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Fantasy Baseball Hitters Who Changed Scenes in 2023 And What It Will Mean For Their Value

Xander Bogaerts - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

The most important factor in constructing an offense in fantasy baseball is finding players with talent. Whether they make a lot of contact, hit the ball out of the park, or run the bases well, they need to do something to be relevant. But, talent isn’t everything. Sometimes a player’s home park, division, or quality of team can significantly alter their fantasy value. 

A shallower park can increase home runs, while a deeper park can suppress them. A division with better pitching can hurt numbers, while a division with worse pitching can help. And moving to a better lineup can improve counting stats, while a worse lineup can do the opposite.

With many players changing environments this season, there's bound to be at least a few whose new scenery will either improve or diminish their production in 2023. Below, I'm going to highlight four hitters whose value I think will be impacted, for better or worse, after switching teams this offseason.

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Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres (88 ADP)

2022 Stats: 150 G, .307 AVG, 15 HRs, 84 R, 73 RBI, 8 SBs

Xander Bogaerts, the longtime Boston Red Sox, spent the first 10 years of his career playing home games at Fenway. He hit free agency this offseason, and the San Diego Padres scooped him up. In California, Bogaerts will take over the shortstop position and join one of the most star-studded lineups in the majors.

The Padres should be excited about their new $280 million man. Bogaerts hit .307 with a .833 OPS and 134 wRC+ last season. And he’s been a great hitter throughout his career, especially in terms of bat-to-ball ability; he owns a career 18.3% strikeout rate and a .292 batting average. The thing is, the raw power isn’t necessarily there. The 30-year-old has only barreled balls at a 6.2% rate in his career, including a 6.5% mark last season. Bogaerts also doesn’t hit many flyballs, exemplified by his 21.1% flyball rate from 2022.

He played in a homer-happy venue for right-handed hitters in Boston (108 home run factor from 2020-2022), and even with those favorable conditions, he only averaged about 20 bombs per 162 games, including just 15 this past season. A move to Petco Park will make it even harder for Bogaerts to be a threat in the power department, a stadium that's in the bottom third of the league in terms of home run factor.

However, Fenway isn’t just a dream park for power hitters. It also boosts batting averages. The league hit .243 overall in 2022, but at Fenway Park, that number sat at .267. Bogaert hasn’t hit the ball extremely hard over the last three years, with below-average to average exit velocities, so Petco Park, a place that produced a .224 average last season, will do him no favors.

And despite the big names like Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr., there are few big hitters behind the native of Aruba, who’s projected as the cleanup hitter heading into 2023. Bogaerts gets on base with a career .356 OBP but won’t score runs as he did from 2016-2021 when he averaged 105 runs over a full season.

Without the benefit of Fenway Park, and almost all of the AL East parks for that matter, he is nothing more than a fine but unspectacular fantasy option, especially at the deep position of shortstop. Fantasy managers should consider this and hold off on drafting Bogaerts at his ADP of 88.

Jose Abreu, Houston Astros (99 ADP)                                                                      

2022 Stats: 157 G, .304 AVG, 15 HRs, 85 R, 75 RBI, 0 SBs

During Jose Abreu’s nine-year tenure with the Chicago White Sox, he became one of the most prolific offensive producers in the league, compiling a .292/.354/.506 slash line. He was the face of the franchise, and watching him play in another uniform will feel plain wrong. But here he is, the first baseman of the Houston Astros for 2023 and beyond. 

Abreu was reliable but a bit disappointing in 2022. He hit .304 and posted a career-low 16.2% strikeout rate but went deep just 15 times, a career-low, with 75 RBI across 157 games. There’s reason to believe Abreu will bounce back in the power department this season, as he still managed a 9.5% barrel rate, but playing in Houston might not be the best place for him to do that.

His old home, Guaranteed Rate Field, is a place where hitters thrive. Over the last three seasons, it was the seventh-best stadium in terms of park factor, mostly because of its home run environment. It ranks as the second-best home run park in the league, just behind Great American Ball Park, since 2020. 

Minute Maid Park has been about an average home run park, even for right-handers, despite the short left field. It will be especially true for Abreu, who's pulled fly balls at just a 20.7% rate over his career and was under 19% the last two campaigns. He’s already aging and has lost barrels every year since 2020. 

The Astros lineup is one of, if not the best, in baseball. But after batting third and fourth 157 times last season, he’s projected to bat fifth in Houston, limiting his chances to cross home plate. Abreu will likely contribute more than the 160 RBI plus runs he did last year, but he won’t reach the nearly 200 level he averaged over 162 games with the Sox.

On top of that, the AL West has a bunch of All-Star caliber arms. Robbie Ray, Shohei Ohtani, Jacob deGrom, Luis Castillo, et al. will make his life harder than he was used to in the paltry AL Central, where there hasn’t been much depth behind Shane Bieber in recent years.

At 36 years old, Abreu is still solid at the plate. He did post a 138 wRC+, after all. But there’s no denying that playing in Chicago optimized his fantasy value. While in Houston, he'll have to work harder to be a top seven first baseman like he’s been in his career up to this point. However, fantasy managers are drafting Abreu around pick 99, which is probably too optimistic.


Andrew Benintendi, Chicago White Sox (227 ADP)

2022 Stats: 126 G, .304 AVG, 5 HRs, 54 R, 51 RBI, 8 SBs

Andrew Benintendi, the once highly touted prospect, has adapted his game. No longer is he the player who smashed 20 home runs with 90 RBI in 2017. Benintendi’s opted for a contact and high batting average approach rather than trying to hit it out of the park. That was obvious last year when he hit .304 but went deep just five times in 126 games, split between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. But after signing with the Chicago White Sox this winter, Benintendi has a chance to maintain his new approach while providing more value everywhere else.  

During his time in Kansas City in 2022, he played 51 contests at Kauffmann Stadium, a pitcher’s dream park, and his splits emphasized that. Benintendi slugged .376 with just a single home run in that venue, and everywhere else, he produced a .415 slugging percentage with four homers. 

The 28-year-old’s new home park, Guaranteed Rate Field, generates lots of long balls with a 120-home run factor since 2020. That’s a big difference from Kauffmann, which has produced a 79-home run factor in that time. If Benintendi would’ve played every game last season in Chicago, he would’ve doubled his home run total from five to 10. And in 2021, instead of homering a decent 17 times, he would've been considered a real home run threat in Chicago with a total of 29 home runs.

The one good thing about Kauffman over the years is that it boosts batting averages. The league hit .263 in that stadium, while Benintendi managed a .312 mark. However, he still hit .298 elsewhere, including .417 at his new home. And considering he only struck out 14.8% of the time in 2022 and has posted above-average exit velocities the last two seasons, he shouldn’t have trouble continuing to hit for average.

The White Sox will probably use Benintendi in the top third of the batting order, and he’ll be hitting in a potentially dangerous lineup, much more appealing than what the Royals opened up with last season. Undoubtedly, the Sox don’t run a lot, amassing just 135 stolen bases since 2020, the 27th-best in baseball. But Benintendi's an above-average baserunner, and the club let Elvis Andrus swipe 11 bags in just 43 games with 22nd-percentile sprint speed. 

The former first-rounder can post double-digit home runs and stolen bases while scoring plenty of runs and keeping his batting average at a strong mark. Fantasy managers should recognize the favorable environment and be confident drafting Benintendi at or before his 227 ADP.


Wil Myers, Cincinnati Reds (413 ADP)

2022 Stats: 77 G, .261 AVG, 7 HRs, 29 R, 41 RBI, 2 SBs

The six-year, $83 million extension Wil Myers signed with the Padres after the 2016 season didn’t pan out as the club or Myers would’ve hoped. And after slashing .261/.315/.398 this past season, the team decided to part ways, declining his option. He shortly found a new home, though, and what better place for fantasy managers than the Cincinnati Reds?

Myers still has something in the tank. He hit lots of fly balls and line drives while posting a respectable 7.3% barrel rate during 2022. But playing with the Padres didn't help. Petco Park, Myers’ previous home diamond, isn’t particularly hitter-friendly, as mentioned above. The league combined to slash an ugly .224/.298/.359 in the venue last year. Great American Ball Park, on the other hand, produced a much better .251/.328/.426 line. The 32-year-old hit eight home runs across 77 games, but his 10.7 xHR implies he was better than on paper, and his 15 xHR in Cincinnati is eye-opening.

It’s more than just home runs, however. Myers is a career .254 hitter, and although he only hit .224 last season, that will only be better with the Reds, whose park is fourth in baseball since 2020 in hit factor. It produced a .299 BABIP in 2022, while Petco Park’s BABIP was 20 points lower at .279.

And fantasy managers can't overlook that he’s instantly one of the best hitters in the lineup. RosterResource has Myers batting fifth, and there’s no reason he should ever not be in the heart of the lineup. The Padres' offense was much deeper, so the former Rookie of the Year could only muster 29 runs and 41 RBI in 77 games, 147 runs plus RBI over 162 games. Steamer has Myers recording 62 runs and 67 RBI in 133 games, 157 runs plus RBI pace.

Every hitter loves hitting at Great American Ball Park, and fantasy managers shouldn’t hesitate to buy into a late-career revival from the 10-year vet, who will have inflated numbers all around, especially when he’s basically free in drafts with an ADP of 413.

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