As you prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts, figuring out who you want to target and avoid in drafts is important. Culling your draft list is crucial to make it go seamlessly.
The outfield is often talked about as being a bad position in fantasy this season. However, it is not as bad as it seems, but it does have very serious drop-offs from the top of the pool to the middle and to the bottom. Yet, there are interesting targets throughout. Here are my picks for outfielders to target and avoid at the position in 2023.
- ADP Target & Avoid: Catchers | First Base | Second Base | Shortstop | Third Basemen
- Fitz’s Positional Primers
- Justin Mason’s Draft Day Cheat Sheet
- Players the Experts Draft
- Latest Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Outfielders to Target or Avoid at ADP
Randy Arozarena (OF, DH – TB) | 38.42 ADP
Randy Arozarena was one of two players that hit at least 20 home runs and stole at least 30 bases in 2022, with the other being Bobby Witt Jr. So why is Witt Jr. going as a first-round pick and Arozarena is outside the top 30 picks? Part of it is the youth of Witt Jr. is a bit overvalued, but part of it is Arozarena being way underappreciated. I also don’t think that 2022 is Arozarena’s ceiling, though I do think he will likely repeat what he did last year.
Cedric Mullins (OF – BAL) | 48.34 ADP
Maybe I am a little biased as I am a known Cedric Mullins supporter, but I don’t understand why people are fading him once again. Yes, his 2022 was a step back after his 2021 breakout, but it was also expected. He still had a fantastic year that resulted in a top-30 year, and you are getting him two rounds after that.
Bryan Reynolds (OF – PIT) | 93.79 ADP
Bryan Reynolds is a player that is unappreciated for what he does. He hits for power and average while not being a zero in the other categories. I know that people are afraid of the Pittsburgh lineup, but the top half is getting better, and there is a chance he is traded at some point in the season after he requested a trade in the offseason. If that were to happen, he would be a massive bargain instead of the good one he is right now.
Lars Nootbaar (OF – STL) | 191.84 ADP
Lars Nootbaar has been a popular sleeper target already this draft season, and I am a bit surprised that his ADP has not risen higher. He has all the physical tools with power and speed for a breakout. There is also a belief that he could lead off, which would be huge on what looks like one of the best lineups in baseball. The question is how many plate appearances we could see. If Nootbaar gets 650 plate appearances, he could be one of the best deals in the draft.
TJ Friedl (OF – CIN) | 376.11
My love for TJ Friedl is no secret. He has power and speed and is in the conversation to lead off in Cincinnati, which is one of the best parks in baseball to hit in. In 2022, he hit eight home runs and stole seven bases in just 258 plate appearances. If you prorate that out to 600 plate appearances, it looks like an 18/17 season He isn’t even being drafted in 10 and 12-team leagues, which makes him a perfect late dart throw with a ton of upside.
Yordan Alvarez (OF, DH – HOU) | 10.85 ADP
I was fading Yordan Alvarez before the hand issue popped up, though it was largely due to his health history. He has yet to cross the 600 plate appearance mark as a Major Leaguer because of persistent knee and hand issues. This clearly is not something that is going away, and that makes him a major risk as a first-round pick. The other issue is his lack of stolen bases. When I am taking a first-round pick, I want a player that can deliver in all five categories, and Alvarez doesn’t do that. He can be a top-tier talent on a per-plate appearance basis. Yet, with the risk associated with his profile, I am fading him.
Byron Buxton (OF, DH – MIN) | 102.23 ADP
Byron Buxton is similar to Alvarez regarding the risk associated with his health. Buxton was fantastic last season when he was on the field, hitting 28 home runs and stealing six bases in just 382 plate appearances. But he has not had 400 plate appearances in a season since 2017. He also had his highest strikeout rate since 2015 and his lowest batting average since 2018. A full season of Buxton could be amazing. However, even if he were to stay healthy, which is extremely unlikely at this point, the Twins will manage him and not let him play in 150 games to try and preserve him. I am unwilling to take that gamble, even at a cheaper price than we saw in the last few years.
Nick Castellanos (OF – PHI) |128.14
Nick Castellanos is coming off his worst season in a long time, hitting .263/.305/.389 with 13 home runs. While he has been called a good bounce-back bet for 2023, I am very skeptical. He had the worst pull percentage and the worst barrel percentage of his career. He struggled to make consistent hard contact, and his swinging strike rate was the worst he has ever had. There just isn’t a ton in the profile that gives me hope that it was just a bad year we can ignore.
Jesse Winker (OF – MIL) | 272.42 ADP
Jesse Winker is a popular sleeper after being traded from Seattle to Milwaukee because it is a much better hitting environment. He has often been an industry favorite as a player that is always “primed for a breakout.” However, the truth of the matter is that he has really never been the type of player that people want him to be. He is a career .205 hitter versus left-handed pitching, which means he will never be the kind of hitter that gets a ton of volume when he finds himself in a platoon. While he makes a lot of contact in the zone, a lot of the hard contact he makes tends to end up on the ground, which can help the batting average, but it doesn’t translate to power. He also tends to be a bit injury prone, which takes away more opportunities. Finally, he is a poor defender, which means he will lose more opportunities. Winker is only a sleeper in the sense that his profile should put you to sleep.
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 – which optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio