At the mid-summer break, Ronald Acuna Jr. And Shohei Ohtani appeared to be runaway favorites for Most Valuable Player awards. However, so much has changed in the last month bringing the National League MVP into question. Over the month of August, Mookie Betts did his best Barry Bonds in April 2004 impression (look it up if you need!). Betts put up a blistering month with a .455 average, 10 homers, a ridiculous combined 75 runs plus RBI, and 1.355 OPS. Not only did that month give Mookie a chance in the MVP race where Acuna has produced a never-before-seen 30/60 season, but it also shakes up the big names of our Top 100 hitters for the rest of the 2023 fantasy baseball season. We are in the final month of the season and hopefully, you are staring down a potential championship trophy while your competitors have moved on to football in despair.
- Justin Turner – The 38-year old wonder kid is certainly enjoying his first season in Boston. Turner is having arguably his best power year by simply selling out to his pull-side power using the green monster in Fenway. Between positional flexibility and overall consistency in his profile, Turner is more than deserving of his rising spot in the Top 100 and will be a draft day value next year simply due to the “old guy” doctrine.
- Marcell Ozuna – Ozuna has had a few tough years after leaving St. Louis both on and off the field. However, his resurgence in 2023 has been difficult to ignore as much as we might want to look the other way. Since the beginning of August, Ozuna has hit .373 with 10 homers and numerous counting stats. Sure, he has had some luck but he has shown enough power and gets a big boost batting fifth in the Braves lineup. With a week upcoming against the weaker pitching of the Cardinals and Pirates, Ozuna will continue to roll.
- Ozzie Albies – Albies almost feels like a forgotten name in the powerful Braves lineup. He returned early last week from a hamstring injury and picked up hitting like he had not missed any time. A hitter that can easily deliver power and speed the rest of the way, Albies will fill the stat sheet as long as there are no lingering issues with the hamstring. If he would have had a bit more time in rehab games to ensure he was healthy and not need sporadic time off the next few weeks, he would have jumped even higher on the list.
- Bo Bichette – Between health concerns and lower production Bichette continues to drop down the rankings. Bo has been on the injured list for just under a week due to a quadricep strain with hopes to return in mid-September. The injury alone should be enough to drop Bo’s value the rest of the season. However, in a trend that continues, he continues to show no stolen base energy while the rest of the league runs wild. There is certainly still value in a .300 bat with mid-20s home run power, but the shine has come off this first rounder for sure.
- Sean Murphy – Murphy had a blistering first half of the season hitting .306 with 17 homers and 55 RBI in the powerful Atlanta lineup. A combination of BABIP and HR/FB luck pushed his production paired with counting stats hitting cleanup in the powerful Braves lineup. Mr. Murphy now finds himself batting in the bottom third of the lineup with his luck over correcting (.209 BABIP) driving a poor second half with a .183 average and three longballs in the last 26 games. The truth is somewhere between for Murphy who remains a top option at the catcher position, but is he is running out of time to deliver value the rest of the season.
- Davis Schneider – How are we not watching Davis Schneider? Hitting .400+ with six homers in your first 15 MLB games certainly draws attention. The Jays will continue to look for opportunities to fit Davis into the lineup even with the return of Bo Bichette. His minor league track record shows there is some power potential, but this looks to merely be a hot start and the production will come back quickly with the current batted ball profile. We will watch, but not holding your breath is advised.
- Hunter Goodman – Goodman has looked every bit the part of a Major League hitter since arriving in the big leagues on August 27th. Sure, he has a high strikeout rate and crazy BABIP in his limited appearances but this is a power hitter in Coors. Goodman launched 34 homers in the minors this year while maintaining a reasonable strikeout rate. Add in some unique positional flexibility in some leagues (C, 1B, OF) and there is a lot of upside here. Hunter should be watched closely as the biggest concern is simply how the Rockies will mess with his development.