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Players the Experts Draft (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Mar 7, 2023
Lars Nootbaar

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 beyond that, we’ll even give you the players the experts are targeting in their personal fantasy baseball drafts. Let’s take a look at a few players the experts are picking this fantasy baseball draft season.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

Expert Must-Have Players (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Justin Mason’s Must-Have Players

Randy Arozarena (OF – TB)

Arozarena was one of two players in baseball last year with 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases, the other being Bobby Witt Jr. (SS, 3B – KC), and Witt is going in the first round of the draft while Arozarena isn’t going in the top 30 picks. With the new rules that are likely to increase stolen bases, he could steal 40+ bags.

Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL)

Bradish made a pitch mix change in the second half of the season, which resulted in fantastic results. He has also seen a bump in fastball velocity in spring which is encouraging and could lead to some added strikeout upside. The park in Baltimore protects him from home runs which is also a big plus. He is so cheap that the combination of upside and value makes him an easy gamble.

Check out all of Mason’s must-have players here >>

Mike Kurland’s Must-Have Players

Lars Nootbaar (OF – STL)

You will be hard-pressed to find someone not excited about Lars Nootbaar this season. He flashed the power potential last season by posting a max exit velocity in the 89th percentile (113 mph) and hard hit rate in the 80th percentile (46%). Not to mention he limits swing-and-miss and barreled the ball a ton. With a 12.1% Barrel% which was good enough to be in the 85th percentile.

Nootbaar managed to walk at a 14.7% clip. This placed him among the top 2% of the league. ELITE walk rate here. He managed to have an above-average contact rate while being uber-selective at the plate. It is an impressive skill that he flashes. Lastly, he is likely to begin the year as the leadoff hitter against RHP. A trend we saw start in the second half and carry into the short stint of the playoffs. Getting that path to added plate appearances atop one of the better lineups in baseball is just the cherry on top at this point.

Check out all of Kurland’s must-have players here >>

Mike Waterloo’s Must-Have Players

Kevin Gausman (SP – TOR)

This is about pure regression for me, as Gausman had a league-worst .363 BABIP against last season. With that, the opposition hit .270 against him but his xBA was .242. Of course, there is the whole shift banning and outfield wall being moved in, but Gausman’s stuff – specifically his splitter and slider – are elite-level pitches that induce high Whiff% that should keep him out of trouble. He’s a top-10 pitcher for me this season.

Corey Seager (SS – TEX)

It was a semi-down year last year for Seager’s first stop in Texas, but now that the shift is going away, no player should capitalize on it more than him. Look, him being the player to benefit the most from the shifting rules going away is no secret and it’s baked into his price. But even at a deep position, he is the shortstop you should be targeting in your drafts. Full stop.

Check out all of Waterloo’s must-have players here >>

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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