The AL East is full of top 2023 Dynasty Baseball prospects that can make an impact.
Last season Fangraphs listed four of the five teams in this division in their top 15 among farms system rankings. The Baltimore Orioles just landed eight prospects on MLB Pipeline's new top 100 list for 2023. The Blue Jays...well at least they have Ricky Tiedemann.
In my first article in this series, I covered the NL East Prospects. As a reminder for those who haven't read the first article in the series, I'm looking at the prospects from each division that have the potential to play a somewhat significant role for dynasty owners this season. Of course, some of these guys might not impact your lineup until the year's second half, but you should keep an eye on all of them for any buying windows (or opportunities to sell if you lose faith).
2023 Dynasty Baseball AL East Prospects
Gunnar Henderson, 3B/SS
The top overall prospect in most rankings is obviously going to plenty of hype heading into his first full MLB season. The real question is: Has the hype gone too far? As F6P's Matthew Rosser recently wrote, "if the goal is to maximize draft value, there will be better avenues while he is available."
Looking at his redraft ADP compared to his projections, he might be too pricey even this early in the year.
Fun with #FantasyBaseball projections:
Player A: 75/21/78/.254/10 in 531 at-bats
Player B: 73/22/76/.248/7 in 525 at-bats
Basically, the same. Player A is Gunnar Henderson and his ADP of 90 overall; Player B is Ryan McMahon at 170th overall
— Razzball (@Razzball) January 25, 2023
In 34 games last season, Henderson posted a 92.4 average EV and 53.7% hard hit rate. The latter ranked No. 7 among all hitters with a minimum of 50 BBE. Those are some promising marks.
But still, a rookie projected to hit around .250 with under 20 homers and a climbing ADP might be a tough sell. His price in Dynasty Baseball is higher than ever, so that's a tough buy. Just be happy if you already roster him.
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP
One of the top overall pitching prospects, Rodriguez looked ready for the Orioles rotation after dominating in Triple-A last year. Unfortunately, a lat strain shut him down for the year. His manager for Double-A and Triple-A Buck Britton said "pre-injury, it was the best version of Grayson I’ve ever seen."
Projections have him somewhere around 23 starts, a sub 3.90 ERA and above a 16% K-BB%. FantasyPros shows his average ADP at No. 186.
The biggest question will be durability in his first MLB season, but it's not a bad price at this point. As with Henderson, Rodriguez is a tough buy in any dynasty league. A rough start or any further injury issues could push his price down, though.
DL Hall, LHP
The bad news: Hall looks more likely to become a reliever. The good news: he could be an electric closer. Baseball America gives him a 60 grade or higher on all four of his pitches. But that 40-grade control is a killer.
Depending on your league scoring, Hall might be a solid buy-low candidate. The BAT projects him for 37 appearances (just three starts) and an 11.55% K rate. Even if he can't figure things out as a starter, he could become an elite high-leverage arm.
Boston Red Sox
Triston Casas, 1B
Casas hit .197 in his first 22 MLB games last season. When you take a closer look at his stats, though, you see a .208 BABIP, a .358 OBP and a 120 wRC+. Only 40 hitters posted a higher OBP with a minimum of 90 PAs, and just 14 plays had a worse BABIP. I'm buying.
With an ADP in the 200s, he's worth a late-round dart throw in redraft leagues. But dynasty owners should be looking into how much Casas owners really paid attention to his 2022 campaign to see if an there's an opportunity to capitalize.
Triston Casas 2022
*Slow start in cold weather
*Mid-May ankle injury
*Returns to Triple-A in July
Heats up a week in, hits a blistering .330/.442/.574 (168 wRC+) from 7/28 through 9/2 when promoted to the big leagues
— Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma) December 12, 2022
New York Yankees
Anthony Volpe, SS
Volpe's stock seemed to fall a bit with some dynasty players due to his less than stellar 2022. He posted a 122 wRC+ in 110 Double-A games, and that mark fell to 91 wRC+ in 22 games at Triple-A. But the first minor leaguer to post a 20 HR-50 SB season since Andruw Jones in 1995 is now MLB Pipeline's No. 5 prospect.
His MLB projections for 2023 do not look great. And it remains to be seen how long the Yankees will keep him at Triple-A. Keep on eye on his performance early on and gauge the market in your league. He's a somewhat polarizing prospect (maybe that's just because he's a Yankee) whose price could significantly vary depending on your dynasty league.
Oswald Peraza, 2B/SS
Maybe the weather caused his slow start, too. Peraza hit .208 with a 64 wRC+ in April and May. After that he slashed .291/.365/.511 with a 131 wRC+. He got called up to the majors in September and hit .306/.404/.429 in 57 PA.
The most generous projection for his playing time puts him at 78 games. In early January, though, The Athletic's Chris Kirschner said, "The only way I see Peraza not being the starting shortstop is if he’s just so dreadful in spring training and has zero confidence or if he’s hurt."
His 81.6 average EV gives some concern. He's one to watch closely for dynasty owners, and possibly a buy-low if he has another cold start.
Tampa Bay Rays
Jonathan Aranda, 1B/2B
I'm not sure dynasty owners took notice of Aranda's recent minor-league lines. He hit .330/.418/.543 in 2021 with a 10.2% BB%, 18.5% K% and 164 wRC+. His numbers last year in Triple-A were not far off. Then sadly things went off the rails when he reached the majors.
Aranda did post a 91.1 average EV in 87 MLB PAs, but his launch angle was among the lowest in the league. His defense also might be a liability. Roster Resource has him starting at first right now. Let's see how his spring goes. He feels like a potentially valuable piece in deeper leagues if he can settle in like his did in the upper levels of the minors.
Taj Bradley, RHP and Curtis Mead, 2B
These two are grouped together because of their likely limited time in the majors this year, along with the Rays slow pace with moving prospects up.
Bradley still has some work to do at Triple-A as evidenced by his 4.64 xFIP last season. The BAT is the most generous with his projections this year. They put him at 24 IP for the Rays. We'll likely see him toward the end of the season.
Mead has so much offensive upside, already posting one of the highest average EVs among the top-hitting prospects. He only played 20 games at Triple-A last season, so the Rays will likely hold off on moving him up for a bit, too.
Both players have high asking prices in dynasty leagues right now. It would take Josh Lowe-like disappointment (sorry to his owners) to change that. But if you're able to put a deal together, Bradley and Mead have safe floors.
Toronto Blue Jays
Addison Barger, 3B/SS
Have you seen Barger's numbers from last season?
Addison Barger quietly excelled in 2022.
(A+/AA/AAA): 526 PA, .308/.378/.555, 33 2B, 26 HR, 9 SB, 9.1% BB, 24.9% K, .247 ISO
He's more of a .260-.270 hitter, but that could come with 25 HR and 5+ SB.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) January 2, 2023
With a 151 wRC+ for the year, maybe Ichiro's influence on Barger is finally paying off. He's probably still undervalued in most rankings. F6P's Mike Schneider put Barger at No. 315 in his end-of-year prospect rankings, and that's even with a huge jump.
It would be a smart move to get ahead of any further offensive explosion from Barger. He's likely available in many leagues. Projections only have him playing a handful of games at the end of 2023, but if he keeps hitting like this, the Blue Jays could call him up sooner if they need him.
Hope you enjoyed the 2023 Dynasty Baseball AL East Prospects. Check out more excellent Fantasy Baseball content from the F6P team!