2023 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: First Basemen
The 2023 fantasy baseball season will be here before we know it. That means it’s time for you to prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts. Beyond our draft prep articles and mock draft simulator, we will have you covered with 2023 fantasy baseball rankings. You can find our updated 2023 fantasy baseball expert consensus rankings here. And below you’ll find rankings from our analysts to help you prepare for the 2023 fantasy baseball season.
Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings & Advice
After a volatile offseason that saw him sign with the Dodgers, Freddie Freeman settled in and got to work being the hitting machine fantasy managers have come to know and love. While his HR total dropped to 21, his runs (117), RBI (100), and SB (13) kept him in the fantasy MVP conversation. What we really love, though, are his ratios. He may not duplicate his .325/.407/.511 line again, his three-year average of .312/.415/.563 says that range is possible with his elite skills. Ranking in the 90th percentile in K%, BB%, and xwOBA is all you need to know to feel confident in grabbing the 33-year-old in the second round.
Paul Goldschmidt won the NL MVP in 2022, putting together a strong campaign that saw him hit 35 HR with 115 RBI and 105 runs while slashing .317/.404/.578 in his age-34 season. Strangely, all of his underlying metrics were actually worse in 2022 than in 2021 with the exception of his BB% bouncing from 9.9 to 12.1. One striking reason for this was a .368 BABIP, while another was facing a lot of atrocious pitching in the NL Central. His Statcast page reads like a warning when comparing his expected numbers with his actual ones. All of this adds up to that Goldy is due for some regression in 2023, which could be dramatic. The positives are his solid floor, and a good surrounding lineup will keep the numbers afloat. Just make sure you’re not paying for his MVP iteration on draft day.
After signing an 8-year, $168 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, Matt Olson did his best to replace franchise icon Freddie Freeman in one of the weirder series of transactions in recent memory. The 28-year-old’s numbers were lower than what fantasy managers had come to expect, losing 31 points off his batting average and dropping his OBP from .371 to .325. His K% jumped precipitously (16.8 to 24.3), while his walk rate went the other direction (13.1 to 10.7). The good news is that his expected numbers were all higher than the actuals, and he still hit 34 homers with 86 runs and 103 RBI. Olson played in all 162 games last season, continuing his career of solid durability, so fantasy managers can draft him with the expectation that his numbers will normalize in his second year in Atlanta with a good lineup around him.
Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.
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