MLB Dynasty Rankings + 10 Rookies for 2023

MLB Dynasty Rankings + 10 Rookies for 2023

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

The MLB Dynasty Rankings were updated Wednesday!

There was plenty of movement, as this was the first update since Aug. 11. You can ask me any questions regarding the dynasty rankings (loosely intended for 5x5 OBP leagues where 30 catchers are started) in the comments section or on Twitter

I will be focused on writing more outlooks on prospects in the coming weeks (those that are completed should go live at the end of the month) and I will have a big update to the top 400 prospect rankings after the international class signs Jan. 15. 

For this article, I wanted to focus on 10 prospects I've been trying to get in my early 2023 redraft leagues, in some cases unsuccessfully. This is by no means my definitive top 10 rookies for projected roto dollars earned in 2023, but I'm confidently targeting these players at cost, so I'd recommend doing the same and/or looking to acquire them in dynasty trades or dynasty startups. 

I didn't include Grayson Rodriguez (203 ADP) or Jordan Walker (253 ADP), just because I'm not comfortable with the price tag in any of the leagues I've drafted. They're extremely talented, but this is an OK time to sell, not buy, just based on what I've noticed in the market. I also have zero redraft shares of Hayden Wesneski (284 ADP) or Logan O'Hoppe (282 ADP), and that might not change through draft season, even though I really like both players. I just think they

The MLB Dynasty Rankings were updated Wednesday!

There was plenty of movement, as this was the first update since Aug. 11. You can ask me any questions regarding the dynasty rankings (loosely intended for 5x5 OBP leagues where 30 catchers are started) in the comments section or on Twitter

I will be focused on writing more outlooks on prospects in the coming weeks (those that are completed should go live at the end of the month) and I will have a big update to the top 400 prospect rankings after the international class signs Jan. 15. 

For this article, I wanted to focus on 10 prospects I've been trying to get in my early 2023 redraft leagues, in some cases unsuccessfully. This is by no means my definitive top 10 rookies for projected roto dollars earned in 2023, but I'm confidently targeting these players at cost, so I'd recommend doing the same and/or looking to acquire them in dynasty trades or dynasty startups. 

I didn't include Grayson Rodriguez (203 ADP) or Jordan Walker (253 ADP), just because I'm not comfortable with the price tag in any of the leagues I've drafted. They're extremely talented, but this is an OK time to sell, not buy, just based on what I've noticed in the market. I also have zero redraft shares of Hayden Wesneski (284 ADP) or Logan O'Hoppe (282 ADP), and that might not change through draft season, even though I really like both players. I just think they should be going a couple rounds later on average.

1. Corbin Carroll, OF, Diamondbacks

I've only got one share of Carroll through three NFBC Draft Champions and three Gladiators, but it's not for a lack of trying. His ADP of 64 is very palatable, as he's one of the few players (along with Randy Arozarena, Marcus Semien and Jazz Chisholm) going outside the first couple rounds who could go for 20-plus HR and 20-plus SB without hurting your average -- I'd expect Carroll to actually help in that department. I will be comfortable taking Carroll in the fourth round in 15-team drafts later in the offseason, but for now I've still been trying to get lucky and get him in the fifth (hence the one share). 

2. Gunnar Henderson, 3B, Orioles

Henderson has a lot going for him in our game, as he qualifies at a scarce position and is the rare third baseman who projects for double-digit stolen bases. After the Alex Bregman/Gunnar Henderson duo that goes just inside the top 100, third base really falls off a cliff (Ke'Bryan Hayes, Eugenio Suarez, Max Muncy are the next guys by ADP, going 60 picks later). I don't mind the price on Suarez or Muncy, but it's nice to know you've got third base filled before then. I picked up my first two Henderson shares in Gladiator drafts this week around pick 80.

3. Matt Mervis, 1B, Cubs

Mervis has become pretty divisive, but I don't think it's too complicated. Even if they signed Jose Abreu (I highly doubt they do), Abreu and Mervis would just take turns being the designated hitter. Mervis has the upside to hit 30 home runs with a fairly high average while playing every day, and even if he doesn't reach those heights, I think he'll get to 20 home runs. A median outcome Mervis season probably doesn't look much different from a median outcome Josh Bell (going 100 picks higher) season, and Mervis has more upside. I'd certainly take Mervis (287 ADP) over Triston Casas (239 ADP), as Casas will probably hit for a lower average and is in more need of a platoon. I have Mervis on one Gladiator team and one Draft Champions team, but the only two times I landed him were when I was drafting in stacked rooms full of veterans who typically discount unproven rookies like Mervis.

4. Bo Naylor, C, Guardians

I'm OK with Naylor being my second catcher in two-catcher 15-team leagues. Although something probably went wrong if that ends up happening, as I like paying up at catcher. I actually took him as a luxury third catcher on a team where I already had William Contreras and Danny Jansen just because I thought he was too good of a bargain late in the 23rd round. Naylor is one of three catchers who could go 15/15 this year, and the other two (J.T. Realmuto and Daulton Varsho) are the top two catchers by ADP.

5. Esteury Ruiz, OF, Brewers

This is an upside lottery ticket, plain and simple. Ruiz isn't a lock for 200 plate appearances, much less 500, but he is one of only a handful of players who could steal 40 bases in the majors if everything breaks right. His ADP is 383, and while I haven't ended up with him yet, I support taking a flyer on him in that range, especially if you're light on speed.

6. Luis Ortiz, P, Pirates

Every prospector knew who he was, but nobody was really on Ortiz prior to him coming up last year. We have to be willing to adjust quickly, however, and his fastball/slider combination is right up there with the best two-pitch starters in the game. His ADP is 421, so the price is right (I've got him on 2/3 DC teams).

7. Brandon Pfaadt, P, Diamondbacks

I wanted him on all my teams, but it took me a while to figure out the cost on Pfaadt, and I still haven't landed him. His 480 ADP is quite palatable and he could win a rotation spot out of spring training with zero workload restrictions. He was way better in the Pacific Coast League than org. mates Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson, the cost is just a little lower since he hasn't debuted.

8. Will Brennan, OF, Guardians

Cleveland has a type, and Brennan is the prototype in many ways: defensively versatile, high-contact and cost controlled. He probably doesn't get to the 19 steals Steven Kwan notched last season, but Brennan has a bit more raw power than Kwan and a similar hit tool. The key to this pick paying off is Cleveland accepting that Myles Straw needs to be demoted to a fourth OF role. I've got Brennan on two out of three Draft Champions teams.

9. Sal Frelick, OF, Brewers

I'll be making Frelick a bit more of a priority following the Hunter Renfroe trade. He has a chance to be outstanding at everything except hitting for power, and he has enough juice to hit 10-to-15 home runs. Frelick is going quite a bit later than Ruiz or Garrett Mitchell, and many scouts would tell you he's the best hitter and player of the trio.

10. Joey Ortiz, SS, Orioles

This is a deep cut for redraft — I am responsible for three of the four times he has been selected in Draft Champions so far this offseason. However, Ortiz was one of the best players in all the minors from July on, and he dominated Triple-A in 26 games. Once seen as a glove-first shortstop, he now looks like a player with no weaknesses who is essentially big-league ready, he just needs a place to play.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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