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2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (AL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (24 of 24 Experts) -

Rank Player (Team, Position) Notes
1 Aaron Judge (NYY - CF,RF,DH) 2.0 +1.0
A lot of 2023 draft boards will have Aaron Judge at the top of them, and there is no doubt he belongs there after his record-setting 2022. He famously broke the A.L. Home Run record with 62, scoring 133 runs, driving in 131, and stealing 16 bases to boot. His slash line was an other-worldly .311/.425/.686 with an xwOBA of .463 and wRC+ of 207. The reason he may fall out of the 1.1 slot on draft day is simply fantasy managers anticipating the regression that is likely to come. Steamer projections have him at 43/109/104 for the upcoming season, and his ratios should see a small decline as well. Other concerns include the fact that Judge will be 31 years old for the majority of the season and played in a career-high 157 games last year. What is not of concern are the 81 games he gets to play at Yankee Stadium this year and each one after until 2031, thanks to his 9-year, $360 million free-agent contract. Judge is the guy if fantasy managers want to shore up their slugging early. Just beware that his numbers might look much closer to 2021 than 2022.
2 Jose Ramirez (CLE - 3B,DH) 1.0 -1.0
Jose Ramirez remains criminally underrated, considering his productivity remains fantasy relevant across categories. Building on his outstanding 2021 season, he was one home run away from his third career 30/20 season (29/20). The list of third basemen capable of that feat stands at one unless Bobby Witt has 3B eligibility in your league. Ramirez ended up with 90 runs, 126 RBI, and slashed .280/.355/.514 while surrounded in the lineup by some young, inexperienced players who matured as the season progressed. The only statistical knock on the 30-year-old has been two straight years of decreasing wOBA, but that's splitting hairs with it sitting in the .360 range even after the "decline." Ramirez did have UCL repair in November, but there is no doubt he will be ready to go for Spring Training. While you shouldn't overlook him, you can certainly hope your league mates do.
3 Yordan Alvarez (HOU - LF,DH) 5.0
Some players have power, whereas Yordan Alvarez has POWER. The 25-year-old ranks in the 100th percentile in average EV, HardHit%, xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, and Barrel% while coming in the 99th percentile in MaxEV. He has power to all fields, bats in the middle of a World Champion lineup, and will protect your ratios in traditional 5x5 leagues and those with advanced categories. Really, unless you are playing in a stolen base premium league, Alvarez offers little downside heading into 2023. (Those downsides are only injury concerns (he played in 135 games last year), and his outfield eligibility will probably expire after this season.) The four-category stud is worth a first-round pick.
4 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR - 1B,DH) 6.0
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., took a step back in 2022, which was expected once he got out of the bandbox parks of Dunedin and Buffalo. He continued to smash the ball, sitting in the 90th percentile in avgEV, MaxEV, and HardHit%. It is somewhat concerning that his K% went up while his BB% went down, but the slight drop in counting stats is projected to normalize back to his 35/100/100 levels. While the fifth-year player probably isn't going to gift fantasy managers with double-digit steals, Guerrero can keep four categories and all ratios afloat, allowing you to build around that foundation. Be prepared to grab him on the turn at the end of Round 1.
5 Shohei Ohtani (LAA - SP,DH) 7.0
This is your annual reminder to ensure you know how Shohei Ohtani's pitcher/hitter eligibility is treated in your league(s), as it can make a world of difference in fantasy value. What it will not make a difference in, however, is his incredible talent on the field. His fifth season in MLB saw a slight decline in hitting stats (34 HR, 95 RBI, .273/.356/.519) (and yes, that was a decline). However, he threw 166 innings, struck out 219 batters, and maintained a 2.33 ERA and 1.01 WHIP to finish fourth in Cy Young voting. The Angels have stated they plan to pitch Ohtani every sixth day as regularly as possible, meaning he could conceivably get 28-30 starts in addition to 600 plate appearances. On top of all of that, he is in his walk year and will be auditioning for what will surely be a huge contract. Yes, he clogs your Utility spot, and it can be frustrating to manage him in weekly leagues where he can only start as one or the other. But if you play on a platform where he is counted as both at all times, he is the fantasy 1.1, no matter who they give the real-life MVP to.
6 Randy Arozarena (TB - LF,RF,DH) 18.0 +1.0
In his fourth year in the league, Randy Arozarena hit 20 HR, knocking in 89 and scoring 72 while stealing 32 bases. The steals are why he goes so early in drafts because it is certainly not his patience at the plate. The 27-year-old struck out 156 times in 586 at-bats while drawing only 46 free passes; if you believe it, these were improved numbers from 2021. His slash line declined to .263/.327/.445, though that average is misleading as his expected was .234. When he makes contact, Arozarena's elite maxEV will allow good things to happen. Fantasy managers just need to decide if they can ride out the 0-for-4 streaks.
7 Adolis Garcia (TEX - CF,RF,DH) 25.0 -1.0
If strikeouts count against you in your league, then you might want to stay clear of Adolis Garcia. He is near the bottom of the league in K%, Whiff%, BB%, and chase rate. Before last season, the fantasy community almost unanimously labeled him a second-year bust, but the 29-year-old responded by improving his slash line across the board. His homers fell from 31 to 27 as a result, but he increased his runs and RBI by 11 each, and he stole 25 bases to boot. He hits in the middle of the order behind Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and Nathaniel Lowe, all of whom like to get on base. In traditional 5x5 leagues, Garcia can provide value from the fifth round on.
8 George Springer (TOR - CF,RF,DH) 35.0 +6.0
George Springer continues to appear on the What Could Be All-Star Team after playing 133 games in 2022 while dealing with elbow and knee injuries that left him with many "DTD" tags. When healthy, he was productive atop the Toronto lineup, smacking 25 HR, scoring 89 runs, driving in 76, and even stole 14 bases for good measure. He hits the ball with great power, ranking in the 92nd percentile in maxEV. The talent is enormous but now, at age 33, the injury concerns continue to grow as well. Someone in your league will reach for him during the draft. Let them.
9 Eloy Jimenez (CWS - LF,DH) 37.0 +2.0
There is hope that the White Sox have realized that Eloy Jimenez is a designated hitter and will deploy him as such in an effort to keep the 26-year-old healthy. He played in 84 games last season, slashing .295/.358/.500 with 16 HR, 54 RBI, and 40 runs. Fantasy managers dream each spring of a full season of this production, and if he manages to get to 500 plate appearances, he could be a steal at his current ADP of 78. But it is best to exercise some caution and ensure you have outfield depth if you plan to roster him.
10 Salvador Perez (KC - C,DH) 39.0
Everyone saw Salvador Perez's regression coming following his career year in 2021. The question was only how far the fall would be. In 2022, he appeared in only 114 games, a far cry from the 161 the year before. Injuries plagued him and led to UCL surgery in his left thumb in the first half of the season. Even with that, the 33-year-old hit 23 home runs with 76 RBI and 48 runs scored. The catcher position is notoriously shallow so drafting a guy capable of hitting 30+ homers still ranks as a solid move. He will also presumably get more time at DH with M.J. Melendez on the roster.
11 Adley Rutschman (BAL - C,DH) 31.0 -11.0
Adley Rutschman saw three minor league levels before making his MLB debut on May 21 and subsequently played 113 games for Baltimore. The 24-year-old demonstrated patience at the plate with a 13.8% walk rate, which is in line with his minor league numbers. His K% was much higher (18.7) than at lower levels, but this should normalize as he becomes more comfortable. The Orioles seem dedicated to their youth movement, and Rutschman is a Top 3 defensive catcher by multiple metrics, so he will be in their lineup on a regular basis. You might have to draft him in the fifth or sixth round to get him, but he has the potential to make it worth your while.
12 Jose Abreu (HOU - 1B,DH) 57.0 +14.0
Jose Abreu signed a 3-year, $58.5 million with the Astros to serve as their first baseman. Entering his age-36 season, Abreu's Statcast page suggests that he is still a solid hitter, though there was a significant decrease in home runs, dropping from 30 to 15. So now the primary question is how much is his age impacting his power. His counting stats should get a boost, batting in one of the best lineups in baseball, and if his home runs correct at all, he will serve as a nice corner infield piece on fantasy squads.
13 Byron Buxton (MIN - CF,DH) 46.0
Byron Buxton staying healthy is the carrot dangling in front of fantasy managers every offseason. He is above the 90th percentile in all of the power categories and sprint speed, and when he is on the field, he is a dynamic player who contributes mightily to fantasy teams. Therein lies the problem, of course. Buxton played in only 92 games last year, 61 in 2021, 87 in 2019, and 28 in 2018. The volume just hasn't been there to truly be a fantasy stud. Yet every year on draft day, there he sits in the ninth or tenth round, and every year we all imagine what an absolute steal that would be if he were to play 140+ games. It's a risky proposition, but the payoff could be incredible. Just make sure you have enough IL slots.
14 Vinnie Pasquantino (KC - 1B,DH) 49.0 -1.0
Vinnie Pasquantino can hit. This wasn't really in question before his arrival in the big leagues last summer, but he slashed .295/.383/.450 in 72 games for the Royals when he finally got the call-up. His BB% was actually higher than his K%, though there is a good chance this won't hold in 2023. However, his xwOBA was .374, so you can believe in those on-base skills going forward. With a current ADP of 93, the 25-year-old should produce good value for fantasy managers who focus on position scarcity in the early rounds.
15 Alejandro Kirk (TOR - C,DH) 54.0 -7.0
Alejandro Kirk played in 139 games, getting 541 plate appearances and showing improvement in almost every area. The 24-year-old slashed .285/.372/.415 and added 14 home runs. His Statcast page is filled with red in every area except barrel% and sprint speed. The Blue Jays heeded his offensive prowess by using him as DH on many days when he wasn't behind the plate. Toronto also helped sort out its overload of catchers by traded heralded prospect Gabriel Moreno to Arizona for Daulton Varsho. While Varsho has catcher eligibility, he will most likely play outfield or DH rather than take at-bats away from Kirk. Feel free to wait on catcher and snag Kirk in the eighth or ninth round. He'll make it worth your patience.
16 Anthony Santander (BAL - LF,RF,DH) 63.0 +5.0
Anthony Santander answered the fantasy world's questions regarding his power by hitting 33 HR with 89 RBI and 78 runs in a Baltimore lineup that should be much improved in 2023. His xwOBA and xSLG are both near the 90th percentile, and he hit particularly well at Camden Yards in spite of the extended left field fence. With a seasoned Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson in front of him, Santander will fill your power categories in the tenth round or so.
17 Giancarlo Stanton (NYY - RF,DH) 68.0 +8.0
A lot of things went wrong for Giancarlo Stanton in 2022. He missed 52 games due to injury, and his BABIP was a career-low (by a lot) .227. His strikeout rate crept above 30% for the first time since his rookie year. Fantasy managers are scared because of injury risk or age, but Stanton is going to mash. He hit 31 HR in 451 plate appearances with 78 RBI. These numbers and his BA/OBP should go up, assuming his BABIP recorrects somewhat closer to his .314 number. At his current ADP of 129, he is an absolute steal, even taking into account that he won't play 150 games.
18 Ryan Mountcastle (BAL - 1B,DH) 80.0 +13.0
19 Andrew Vaughn (CWS - 1B,LF,RF,DH) 73.0 -1.0
20 MJ Melendez (KC - C,LF,RF,DH) 60.0 -20.0
M.J. Melendez debuted and appeared in 129 games in 2022, showing off his patience and power to the tune of 18 HR and a 12.4% BB rate. He batted leadoff 64 times, indicating the Royals are dedicated to getting him plate appearances in front of Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez. Melendez is not a good defensive catcher, but he should play enough to retain eligibility there. Unless you're in a quirky league where defense counts, Melendez fills a scarce position with decent skills.
21 Josh Bell (CLE - 1B,DH) 88.0 +3.0
22 Jose Miranda (MIN - 1B,3B,DH) 85.0 -1.0
23 Brandon Drury (LAA - 1B,2B,3B,DH) 93.0 -14.0
24 Josh Naylor (CLE - 1B,RF,DH) 116.0 +12.0
25 Justin Turner (BOS - 3B,DH) 132.0 +9.0
26 Michael Brantley (HOU - LF,DH) 177.0 +8.0
27 Yasmani Grandal (CWS - C,DH) 141.0 -46.0
28 Harold Ramirez (TB - 1B,RF,DH)    
29 Shea Langeliers (OAK - C,DH) 149.0 -55.0
30 Josh Donaldson (NYY - 3B,DH) 178.0 -70.0
31 Mitch Garver (TEX - C,DH) 205.0 -35.0
32 Jesus Aguilar (OAK - 1B,DH) 220.0 -112.0
33 Hunter Dozier (KC - 1B,3B,LF,RF,DH) 231.0 -60.0
34 Rafael Ortega (NYY - LF,CF,RF,DH) NRI 357.0 +10.0
35 Brad Miller (TEX - 3B,LF,DH) 395.0 -3.0
36 Kevin Cron (OAK - 1B,3B,DH) MiLB