100 Facts for the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Season

A hundred fantasy facts to get you ready for the 2023 baseball season.

Welcome to my third annual 100 Facts column to prepare you for the upcoming season!

In 2021, I correctly predicted strong seasons from Nick Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Byron Buxton, and C.J. Cron, among others, while swinging-and-missing on guys like Ian HappBlake Snelland Brady Singer (more on him later.)

Last season, I was rewarded for my faith in Sandy Alcantara, Carlos Rodón, Matt Olson, Max Fried, and Paul Goldschmidt, while my optimism for guys like Luis Robert Jr., Dominic Smith, and Trevor Rogers was ill-advised. And Blake Snell continued to perplex me (great second half, though!).

And for those new this year, if this article feels familiar to you, it is because it was created a few years ago as a respectful homage to NBC Sports’ Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) whose 100 Fantasy Football Facts article each summer is a staple in the fantasy football community.

Below are my 100 facts for the upcoming 2023 fantasy baseball season:

*ADP’s and positional rankings via FantasyPros.

  1. Prior to injuring his right thumb (UCL ligament) around June 18th last season, José Ramírez was hitting .305 with a 1.039 OPS, and 62 RBI.
  2. After sitting out a couple of games due to the injury, Ramírez returned, but hit just .264 with a .766 OPS over the remainder of the season. Ramírez still managed 29 home runs and 126 RBI in 157 games played while nursing the injury.
  3. The 30-year-old superstar underwent offseason surgery in early November to repair the torn ligament, and is reportedly fully healthy this spring (hitting .340 with a .913 OPS to go along with a pair of homers and three stolen bases.)
  4. Corey Seager signed a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Texas Rangers last offseason. Seager went on to hit a career-high 33 home runs last season, despite seeing a massive drop in batting average down to .245 with an OPS of .772. His career batting average is .287.
  5. Despite the career-low .245 batting average, Seager’s expected batting average (xBA) was .283 (eighth-best in all of baseball.) Meanwhile, his xSLG  (.510) ranked in the 97th percentile while his xwOBA (.372) ranked in the 96th percentile.
  6. Seager’s BABIP in 2022 was .242. His career BABIP is .317.
  7. In 2020, Seager hit .307 with a .943 OPS in 52 games.
  8. In 2021, Seager hit .306 with a .915 OPS in 95 games.
  9. MLB has implemented rules to ban the infield shift this season.
  10. As you have inevitably read in numerous other places this offseason, perhaps no single player stands to benefit more from the new MLB shift rules than the left-handed-hitting Seager, who was shifted on in 93% of his at-bats last season.
  11. The 28-year-old shortstop is raking this spring, hitting .423 with a league-leading 1.147 OPS and four home runs in the Cactus League. He’s also tied for the most hits (22) this spring as well. His ADP is currently 49.
  12. Yordan Alvarez led the majors in xBA (.329) and xOBP (.420) last season.
  13. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old World Series hero finished second only to Aaron Judge in xSLG, xwOBA, xISO, Avg. EV, and Barrel%.
  14. Zac Gallen posted a 1.49 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 103 K’s over 90.1 IP after the All-Star break last season.
  15. Kris Bryant signed a 7-year, $182 million contract with the Colorado Rockies as a free agent prior to the 2022 season. In limited action, Bryant hit a rock-solid .306 with an .851 OPS in 42 games in a season that was ultimately derailed by back and foot injuries.
  16. The 31-year-old outfielder is reportedly feeling healthy this spring, hitting .297 with a 1.085 OPS and four home runs in Cactus League play.
  17. Per ESPN’s Park Factors, Coors Field once again led the majors in 2022 in run production, home runs, hits, and doubles.
  18. Bryant will play half his games at Coors Field, and currently has an ADP of 121.
  19. Angels outfielder Taylor Ward was hitting .370 through the first 30 games last season, with 27 runs scored, nine homers, and 23 RBI before crashing into the right field wall on May 20th against Oakland while catching a fly ball, injuring his neck and shoulder in the process. This collision resulted in a nerve injury and diminished bat speed over the next few months, which Ward revealed late in the season.
  20. After struggling through the injury during the middle part of the season, Ward finished strong, hitting .353 with seven homers, 20 runs scored, 21 RBI, two steals, a .976 OPS and 175 wRC+ over the final 36 games of the season.
  21. The 29-year-old outfielder was a first-round pick by the Angels in the 2015 MLB Draft.
  22. Ward will again function as the Angels’ leadoff hitter this season, setting the table in front of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Anthony Rendon, and Jared Walsh.
  23. Ward’s current ADP is 123.
  24. Bo Bichette finished third in the majors in hits in 2022 (behind Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner) and finished second in hits in 2021 (behind only Trea Turner.)
  25. In the past two seasons combined, only two pitchers have totaled more strikeouts than Robbie Ray.
  26. Total strikeouts since 2021: Gerrit Cole (500), Corbin Burnes (477), and Robbie Ray (460).
  27. Cole and Burnes, arguably the top two starting pitchers in fantasy rankings this spring, currently boast ADPs of 13 and 15, respectively.
  28. Robbie Ray’s ADP, meanwhile, is 85.
  29. The 31-year-old southpaw, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2021, has been nearly unhittable this spring, striking out 26 batters in 17 innings with a 1.06 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
  30. Chris Sale has registered a 3.03 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 2,064 strikeouts in 1,678 innings pitched in his career (11.07 K/9.)
  31. Sale’s fastball velocity this spring has been sitting 94-96 mph, in line with his velocity prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020.
  32. The 6’6″ lanky left-hander turns 34 years old on Opening Day. Max Scherzer is 38 years old. Justin Verlander is 40 years old (and just won a Cy Young Award.) Yu Darvish is 36 years old. Clayton Kershaw is 35 years old. Jacob deGrom is 34 years old.
  33. Sale is currently the SP #42 with an ADP of 148. He’ll open the season at home in the second game of the season against the Baltimore Orioles.
  34. Max Fried led the majors in Barrel% (4%) and xISO (.101) last season. (Translation: Max Fried does not allow hard contact.)
  35. Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk burst onto the fantasy scene last season, hitting .315 with an .882 OPS and 11 home runs prior to the All-Star break (83 games.) In the process, the 24-year-old backstop was selected as the starter for the American League in the Midsummer Classic in July.
  36. Kirk hit just .246 with three homers and a .660 OPS over the second half of the season (56 games.) The Toronto Blue Jays also signed 1B Brandon Belt to handle the majority of the DH duties in Toronto this season, which will likely lead to fewer at-bats for Kirk, as he splits time behind the plate with Danny Jansen.
  37. Hunter Greene was the second overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.
  38. Greene struck out 164 batters in just 125.2 IP during his rookie season in 2022.
  39. The California native averaged 98.9 mph on his fastball last season. Per MLB.com, Greene averaged 99.8 mph on his fastball in September and October, the highest by any starting pitcher in any month in 2022 (ahead of Jacob deGrom, 99.3 mph.)
  40. Among starting pitchers, Greene led the majors in 100+ mph pitches thrown last season with 337.
  41. Jordan Hicks was second with 92, Jacob deGrom was third with 80, and Sandy Alcantara was fourth with 56. Greene, by himself, threw 45% of all of the 100+ mph pitches thrown by starting pitchers in 2022.
  42. The right-hander finished last season with a 1.02 ERA in 35.1 IP over his final six starts, allowing a .175 batting average against while striking out 51 batters.
  43. The 23-year-old flamethrower has been named Cincinnati’s Opening Day starter, and will host the Pirates to begin the season on Thursday afternoon.
  44. Dylan Cease led the majors in xBA (.184) and xSLG (.292) last season.
  45. Cease’s slider registered a -36 run value last season, proving to be the most dominant pitch in baseball in 2022. The -36 run value was the highest of any single pitch, per StatCast, since 2019 (Gerrit Cole’s four-seam fastball).
  46. Cease threw the slider 42.9% of the time last season. The only other sliders to finish in the Top 10 in run value over the past three seasons were Edwin Diaz (2022), Dinelson Lamet (2020), and Yu Darvish (2020).
  47. Tommy Edman ranked well below league average in avg. exit velocity, xwOBA, Barrel%, HardHit%, xSLG, and BB% last season. His overall wRC+ of 108 graded out slightly better than average.
  48. The 27-year-old derived the majority of his fantasy value by scoring 95 runs and stealing 32 bases last season as the Cardinals’ everyday leadoff man, batting in front of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.
  49. The Cardinals have suggested this spring that Edman, Lars Nootbaar, and Brendan Donovan will all get a look in the leadoff spot this season, depending on matchups and performance. In the Cardinals’ two most recent spring training games on Saturday and Monday, Edman batted ninth in the lineup.
  50. Catcher Sean Murphy slugged .426 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI last season for the Oakland A’s, compiling a 122 wRC+ in the process. Murphy was traded to the Atlanta Braves in December as part of a nine-player deal.
  51. The Oakland Coliseum, a historically pitcher-friendly stadium, ranked 29th out of 30 stadiums in home run production in 2022, via ESPN Park Factors.
  52. The 28-year-old Murphy owns a career .686 OPS at home (Oakland) and a career .817 OPS on the road (away from Oakland.)
  53. Murphy is currently the #9 catcher this draft season.
  54. Brady Singer registered a 2.53 ERA and 1.05 WHIP after the All-Star break last season.
  55. The 26-year-old right-hander, who made some notable adjustments to his sinker after a demotion to AAA earlier in the year, also notched the first two 10+ strikeout performances of his career with 12 K’s against the Rays and 10 K’s against the Yankees in back-to-back starts in late July.
  56. While also spending time with Team USA at the WBC, Singer has struck out 13 batters across 7.2 innings this spring.
  57. Freddy Peralta is 26 years old. In four of the past five seasons, Peralta has ranked in the top 8% in all of baseball in terms of xBA against, while sporting a career xBA against of .191.
  58. Per Baseball Savant, Peralta ranked amongst the league-leaders in 2022 in xBA, xSLG, xwOBA, xwOBAcon, HardHit%, and xERA (2.70).
  59. In 2021, the 5’11” right-hander registered a 2.81 ERA while striking out 195 batters in 144.1 IP. Peralta is currently the SP #38.
  60. After a rollercoaster first half that saw him both throw a no-hitter and also get demoted to the minors six weeks later, Reid Detmers made a mechanical adjustment with his delivery, which improved the effectiveness of his slider. Detmers returned to the Angels in July and registered a 3.36 ERA and 65 strikeouts across 59 innings in the second half last season.
  61. The 23-year-old left-hander was the 10th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
  62. Detmers has shown increased velocity this spring, and currently sports a 2.60 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 23 strikeouts across 17.1 innings of Cactus League play.
  63. Detmers is currently the SP #59 with an ADP of 196.
  64. Ryan Mountcastle ranked amongst the league-leaders (top 10%) in all of baseball last season in xBA (.277), xSLG (.509), xwOBA (.362), and xwOBAcon (.463) per Baseball Savant. Mountcastle also tied for the sixth-best barrel percentage (94%) in all of baseball, trailing only Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Schwarber, Shohei Ohtani, and Austin Riley.
  65. The 26-year-old slugger hit 33 home runs in 2021 (144 games) before homering only 22 times in 2022.
  66. The former first-round draft pick is hitting .396 with a 1.104 OPS this spring, and his current ADP is 164.
  67. Mountcastle will likely bat third this season, in an improving Orioles lineup that features Cedric Mullins, Adley Rutschman, Anthony Santander, and Gunnar Henderson.
  68. After being called up by Kansas City in late June, Vinnie Pasquantino struggled with a .208 AVG, three home runs, and a .660 OPS in his first 20 games prior to the All-Star break.
  69. After the break, Pasquantino hit .328 over the course of the rest of the season, with seven home runs and an .899 OPS.
  70. Even better, Pasquantino hit .361 with a .931 OPS in his final 23 games in September and October.
  71. Most notably, the 25-year-old first baseman struck out fewer times (34) than he walked (35) over the course of his entire rookie season, reminiscent of a young Joey Votto.
  72. Per Baseball Savant, the players that Pasquantino compares favorably to – via the “player similarity tool” – are Freddie Freeman, José Abreu, and Corey Seager.
  73. Much like the aforementioned Seager, Pasquantino – who also bats left handed – was one of the most shifted-against players (94%) in all of baseball last season.
  74. See Fact #9.
  75. Among qualified starters, Blue Jays starter José Berríos ranked as the worst pitcher in the entire league last season in xBA (.275), xSLG (.466), and xwOBA (.346.)
  76. Toronto moved in their outfield fences at the Rogers Centre for this upcoming season, making the venue even more hitter-friendly than it was previously.
  77. The 28-year-old Berrios, who owns a career 4.24 ERA, pitches for Toronto.
  78. Logan Gilbert ranked dead-last in the majors amongst qualified starters last season in average exit velocity (91 mph) allowed. The only other pitchers who allowed an average of 90+ mph or more were Nick Pivetta (4.56 ERA), Germán Márquez (4.95 ERA), Triston McKenzie (2.96 ERA), and the aforementioned Berrios (5.23 ERA).
  79. Gilbert also ranked amongst the worst in the league in terms of HardHit% (45.6%) while his xBA and xSLG were well below league average.
  80. Piggybacking off of Fact #78, Triston McKenzie had the fourth-worst avg. exit velocity (90.2 mph) in all of baseball last season, and his xERA was 3.54 compared to his actual ERA of 2.96. His xISO (.175) also ranked seventh-worst amongst qualified starters as well.
  81. During the 2021 season, prior to his elbow injury which required Tommy John surgery, Tyler Glasnow struck out 123 batters in 88 innings. During that season, he ranked amongst the league leaders in xBA, wOBA, xwOBA, xERA, and K%, proving to be one of the best pitchers in baseball.
  82. Glasnow will miss the first month of the season while recovering from an oblique strain suffered during spring training. Having returned to the mound at the tail end of the 2022 season, Glasnow was likely to be limited to around 150 innings in the upcoming 2023 season. As such, it is conceivable (with a glass-half-full mindset) that Glasnow could return in May fully healthy and receive essentially a normal workload over the remaining five months of the season.
  83. Whit Merrifield ranked in the bottom quarter of the entire league last season in avg. exit velocity (87.1 mph), xwOBA, Barrel%, xSLG (.356), and HardHit% (31.1%.)
  84. The Yankees’ 21-year-old shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe is hitting .302 with a 1.036 OPS this spring with five stolen bases and could have the inside track on being the Yankees’ leadoff hitter this season, batting in front of Aaron Judge.
  85. Volpe’s ADP is currently 268.
  86. Brandon Lowe hit 39 home runs in 2021, to go along with 97 runs scored and 99 RBI in 149 games.
  87. Lowe’s 2022 season was derailed by a back injury, playing only 65 games, but the 28-year-old is reportedly back to full health, hitting .306 with a .951 OPS and three homers this spring.
  88. Lowe’s ADP is currently 143, and he is ranked as the #10 second baseman.
  89. Yoán Moncada was heralded as one of the top prospects in baseball in 2017 and 2018, and was the centerpiece in the trade that sent Chris Sale from Chicago to Boston.
  90. Moncada appeared to be living up to the lofty hype in 2019 when he hit .315 with a .915 OPS and slugged 25 home runs in just 132 games. However, Moncada’s career went off the rails between 2020-2022, as he struggled with both performance and health.
  91. Looking to get his career back on track, the smooth-swinging switch-hitter was named to the All-WBC Team this spring after hitting 10-for-23 (.435/.519/.739) with a 1.258 OPS, one homer, four doubles, five RBI, four walks, and four runs scored for Team Cuba.
  92. The 27-year-old homered Friday in his return to the White Sox’ lineup in spring training and will likely again bat second for the White Sox this season, in between Tim Anderson, Luis Robert Jr., Eloy Jiménez, and Andrew Vaughn.
  93. Playing one of the shallowest positions in fantasy this season (third base,) Moncada is virtually free in drafts this spring with an ADP of 311.
  94. Despite not having enough at-bats to qualify, Diamondbacks’ top prospect Corbin Carroll’s 30.7 mph spring speed would have been the best in the majors last season (edging out Trea Turner and Bobby Witt Jr., among others.)
  95. Carroll currently boasts a .491 OBP this spring, to go along with a .370 average and five stolen bases.
  96. Among qualified batters, World Series and ALCS MVP Jeremy Peña recorded the sixth-fastest sprint speed (29.4 mph) in baseball last season. The postseason hero will open the season as the Astros’ leadoff hitter, with Jose Altuve expected to miss 2-3 months after fracturing his thumb this spring.
  97. The 25-year-old Peña hit .324 with three homers and a 1.067 OPS this spring.
  98. Phillies’ third baseman Alec Bohm hit .280 last season, yet his expected batting average (xBA) was .290 – top five in all of baseball. In 2021, the 26-year-old Bohm registered a 49.5% HardHit%, which ranked in the 90th percentile in the entire league.
  99. Catcher Tyler Stephenson (ADP 159) hit .319 with an .854 OPS in limited action last season and boasts a career .296 batting average. Meanwhile, first baseman/outfielder Wil Myers (ADP 286) spent the past eight seasons in San Diego, where Petco Park ranked dead last in terms of run production last season via ESPN Park Factors.
  100. Stephenson and Myers will be hitting in the heart of the Cincinnati lineup this season, likely batting third and fourth behind Jonathan India and Joey Votto. Cincinnati plays home games in  Great American Ballpark, which ranked second behind only Coors Field in run production and home runs last season.

Bonus facts: Steamer projections forecast Adalberto Mondesi to finish with the 11th-most stolen bases in the league (27) this season in 97 games played. ZiPS projections forecast Mondesi to finish with the sixth-most stolen bases in the league (29) while playing 80 games. The 27-year-old was traded to the Red Sox over the offseason, and will miss approximately the first month of the season as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered last April. The switch-hitting shortstop is essentially free in drafts with an ADP of 245, and can be stashed on the injured list for the first month of the season.

Photos by Keith Gillett, Randy Litzinger and Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire)
Illustration by Cody Rogers (@CodyRogers10)

Lucas Spence

Writer for Pitcher List and contributor for FantasyPros and InStreetClothes whose favorite baseball highlight of his lifetime occurred in the bottom of the 11th inning of the 1995 ALDS. Twitter: @lspence24.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login