This week we're looking at 2023 dynasty baseball NL West prospects and what their major league potential looks like this year.
This division contains arguably the top prospect at the moment, some fast-rising pitchers and a few lower-ranked names who could easily become impact players by the end of the season. There are several roster battles to watch on this list.
So far I've looked at the NL East, AL East, NL Central and AL Central. As a reminder, this series is taking a look at the prospects from each division that have the potential to play a somewhat significant role for dynasty managers this season.
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).
2023 Dynasty Baseball NL West Prospects
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Corbin Carroll, OF
Perhaps you've heard of him. One of the most anticipated prospects in recent years, Carroll played in 32 games in the majors last season and put up a 130 wRC+ in that small sample. He's yet to post below that mark at any level of baseball.
He doesn't have a home run this spring, but he has posted a 1.107 OPS with six XBHs in 29 AB. The redraft price is skyrocketing. The dynasty price has beyond skyrocketed. I can't see a reason to sell unless you're offered an unfathomable return.
Brandon Pfaadt, RHP
I discussed Pfaadt back in December when he was a bit more of a rising name in the dynasty world. With new rankings out and spring training in the spotlight, his price just continues to climb.
He's currently battling for a rotation spot. A few more 4 IP, 7 K outings should help his cause. Several projection systems have Pfaadt eclipsing 100 IP this season after he topped 160 IP in the minors last year. He's a good late-round flier in redraft while his dynasty value makes him a difficult trade target at this point.
Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson, RHPs
These two are battling for a spot in the rotation as well. ATC actually projects Nelson to pitch more innings than Jameson and Pfaadt - not sure I see that one happening. But these two are mid-rotation arms who should be monitored as the season progresses. Jameson might have the higher upside if his control comes together. With lower ownership in dynasty leagues, they're worth adding if you need pitching depth.
Ezequiel Tovar, SS
Tovar is only 21 years old and he's already projected to lock down the starting shortstop gig for 2023. The tools are still developing, but if the power eventually translates to what some scouts project, he'll easily be a top 100 dynasty asset playing in Colorado.
Most projections have him hitting around .270 with homers and steal in the low- to mid-teens this season. Keep in mind he's only played five games at Triple-A. Any struggles early on in 2023 might present a buying opportunity from impatient owners.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Miguel Vargas, 3B
Vargas hit .170 in 18 games with the Dodgers last season and then crushed at Triple-A when he was sent down. The underlying numbers show solid EV, elite sprint speed and a good launch angle.
The Dodgers might move him around - RosterResource has him starting at second, where he has limited experience - but he should get near 500 PA this season. Like I mentioned with Tovar, some dynasty owners seem to lose a bit of interest if a prospect isn't Julio Rodriguez right from the start of their MLB career. Vargas could be an even better buy if he posts similar numbers to 2022.
Ryan Pepiot, Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone, RHP
Pepiot appears to have the inside on the fifth starter spot in the Dodgers rotation. He did just leave a spring training game with "side discomfort," so that's something to watch. My larger concern is his 10%+ walk rates at every level.
Stone dominated across three levels in the minors last season. Like Pepiot, his changeup is a plus pitch, but his command is better. Miller is the most coveted prospect of the group, and while his minor league numbers weren't as impressive in 2022, his upside is undeniable.
I would look to sell Pepiot if his price rises with a few good outings. He seems more likely to fill a setup/closer role long-term. Stone is a better buy at the moment as Miller's frontline outlook will cost more. They're another duo to monitor closely if/when the Dodgers give them an opportunity this season.
James Outman, OF
He's putting in an impressive spring training performance, but the Dodgers remain noncommittal on his playing time this season. Here's what manager Dave Roberts recently said about Outman: “Is he big league ready? I would say he is...How we shake out, that’s a different question. But yeah, he’s doing everything he can do.”
Outman is one of the more difficult prospects to rank at the moment. Fangraphs grades him 40 overall. Baseball America has him at 45 with a note that he "fits best in a platoon." Outside of ZiPS, the most generous projection for Outman this season has him hitting .226 with 8 HRs in a little over 50 games. He's certainly worth an add if he's available in your league, but I wouldn't be paying much to acquire him right now as we still figure out his role.
San Diego Padres
Eguy Rosario, 2B/3B
A fractured ankle will keep Rosario out until likely midseason. He appears destined for a utility infielder role long-term with no real standout skills. Rosario did show a good mix of power and speed last year in Triple-A, so there's some hope those skills continue to develop for fantasy owners.
He's probably free in most leagues at the moment. Rosario is someone to at least keep an eye on when he returns in the summer.
San Francisco Giants
Kyle Harrison, LHP
His strikeout numbers are insane, but the walks might be a problem. Regardless, Harrison made a big jump up prospect rankings with his performance in Double-A last year. We could see him later in 2023 with the Giants depending on how his control goes this season.
He gave up 8 ER through 3.2 innings of work this spring in Cactus League play before San Francisco moved him to minor league camp. Maybe that buys you a better price for a high-strikeout lefty. The upside is definitely worth investing in.
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