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Hitters to Avoid (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

by Taylor Tarter | Featured Writer
Mar 7, 2023
Vinnie Pasquantino

Italian Beef can help you with average, but there are many more 1B going after him to help in other categories.

For the most part, this article would be more accurate if it was titled Hitters to Avoid at Cost in 2023 Fantasy Baseball. On this list, you will find players at each position who are ranked much higher in our consensus ADP here at FantasyPros (which averages the ADP for each player from NFBC, RTS, ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, and Fantrax) and my own rankings (which you can find among our expert rankings here or pinned on my Twitter account here).

Some of these players are still good choices to add to your roster, but not at their current ADP, and should be faded. Others should be avoided altogether.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

Hitters to Avoid in 2023 Fantasy Baseball

Christian Vazquez (C – MIN)

Christian Vazquez is the 17th catcher according to our consensus ADP, yet his production hardly justifies it.

Many will point to his 2019 season, where he launched 23 homers, but it was clearly an outlier. Not only was 2019 the year of the juiced ball, but in every season before or since, Vazquez has only hit single-digit homers.

Several catchers going after Vazquez in our consensus ADP that are projected by The Bat X to outproduce him in at least three categories, including Shea Langeliers, Jonah Heim, Elias Diaz, and Mitch Garver.

His best value is in two-catcher leagues where drafters can pair him with a catcher that lacks in batting average, like Cal Raleigh. Otherwise, he is a catcher to fade far past the 17th catcher off the board.

Vinnie Pasquantino (1B – KC)

Another player to fade is Vinnie Pasquantino, who is the seventh first baseman in our consensus ADP.

There is so much hype surrounding the Italian Nightmare after a 298 PA debut season where he hit 10 homers with 25 runs, 26 RBI, one steal, and a .295 AVG. That hype is driving him up draft boards, but what is being ignored is the risk that comes with drafting a rookie, especially one on a team that ZiPS projects to finish last in their division.

The Bat X projects 19 first basemen to finish ahead of the Italian Beef in homers, 13 of whom have a later consensus ADP. It also projects him to be 15th in runs and 16th in RBI.

Pasquantino presents a solid floor in terms of AVG – the Bat X projects him for a .270 AVG – after finishing with a .277 AVG or better at each stint in the minors. But is that enough to push him ahead of players like Nathaniel Lowe, Christian Walker, and CJ Cron?

Vinnie P is absolutely a high-reward type of player, but as the seventh first baseman off the boards, he is most definitely high risk at that ADP.

Wander Franco (SS – TB)

Wander Franco’s consensus ADP is 14th at shortstop. The Bat X projects him for 13 home runs, 73 runs, 69 RBI, 10 SB, and a .281 AVG in 140 games played (his previous high GP in two seasons is 83).

Going as the 19th shortstop and 48 picks later in our average ADP is dual-eligible SS/OF Amed Rosario. To put things in perspective, Rosario has played fewer than 140 games twice in six seasons, including his rookie year and 2020. The Bat X projects him for four fewer homers, three fewer RBI, and 4 fewer points in AVG than Franco. He is also projected for more RBI and steals.

Franco carries injury risk and may never live up to the potential that scouts saw in his early years in the minors. He could still be good, but there are options that present better value later in the draft.

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