Hitter List 8/30: Top 150 Hitters – Week 22 Fantasy Baseball 2023

The top 150 hitters for 2023 fantasy baseball, plus a taxi squad.

Let’s get some basics out of the way regarding how to interpret these rankings. None of this stuff should come as any major surprise, but it never hurts to provide background:



  • It’s still Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani together at the top.
  • Ohtani’s injury doesn’t impact his hitting ability, apparently, and I am not concerned that he will be shut down early as there’s no real chance he will pitch in 2024 whether he has surgery today or a month from now.


  • Julio Rodríguez appears to be OK after leaving the last game early, and I’m sure you’ve all seen the insane stats he’s posted lately. J-Rod is an elite talent, and while I do have some concerns long-term about his approach (as discussed last week), I expect he can make the appropriate adjustments.


  • Bryce Harper’s surge has been overshadowed by Julio’s, but it’s still very impressive. He has seven home runs in his last 12 games along with 30 combined runs and RBI and nine walks to just four strikeouts. The plate discipline has been good all year, but it’s the power that’s really just now coming on.

  • Getting just three home runs from Francisco Lindor in August isn’t awesome, but at least he stole six bags and hit .307 in that stretch.


  • Ozzie Albies is back and hitting second. He could move to Tier 4, possibly, if he shows he’s still running and fully healthy over the next week or two.
  • Trea Turner is having a fantastic August, hitting .317 with eight home runs in 26 games while also being promoted back to second in the batting order. The stolen bases aren’t there as he has just two this month, but Turner is going a long way toward re-earning our trust. One key signal I’ve been looking for is a return to consistent contact in the zone, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen in the second half of the season.




This tier has a net +3 to all rankings

  • Teoscar Hernández has heated up at just the right time as now his home runs and doubles often come with men on base these days. There’s something to be said about being on the hottest team in baseball, as that kind of energy can really set the whole clubhouse on a hot streak.



This tier has a net +4 to all rankings

  • Cedric Mullins drops a few spots because he continues to bat sixth instead of leadoff, though at least he’s not as cold as he was when he first came off the IL.
  • I still feel like we are going to look back on Lane Thomas’s 2023 and just give a collective shrug. He’s a decent outfielder, but it’s very hard to actually explain the massive increase in production. Thomas isn’t hitting the ball harder, showing better plate discipline, hitting more balls in the air, or really any other thing that would explain the career year. While Thomas has pulled the ball a lot more often, it actually hasn’t been the reason for the difference between his actual numbers and expected numbers. In fact, our Pitcher List expected stats, which account for ball direction and are more descriptive of the season so far than Baseball Savant’s numbers, are actually harder on Thomas than Savant. Expect a lot of prudent-yet-boring “bust” articles this winter and spring about Lane Thomas, though he should still be a useful back-end outfielder in 12-team leagues if he continues to run.



This tier has a net +8 to all rankings

  • Riley Greene is fighting through a slump that has lasted about eight games or so, but that’s just part of his development. There’s still plenty of hope that Greene finishes September strong.
  • CJ Abrams hit a rough patch earlier this month, but man can this dude fly. After an unbelievable 16 stolen bases in July, Abrams has followed it up with 13 more in August! There’s a chance he even reaches 50 on the year after having just 14 in the entire first half, which boggles the mind. I consider Abrams a better version of Esteury Ruiz and you should too.



This tier has a net +10 to all rankings

  • Bo Bichette hit the IL with a quad strain, and there’s hope he won’t need much more time than the minimum, putting him around 15-19 games (75-90 PA) for the rest of the season. On a per-game basis, Bichette is still a top-25 player, but even a short IL stint east up a third or more of the season, so any trip to the 10-day IL will cause a player to drop 50-100 spots on this list.
  • Andrés Giménez is better than he’s shown in 2023, even if he’s not quite the guy he was in 2022. He should finish with roughly 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases this season and can do the same in 2024 but with 25-30 extra points of batting average over his current .236.
  • William Contreras flies up the rankings as he shows his hot July was likely more than just a standard hot streak by bringing back the double-digit walk rate. I’m probably more surprised by the 19.4% strikeout rate this season than anything else (it was 27.7% in 2022), and it has raised the floor for Contreras considerably.



This tier has a net +8 to all rankings

  • James Outman has struggled with zone contact throughout the start of his career, though he has made big strides lately that have helped bring that strikeout rate under control. That has taken a dip lately and the strikeout rate has spiked a little with it (these two stats tend to move in opposite directions, so as zone contact gets better, the strikeout rate gets lower and vice versa), but I’m hoping Outman can make the adjustment before everything bottoms out like it did in earlier times this season.

  • I’m not saying Daulton Varsho is totally back or anything, but over his last 15 games he’s hitting .275/.351/.529 with six walks to 10 strikeouts along with three home runs and a pair of stolen bases. Varsho’s regular playing time and ability to hit home runs and steal bases give him a higher floor than many other catchers, and I’d look at him as clearly inside the top 10 catchers for the rest of the season with the upside to be in the top five, especially if Varsho continues to take more walks like he has over the last few weeks.
  • Alex Verdugo has worked his way back into the leadoff role for Boston, and in the 12 games since his return to that spot, he’s hitting .321/.356/.554 with three home runs and 10 runs scored. He has multiple hits in half of those games and three or more hits in a third of them, so it’s looking like Verdugo has figured out whatever was giving him so much trouble earlier in the year.
  • Josh Lowe had a really rough summer but worked his way through the contact and strikeout issues on his way to a spectacular August (four homers, three steals, and a .338 average over 21 games). Lowe is only sitting about once a week right now, and that’s the equivalent of an everyday player in Tampa.



This tier has a net +10 to all rankings

  • Lars Nootbaar takes just a bit of a fall because I’m worried that he won’t get to hit leadoff or be in the top three spots of the lineup on his return, but if he does he’ll shoot back up.
  • Salvador Perez continues to run extremely hot and cold, but as I looked at the season as a whole, his overall stats are really driven by a single good month and dragged down by a bunch of very average ones. Perez has a high ceiling over 15-25 games or so at this point in his career, but the floor continues to get lower as he puts more miles on his tires.
  • Sean Murphy tumbles down the rankings despite hitting better of late because he continues to sit twice a week (or more). There aren’t a ton of catchers ahead of him on this list that are likely available in your leagues, though.



This tier has a net +10 to all rankings

  • Jonah Heim still looks really off. I’m glad he hit a home run recently, but yuck. He’s also playing less.
  • Max Kepler continues to crush the ball, and while I don’t love him over a full 162-game season, he’s more than good enough to give you a few more strong weeks while he’s locked into a good role and lineup spot in Minnesota on a team that is still slightly motivated.
  • Jorge Polanco is starting to look like his old self, slashing .310/.400/.534 in his last 16 games while mostly hitting second. The counting stats are still a bit light, but that feels more like bad luck than anything else as he’s picking up hits in bunches.
  • Zack Gelof has hit a bit of a wall for a week or so, and based on my concerns about his ability to make contact in the zone and how much his stats were carried by a high line drive rate, you can tell I’m not overly optimistic that he can rebound quickly. It’s still very possible, but I’m not waiting a whole lot longer.
  • Whit Merrifield is making poorer decisions and it’s killing his quality of contact.

  • Ke’Bryan Hayes is spraying the ball all over the place, and while he often has been streaky, his defense will keep him in the lineup whether he’s hot or if he’s cold.
  • I’ve never been that big on Esteury Ruiz as he really can only contribute in one category and will often hurt you in all the others. That’s especially true lately.
  • Royce Lewis is healthy (for now, at least) and that means he’s worthy of a stream.



This tier has a net +6 to all rankings

  • Josh Naylor should begin a rehab assignment shortly, and here’s to hoping it goes well and he picks up where he left off.
  • J.P. Crawford seems to be benefiting from the overall hotness of the Mariners and I’m here for it. The ceiling is pretty low over the long term because he doesn’t hit many home runs or steal many bases, but he puts the ball in play regularly and is often in a position to get some counting stats.
  • Josh Rojas gets hot once or twice a year, and while I’m all for streaming him, I very purposefully put him below J.P. Crawford, as Rojas really is just a slightly less reliable version of Crawford who can play different positions.
  • Jordan Walker falls a little here, but I like what I’m seeing overall. The strikeout rate for August is a very manageable 25.3% and he’s walking plenty (12.5%). The groundball rate is also under 50%, which is key, so the next step is just that last little push to go from decent quality of contact to good quality of contact.
  • Adam Duvall is hot again. It’s just heat, but with how hot his candle burns when he’s on, Duvall is worth grabbing everywhere that he hasn’t already been scooped up.
  • Davis Schneider is also hot, and while I have my doubts about him for 2024, he’s got an opportunity to play with Chapman on the IL.



This tier has a net +6 to all rankings

  • Eddie Rosario isn’t striking out right now, which is pretty weird. That’s how he made it on a list that has very actively kept him off during his hot streaks.
  • Mitch Garver continues to play regularly and hit for power with Heim still off his game.
  • Brandon Lowe is doing good stuff again, though with how quickly it seems to fade these days I’m not getting too excited yet.
  • Nolan Gorman is going to keep going way up and way down in performance until he figures out how to avoid strike three once in a while.
  • Gabriel Moreno feels like Keibert Ruiz-lite.
  • I see you hitting some home runs and stuff, Anthony Volpe.
  • Trevor Story is probably droppable in most leagues, but he’s got that name recognition and a hint of upside that kept him here instead of the Taxi Squad (though realistically, this tier and the Taxi Squad are pretty interchangeable based on your circumstances.

And now, once again, it’s time for the Hitter List:

Taxi Squad


Photos by Icon Sportswire | Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here at Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor of Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and co-host of the Hacks & Jacks Podcast on the PL Podcast Network, and 4x FSWA Award nominee for Best Fantasy Baseball Podcast. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad of three, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

13 responses to “Hitter List 8/30: Top 150 Hitters – Week 22 Fantasy Baseball 2023”

  1. Sweet Chin Music says:

    Not here to critique, I look forward to this article each week, seriously…I’m a yuge fan. But, I am incredibly lost on the love for Andrew Vaughn. Over the past 30 days he has 3HR, 8RBI and a .312 OBP….that’s not good.

    He’s a 1B/OF who doesn’t get on base (.317 OBP on the season) or hit for much power (16 HR) and his counting stats (granted he plays for the Chi-Sox) are mediocre at best. His rolling XWOBA for the past 100 plate appearances is below league average. His statcast page is incredibly vanilla, especially for a guy who was touted for his bat throughout college and the minors. When looking at his 3 year rolling WOBA he’s gotten progressively worse each season he has played.

    Can I ask what is appealing about Andrew Vaughn to keep giving him bumps each week? It’s almost September and he hasn’t been lukewarm all season.

    p.s. I’m just salty that I invested hard on AV in my dynasty league and he’s never delivered.

    • Scott Chu says:

      On one hand, I haven’t actually given him a bump apart from the attrition bumps. On the other, I’ve missed how lackluster he’s been in the second half.

      He should be lower. Much lower, really. Fair call out.

  2. Sweet Chin Music says:

    Andrew Vaughn Triston Casas
    R: 17th 16th
    H: 12th 21st
    HR: 16th 7th
    RBI: 10th 18th
    BB: 24th 5th
    AVG: 16th 13th
    OBP: 19th 7th
    SLG: 15th 6th
    OPS: 17th 5th

    The List Ranking:
    63rd (11th 1B)

    Give me Casas, Tork, Bohm, Paredes, Candelario, or Mountcastle any day of the week and twice on Sunday over AV…especially ROS

    • Scott Chu says:

      There’s always one guy y’all keep me honest on. He’s never been putrid in the second half, but clearly Vaughn hadn’t been good. He’s due for a drop, and his high rank is due to attrition more than it is merit.

  3. Jim says:

    This List is all kinds of whack. Yikes.

  4. Babbo B says:

    “I am not concerned that (Ohtani) will be shut down early as there’s no real chance he will pitch in 2024 whether he has surgery today or a month from now.” But pitching isn’t the point when it comes to the timing of the surgery, it’s how prepared he’ll be as a hitter at the start of next season. When he waited until October to have TJ in his rookie year of 2018, he wasn’t able to hit for the first month of the 2019 season. Having surgery earlier this time around could mean he’d be ready at the beginning of 2024, which would be attractive to both Ohtani as a competitor and the team that shells out big bucks to sign him.

    • Scott Chu says:

      It’s true that it could have an impact, but many players can come back to hitting sooner with October surgery, and we don’t know if he even will get the surgery yet.

  5. J.C. Aoudad says:

    There are three baseball articles I read each week without fail, Scott, and this is one of them. Thank you, as always.

    Two questions:
    1. What happened to Tyler O’Neill? Usually you would comment on dropping someone from Tier 11 to not-even-taxi-squad-good.
    2. What are you seeing from Eloy that I’m not? Since 7 July (38 games), he’s hitting .291/.338/.396 with 14 R and 13 RBI. Decent major league numbers, but not exactly Tier 7 production.

    • Scott Chu says:

      1) O’Neill is hitting poorly and sitting regularly due to platooning and injury. When Noot returns, it’ll get worse.

      2) Eloy still has tons of talent, and while August has been rough, he’s barely striking out (14.9%) and since returning from a multi-game absence, he’s hitting the ball much harder. He just needs to get the ball in the air a bit more (he’s done it before) and the home runs will come.

  6. Sweet Chin Music says:

    Appreciate ya Scott, love the friendly discord.

  7. Steve says:

    What was Ben going to say about Whit? He didn’t mention him in Buy/Sell today.

    • Scott Chu says:

      I saw some images in our media library and made some assumptions! I’ve updated the blurb with a quick summary of what our data shows.

  8. J.C. Aoudad says:

    Excellent. Thanks!

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