2023 Fantasy Baseball Player ADP Battles

by Dennis Sosic
2023 Fantasy Baseball Player ADP Battles

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball ADP Battles, where we look at players with similar ADPs and positions and advise which players Fantasy managers should select.

Every Fantasy manager comes to a point at their draft where they are forced to pick between two or three players, and most might flip a coin. However,  astute Fantasy managers should take out the guessing and select players based on our rankings and the following battle results.

Find out who wins the player battles in the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Player ADP Battles.

2023 Fantasy Baseball Player ADP Battles

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MJ Melendez, C/OF, Kansas City Royals vs. Sean Murphy, C, Atlanta Braves

We start our Fantasy Baseball Player ADP Battles behind the plate. Astute Fantasy managers quickly jump into the Catcher rankings to avoid using weak-hitting options. Two top ten catchers that will be on many Fantasy radars are MJ Melendez (ADP111) and Sean Murphy (ADP124). The astonishing aspect of these rankings is the gap between both catchers.

Melendez smacked 18 homers in his rookie campaign and was a hot waiver-wire option last season. However, he only hit .217 and struck out 131 times, resulting in a 24.5 SO percentage. His prospect pedigree suggests he would hit for power and a better average, but his struggles have raised some concerns. Melendez was a prized catching prospect and was promoted to the big leagues when Salvador Perez dealt with many injuries last season. The Royals kept Melendez on the roster to spell the veteran Perez. Still, Melendez showed his versatility by going to the outfield to help support his bat in the everyday lineup. Melendez will continue to get play at-bats in a poor Royals lineup but can not see utilizing the required draft capital for a hitter with a high strikeout rate who will get zero help in the Royals lineup.

Murphy steps into a vastly better lineup in Atlanta than the dormant A's lineups, where he produced a .758 OPS last season. In addition, he will get relief from Travis D'Arnaud, which will help Murphy stay fresh and have a breakout 2023 season.

And the winner is...

Sean Murphy. We start with the closest margin of victory but like the potential of Murphy in the explosive Braves lineup versus the sophomore slump of Melendez.

Second Base

Jazz Chisholm, Jr. 2B, Miami Marlins vs. Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves

Both second basemen only played 60+ games last season so we did not see the full Fantasy impact the previous season. Chisholm Jr. (ADP47) and Albies (ADP50) are both 20/20 guys who can light up the Fantasy category scoreboard, but we need to see if they return healthy enough to provide similar Fantasy production.

Chisholm Jr. sits on top of a Marlins lineup for an offense that produced the third-fewest runs last season. Their offense looks to be improved this season but is still pale compared to the Braves offense.

Albies is projected to hit sixth in a Braves offense that scored the second-most runs in the NL. He will hit for a better batting average by 20+ points and undoubtedly score more runs.

And the winner is...

Ozzie Albies. Hard to go wrong with either player at this draft capital but take the better offense every time.


Giancarlo Stanton, OF, New York Yankees vs. Steven Kwan, OF, Cleveland Guardians

This type of case will display what kind of Fantasy manager you are. Choosing Giancarlo Stanton (ADP115), you like the rabbit in the race, and you risk, select upside, and are not concerned about injury concerns. Selecting Steven Kwan (ADP116) is the like the turtle in the race. Steady and reliable and gets the job done. Which one is you-the rabbit or the turtle?

Stanton is an MVP candidate every season that he is healthy, but that's the rub. He had not played in an entire season since he did so in consecutive seasons in 2017-2018, totaling 97 home runs. That is the chance Fantasy managers take with the Yankees slugger. Yet, he still hit 30 home runs in consecutive seasons while playing an average of 125 games. Having Stanton provides an advantage to win in the power categories.

Kwan emerged virtually out of nowhere last season to finish as the OF16 with a .298/.373/.400 slash line. The Guardians outfielder also produced a modest six homers with 52 RBI and chipped in 16 stolen bases. He contributes across all categories but does not excel either—a steady and consistent producer for Fantasy managers.

And the winner is...

Giancarlo Stanton. Always go for the league-winning option.

Starting Pitcher

Hunter Greene, SP, Cincinnati Reds vs. Nick Lodolo, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Both Cincinnati Reds starting pitchers are back-to-back in the average ADP, with Hunter Greene (ADP122) above Nick Lodolo (ADP129).

Greene finished the season strong with six scoreless innings in four of his last five starts. However, he struggled early in the season with a 3-11 record and 5.78 ERA across 18 starts. As a result, his overall numbers were less than enticing, but hopefully, Greene can carry his strong finish into 2023.

Lodolo was the Reds' No. 1 ranked prospect in 2021, and while his rookie campaign didn't start fantastic, his finish was quite impressive. Lodolo landed on the IL after only three starts, missed over two months, and returned in early July. In his final 16 starts, the left-hander produced a 3.35 ERA and struck out 112 batters across 88.2 innings. He finished with an impressive 29.7 percent strikeout rate and an elite 45.6 % groundball rate. His kryptonite is his wildness, with 19 hit batters and an 8.8 percent walk rate, but his revolutionary potential is quite apparent.

And the winner is...

Nick Lodolo. The lefty is more polished than Greene, and his prospect pedigree suggests his upside to be immense. With continued improvement, Lodolo will be an SP1 for the Reds and Fantasy managers and should be heavily targeted in Fantasy drafts.

Relief Pitcher

Clay Holmes, RP, New York Yankees vs. David Bednar, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Scott Barlow, RP, Kansas City Royals vs. Daniel Bard, RP, Colorado Rockies

Clay Holmes (ADP126) is the best bet for saves for the Yankees, although there should be trepidation after he suffered a rough going last season dealing with back and shoulder issues. Holmes led the team with 20 saves last season, and there isn't much competition in the Yankees bullpen. The Yankees remain a perennial playoff contender, so we know the opportunities will be there. However, will Holmes hold up and dominate like he was in the first half last season? Holmes pitched to a 1.31 ERA and 9.6 K/9 without surrendering a home run. Are Fantasy managers willing to pull the trigger as your second RP?

The remainder of the relievers here are the class of the closers of losing teams but produce for Fantasy managers. First, David Bednar (ADP140) made 19 saves for the 100-loss Pirates while having a 32.86 percent strikeout rate and 2.79 ERA. The All-Star closer continues to impress and should be heavily targeted as the second closer on Fantasy rosters. Next, Scott Barlow (ADP146) established himself as the Royals' closer and produced 24 saves and a 2.18 ERA. Finally, Daniel Bard (ADP148) was a stud closer for the Rockies last season, recording 34 saves with a 1.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.

And the winner is...

Fantasy managers should steer themselves away from Holmes. His opportunities may present themselves, but whether he will be able to remain healthy for the entire season is the issue. His injuries last season should provide enough doubt in the minds of Fantasy managers that they should wait on closers and grab one of the closers from one of the bottom-dwelling teams. Each of the closers mentioned above should provide similarly enough Fantasy production to sway yourself away from the Yankees closer.

Thanks for reading the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Player ADP Battles. Be prepared for the upcoming season by checking out all the Fantasy Baseball content on Fantasy Six Pack.

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