MLB Hitting Prospect Draft For 2023

MLB Hitting Prospect Draft For 2023

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

On Wednesday's Prospect Podcast, I conducted a six-round, four-person snake draft of currently-eligible hitting prospects for 2023 draft-and-hold value only. 

My three guests were Michael Richards, Drew Wheeler and Drew Spurling, all of whom specialize in prospect and dynasty content and are also in the top 50 of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. While I've got the 11th most overall pitching points in TGFBI, my offense is trash, so I'm just outside the top 100 (465 total participants). 

You can listen to the RotoWire Prospect Podcast or subscribe on your podcast app by searching "RotoWire Prospect Podcast".

Here are the draft results:

RoundMichael RichardsDrew WheelerDrew SpurlingJames Anderson
1 ->Corbin CarrollGunnar HendersonJosh JungVaughn Grissom
2 <-Royce LewisEzequiel TovarTriston CasasMiguel Vargas
3 ->Esteury RuizLogan O'HoppeBrett BatyBo Naylor
4 <-Oswald PerazaMichael BuschAlexander CanarioSpencer Steer
5 ->Jordan WalkerHenry DavisGarrett MitchellAnthony Volpe
6 <-Elly De La CruzSonny DiChiaraMichael TogliaMatt Mervis

Here was the rough top 20 I was working off of:

1Corbin Carroll
2Gunnar Henderson
3Vaughn Grissom
4Miguel Vargas
5Josh Jung
6Triston Casas
7Royce Lewis
8Bo Naylor
9Anthony Volpe
10Spencer Steer
11Matt Mervis
12Jordan Walker
13Curtis Mead
14Kerry Carpenter
15Kyle Manzardo
16Jonathan Aranda
17Will Brennan
18Ezequiel Tovar
19Michael Massey
20Ji-hwan Bae

Here were my best of

On Wednesday's Prospect Podcast, I conducted a six-round, four-person snake draft of currently-eligible hitting prospects for 2023 draft-and-hold value only. 

My three guests were Michael Richards, Drew Wheeler and Drew Spurling, all of whom specialize in prospect and dynasty content and are also in the top 50 of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. While I've got the 11th most overall pitching points in TGFBI, my offense is trash, so I'm just outside the top 100 (465 total participants). 

You can listen to the RotoWire Prospect Podcast or subscribe on your podcast app by searching "RotoWire Prospect Podcast".

Here are the draft results:

RoundMichael RichardsDrew WheelerDrew SpurlingJames Anderson
1 ->Corbin CarrollGunnar HendersonJosh JungVaughn Grissom
2 <-Royce LewisEzequiel TovarTriston CasasMiguel Vargas
3 ->Esteury RuizLogan O'HoppeBrett BatyBo Naylor
4 <-Oswald PerazaMichael BuschAlexander CanarioSpencer Steer
5 ->Jordan WalkerHenry DavisGarrett MitchellAnthony Volpe
6 <-Elly De La CruzSonny DiChiaraMichael TogliaMatt Mervis

Here was the rough top 20 I was working off of:

1Corbin Carroll
2Gunnar Henderson
3Vaughn Grissom
4Miguel Vargas
5Josh Jung
6Triston Casas
7Royce Lewis
8Bo Naylor
9Anthony Volpe
10Spencer Steer
11Matt Mervis
12Jordan Walker
13Curtis Mead
14Kerry Carpenter
15Kyle Manzardo
16Jonathan Aranda
17Will Brennan
18Ezequiel Tovar
19Michael Massey
20Ji-hwan Bae

Here were my best of the rest:

Elly De La CruzColton Cowser
Garrett MitchellEsteury Ruiz
Sal FrelickBrett Baty
Pedro LeonOswald Peraza
Masyn WinnFrancisco Alvarez
Will BensonNolan Jones
George ValeraAlec Burleson
Aaron ZavalaConnor Norby
Lenyn SosaDrew Waters
Michael TogliaBrennen Davis
Jordan DiazJordan Westburg
Christian Encarnacion-StrandBrayan Rocchio
Jordan GroshansKyle Stowers
Travis SwaggertyYainer Diaz
Shea LangeliersGabriel Moreno

I tried to treat this like I would a real 50-round draft-and-hold league, so I was largely prioritizing players whose skills I believed in AND who I believed could get significant playing time this season. As much as I love players like Jordan Walker and Kyle Manzardo long term, I don't know whether they'll be up and playing everyday in April or July or somewhere in between. 

We always reference the Rays as a team that has a crowded depth chart and makes it tough for us to project playing time, but there are some other situations I've noticed that are going to be tricky to project in 2023. For instance, the Guardians all of a sudden have roughly eight solid outfielders who are big-league ready or nearly big-league ready, so while I like the skills and potential of guys like Will Brennan and Will Benson, it's hard to say how the playing time will shake out. Additionally, the Orioles are now suddenly pretty loaded in the majors and upper-minors with talent at most positions, so it's hard to say when players like Colton Cowser and Connor Norby will break through. The Pirates aren't a team that's overflowing with talent, but they have a lot of similarly-talented players competing for playing time, so I think it's reasonable to downgrade all of their unproven hitters, as we don't know how the job battles will shake out.

I made a few small tweaks to the top 400 on Wednesday, most notably significantly lowering Garrett Mitchell (I overcorrected on him on the last update) and adding Louie Varland to take the place of JJ Bleday, who is no longer eligible. With regards to Mitchell, I think it's fair to downgrade Mitchell, Sal Frelick, Esteury Ruiz and Joey Wiemer for 2023 drafts, as all four are nearing big-league readiness and there obviously won't be playing time for all four.

On the flip side, I upgraded guys like Matt Mervis (who I'm getting more and more bullish on), Spencer Steer and Kerry Carpenter for the purposes of this draft because of how clear their path is to playing time in 2023.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
The Z Files: OK, I'm SOLD
The Z Files: OK, I'm SOLD
Collette Calls: Beltway Pitching Projects
Collette Calls: Beltway Pitching Projects
MLB Dynasty Rankings + 10 Rookies for 2023
MLB Dynasty Rankings + 10 Rookies for 2023
The Z Files: Projections and the New Rules
The Z Files: Projections and the New Rules