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Early 2023 Fantasy Baseball ADP Thoughts: Infielders

It might only be early November, but 2023 fantasy baseball leagues are already in full swing. And with these early 2023 drafts comes early 2023 Fantasy Baseball ADP for all of use degenerates to digest, dissect, and analyze. It’s still VERY early, so ADP will surely change over the coming months, but it’s fun to dig in to early data to see what range certain players are in, what trends are popping up, and so much more. That’s what I’m going to do today, starting with infield positions.

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Early 2023 Fantasy Baseball ADP Thoughts


Valuing catchers and analyzing ADP really comes down to if you’re in a one or two-catcher league. As usual, catchers are being pushed up in two-catcher formats as no one enjoys getting stuck with a black hole as their C2. The order of catcher ADP so far isn’t overly surprising with JT Realmuto leading the way, going off the board around pick 40 overall (Min 18, Max 54). There are four other backstops currently going inside the top 100 on average: Will Smith (58), Daulton Varsho (61.5), Salvador Perez (66.3), and Adley Rutschman (73.1). I’m honestly surprised to see Rutschman 5th in catcher ADP given his pedigree, tools, rookie performance, and the hype surrounding him right now. If you’re drafting later in draft season, I’d expect that ADP to rise, especially if he starts hot in spring training.

Following the big five is where things get interesting. The quarter of Willson Contreras, Alejandro Kirk, MJ Melendez, and Tyler Stephenson are all going within the top 150 overall with William Contreras only a few picks outside this range. One strong avoid for me in this range is Melendez. He’ll be good for some hot stretches given his power, but there’s no way I’m taking him as the 8th catcher off the board. I’d much rather have William Contreras 40 picks later who led all catchers (Min 300 PA) in wOBA, wRC+, and SLG while ranking 2nd in ISO. The playing time will be limited a bit due to the presence of Travis d’Arnaud, but Atlanta could give him time at DH as well to keep his bat in the lineup. He’s an easy top-10 fantasy catcher for 2023 in my eyes.

1st Base

As of now, Vinnie Pasquantino is going close to 50 picks after Matt Olson. This shows me that Pasquantino is being undervalued and Olson is also being a bit overvalued. We all know the power is immense and makes him a near-lock for 30+ homers annually, but he’s a 3-category guy at best who has seen wild fluctuation with the AVG. Drafting Olson ahead of Pasquantino is fine, but there’s no way there should be a 50-pick gap. Personally, I have Vinnie P ahead of Olson in my early 2023 rankings.

The four going ahead of this duo are Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, and Paul Goldschmidt. You should have zero trepidation selecting any of those four in the first three rounds. However, I’m probably not going to get any Guerrero shares if his ADP remains around 14 overall For 2023 only, I can easily see Alonso or Goldy outperforming him, as they did in 2022. Give me Freeman over him as my top option at this position. Freeman remains undervalued despite being one of the two or three safest bets to return first-round value.

In general, this position’s depth has gotten better this season. We saw breakout performances from Nathaniel Lowe, Christian Walker, and CJ Cron, along with other fun younger options emerging like Ty France, Ryan Mountcastle, and Andrew Vaughn. If you miss out on the elite options, this is a position where you can wait a little bit and still grab a back-end caliber starter around pick 150 or so. And given the shallowness of the hot corner, your corner infield option will probably come from this position more often than not.

2nd Base

I’m hoping you enjoyed Trea Turner having 2nd base eligibility while it lasted because that’s gone quicker than Byron Buxton being healthy. Without Turner,  you have a massive 1st tier containing Ozzie Albies, Marcus Semien, Jose Altuve, and Jazz Chisholm with Trevor Story, Tommy Edman, and Andres Gimenez not far behind. You can argue the pros and cons of all of these guys, and I don’t have any big gaps between any of those first four names.

If you want upside, go Chisholm, if you want safety, go Altuve. If you want the best combination of both of those, go Semien. After a sluggish start, Semien was one of the best overall fantasy players over the final 2/3 of the season, racking up 25 home runs and 19 steals from June 1st on. The only other 20+/15+ player during this timeframe was Kyle Tucker with Aaron Judge and JT Realmuto just missing.

After the top four, it gets messy for the most part. While Edman and Gimenez are fairly safe options, the rest of the 2nd baseball from Story at pick 69 down to Muncy at pick 162 all have significant question marks for one reason or another. If I don’t get a top option, I’m probably avoiding that range and waiting for the 150-200 range. While there’s not a ton of upside in this range, you can grab undervalued options such as Nico Hoerner or Vaughn Grissom. And for not being a big Ketel Marte guy, his ADP of 185 is certainly fair.

3rd Base

This is a position you’re going to need to hit early if you want a safe starting option. There are five tier-one options, two in tier-two, and then Gunnar Henderson as the 8th 3rd base eligible player off the board. Those five tier-one options are appropriately ranked in my eyes. If you want Jose Ramirez, you’ll need to have a top-5 or even top-3 pick. If you want Bobby Witt Jr, he’s going top-10 this year after a 20/30 rookie season. After those two, Manny Machado, Rafael Devers, and Austin Riley are going between picks 15 and 25 on average. All of them are incredibly safe and great building blocks for your teams. And honestly, Machado is a bit undervalued.

Nolan Arenado and Alex Bregman are the duo going between Henderson and the top four, both representing solid value picks at their current ADPs of 47 and 91 respectively. But after the top eight at this position, there’s a massive dropoff with more questions than answers.

Performance Questions: Eugenio Suarez, Matt Chapman, Josh Rojas, Alec Bohm, Christopher Morel

Durability Questions: DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rendon

Both Performance & Durability Questions: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Max Muncy, Yoan Moncada, Adalberto Mondesi

Inexperience Questions: Jose Miranda, Josh Jung

You could even add more names to the above subsets but you get the picture. However, there are some intriguing names that I’ll be targeting such as Jose Miranda, Josh Jung, and Max Muncy, Miranda and Jung have the upside to be top-10 options at the position in short order while Muncy bounced back to pre-2022 Muncy levels later in the season as he got further and further removed from the elbow injury. He’s a great value pick in 2023 going after pick 150 on average.


And the deep get deeper. This position has notoriously been deep for quite some time now, but even more so in 2023 drafts. For example, depending on your league eligibility thresholds, as many as 23 shortstops are going within the top 150 overall. Recent World Series MVP Jeremy Pena is going off the board at pick 124 as SS 18 overall. That’s an incredible value.

But what does this mean? Well, when looking at other positions, specifically second base and third base, you can begin to formulate a plan of attack for your drafts. With second and third base being much shallower, it’s wise to try and secure those positions earlier. Shortstop being incredibly deep allows you to try that strategy. But don’t wait too long. It’s no secret that this position possesses incredible depth, so you’re not going to be the only one with this mindset.

Trust me, I’ve already experienced this firsthand. If you’re getting into the Willy Adames/Carlos Correa range of shortstops, I’d pull the trigger quickly. Pena is the last shortstop I’d want as my starter this season. After that, the available options are more suited for a MI role.

As for specific players, you have five distancing themselves from the pack in ADP: Trea Turner, Bobby Witt Jr., Bo Bichette, Fernando Tatís Jr, and Francisco Lindor. All are being taken within the top 35-40 picks on average and then there’s a slight drop to options such as Corey Seager, Oneil Cruz, and Dansby Swanson. Cruz is going to be a popular pick in the back-end of the top-100 given how he finished the 2022 season along with his immense offensive upside.

Out of all the names I just mentioned, the name Tatís Jr immediately sticks out. As we all well know, Tatís possesses the highest upside in all of fantasy and showed that in 2021 with a 42/25 season in only 130 games. But an entire missed season due to injuries and a suspension has certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of many fantasy managers. With him returning in the 3rd week of the season, missing 20 games, Tatís actually feels like a value around pick 30 on average. Is he risky? Abso-freaking-lutely he is. However, we’ve seen him put up first-round value in fewer games. If you’re first one or two picks are safer options, I’m not opposed to rolling the dice on him.

Media Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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  1. Jose A. Hernandez says

    Hi Eric, What kind of numbers do you expect out Jazz Chisholm in 2023? I have high hopes for him. In my Scoresheet baseball team, I plan to hit him 3rd behind Correa and Goldy and in front of Manny. I know he has the power, I just hope he has and OBP over .240. I also hope he stays healthy and gives me 135+ games.

    1. Eric Cross says

      Jazz has such a wide variance, but I’m mostly a believer. AVG probably hovers around .250, but the power and speed should be nice.

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