Welcome to the initial unveiling of our top 100 hitters for the 2023 fantasy baseball season. As spring training kicks off, we will learn more about the young prospects that might make an impact like Jordan Walker or an injury to an everyday regular like Gavin Lux that toss our rankings out the door. However, that is the reality of our fantasy baseball drafts as values will inevitably change. As with any rankings, I always recommend balancing the rankings you like with your own league settings to make adjustments. At the end of the day, I hope these give you some insight and stoke a great conversation. With that preamble complete, welcome to the first edition of 2023’s Top 100 Hitter rankings starting with the top 25!
There is an argument for almost any player in the top six on this list to be taken first overall during the draft. Turner gets the nod for consistency and high floor. At this point we can almost lock in a .300-30-30 season and move on. Yes, I know Julio could go all Trea Turner on us and hit .300-30-30 himself. While that is correct, he also is the least-proven player this high in the rankings. The upside is enormous but I expect some league adjustment and the speed growth to be a bit less than folks expect as the Mariners try to protect their young star.
Aaron Judge might have a higher ceiling as shown just last season, but I do not believe we cannot confidently say his injury history issues are fully in the past. Judge slides down a spot or two simply due to risk. Also in this tier, we currently slot Yordan Alvarez with our misguided trust in Dusty Baker saying he will be ready for opening day. Yordan is one healthy season away from hitting 50 homers and knocking in 120 RBI. There is some risk here, but I think he will stay in the lineup thanks to the DH role.
Welcome to the stable tier where I will be shopping often this draft season. Picking up two of these guys on the turn will anchor your team’s hitting. Bo Bichette has a bit more variability than the rest of this tier, but with his speed and the likelihood that he uses it a bit more this year, he is a good investment at the first round turn.
It almost hurts to see Mike Trout slipping into the second round after his decade plus of dominance in the fantasy baseball landscape. If there is a chance he stays on the field for 150 games then this ranking is too low, but unfortunately, we have to assume he will miss time at some point as has become the norm the last few years. On the flip side, we can almost lock in the Cardinals’ corner infielders for a full slate of games with near MVP level production. This tier is where the high floors start to give way and you should have at least two hitters in the top 20 to anchor your team.
Bobby Witt Jr. And Fernando Tatis Jr. will not last in these draft positions and that is ok. Witt was featured in our Busts discussion earlier this season and Tatis will miss roughly one month of the season. Both could get hot and make this look silly, but I would much rather grab a hitter with a clearer path to recoup the draft investment. Speaking of players that will make good on the draft day cost, rough seasons for Ozzie Albies and Francisco Lindor have brought down prices as recency bias is all too strong. I personally expect a big season for Albies this year and will own him often.