2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Drop List

by Connor Charbat
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Drop List

Now that we're into the third week of the Fantasy Baseball season, it's yet another weekend to start cutting bait on those underperformers in your lineup. In this week's 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Drop List, we'll take a look at two well-known starting pitchers and a young first baseman who are no longer worth rostering.

Hanging on to players because they have potential and/or "big league talent" doesn't get you far in fantasy baseball. Could some of these guys figure things out later on? Of course, but as managers we have to make moves every week and some of those moves will hurt.  Don't get me wrong, these three players have talent, however, they're not benefitting you this year. Up to this point, they've really done a whole lot of nothing.

2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Drop List

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Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Detroit Tigers

As the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers, Torkelson has been on Fantasy radars for years. 

Just a couple of years ago in 2021, Torkelson was ranked as the No. 3 MLB prospect behind Wander Franco (1) and Adley Rutschman (2). More surprisingly, Torkelson was ranked ahead of Jarred Kelenic (4) and Julio Rodriguez (5).

Unfortunately, Torkelson seems to be the odd one out here. Franco, Rutschman, and Rodriguez have all proven themselves as true MLB players while Kelenic has just started to break out this year.

In 360 at-bats last season, Torkelson slashed .203/.285/.319 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs. He also struck out 99 times.

So far, in 2023, Torkelson has 56 at-bats and is slashing .214/.220/.321 with one home run and 14 strikeouts. Moreover, he's in the 5th percentile in BB% and 18th percentile in Chase Rate. None of these advanced stats get me excited whatsoever.

Surely, Torkelson could figure things out later just like Kelenic has done in his third year of MLB action, but I'm not sticking around to find out. Torkelson has shown zero power in his 114 games in the MLB while maintaining a .204 batting average. Time to move on.

Miles Mikolas, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

At a pre-season ADP of 177, Mikolas was seen as a solid starter for most fantasy rotations. So far, through 2023, that has not been the case.

Through his first three starts this season, Mikolas has totalled 14.1 IP with 15 strikeouts, an MLB-high 29 hits allowed, and an NL-high 16 earned runs. This is not necessarily what fantasy managers were hoping from Mikolas out of the gate.

As for his 2023 MLB percentile rankings via Baseball Savant, Mikolas ranks in the 18th percentile in Average Exit Velocity, 29th percentile in HardHit%, sixth percentile in xERA/xwOBA, second percentile in xBA, fifth percentile in xSLG, 13th percentile in Barrel %, and 25th percentile in Whiff%. This is downright awful.

Thankfully, Mikolas was able to salvage his most recent start Sunday night with 5.2IP and 2ER but still gave up seven hits while only striking out four. His current season ERA sits at a putrid 8.10.

As Mikolas currently averages only 93.2MPH on his fastball, his off-speed pitches are clearly his main focus. However, he's currently being shelled no matter what he's throwing.

Mikolas is currently rostered in a large majority of leagues across the fantasy world this year, but I don't see this lasting for too long. 

He's significantly underperforming thus far in 2023 and is someone I'm comfortable letting go of at this point in the season. As I always say, keep an eye on him in his next couple of starts, but as it stands today, the risk-reward factor is simply not there for Mikolas.

Michael Kopech, SP, Chicago White Sox

With a pre-season ADP of 269, Kopech was being drafted around players like Luis Garcia, Martin Perez, and Sean Manaea

Clearly, fantasy managers were not expecting Kopech to be their ace, but someone who could provide some semblance of value. However, so far, he has done more harm than good.

Through his first three starts in 2023, Kopech has pitched 15.2 innings with 14 strikeouts and 10 walks. His ERA currently sits at 6.32 and he has given up an MLB-high seven home runs.

Kopech's MLB percentile rankings are the worst thing he has going for him at the moment. He is in the sixth percentile in Avg. Exit Velocity, 5th percentile in HardHit%, 1st percentile in xERA/xwOBA, 10th percentile in xBA, 1st percentile in xSLG, and 1st percentile in Barrel %.

Seeing those percentiles above, Kopech is clearly fooling absolutely no one. Hitters are squaring him up left and right and absolutely smashing his off-speed pitches. Opposing hitters are batting .320 on his slider and .333 on his curveball.

Kopech is in dire need of a change and I'm not hopeful of it happening anytime soon. If he's on your team, I would let him go ASAP and let him be someone else's headache.


Check out more Fantasy Baseball content, including our Hitting Planner (4/17 - 4/23) and Pitching Planner (4/17 - 4/23)

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5 comments

Ken Charbat April 17, 2023 - 7:20 am

Would love to learn more about your ‘risk-reward’ factor. Is this a formula you’ve developed or is it something in the gut? Mikolas and I would love to know.

Reply
Connor Charbat April 17, 2023 - 7:39 am

The risk-reward factor that I’m speaking of is just statistical. In this case, I want high risk, high reward. Mikolas is just high risk, with not much reward.

1) Mikolas doesn’t have the velocity or strikeout potential to be worth the risk. His downside is too dangerous as shown in his first three starts. His upside, however, hovers right around his last outing on Sunday 4/16. 5.2IP with a few strikeouts to go along with seven hits and two walks isn’t something I’m really looking to start.

2) Compare Mikolas to someone like Alex Cobb. Cobb has the ability to go 7 innings while striking out 7-9 batters and not blow up your ERA. That’s a risk I’m more willing to take if I’m needing a short-term band-aid or a quick stream.

Reply
Ken Charbat April 17, 2023 - 5:01 pm

Appreciate the substance.. carry on.

Reply
JerryO April 17, 2023 - 5:09 pm

Nice job! Way to get into the nuts and bolts!

Reply
Rich April 18, 2023 - 11:48 am

Think you’re right on. Just dropped Mikolas and picked up Whitlock.

Reply

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