2023 Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Preview: Top-12 rankings, sleepers and draft strategy
The 2023 fantasy outfielder collection isn’t as deep as other bands we’ve seen in recent years. But the value of this position still lies in its diversity. Whether managers need to fill their roster with more power, speed, or average, chances are there will be an outfielder at every stage of the draft who fits the bill.
The change in MLB rules will also affect the outfield pool, just like any offensive position. Among this group, there are speedsters who may become angry due to the increase in the size of the base and restrictions on movement. And for some batters, the batting average has increased due to restrictions on defensive shifts. Managers can expect this diverse team to be an enticing and ever-evolving position throughout the season.
As mentioned earlier, this year’s outfielder pool is not as big as the groups we’ve enjoyed in some previous years. The scarcity is especially true for those who play in roto leagues, as having to run 3-5 outfielders depending on the league setup means managers must attack the position at regular intervals throughout the draft. Gone are the days when drafters could use different skill sets with their late-round picks. Points managers in the leagues will have more freedom to wait for outfielders since they only have to start three of them, but they may still want to lead their offense by picking up some of the high-profile talent in the position.
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The sheer number of outfielders makes tiering the position nearly impossible. Six players in this position (Ronald Koynage Jr., Aaron Judge, Julius Rodriguez, Kyle Tucker, Mookie Betts, John Soto) carry the ADP of the first round, and Jordan Alvarez And Mike Trout get off the board in the second round. Managers can’t go wrong starting their draft with one of these unmistakable stars.
Among this group, Referee (Current ADP: 3.4), Soto (Current ADP: 10.4), Alvarez (Current ADP: 12.5) and Trout (Current ADP: 17.4) have an increased value in the leagues on points, as their high walking rates outweigh their low interceptions. results in these formats. Meanwhile, Acuña (Current ADP 2.0), Rodriguez (Current ADP 5.1) and Tucker (Current ADP 8.0) have the diverse skill sets that roto managers dream of.
Managers tend to deviate from the deep pool in rounds 3 and 4 before confidently attacking the position in subsequent rounds. Roto managers who are looking for speedsters who are assets in more than one category should target the likes of Randy Arozarena (Current ADP: 44.8) Cedric Mullins (Current ADP: 52.8) Starling Marte (Current ADP: 60.9) and Adolis Garcia (Current ADP 70.6) in rounds 5 and 6, while those who want power in any fantasy format should consider Kyle Schwarber (Current ADP: 46.7) Louis Robert (Current ADP: 47.5) and Theoscar Hernandez (Current ADP: 63.4). According to this author, Schwarber, Robert and Mullins are the best options at this level.
Tier 3 takes us into the mid-rounds of fantasy drafts and is full of high variance options. Players like Eloy Jimenez (Current ADP: 82.1) Byron Buxton (Current ADP: 91.9) Bryce Harper (Current ADP: 106.5) and Giancarlo Stanton (Current ADP: 113.0) are either currently injured (Harper) or have a long history of illness. This tier also includes players with tempting potential but limited resumes such as Corbin Carroll (Current ADP: 86.9) Jake McCarthy (Current ADP: 113.0) MJ Melendez (Current ADP: 119.8) Seiya Suzuki (Current ADP: 119.7) and Stephen Kwan (Current ADP: 122.3).
Finally, there are several options that have dominated previous years before falling short of expectations last season, including Brian Reynolds (Current ADP: 91.9) Tyler O’Neil (Current ADP: 106.4) Nick Castellanos (Current ADP: 113.4) and Chris Bryant (Current ADP: 130.5).
While this position isn’t filled with sleepers, there are a few players on the board with a pick of 150 or higher who deserve attention. Taylor Ward (Current ADP: 148.0) A strong start and hot finish was followed by a disappointing summer months, likely affected by lingering injuries. With improved health, he could take his game to the next level. And although he does not quite fit the description of the sleeper, Jeff McNeil (Current ADP: 172.0) is an amazing roto league value pick that led the majors in average a year ago.
[2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP]
As we dig deeper into the pool Tyro Estrada (Current ADP: 200.2) is intriguing as a late round option. A triple position asset (2B/SS/OF) should provide some of the best steals in the Majors and usable numbers in the other four standard categories. Lars Notable (Current ADP: 206.6) is another late round player to watch out for, as some of the industry’s top analysts have staked their reputation on the idea that he could make a significant breakthrough in his 25-year season.
Finally, managers looking for an endgame sleeper should familiarize themselves with Masataka Yoshida (Current ADP: 216.5) who joins the Red Sox after a successful career in Japan. The 29-year-old has amassed a lifetime .419 OBP overseas and is currently receiving a serious call to break the lead.
Top 12 outfielders (as of February 23)
1. Ronald Coin Jr.
2. Aaron Judge
3. Julio Rodriguez
4. Kyle Tucker
5. Jordan Alvarez
6. Juan Soto
7. Mookie Betts
8. Mike Trout
9. Michael Harris II
10. Cedric Mullins
11. Louis Robert
12. Kyle Schwarber