Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 Drop List!
Consistency is key when it comes down to the final weeks of the season. Whether you're playing in H2H leagues or Rotisserie, the final weeks can really have an impact on the standings. Any blowup from a starting pitcher will wreak havoc on your ability to finish the season on a high note.
Struggling hitters have less of an impact on your final placement as they aren't necessarily capable of blowing up and ruining a category for you. They'll simply just underperform and leave you unsatisfied. In this week's article, we'll focus on one starting pitcher drafted in the top 50 in preseason drafts along with a top 10 SS who was drafted in the top 75.
Now, it is week 22 of the drop list but I'm doing my best to keep up the drops. However, I don't want to include players here who are barely owned (% wise). So, I'm knocking down the drop total this week to just two players to keep the article meaningful.
Without further ado, let's dive in!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 Drop List
Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago White Sox
What a disaster 2023 has been for the White Sox starter. Aside from Cease's SO9 (10.7) and his strikeout total (176), there is not one statistic that positively stands out.
Looking back at Cease's previous seasons, 2019 was the closest comparison to 2023. In 2019, Cease only started 14 games but ended with a 5.79 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. He finished with a 4-7 record.
Thus far, in 2023, Cease is 6-7 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. A stat line this poor begs the question of whether or not 2022 was a fluke.
Cease was drafted in the top 50 overall (42) in fantasy drafts this year and as SP12. After Cease's amazing 2022, this ADP seemed quite appropriate. However, next year in 2024, Cease's ADP is going to fall significantly.
Repeating 2022 is certainly the goal for Cease in the future but I think we can kiss that statline goodbye. Cease's control issues remain a problem for the starting pitcher and this is just something we're going to have to get used to with Cease in the future. He's going to walk batters, a lot.
The high strikeout potential keeps Cease's value inflated, but if the K's fail to show up, he is a very middle-of-the-road starter.
In conclusion, I think it's safe to let Cease go for the remainder of this year. He has simply underperformed all year and is certainly trending downward. He has given up at least four runs in each of his last three starts and has a 33:22 K:BB in August. This is just bad.
It's time to let Cease walk, no pun intended.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, San Diego Padres
Speaking of underperformers, I think we can throw Bogaerts' 2023 into the seasons-to-forget category. Bogaerts has just not had his best stuff throughout his first season away from Boston.
Looking at his numbers from 2019 to now makes it seem like we're analyzing two completely different players.
In Bogaerts' 2019 season, he slashed .309/.384/.555 with 33 homers and 117 RBIs.
As for his 2023 season, Bogaerts is slashing .261/.332/.399 with 16 homers and 46 RBIs. This is an astonishing fall from grace for the San Diego shortstop. Regardless of what you think the problem may be, this season is an alarming wake-up call for Bogaerts. Something is severely wrong.
He is currently in the 35th percentile in Barrel %, the 11th percentile in Sweet-Spot %, and the 22nd percentile in Hard-Hit %. He's just not squaring the ball up this year.
Just last season, in 2022, Bogaerts slashed .307/.377/.456. As stated earlier, Bogaerts is batting a mere .261 this season which is by far his worst performance since 2014. His batting average alone dropped by 46 points while his OBP dropped by 45 points. This is just flat-out concerning.
I'm not fully out on Bogaerts in 2024, maybe he was just pressing all year trying to impress on his new team? I really don't know. But, I think it's safe to say he has been a net negative for all fantasy teams this year and there's no rescuing this putrid campaign.
Dropping Bogaerts feels very weird but I believe it's the right move. He's 11 for his last 50 and is putting up his worst season in over nine years.
While I'm sure there's not a whole lot left on the waiver wire as far as shortstops are concerned, finding a replacement for Bogaerts shouldn't be too difficult for the remainder of the season.
He should have appeared in these articles weeks ago, but for some reason, he escaped my view.
Bogaerts is a drop for 2023 but keep an eye on his ADP for 2024. He could be worth the risk later on in drafts if he manages to slide down the board. I'd be willing to give Bogaerts one more chance come next season.
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