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2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Welcome to my 2023 Fantasy Baseball rankings. It’s always a glorious time of year when baseball season is finally in our vision and we begin diving into rankings and draft rooms. As usual, I broke down my rankings my position, and tiers within each position along with strategy, early-round players to avoid at ADP, and some of my favorite post-250 targets.

The season is not here yet, but why not get a head start and jump in a Fantrax Classic Draft contest? Get a jump on the season with a Best Ball league or maybe a Draft and Hold. Or put some green on the line with a new season-long league to try and conquer. There’s no better time than now to get your baseball on!

Eric Cross’ 2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings


2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Tier 1
1J.T. RealmutoPHI
2Daulton VarshoTOR
3Adley RutschmanBAL
4Will SmithLAD
Tier 2
5Alejandro KirkTOR
6Salvador PerezKCR
7Willson ContrerasSTL
8William ContrerasMIL
9Sean MurphyATL
10MJ MelendezKCR
11Tyler StephensonCIN
Tier 3
12Danny JansenTOR
13Cal RaleighSEA
14Francisco AlvarezNYM
15Logan O'HoppeLAA
16Travis d'ArnaudATL
17Gabriel MorenoARI
Tier 4
18Yasmani GrandalCHW
19Jonah HeimTEX
20Christian VazquezMIN
21Keibert RuizWAS
22Shea LangeliersOAK
23Mitch GarverTEX
24Jose TrevinoNYY
Tier 5
25Gary SanchezFA
26Eric HaaseDET
27Nick FortesMIA
28Bo NaylorCLE
29Joey BartSFG
30Carson KellyARI
31Elias DiazCOL
32Christian BethancourtTBR
33Yainer DiazHOU
Tier 6
34Yan GomesCHC
35Austin NolaSDP
36Endy RodriguezPIT
37Luis CampusanoSDP
38Ryan JeffersMIN
39Reese McGuireBOS
40Max StassiLAA

This position is deeper now than it has been over at least the last half-decade or so. In the past, I was strongly against grabbing a catcher inside the top 100 overall given the other talent available. I’m still not a fan of it, but this top tier is worth investing in at their ADPs, especially in two-catcher formats. Both J.T. Realmuto and Daulton Varsho bring that lovely speed element to the table while Adley Rutschman and Will Smith are rock-solid four-category contributors. Unfortunately, this entire quartet are highly sought-after in fantasy drafts and you’re going to have to pay up to acquire them in 2023 drafts.

If you’re not keen on using a top-70 pick or higher on those names, this second tier is a fine place to dip your toes into. Both Contreras brothers are great targets. Willson has become one of the steadiest producers at this position and will now be in the middle of a good St. Louis lineup. As for his younger brother, William possesses more upside and could also join Tier 1 given his power potential (13.4% BRL, 46.6% HH). If he can keep the strikeouts in check, I have a feeling we’re going to see a big season from him with additional playing time in Milwaukee.

I’ve always been a big fan of Alejandro Kirk and 2023 will be no different. The contact skills and approach are elite (89.5% Zone contact, 15.4% SwStr, 11.6% BB, 10.7% K), and the upside for more game power is there if he can start hitting the ball in the air more consistently. If the additional power comes in 2023, Kirk will jump up into tier 1. However, the recent acquisition of Brandon Belt gives me slight pause as he’ll likely take some of Kirk’s DH at-bats.

Ideally, I want my catcher (or C1 in 2-C formats) to be from one of these first two tiers. This position does start dropping off in tier three, but there are some fun rookies (mentioned below) and potential bounceback candidates to target.

Early-Round ADP Avoids: None. Just really depends on what price you’re willing to pay. If I had to pick one ADP I’m not crazy about though, it’d be MJ Melendez or Sal Perez.

My Favorite Post ADP 250 Targets: Francisco Alvarez, Logan O’Hoppe, Gabriel Moreno, Bo Naylor

1st Base

2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Tier 1
1Freddie FreemanLAD
2Vladimir Guerrero JrTOR
Tier 2
3Pete AlonsoNYM
4Paul GoldschmidtSTL
Tier 3
5Vinnie PasquantinoKCR
6Matt OlsonATL
7Jose AbreuHOU
8Nathaniel LoweTEX
Tier 4
9Andrew Vaughn CHW
10Christian WalkerARI
11CJ CronCOL
12Rhys HoskinsPHI
Tier 5
13Ryan MountcastleBAL
14Jose MirandaMIN
15Anthony RizzoNYY
16Ty FranceSEA
17Rowdy TellezMIL
18Josh BellCLE
19Triston CasasBOS
20Jake CronenworthSDP
21Brandon DruryLAA
22Seth BrownOAK
Tier 6
23Miguel VargasLAD
24Spencer TorkelsonDET
25Alex KirilloffMIN
26Matt MervisCHC
27DJ LeMahieuNYY
28Wil MyersCIN
29Josh NaylorCLE
30Joey MenesesWAS
31Luis ArraezMIA
Tier 7
32Trey ManciniCHC
33Yandy DiazTBR
34Harold RamirezTBR
35Luke VoitFA
36Spencer SteerCIN
37Wilmer FloresSFG
38Juan YepezSTL
39Isaac ParedesTBR
40Michael TogliaCOL

This position is slowly getting deeper again. At the top, we have an exciting and safe tier of four consisting of Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, and Paul Goldschmidt. All four returned Top 25 value last season and are good bets to do so again in 2023. Freeman alone is one of the safest bets in baseball to return top 25 value year in and year out. If you’re hoping to get one of this quartet onto your fantasy teams, you’re going to need to use a Top-30 selection.

Alonso and Freeman are the two I find myself targeting the most from this group given what I already mentioned regarding Freeman and Alonso’s massive three-category impact that led to 40 home runs, 95 runs, and a whopping 131 RBI. Another 40/120 season could be in store for Alonso hitting in the middle of one of baseball’s best lineups.

If you’re able to grab one from that top tier, wonderful. But if you can’t, tier two is pretty damn talented as well. In fact, the only one from this tier that I’m out on at ADP is Matt Olson. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very good fantasy first baseman, but I’m not keen on taking him inside the Top 50 overall. Many of the names going 50-70 picks later are better values in my eyes, and that is especially true for Vinnie Pasquantino, who is ranked ahead of Olson for me.

Pasquantino is the real deal, showcasing an elite contact/approach profile (90.4% zone contact, 11.7% BB, 11.4% K, 15.3% SwStr) and budding power potential (46.9% HH). Even in a pitcher-friendly park, I’m banking on Vinnie P returning Top 50 value this season from an ADP close to 100. Others from tier 2 that I’m buying are Jose Abreu (Love the move to Houston), Andrew Vaughn (Should take a step forward back at his natural position), and Nathaniel Lowe.

If you’re looking for some upside plays, look no further than tier 3. This is also where several of my favorite targets land if I decided to wait a bit on this position in my drafts. The four I’ve been targeting the most are Jose Miranda, Ryan Mountcastle, Triston Casas, and Alex Kirilloff. All four have the upside to move into tier 2 this season.

Casas and Kirilloff have plenty of potential, and Kirilloff especially is a great value pick in drafts going close to pick 350. Yes, his PT is up in the air and he’s coming off another wrist injury, but I’m willing to bank on the upside at what is essentially a free price tag in most leagues. Keep an eye on how he looks in spring training and bump him up your draft board accordingly. Luckily for him, Arraez is out of town so he has a chance to snag that first base gig. Mountcastle is a sneaky target as well around pick 150-160 or so. When I dug into his profile, I came away more impressed than I anticipated.

The same can be said about Anthony Rizzo…

You’ll find even more exciting upside plays in tier 4 as well. Specifically in the trio of Miguel Vargas, Spencer Torkelson, and Matt Mervis. Torkelson looked a bit better down the stretch after being recalled from Triple-A, posting a 12.3% barrel rate, 93.1 mph AVG EV, and a 50.7% hard-hit rate. Don’t write him off quite yet, but do keep in mind that Comerica isn’t going to do him any favors. If Vargas and Mervis get full-time ABs (they should but not guaranteed), both have the offensive upside to move up one or two tiers this season. Vargas is the one I’m targeting more heavily though given his advanced bat and the lineup he’ll be in out in Los Angeles. Both are great targets though.

Early-Round ADP Avoids: Matt Olson (Just going a bit too high for my liking)

My Favorite Post ADP 250 Targets: Matt Mervis, Wil Myers, Spencer Torkelson, Miguel Vargas, Alex Kirilloff, Harold Ramirez

2nd Base

2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Jose Altuve

Tier 1
1Jose AltuveHOU
2Marcus SemienTEX
3Ozzie AlbiesATL
4Jazz Chisholm Jr.MIA
Tier 2
5Tommy EdmanSTL
6Andres GimenezCLE
Tier 3
7Vaughn GrissomATL
8Gleyber TorresNYY
9Max MuncyLAD
Tier 4
10Jonathan IndiaCIN
11Jorge PolancoMIN
12Brandon LoweTBR
Tier 5
13Ketel MarteARI
14Jake CronenworthSDP
15Thairo EstradaSFG
16Brandon DruryLAA
17Jeff McNeilNYM
18Bryson StottPHI
19Jean SeguraMIA
20Luis ArraezMIA
21Gavin LuxLAD
22Josh RojasARI
Tier 6
23Whit MerrifieldTOR
24DJ LeMahieuNYY
25CJ AbramsWAS
26Kolten WongSEA
27Nick GordonMIN
28Brendan RodgersCOL
29Luis UriasMIL
30Ryan McMahonCOL
31Christopher MorelCHC
32Luis RengifoLAA
Tier 7
33Michael MasseyKCR
34Enrique HernandezBOS
35Brendan DonovanSTL
36Connor NorbyBAL
37Curtis MeadTBR
38Tony KempOAK
39Chris TaylorLAD
40Jon BertiMIA

This has to be the most exciting tier 1 has looked for the second base position in quite some time. Yes, even including when Trea Turner had eligibility here for one season. And depending on the platform you play on, Mookie Betts might be eligible here as well. The entire top tier will go inside the Top 50 of most drafts, sometimes even inside the Top 30. For 2023, I’m giving the slight edge to Marcus Semien. After an abysmal start to the season, Semien completely flipped his season around on May 27th. Starting with a three-hit performance that day, Semien slashed .271/.327/.493 the rest of the way with 26 home runs, 73 RBI, 87 runs, and 21 steals. He was one of just two players to go 20/20 over that span (Adolis Garcia) and one of just nine players to have 70+ runs and 70+ RBI in that span.

You could make a strong case for Jose Altuve, Ozzie Albies, and even Jazz Chisholm in that top spot as well. The sexy profile and upside play is obviously Chisholm. In just 241 PA last season, Chisholm racked up 39 runs, 14 home runs, 45 RBI, and 12 steals with a 16.7% barrel rate, 46.7% hard-hit rate, and 94th percentile sprint speed. If you extrapolate that line out over 650 PA, you’d have 105 runs, 38 home runs, 121 RBI, and 32 steals. Easier said than done though.

The upside is enormous, but can Jazz stay on the field for 650 PA? Can he maintain/improve his contact skills and approach? The ADP is fair, but picking him versus the other trio comes down to your risk tolerance this early in the draft. Albies is a good value pick as well. Yes, 2022 was pretty much a lost season, but don’t forget that he had three straight full seasons of 24+/14+ coming into 2022 with a 30/20 season in 2021.

For me personally, if I don’t wind up with one of the first four at this position, I’m likely going to wait a bit. The second and third tiers are mostly filled with players whose ADPs I’m not overly excited about. Trevor Story’s metrics are trending down (Whiff/Chase) and he’s now out for a large chunk of the season. I’m not sure we can count on him to even hit .250-.260 anymore. Andres Gimenez is fine, but his metrics hint that he’s more of a .270/15 type offensively than a .300/20 one. And then we have several underperformers from 2022 such as Jonathan India, Ketel Marte, and Jake Cronenworth, and Brandon Lowe. My two favorite targets from these tiers are Tommy Edman for his speed and Vaughn Grissom for his all-around offensive potential. Both are in good lineups and both will have dual eligibility (later in April for Grissom).

Keep an eye on the prospects if it’s looking like they might break camp (or be up soon) with their respective Major League team, especially Connor Norby, Jordan Westburg, and Curtis Mead.

Early-Round Avoids: None

My Favorite Post ADP 250 Targets: Luis Rengifo, Nick Gordon

3rd Base

2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Jose Ramirez

Tier 1
1Jose RamirezCLE
2Bobby Witt JrKCR
Tier 2
3Manny MachadoSDP
4Rafael DeversBOS
5Austin RileyATL
Tier 3
6Nolan ArenadoSTL
7Alex BregmanHOU
8Gunnar HendersonBAL
Tier 4
9Jose MirandaMIN
10Max MuncyLAD
11Ke'Bryan HayesPIT
12Eugenio SuarezSEA
Tier 5
13Josh JungTEX
14Alec BohmPHI
15Justin TurnerBOS
16Brandon DruryLAA
17Matt ChapmanTOR
18Josh RojasARI
Tier 6
19Adalberto MondesiKCR
20Anthony RendonLAA
21DJ LeMahieuNYY
22Miguel VargasLAD
23Brett BatyNYM
24Yoan MoncadaCHW
25Ryan McMahonCOL
26Christopher MorelCHC
27Luis UriasMIL
28Ha-Seong KimSDP
Tier 7
29Jordan WalkerSTL
30Yandy DiazTBR
31Luis RengifoLAA
32Brendan DonovanSTL
33Ramon UriasBAL
34Jon BertiMIA
35Curtis MeadTBR
36Wilmer FloresSFG
37Eduardo EscobarNYM
38Gio UrshelaMIN
39JD DavisSFG
40Jordan WestburgBAL

If you’ve still been consuming fantasy baseball content through the winter months, you already know that the hot corner is top heavy and falls off quickly. If you’re just now jumping back into fantasy baseball content, consider this your warning that this position falls off in a hurry. With that said, the top of this position is incredibly potent with five players going within the first 25 picks overall. Jose Ramirez is once again a top-5 selection while Bobby Witt Jr has snuck into the top 10. Some are worried about JoRam’s less than stellar second half (.269/10/7 in 70 G), but I’m willing to chalk up most of that to his injury and bank on Ramirez returning to his elite Top 5 production once again in 2023. Literally zero worries here.

I’m also 100% fine with the ADPs for Bobby Witt Jr, Rafael Devers, Manny Machado, and Austin Riley as well. Grabbing Witt also gives you dual eligibility and added flexibility for later in your draft. Grabbing one of these five mostly depends on where you slot in the draft order. The next tier depends on how early you want to reach for Nolan Arenado, Alex Bregman, Gunnar Henderson (also dual eligibility), and Carlos Correa once he presumably signs with the Mets.

In my early drafts thus far, I’ve noticed these four usually being reached for a bit early due to the drop off at this position that follows them. My recommendation is to not reach. Might sound odd, but the more I’ve looked at the next tier, the more I’m becoming relatively okay with it. Is it a great tier? No. But there are some nice targets in here that you can draft several rounds later than the aforementioned quartet.

The group consisting of Jose Miranda, Max Muncy, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Eugenio Suarez, and Josh Jung represent the last players I’d be somewhat okay with having as my starter at this position. If you want some speed and upside, go Hayes. Power? Go Suarez or Muncy. Young rising bats with a solid ROI possibility? Go Miranda or Jung. After these names, that’s when it really starts falling off quick into a land with more questions than answers.

Early-Round Avoids: None

My Favorite Post ADP 250 Targets: Jordan Walker, Luis Rengifo, Justin Turner


2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Trea Turner

Tier 1
1Trea TurnerPHI
2Bobby Witt Jr.KCR
Tier 2
3Bo BichetteTOR
4Fernando TatIs Jr.SDP
Tier 3
5Marcus SemienTEX
6Francisco LindorNYM
Tier 4
7Oneil CruzPIT
8Dansby SwansonCHC
9Corey SeagerTEX
10Xander BogaertsSDP
Tier 5
11Tim AndersonCHW
12Tommy EdmanSTL
13Gunnar HendersonBAL
14Wander FrancoTBR
15Andres GimenezCLE
16Willy AdamesMIL
17Jeremy PenaHOU
18Carlos CorreaMIN
Tier 6
19Nico HoernerCHC
20Amed RosarioCLE
21Javier BaezDET
22Thairo EstradaSFG
23CJ AbramsSDP
24Jorge MateoBAL
25Adalberto MondesiKCR
26Bryson StottPHI
27Ezequiel TovarCOL
28Nick GordonMIN
29Oswald PerazaNYY
Tier 7
30Luis RengifoLAA
31Luis UriasMIL
32Ha-Seong KimSDP
33Christopher MorelCHC
34Elvis AndrusFA
35Anthony VolpeNYY
36Luis GarciaWAS
37Rodolfo CastroPIT
38Royce LewisMIN
39Brandon CrawfordSFG
40Elly De La CruzCIN

How does this position continue to get deeper and deeper every season? It’s unfathomable how much talent is at this position this season. To put it in perspective, I don’t even have the newest San Francisco Giant  New York Met  Minnesota Twin, Carlos Correa, inside my top 15 at this position.

Right off the bat you have four players going within the first 25 picks on average. That includes Fernando Tatís Jr who will miss the first 20 games of the season. If you’re risk-averse, I can see passing on him given the 20-game absence and high likelihood of additional missed time. But man, the upside makes it hard to pass him over. Trea Turner is definitely the safest of the bunch, having finished as a top 5 overall fantasy player in each of the last three seasons according to the Razzball Player Rater. Can Bobby Witt Jr build on his 20/30 rookie campaign? I’m sure banking on it. If you want him on your team, a top-10 pick is the price.

Tiers two and three are filled with established players and the shiny new toy, Oneil Cruz, is thrown into the fray. Drafting Cruz comes down to how risk-averse you are, but the power and speed could allow him to cut his ADP in half for 2024. In 361 plate appearances last season, Cruz racked up 17 home runs and 10 steals with a 15.5% barrel rate, 46.1% hard-hit rate, and a 98th-percentile sprint speed. However, all of that came with a 34.9% strikeout rate and a 35.4% whiff rate. He’s arguably the biggest boom or bust selection within the top 100 overall picks.

As for the veterans in this tier, I’m all-in on a Corey Seager bounceback season. Swanson, Bogaerts, and Anderson all represent solid value picks as well.

While this position is loaded at the top and relatively deep, don’t wait too long on grabbing your shortstop. After the Correa/Pena/Rosario range around pick 125, the options at this position provide more questions than answers, both with performance and durability. If you happen to wait too long, Vaughn Grissom is a decent fallback option though. He won’t have SS eligibility to start the season but is slated to take over as the starting shortstop for Atlanta with Swanson now with the Cubs.

If you miss out on all of those guys including Grissom, I’d recommend grabbing one of the high upside youngsters to offset whatever shortstop you selected that didn’t inspire you. I’d mainly recommend targeting Oswald Peraza or Ezequiel Tovar due to their likely starting role out of the gate. Anthony Volpe and Royce Lewis are also nice late-round fliers if you can wait a little bit for them to contribute to your teams.

Early-Round Avoids: Fernando Tatís Jr (If your risk-averse), Oneil Cruz (Same), Andrés Gimenez (Not really an avoid, just don’t see much ROI opportunity)

Post ADP 250 Targets: Ezequiel Tovar, Oswald Peraza, Ha-Seong Kim, Luis Urias


2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Ronald Acuna Jr

Tier 1
1Ronald Acuna Jr.ATL
2Julio RodriguezSEA
3Aaron JudgeNYY
4Kyle TuckerHOU
5Yordan AlvarezHOU
6Juan SotoSDP
7Mookie BettsLAD
Tier 2
8Fernando Tatis Jr.SDP
9Mike TroutLAA
10Michael Harris IIATL
11Randy ArozarenaTBR
Tier 3
12Daulton VarshoTOR
13Luis RobertCHW
14Corbin CarrollARI
15Eloy JimenezCHW
16Adolis GarciaTEX
17Cedric MullinsBAL
18Teoscar HernandezSEA
Tier 4
19Starling MarteNYM
20George SpringerTOR
21Kyle SchwarberPHI
22Bryan ReynoldsPIT
23Taylor WardLAA
24Bryce HarperPHI
25Tyler O'NeillSTL
Tier 5
26Jake McCarthyARI
27Steven KwanCLE
28Seiya SuzukiCHC
29Andrew VaughnCHW
30Nick CastellanosPHI
31Byron BuxtonMIN
32Ian HappCHC
33Anthony SantanderBAL
34Christian YelichMIL
35Kris BryantCOL
Tier 6
36Giancarlo StantonNYY
37MJ MelendezKCR
38Lars NootbaarSTL
39Oscar GonzalezCLE
40Hunter RenfroeLAA
41Thairo EstradaSFG
42Brandon NimmoFA
43Mitch HanigerSFG
44Cody BellingerCHC
45JD MartinezLAD
46Seth BrownOAK
47Jeff McNeilNYM
Tier 7
48Bryan De La CruzMIA
49Riley GreeneDET
50Harrison BaderNYY
51Alex VerdugoBOS
52Andrew BenintendiCHW
53Masataka YoshidaBOS
54Trey ManciniCHC
55Gavin LuxLAD
56Joc PedersonSFG
57Ramon LaureanoOAK
58Brandon MarshPHI
Tier 8
59Nick GordonMIN
60Oswaldo CabreraNYY
61Charlie BlackmonCOL
62Joey MenesesWAS
63Austin HaysBAL
64Whit MerrifieldTOR
65Esteury RuizOAK
66Alex KirilloffMIN
67Christopher MorelCHC
68Manuel MargotTBR
69Lourdes Gurriel Jr.ARI
70Randal GrichukCOL
71Lane ThomasWAS
72Michael ConfortoSFG
73Wil MyersCIN
Tier 9
74Austin MeadowsDET
75Jake FraleyCIN
76Juan YepezSTL
77Jesus SanchezMIA
78Jesse WinkerMIL
79Garrett MitchellMIL
80Bubba ThompsonTEX
81Tommy PhamNYM
82Jordan WalkerSTL
83Max KeplerMIN
84Trent GrishamSDP
85Will BrennanCLE
Tier 10
86Mark CanhaNYM
87Brendan DonovanSTL
88Jarred KelenicSEA
89Harold RamirezTBR
90Marcell Ozuna ATL
91Jurickson ProfarSDP
92Mike YastrzemskiSFG
93Dylan CarlsonSTL
94Chris TaylorLAD
95Sal FrelickMIL
96Michael BrantleyHOU
97Avisail GarciaMIA
98Trayce ThompsonLAD
99James OutmanLAD
100Adam DuvallBOS

Surprisingly, the outfield position has taken a step back this season overall. While the elite talent is still there in groves, the options in the middle rounds are less certain than in previous seasons. That’s why I’m trying to secure at least two outfielders before I get to pick 100. That’s not to say the middle rounds are completely lacking talent, but the options I feel safe with having as my OF2 ends in the Bryan Reynolds/Taylor Ward area.

But getting back to the top, there are plenty of elite options to feel comfortable about in the early rounds. It also depends on where you are picking in the round as the entire first tier could be gone by pick 11 or so. I have literally zero issues drafting any of the seven. Proceed with confidence. After them, it boils down to whether or not you personally trust Mike Trout/Luis Robert to stay healthy, believe in what Michael Harris II did, or wanted to wait until the Eloy Jimenez/Corbin Carroll range. But again, don’t wait too far because the dropoff is approaching quickly.

Assuming you do grab two outfielders in the top 100 picks or so, I’d try and grab my OF3 in the next 100 picks. Some of my favorite mid-round targets are Jake McCarthy, Steven Kwan, Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki, Anthony Santander, and Seth Brown. All of which I’d be fine with having as my 3rd outfielder.

Early-Round Avoids at ADP: Cedric Mullins, Byron Buxton, Kyle Schwarber (Not a full avoid, but not crazy about the price)

Post ADP 250 Targets: Masataka Yoshida, Brandon marsh, Nick Gordon, Alex Kirilloff, Esteury Ruiz, Michael Conforto, Wil Myers, Garrett Mitchell, Will Brennan

Starting Pitcher

2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Corbin Burnes

Tier 1
1Corbin BurnesMIL
2Shane McClanahanTBR
3Gerrit ColeNYY
4Brandon WoodruffMIL
5Sandy AlcantaraMIA
Tier 2
6Aaron NolaPHI
7Jacob deGromTEX
8Max ScherzerNYM
9Justin VerlanderNYM
10Shohei OhtaniLAA
11Spencer StriderATL
12Zack WheelerPHI
13Carlos RodonNYY
14Dylan CeaseCHW
15Julio UriasLAD
Tier 3
16Shane BieberCLE
17Zac GallenARI
18Max FriedATL
19Kevin GausmanTOR
20Alek ManoahTOR
21Cristian JavierHOU
22Luis CastilloSEA
Tier 4
23Yu DarvishSDP
24Framber ValdezHOU
25Joe MusgroveSDP
26Nestor CortesNYY
27Blake SnellSDP
28Tyler GlasnowTBR
29George KirbySEA
30Triston McKenzieCLE
31Kyle WrightATL
Tier 5
32Luis SeverinoNYY
33Freddy PeraltaMIL
34Clayton KershawLAD
35Jesus LuzardoMIA
36Lance LynnCHW
37Logan WebbSFG
38Robbie RaySEA
39Nick LodoloCIN
40Tony GonsolinLAD
41Logan GilbertSEA
42Hunter GreeneCIN
Tier 6
43Chris BassittTOR
44Lucas GiolitoCHW
45Chris SaleBOS
46Pablo LopezMIA
47Dustin MayLAD
48Luis GarciaHOU
49Jordan MontgomerySTL
50Jeffrey SpringsTBR
51Lance McCullers Jr.HOU
52Charlie MortonATL
53Joe RyanMIN
54Grayson RodriguezBAL
55Drew RasmussenTBR
Tier 7
56Reid DetmersLAA
57Brady SingerKCR
58Nathan EovaldiTEX
59Kodai SengaNYM
60Jon GrayTEX
61Patrick SandovalLAA
62Edward CabreraMIA
63Frankie MontasNYY
64Hunter BrownHOU
65Justin SteeleCHC
66Trevor RogersMIA
67Aaron AshbyMIL
68Jack FlahertySTL
69Alex CobbSFG
Tier 8
70Jose UrquidyHOU
71Merrill KellyARI
72Tyler MahleMIN
73Sonny GrayMIN
74Andrew HeaneyTEX
75Brayan BelloBOS
76Bailey OberMIN
77Noah SyndergaardLAD
78Eric LauerMIL
79Miles MikolasSTL
80Ranger SuarezPHI
81Garrett WhitlockBOS
82Jose BerriosTOR
83Jameson TaillonCHC
Tier 9
84Tyler AndersonLAD
85Mike ClevingerCHW
86Cal QuantrillCLE
87Roansy ContrerasPIT
88Michael KopechCHW
89Brandon PfaadtARI
90Sean ManaeaSFG
91Ross StriplingSFG
92Corey KluberBOS
93Marcus StromanCHC
94Aaron CivaleCLE
95Braxton GarrettMIA
96Carlos CarrascoNYM
97Martin PerezTEX
98Kenta MaedaMIN
Tier 10
99Andrew PainterPHI
100Luis OrtizPIT
101Tanner HouckBOS
102David PetersonNYM
103Hayden WesneskiCHC
104Zach EflinTBR
105Tylor MegillNYM
106Mitch KellerPIT
107Drey JamesonARI
108Eduardo RodriguezDET
109Steven MatzSTL
110Ryne NelsonARI
Tier 11
111Mike SorokaATL
112MacKenzie GoreWAS
113Adam WainwrightSTL
114Ken WaldichukOAK
115Michael WachaFA
116Jose QuintanaNYM
117Josiah GrayWAS
118Taijuan WalkerPHI
119Cole IrvinOAK
120Cody MorrisCLE
121Alex WoodSFG
122Kyle GibsonPHI
123Jose SuarezLAA
124Cade CavalliWAS
125Bryce ElderATL

Once again, the pitcher position is incredibly deep. In fact, this might be the deepest this position has ever been. At least in the last several years at least. That depth is overflowing both in general and for elite talent as well. Looking at my rankings, I’d be fine with as many as 18 of them as my fantasy ace, maybe even up to 20. This is why I’ve been waiting a little bit in drafts to grab my ace unless an arm falls to me at a good value in the first three rounds. The one I’ve found falling a bit is Shane McClanahan, usually going off the board as the SP 6-8. People seem to be overly worried about his second half, but not me. He was at the most innings of his career and the metrics are elite.

The other two aces I’ve been finding myself with several shares of are Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Nola was simply elite last season with a 3.25 ERA (2.74 xERA), 0.95 WHIP, 3.6% walk rate, and a 29.1% strikeout rate. Elite numbers with elite metrics and a high floor? Sign me up. But as long as I can grab my first starter before we get to the Gausman/Manoah range, I’ll be happy. That’s the range where we begin transitioning over into SP2 territory in my eyes.

With the amount of pitching injuries always seemingly on the rise, accumulating quality depth is important. There are a lot of fun, riskier arms that you might be tempted to take, but drafting too many of these guys sets you up for failure. That’s why it’s crucial to go after some of the Chris Bassitt/Lance Lynn/Jordan Montgomery types. These arms usually fall a bit in drafts too.

Early-Round Avoids at ADP: Dylan Cease, Tyler Glasnow

Post ADP 250 Targets: Nathan Eovaldi, Hunter Brown, Justin Steele, Cal Quantrill, Ross Stripling, Brayan Bello, Brandon Pfaadt

Relief Pitcher

2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Edwin Diaz

Tier 1
1Edwin DiazNYM
2Emmanuel ClaseCLE
Tier 2
3Josh HaderSDP
4Jordan RomanoTOR
5Felix BautistaBAL
6Ryan PresslyHOU
Tier 3
7Raisel IglesiasATL
8Devin WilliamsMIL
9Ryan HelsleySTL
10Camilo DovalSFG
11Clay HolmesNYY
12Jhoan DuranMIN
13David BednarPIT
Tier 4
14Kenley JansenBOS
15Scott BarlowKCR
16Andrés MuñozSEA
17Alexis DiazCIN
18Paul SewaldSEA
19Daniel BardCOL
20Pete FairbanksTBR
21Evan PhillipsLAD
Tier 5
22Jose LeclercTEX
23Jorge LopezMIN
24Kendall GravemanCHW
25Seranthony DominguezPHI
26Rafael MonteroHOU
27Kyle FinneganWAS
28Dylan FloroMIA
29Giovanny GallegosSTL
30Aroldis ChapmanKCFR
31Trevor MayOAK
32Taylor RogersSFG
33Gregory SotoPHI
Tier 6
34David RobertsonNYM
35Jimmy HergetLAA
36Brandon HughesCHC
37Chris MartinBOS
38Jason AdamTBR
39James KarinchakCLE
40Craig KimbrelPHI
41Robert SuarezSDP
42A.J. MinterATL
Tier 7
43Bryan AbreuHOU
44Mark MelanconARI
45Daniel HudsonLAD
46Domingo AcevedoOAK
47Jose AlvaradoPHI
48A.J. PukOAK
49Matt BrashSEA
50John SchreiberBOS

Valuing relievers comes down to the depth and format of your league. In saves-only leagues, especially in deeper formats like draft and holds, bestballs, and DCs, the top relievers take on more importance. You’ll see Edwin Diaz, Emmanuel Clase, and others pushed up into the early rounds, probably before you’re willing to take them.

In save/holds leagues, there are more options available to you, which allows you to wait a bit if you so please. Just make sure you know the format and act accordingly. In saves-only leagues, the safe and reliable targets dry up quickly while the world of shared roles and bullpen committees takes over. So don’t wait too long to secure your saves in this format.

Lastly, I decided to take Liam Hendriks out as we don’t know when he’ll pitch again. But that is secondary to his health at this point as he battles cancer. Prayers go out to Liam and his family as they take on this battle.

Early-Round Avoids at ADP: All really depends on the format. I don’t particularly hate any of these ADPs.

Post ADP 250 Targets: Evan Phillips, Dylan Floro, Brandon Hughes, Kendall Graveman

Media Credit: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire, Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire, Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sports, Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire, Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire, Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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  1. Rik says

    Thoughts on Matt Manning? Feel like he pitched well at the end of the year. Not including him based on his end-of-season injury or just don’t feel like he’ll keep it up?

    1. Eric Cross says

      He might be able to be a back-end TOp-100 guy, but I’ve lost hope for anything more than that. We discussed him on the latest Toolshed pod too.

  2. Rik says

    What do you think about Matt Manning? Feel like he pitched pretty well at the end of the year. More based on the injury at the end of the year or just not trusting that he’ll pitch like that next year?

    1. Eric Cross says

      He might be able to be a back-end TOp-100 guy, but I’ve lost hope for anything more than that. We discussed him on the latest Toolshed pod too.

  3. PJ says

    Out on Alek Thomas?

    1. Eric Cross says

      Not at all. Just don’t see him playing a ton initially. Think he gets some time in Triple-A to begin the season.

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