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ADP Fallers to Buy for Fantasy Baseball - 2023 ADP Comparisons

Jose Berrios - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

"Buy low, sell high." The age-old advice. Simple but powerful. It is perfectly applicable in the fantasy baseball world as well, so that is what we're talking about today.

I am going to explore the players that have seen the biggest drops in their ADP when comparing 2022 to 2023. Now, there are plenty of reasons that this could happen - and most of the time, there's a very good reason for the drop in ADP. The field is sharp, and therefore the ADP usually does a pretty good job at ranking players.

That said, there is still an opportunity to be had here. The "bad taste in my mouth" effect is very real, as are things like recency bias. I have considered all of the players with multiple-round drops in their ADP and picked out a bunch of them I'm interested in buying this year at a cheaper price.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels

2022 ADP 2023 ADP Change
118 348 +230

The Angels' first baseman was one of the biggest hitting breakouts of the 2021 season. He finished that season with a .277/.340/.509 line while hitting 29 homers and driving in 98 runs. There were some reasons for doubt looking at the underlying 26% K%, 50% GB%, and .322 xwOBA - but certainly, nobody saw the 2022 season coming where he hit just .215/.269/.374 with 15 homers and just 44 RBI.

Now we are left wondering about who the real Walsh is. His strikeout rate came up to 31% last season and the walk rate dropped to 5% - not good signs. He still posted an above-average barrel rate at 9.5% and he did bring down the ground-ball rate to 46%. Lots of good and bad news here.

The one thing we might want to take seriously with Walsh is health. He had major surgery in September to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, but the news has been good since then:

This is a pretty serious injury and we have seen it derail careers in the past. However, it's far from a foregone conclusion that he can't bounce back from this - and it's good to hear that he's close to 100% and ready to play in the Spring.

I would say that chances are he never replicates that 2021 season again; however at his newfound price of pick 350 - there's really no risk here in taking a stab at him as a bench first baseman. If we have more injury problems or he looks really awful early on, he's an easy guy to cut and move on from - he won't be sinking your team at the cost.


Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies

2022 ADP 2023 ADP Change
163 203 +40

This is the smallest change I'm writing about today. McMahon was basically a 12th-14th rounder last year, and now he's just 3-5 rounds behind that.

The drop is probably because the shine of his potential upside has dimmed considerably due to another season of not putting up great numbers after being a top-hitting prospect in the Rockies organization. We all get very excited for the Rockies' top hitters, so it's easy to overdraft them a bit early on in their careers.

When we look at the seasons together:

2021 596 80 23 86 6 .254 .331 .449
2022 597 67 20 67 7 .246 .327 .414

We don't see a ton of difference here. The slash lines are pretty similar and so was the HR and SB output. We see a pretty big decline in runs and RBI. The Rockies scored 41 fewer runs in 2022 as compared to 2021, which took away some opportunity for McMahon. The lineup is still shy of a good one, but it's not unreasonable to think they can improve in 2023 with a healthy Kris Bryant and some young players coming up like Ezequiel Tovar.

The main reasons I see in favor of taking the discount on McMahon:

  1. The third base position is incredibly weak after the first handful of hitters.
  2. McMahon posted a strong 10.5% Brl% with a non-awful 26.5% K% in 2022. He raised his Brl/PA to a career-best 6.53%.
  3. He still plays for the Rockies.

He's awful on the road, and that's not likely to change. That keeps the ceiling down, but McMahon is still quite a good fantasy player half the time - and the barrel rate shows that a 25+ homer season is very much possible. I'm perfectly happy to take McMahon as a backup third baseman on my fantasy teams this year - and thanks for the discount!


Javier Baez, Detroit Tigers

2022 ADP 2023 ADP Change
62 162 +100

If you have played fantasy baseball for any number of years, you know how frustrating Baez is. He's probably the most maddening player to roster in the whole game, and nothing is really changing on that front now.

The good news is that he costs less than he ever has, routinely going after the 12th round in standard drafts. Going to Detroit very rarely helps a hitter, and that move is certainly to blame for a least a large part of his 2022 bust season. Baez hit just .238/.378/.393 in his first season with the Tigers, failing to reach 20 homers (17) and stealing just nine bags. That's a far, far cry from the elite fantasy season he put up in 2018 when he posted a .881 OPS with 34 homers and 21 steals.

Will he ever climb back to those 2018 heights? Almost certainly not. Will he ever go back to the 2022 lows? I have my doubts about that one, too!

Comerica is becoming more hitter-friendly, Baez dropped his strikeout rate last year (24.9%), and the new rules could very well boost his steals numbers (he still posted 67th percentile sprint speed in 2022).

Five of the six big projection systems have Baez eclipsing 20 homers, and they all have him with 10+ steals to boot. That with the expected .240+ batting average makes for a player that should be going quite a bit higher than pick 162.

Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks

2022 ADP 2023 ADP Change
77 209 +132

You were speculating a bit by drafting Marte aggressively in 2022. He had a huge 2019 season with a .981 OPS, 32 homers, and 10 steals while slashing .329/.389/.592. His 2021 season was solid but didn't reach near the 2019 heights with a .909 OPS, 14 homers, two steals, and a .318/.377/.532 line across just 90 games played.

Drafting Marte in the first five rounds in 2021 was a hope that he could hit fly balls at a higher rate again and steal some extra bases. You were drafting him closer to his 2019 expectation as compared to his 2021 expectation. And what you got was brutal.

Marte hit just .240/.321/.407 with 12 homers and five steals while missing some time with a lingering hamstring issue. His xBA came in at a disappointing .248 and the barrel rate dropped to a scary 6.1%. Maybe we can blame some of this on the injuries he was playing through, and it's hard to say he still doesn't have a massive upside with what we saw in 2019 and the fact that he's still just 29 years old.

The Diamondbacks are getting better fast seeing the Christian Walker breakout in 2022 and having guys like Corbin Carroll, Jake McCarthy, and Alek Thomas debuting from the minors last year with bright futures in the bigs.

All of this is to say that I don't know what we'll get from Marte this year, but we do at the very least have a guy with 25+ homers and 10+ steals in the potential range with a great strikeout rate (18%) and a firmly planted spot in the lineup at a shallow second base position. Taking everything into account, Marte is a favorite target of mine as a backup second baseman or middle infielder.

Yasmani Grandal, Chicago White Sox

2022 ADP 2023 ADP Change
101 280 +179

Grandal is a bit of a ticking time bomb with the injury and performance risk. It's not hard to believe that a catcher who has caught more than 1,000 professional games in his long career would have put quite a beating on his knees, and we have seen those problems creep up quite often, including last year when he caught just 71 games and played in only 101.

The other problem last season was the performance, as he slugged an egregious .269. That was after a career-best mark of .520 in 2021 - so we have seen the two polar ends of the spectrum from Grandal over the last two seasons.

That makes it pretty easy to say that 2023 will end up in the middle of those two provided he can stay on the field a bit. There are exactly zero redeeming stats in his 2022 profile (4.8% Brl%, .230 xBA, .322 xwOBACON), but we can't just forget about that great 2021 season. Grandal is super, super cheap now and you won't even have to draft him as your starting catcher. He makes for an acceptable backup catcher option or an upside second catcher in deep leagues. Just make sure to have a backup option or two in mind if you're taking on the risk here.


Nathan Eovaldi, Texas Rangers

2022 ADP 2023 ADP Change
137 237 +100

The drop here is all about what happened to Eovaldi after the season's first two months.

Something bad happened after his start on May 28. Prior to June, Eovaldi had made 10 starts and posted a 3.77 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and was posting a very nice K-BB% at 25.1%-3.8%. Then, he lost his velocity and put up a 4.34 ERA with a 1.38 WHIP over his final 12 starts. His strikeout rate fell to 20.4% and the walk rate came up a tick to 5.1%.

Buying low on Eovaldi is all about expecting the velocity to come back. You don't just lose the velo overnight like that unless there is a physical problem, so given a full offseason to recover, there's a really good chance we see him get back to who he used to be.

It's good news that the Rangers were willing to give him a two-year, $34 million contract - that is at least a small vote of confidence in his health. That vote might be lessened by the fact that the Rangers also invested in Jacob deGrom and Andrew Heaney. It would seem like they are just trying to buy multiple lottery tickets here and hoping one of them cashes with these three shaky starters.

Eovaldi is a guy to watch in the Spring, and if we see him come out firing fastballs above 96 miles per hour again, we will know that he's feeling good, and that should immediately boost his draft stock. You can buy him really cheaply right now, and it's more than worth the risk given that he was an above-average starting pitcher prior to the injury last year (3.76 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 25.4% K%, 4.4% BB% from 2021 through May 2022).


Jose Berrios, Toronto Blue Jays

2022 ADP 2023 ADP Change
78 240 +162

Berrios was probably the biggest disaster of all in 2022. He was drafted as an SP2 or SP3 on fantasy teams and wound up with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. The strikeout rate came down to 20% and he gave up a silly 2.6 home runs per nine.

It's not like Berrios has ever been a reliable fantasy option, but 2022 was most certainly the low point of his career.

This is another case of the problem where there is nothing really redeeming in his 2022 profile. The SwStr% was awful, the GB% came down to a new low, and the HR/FB stuff stayed pretty much with what we're used to seeing from him.

The buy-low on Berrios is all about believing that the 2017-2021 numbers matter more than the 2022 iterations. I'm not sure how a guy can go from a K-BB% consistently between 15 and 20% to dropping to 14%. Sheer probability suggests that he will improve in 2023, and since we have seen him be a steady SP3 in the past - it seems sharp to take a shot on him with this new rock-bottom price.

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