Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Drop List!
As we continue our drop parade into the 17th week of the MLB season, we're letting go of three more players whose time has come and gone in 2023.
All three of our week 17 drops are very well-known players who have all greatly benefitted managers in seasons past, but in 2023, they are not worth the headache any longer.
We are cutting ties with a preseason top-50 outfielder, a top-20 shortstop, and a top-20 first baseman.
The cost of having these players are your team this far in the season has not paid any dividends. It's time to re-evaluate your roster and make some managerial decisions, no matter how badly it hurts.
Head on into our Week 17 Drop List and find out who to cut loose!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Drop List
Alex Verdugo, OF, Boston Red Sox
At the beginning of the season, Verdugo was drafted as a top-50 outfielder with an overall ADP of 183. Verdugo was never someone who would win you your league, but he never really hurt. Currently, he's rostered in over 80% of fantasy leagues across the country.
It's more of the same for Verdugo in 2023 except he's performing a bit below average. He's certainly not performing as a top-50 outfielder, that's for sure.
Through 93 games played for the Boston Red Sox, Verdugo is slashing .272/.344/.426 with seven homers and 39 RBIs. The counting stats just aren't there for Verdugo owners thus far.
He isn't necessarily a poor hitter (.272 batting average), but looking at his production over the past four seasons, there isn't much to get excited about.
On the bright side, his percentile rankings aren't that bad in regard to almost every tracked metric on Baseball Savant with the exception of his Barrel % (17th) and his HardHit% (29th). Moreover, his page is almost all 70th percentile and above. Why such low numbers? He doesn't hit the ball hard or square.
Why am I dropping him? Well, as said earlier, he doesn't give you anything to be excited about. His batting average is decent but almost all other counting stats are just not there.
If you've read my other articles throughout the season, I'm not big on drafting or keeping players rostered who are only single-category contributors, and for Verdugo, batting average is his category. With that, he's actually batting at his lowest average since 2018.
Sure, the season isn't over, but we're getting close to crunch time in the fantasy baseball season and unless you're dying for batting average contributors, or in an OBP league, it's time to let Verdugo walk.
Willy Adames, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Drafted in the top 100 and as SS17 in 2023 leagues, Adames is having the worst season of his six-year career.
As a consistent career .250+ hitter, Adames is batting 34 points below his worst season which was just last year where he hit .238.
As it stands today, through 95 games, Adames is slashing .204/.287/.391 with 17 home runs and 48 RBIs. His batting average, OBP, and SLG are all sitting at career lows, by far. This is not something that I like to see from a top 100 player.
At the beginning of the season, it looked as if he was going to have himself another standard Adames year. In April/March, he batted .240 with five homers and 15 RBIs. His OBP was a solid .350 and his SLG% was .430. Apparently, that was all he had in 2023.
Once May and June came around, Adames slashed .165/.217/.329 and .185/.280/.333, respectively. Something changed here for Adames and I cannot put my finger on what exactly happened.
Not only is he not hitting the ball hard (17th percentile HardHit%), but his Avg Exit Velocity, xBA, K%, Whiff%, and Chase Rate are all ranked in the 25th percentile and below. He can't seem to get anything going.
While the 17 home runs this year are nice to have, it comes at the expense of a .204 batting average. Is it worth it? Not anymore.
Instead of waiting out a potential recovery, find yourself another shortstop for the second half of the season.
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/DH, Baltimore Orioles
After smashing 33 homers in 2021 with 89 RBIs, Mountcastle seemed to regress a bit come 2022. His home run count fell by 11 while his RBIs remained pretty consistent (mid to high 80s).
These numbers were good enough for fantasy managers to draft him as 1B19 and 158 overall.
Unfortunately, this season, Mountcastle has regressed yet again.
Through his 74 games played this year, Mountcastle is slashing .240/.279/.441 with only 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. This is not something that I had expected, especially on this year's Baltimore team who is having quite the year.
With only 58 games remaining this year for Baltimore, we'd be lucky to see Mountcastle get back to the 20 home run count that he has maintained since 2021.
Surprisingly enough, Mountcastle smashes the ball when he makes contact, which is the problem here. He is sitting in the 28th percentile in Whiff%, 34th percentile in K%, and 2nd percentile in Chase Rate.
His plate disciple seems to be slacking which is shown by his 8th percentile BB% rank.
As someone who has shown power in recent seasons, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mountcastle make a little run toward that 20-homer mark, but I just don't think he is going to get there.
His Avg Exit Velocity, Max Exit Velocity, xSLG, and Barrel % (all 80th percentile and above) have all the makings of a 30 home run hitter, but these contact numbers this season are not agreeing.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think Mountcastle has hit his peak in the MLB by any means, but the numbers this season are not worthy of rostering at this time.
Keep an eye out for a little hot streak come August and September, he could be a solid pick-up for a week or two but don't throw him out there until he has shown that he can turn things around.
As things stand today, Mountcastle is a drop.
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