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Eric Samulski's "My Guys" for the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Season

Triston Casas - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

It's Opening Day! Drafts are done and the baseball season is finally getting underway.

To celebrate, it's time for my "my guys" article. These are the players at each position who I had ranked higher than ADP and have considerable shares of during the upcoming season. Some of the rankings you'll see below were where my projections spit these players out in two-catcher formats, but was not where I was drafting them since I was able to wait and get most of these guys.

Maybe it will work, and maybe it won't, but this year I was all about trusting my instincts, so we'll see. Since there are no more drafts, you're not going to get advanced stats or detailed analysis here. Just a brief summary of why I liked this player and think he could be in for a good year.

All ADP info is from NFBC Online Championships from March 15th to March 29th, which was 69 drafts

 

Willson Contreras - C, St. Louis Cardinals

Eric's Rank: 67

March ADP: 97.43

Contreras has always been one of the better hitting catchers in the league and now will be in the best lineup he's been in in ages. He's slated to hit fifth behind Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado and ahead of Tyler O'Neill, so there should be tons of runs and RBIs to be had and I think mid-20s HRs is in play. I know there's some worry that he won't DH as much in St. Louis, but I'm not sure that's true with Nolan Gorman looking like their primary DH. Perhaps Contreras gets some starts there against lefties. Regardless, few catchers will play more.

 

Triston Casas - 1B, Boston Red Sox

Eric's Rank: 149

March ADP: 214.29

I wanted all the shares. Casas is a massive dude who has elite plate discipline and easy power. There will be plenty of 30+ HR seasons in his future and while I'm not sure he can tap into that right away, I think the .240 batting averages projected for him are too low. I expect him to hit around .260 with decent runs and RBIs in a lineup that is more solid than people give it credit for. Hitting behind Rafael Devers, Justin Turner, Adam Duvall, and Masataka Yoshida will present a fair amount of RBI opportunities. I always trust a mix of plate discipline and power.

 

Ketel Marte - 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks

Eric's Rank: 164

March ADP: 204.48

Marte is going to hit second in an up-and-coming Diamondbacks lineup. He had a down year last year, but he's been a solid hitting for a few years now, so I don't believe this .240 average was for real. I expect him to be a good source of runs and a solid batting average foundation, and he was simply going too late in drafts for much of February and early March, so I was able to scoop up a lot of shares.

 

Willy Adames - SS, Milwaukee Brewers

Eric's Rank: 62

March ADP: 96.07

I think people forget just how good Adames is. Yes, his batting average tanked a bit last year, but the power he showed in 2021 proved to be real. I think there's a very good chance Adames is a 25-30 HR shortstop who can steal 10 bases and hit .250-.260. He'll also hit second in a strong Brewers lineup that should put up a good amount of runs, especially in home games. Adames shouldn't be going around Tim Anderson and Xander Bogaerts.

 

Ryan McMahon - 3B, Colorado Rockies

Eric's Rank: 157

March ADP: 202.98

Because of the narrative that the Rockies suck, nobody seemed to want to draft them. While I kind of get that, McMahon has proven himself to be a steady contributor regardless of the team around him. You're going to get a .250 batting average 20-25 HRs and like 140 Runs+RBI with 6-8 SBs. That's pretty solid production from a player that will be 2B/3B eligible. There's nothing sexy about this pick, but if I didn't grab one of the top 3B then McMahon (or Justin Turner) was usually the option I landed on.

 

James Outman - OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Eric's Rank: 287

March ADP: 339.87

This was as much about Outman as it was about me never trusting Trayce Thompson and Jayson Heyward. I mean, the Dodgers are trying to win a World Series. Are they really going to play those two in the outfield every day? Outman has done nothing but produce when given the opportunity, and I believe there is a realistic chance he gets 450 plate appearances as the near-everyday CF on this team. I also support anybody who has a pet rock that he feeds coffee to before games. We all need that kind of eccentricity in our lives.

 

Tyler O'Neill - OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Eric's Rank: 69

March ADP: 94.04

Yes, he strikes out a lot and he's battled injuries in the past, but O'Neill is also a pretty damn good baseball player. With the new pick-off rules and larger bases, I think a player with O'Neill's speed profile will really benefit. I can easily see a 25-30 HR and 20 SB season from him if he stays healthy. Pair that with a .260-.270 batting average and production in the middle of a good lineup, and I think you're looking at a really solid season.

 

Garrett Whitlock - SP, Boston Red Sox

Eric's Rank: 225

March ADP: 389.57

I just believe in Whitlock as a pitcher. I think he is really talented and possesses three good pitches in his sinker, slider, and change-up. He has starter experience in the minor leagues before being taken as a Rule 5 pick, so I'm not worried about innings; I think he can get to 150 this year. I'd love to see him use that slider more, but I think he has the chance to put together a really solid season for a Boston team that is underrated. He'll likely miss two passes through the rotation at the start of the year and then be ready to go, so I have no idea why he was being drafted this late.



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