25, 2022
145. Josh Smith, Texas Rangers: Smith is expected to occupy the strong side of a platoon with Bubba Thompson, but they both struggled last year, so don’t be shocked if the Rangers seek an upgrade. (Smith also qualifies at 3B.)
146. Vidal Brujan, Tampa Bay Rays: This switch-hitter finally got some real PT in the bigs, but keeps trying his owners’ patience with his struggles. (He also qualifies at 2B.)
147. Will Brennan, Cleveland Guardians: A top 15 prospect in the Cleveland system, Brennan forced his way into an 11-game look in the bigs last year, posting a very impressive 155 wRC+. He’s a sleeper if the PT is there.
148. Josh Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays: It’s way too early for him to be labeled, but Lowe is still trying to prove that he’s not a Quad-A player. If we see more of the same this year, he may just box himself in.
149. Alec Burleson, St. Louis Cardinals: Burleson was kept away from lefties during his brief time in the bigs last year, but he struggled to get on base against righties, mostly batting in the bottom third of the order.
150. Brennen Davis, Chicago Cubs: Davis has tremendous potential… if he can finally stay healthy and get over last year’s serious back woes.
151. Andy Pages, Los Angeles Dodgers: One of the Dodgers’ top prospects, Pages sure has shown some serious home run power in the minors, and he’s likely to get a look in the bigs very soon.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
American soul/R&B artist Joe Simon was active from 1959 until the late 1990s. He gained much success from his work writing and producing the theme song from the classic 1973 blaxploitaition flick Cleopatra Jones.