2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Drop List

by Connor Charbat
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Drop List

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Drop List!

In this week's article, we are dropping a seasoned veteran, a bullpen handcuff, and a preseason top-10 catcher. Dropping veterans is always a hard thing to do as you're always expecting a return to the mean, unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, players have simply fallen off and are not what they used to be. Figuring out when to cut bait is always hard, but I believe it's time for one of our Week 9 drop candidates.

What's harder than dropping veterans? Dropping catchers who were drafted high. Catcher has been a truly starved position in fantasy drafts over the past couple of years, and 2023 is no different. However,  I do believe this catcher's time has come and gone.

Let's check out the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Drop List and see if we can come to a conclusion.

2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Drop List

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Justin Turner, 1B/3B/DH, Boston Red Sox

Throughout Turner's 15-year career, he has managed to maintain a solid .288/.365/.464 slash line. However, since 2019, Turner's power and XBH abilities have begun to slow down.

Turner's SLG% peaked in 2017 at .530. Since then, he's steadily declined in the power department. You've never drafted Turner as a power guy, but it was always a "nice to have" aspect of his game. 

Through 50 games in 2023, Turner is slashing .261/.355/.397 with five homers and 19 RBIs. Nothing really stands out here. Turner has always been a batting average staple in most fantasy lineups, but a .261 batting average in 2023 isn't up to the standard that fantasy owners have been used to.

To be honest, his Statcast page is not bad at all. He's keeping his strikeouts low, doesn't chase pitches, and actually is in the 71st percentile in xSLG. The xSLG percentile ranking is puzzling here as it has not translated into actual SLG%. Turner is tied for 67th in doubles in 2023 with no triples and only five homers. 

The counting stats that we're used to seeing from Turner in his past are not showing up thus far in 2023. At this point, he's really just a serviceable player in most fantasy lineups. Now, I won't argue with you about his OBP, it's top 50 - he's getting on base. 

I just want a bit more from my starting 1B/3B/DH slot. Turner isn't cutting it for me. I'm looking elsewhere.

Alejandro Kirk, C, Toronto Blue Jays

In 2023 preseason drafts, Kirk was drafted as a top-10 catcher and was actually being taken as C7. In an already-starved position in fantasy baseball, anyone who was slightly performing was getting picked up. You just couldn't afford not to have a "decent" catcher who actually played daily.

In 2022, Kirk played in 139 games with a .285 batting average and 14 homers. While not supremely valuable here, any catcher that played daily and batted .285 was starting in your lineup every single day, without question.

Through this season, Kirk has completely underperformed. In 41 games, Kirk has a slash line of .244/.352/.325 with a lousy two homers and 12 RBIs. The OBP is there for Kirk but unless you're in an OBP league, it's time to let go.

Unfortunately, Kirk's 2022 season could have been an anomaly. Starting Kirk in your lineup has done much more harm than good. He's not even close to the top-10 catchers in 2023 at this time and I don't see much changing for him at this time. He is really struggling.

Kirk is producing at a truly sub-par pace and multiple catchers who are much less owned (% owned) have better numbers than Kirk at this time. Let Kirk go and play around on the waiver wire to see if you can make something stick. 

Look for the Grandal/Moreno/Langeliers type and see if you can squeeze some more power or production out of those guys for the time being.

Jorge Lopez, RP, Minnesota Twins

In the early part of the season, Jorge Lopez actually seemed to be the reliever who could be rivaling Jhoan Duran for the Twins' saves this year. However, in the past month, things have begun to unravel for this eighth-year player.

Through 24 games and 22 innings in 2023, Lopez has a 3.68 ERA (nine earned runs) with three saves, 19 strikeouts, and seven walks. Not horrible right? Well, it actually is pretty bad. Lopez started 2023 with 12 shutout innings, 10 strikeouts, and only one walk. Since May 2nd, Lopez has blown three saves, given up nine earned runs, and allowed six free passes.

April and May could not have been different months for Lopez this year and it's uncertain how long the Twins coaching staff will let Lopez struggle like this without making some sort of change.

I truly believe Duran is the one to own here for the Twins' bullpen situation and I think that's pretty obvious.

Lopez could either be relegated to the earlier setup innings for the Twins or simply lose his spot altogether if this cold streak continues. His Statcast is littered with blue and things don't look to be improving any time soon. His last three outings have been absolutely abysmal and this cannot be good for the pitching coach's confidence.

Keeping Lopez as a handcuff for Duran's downfall or potential injury isn't worth the headache right now. There are better options at this time. Drop.

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