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Multi-Position Bench Bats Worth Rostering In 2023 Fantasy Baseball

brendan donovan fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers waiver wire pickups

Player position in fantasy baseball should by no means be a primary factor in drafting a player. It matters at the margins to be sure, but it should never be anything other than a secondary consideration.

Now that we have the qualifier sentences done, we're going to get really serious about what position players play. One thing that can really get you out of a roster bind during the season is having start-worthy players you can move all around your roster in order to utilize your best bench bat when you need a fill-in.

This could end up being the difference between starting your strong offensive fourth outfielder over a mediocre backup middle-infielder, and that can certainly make a difference. Let's get into it, here are the 2023 fantasy baseball players with the most position eligibility. You should not reach hard for these guys, but the flexibility does justify moving them up a few picks in your ranks.

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Three Position Eligibility

Brandon Drury, Los Angeles Angels

Eligibility: 1B, 2B, 3B
ADP: 184

It's hard to pull the trigger on Drury after that "breakout" 2022 season since so much seems to have been attributable to his one-year contract with the Reds and the benefits of Great American Ball Park. Now, he finds himself in a much worse hitting environment, and it's not like he has a job completely locked down either.

The good news for Drury and the fantasy managers that draft him is that he can play all over the infield. He did so last season, and now you can use the guy in your corner or middle infield spot - a pretty big advantage.

Drury might not do much else besides hit homers at a decent rate this year, but there's something to be said for having a guy on your roster like this that can hit you a couple dozen dingers all around your roster.

Luis Urias, Milwaukee Brewers

Eligibility: 2B, SS, 3B
ADP: 239

We will end up concluding here that none of these super-utility guys are great fantasy contributors. That's certainly true with Urias, who slashed just .239/.335/.404 last season with 16 homers and only one lone steal.

Those numbers did come in fewer than 500 PAs, so the home runs did come at a half-decent clip. There's some upside with him given his age (25), and his underlying skills are decent (21% K%, 10.6% BB%, 78% Contact%, 8.3% Brl%), so there's plenty of merit to taking him as one of your final starters - he certainly makes life much easier on your weekly roster decisions.

Brendan Donovan, St. Louis Cardinals

Eligibility: 2B, 3B, OF
ADP: 264

One of the stories of Spring training so far has been Donovan, who has already pounded four homers in 31 PAs while slashing .310/.355/.724 (stats current as of Saturday, March 11).

Last year, in 533 Major League plate appearances, Donovan managed just six homers - so that casts serious doubt on his home run abilities. The good news is that he's a great contact hitter (15% K%, 84% Contact%), and that keeps his batting average and on-base percentage high. His performance in Spring training has definitely earned him some extra playing time in the Majors, and the Cardinals seem to really love these super-utility guys. Donovan adds outfield eligibility along with two infield spots, so you can really use him all over your roster - and he's also very cheap!

Isaac Paredes, Tampa Bay Rays

Eligibility: 1B, 2B, 3B
ADP: 291

There are a lot of open questions about what the day-in and day-out lineup for the Rays will look like. One player who looks to have a step up on an everyday job is Paredes, who had a decent campaign in 2022 as a 23-year-old. The batting average was quite awful (.205), but he slugged a solid .435 and made a ton of contact (18% K%, 83.5% Contact%).

The power numbers were a bit misleading (20 homers, but looked more like a 14-16 homer guy by most advanced metrics), but they were still better than nothing. Paredes is very young and can do a little bit of everything, so there's plenty of upside for him especially given what we know about the Rays squeezing the most out of their players. The fact that you can get that upside all over the infield is a huge plus as well.

Wilmer Flores, San Francisco Giants

Eligibility: 1B, 2B, 3B
ADP: 342

Flores covers every infield position but shortstop, and shortstop isn't a tough one to find a solid player at.

The problem is that he's nothing more than a "meh" fantasy player. He hit .229/.316/.394 in 602 plate appearances, adding a decent 19 homers and no steals. That is not a player you want in your lineup anywhere but maybe the catcher slot, but Flores makes for a decent emergency filler option in very deep leagues.

 

Two Positions

There are loads of players who play two positions, but one thing I find very helpful is locating players that can play an infield spot and an outfield spot. That unlocks tons of opportunities as you can shuffle in outfielders and infielders into your lineup with the ability to move them back and forth. We'll focus on a handful of those players here.

Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox

Eligibility: 1B, OF
ADP: 128

Vaughn will lock into an everyday role as the White Sox first baseman with Jose Abreu gone to Houston. That is his first and natural position, so this could mean positive things for his game as a whole.

We know the story with Vaughn, he makes a good amount of contact (79% Contact%) and hits the ball quite hard (48% hard-hit rate). The quality of contact is great. The bad news is that he chases a lot of bad pitches (33% Chase%) and hits the ball on the ground too much (48% GB%). We need to remember that Vaughn is still just 24 years old as he debuted at a very young age. There is a lot of room for him to grow, and it just feels like one of those years he's going to put together a 30-homer, .280 batting average season.

Joey Meneses, Washington Nationals

Eligibility: 1B, OF
ADP: 196

Meneses came out of nowhere last season to hit .324/.367/.563 with 13 bombs in just 240 Major League plate appearances. That earned the 30-year-old a prominent spot in the 2023 Nationals lineup, and he can play both at first base and the outfield.

It's always tough to invest a top 200 pick in a 30-year-old journeyman who never did anything worthwhile in the Major Leagues until a year ago, but for what it's worth, the underlying marks support Meneses as a legitimate power hitter. I don't think it's a risk I'm willing to take, but Meneses could pay off quite handsomely if he can replicate anything close to his 2022 success - and you can have that success in the infield and outfield on your fantasy squad.

Christopher Morel, Chicago Cubs

Eligibility: 2B, OF
ADP: 267

Morel had one of the worst contact rates (61.5%) in the league last year, and he struck out 32.2% of the time. He gave us those two putrid outputs with an also smelly 51% ground-ball rate.

It takes a lot for a player to make up for those three flaws, but Morel did it with great swing speed (13.4% Brl%, 113 mph max velo) and a good amount of speed (10 steals, 17 attempts). That gives us the allure of a 20-20 threat in 2023, but he will have to patch up the contact problems first. There's no guarantee he's a starter for the Cubs, but he can play all over the field and you would have to think the Cubs would prefer to give a young kid (he's 23) playing time over a seemingly going-nowhere veteran like Patrick Wisdom.

 

The Other Relevant Names (IF + OF)

There you have it, a couple of handfuls of players that can help you manipulate your roster with success this season. Hope this helps, thanks for reading RotoBaller!



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