2023 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Corner Infielders

by Connor Thomure
2023 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Corner Infielders

Are you shopping for Fantasy Baseball clearance items this draft season? Then the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Corner Infielders is perfect for you.

Everybody wants the top players who are guaranteed to carry a Fantasy Baseball team. The players listed here might seem cheap, but they can match the production of some of the higher-priced corner infielders, such as Jose Ramirez, Freddie Freeman, Nolan Arenado, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Managers must dominate the draft from top to bottom to maximize their potential and win a Fantasy Baseball league. This happens in the mid-to-late rounds by drafting the players listed here. Let's get into the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Corner Infielders!

Average Draft Position (ADP) is taken from FantasyPros consensus ADP.

2023 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Corner Infielders

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Jake Cronenworth, 1B/2B, San Diego Padres (Current ADP 157)

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Jake Cronenworth isn't the flashy player who hits 30 home runs or the speedster that steals 20 bases. Instead, he is a stat accumulator that provides excellent run production.

Cronenworth played 152 games in 2021 and 158 games in 2022. This has allowed him to record an average of 91 runs and 79.5 runs batted in over these two seasons. At a minimum, he will accumulate these stats again this season, providing plenty of Fantasy Baseball value, but he is still undervalued.

Let's go over three things that went wrong for Cronenworth last season.

  1. His strikeout rate rose 5.2% from 2021.
  2. His batting average fell from .266 in 2021 to .239 in 2022.
  3. His slugging percentage fell from .460 in 2021 to .390 in 2022.

Despite these three things, Cronenworth finished with 88 runs and 88 runs batted in. If he does better at these, he can easily reach 90+ runs and runs batted in. Another important note that will help Cronenworth is the additions of Xander Bogaerts, Nelson Cruz, and Matt Carpenter. The impending return of Fernando Tatis Jr. is also going to help Cronenworth.

Cronenworth is one of the safest picks this season at his current ADP. He is a low-risk, high-reward player and a must-target in 2023 Fantasy Baseball drafts.

Ty France, 1B, Seattle Mariners (Current ADP 163)

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The 2022 season for Ty France was decent, but in some ways, he underperformed. His batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, and runs scored all failed to reach their preseason expectations.

This is primarily due to a horrific August stat line that kept his season numbers down. Now, because of this, France is a bit undervalued.

MonthAVGOBPSLGOPSHRRRBI
April.337.411.554.96551121
May.355.427.473.90021215
June.244.319.402.721399
July.275.338.478.766377
August.176.226.282.5083914
September/October.246.295.426.72141717
Season.274.338.436.774206583

If France could replace August with his season-long slash line, his season would have been much more impressive. However, Fantasy managers can now use this to their advantage because France is going later in drafts than he should be.

Currently, with a 165 ADP, he's being drafted in the 13th round. However, I'm willing to select France around pick 125 or about the 10th round of Fantasy Baseball drafts.

Anthony Rendon, 3B, Los Angeles Angels (Current ADP 203)

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We are just four years removed from Rendon being one of the top third basemen in the league. In 2019 Rendon slashed .319/.412/.598 with 34 home runs, 117 runs, and 126 runs batted in. How did it get to the point where he is being drafted this late?

According to Spotrac, Rendon has dealt with five injuries since 2021 and missed 233 days. When Rendon has played, he hasn't done well. In his 442 plate appearances across 2021 and 2022, he's slashed .235/.328/.381 with 11 home runs, 39 runs, and 58 runs batted in.

I'm willing to give the Angels' third baseman the benefit of the doubt this season. I understand why he is being drafted this late, but I'll be darned if I let a player of Rendon's caliber fall this late in drafts. A fair price to select Rendon is in the 160-180 range. Some might consider this a reach, but if Rendon can stay healthy, he will contribute and make it worthwhile.

Seth Brown, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics (Current ADP 220)

Seth Brown has lots of power and double-digit steal potential, but he is undervalued heading into 2023. This showed last season when he recorded 25 home runs and 11 stolen bases.

Coming into 2022, Brown was hard to trust because he had yet to play an entire season. However, he accomplished this task last year and showed his value. According to Baseball Savant, Brown's barrel percentage was in the top 10% of MLB, and his expected slugging percentage was in the top 20%.

YearPlate AppearancesAVGOBPSLGHRRRBIWalks per Strikeout
2021307.214.274.480204348.26
2022555.230.305.444255573.35

Brown improved on almost every stat listed above. More home runs would be nice, but at this ADP, 25 is excellent.

The biggest thing holding Brown back is the team he plays for. The Oakland Athletics had the worst OPS and the second fewest runs scored in MLB. Brown, however, led the team in runs batted in and had the third most runs scored as well.

I'm not expecting Brown to build on or improve his numbers from last season. Instead, I think he will produce similar numbers and cement his case as an option for power and stolen bases late in Fantasy Baseball drafts.

Yandy Diaz, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays (Current ADP 223)

I'm all in on Yandy Diaz this season. I highlighted him in my 2023 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Preview, and I discussed how Diaz signed a three-year contract extension with the Rays, cementing him as their starting third baseman and leadoff hitter.

Despite playing in 16 fewer games, Diaz finished with 71 runs in 2022, just one behind team-leading Randy Arozarena.

Diaz is being drafted at pick 286, but I'm looking to select Diaz around pick 170 or the 14th round. Diaz can provide tons of value at his current ADP and is one of my favorite picks this year. He has the potential to reach 100 runs this year.

Brendan Donovan, 2B/3B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals (Current ADP 246)

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Brendan Donovan will be the Cardinals starting second baseman in 2023, but he still has third-base eligibility. Donovan was a rookie last year, and he did plenty to impress.

In 468 plate appearances, he slashed .281/.394/.379 with five home runs, 64 runs, and 45 runs batted in. He will get the opportunity to improve on that this season, as he's the favorite to be their everyday leadoff hitter.

If Donovan can hold onto the leadoff spot for the entire season and bat in front of Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Willson Contreras, he will surpass 100 runs easily.

At his current ADP of 306, Donovan is essentially free in Fantasy Baseball drafts. I, however, wouldn't let him fall past the 215th pick or the 17th round.


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1 comment

bob February 9, 2023 - 2:17 pm

France played through being hbp on hand in August and September.

Reply

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