Players to Consider After Pick 300

7 Players to target in deep leagues, or watchlist in standard leagues.

Grab your picks and shovels, a nice headlamp, and a canary. Today we’re mining the deep end of the ADP list to identify some of the best players to target after the 300th pick. Standard 12-team mixed league drafts typically include 23 rounds. Some quick back-of-my-napkin math tells me that’s 276 picks.

That means the players discussed in this article are not usually getting drafted in those leagues. But that does not mean this isn’t helpful information for managers in standard leagues. Even if you do not love or appreciate these players as late-round fliers, they are the ones that should be added to watch lists. These guys could be big contributors both in deeper leagues, and as early season adds in standard leagues when injuries hit, or in case of your other sleeper picks don’t work out. Today our average draft pick (ADP) data comes from NFC and includes drafts held between March 1st and March 21st.


First Base: Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels, ADP: 386


First base is probably the deepest and easiest position to fill this season. A full 30 1B eligible players tend to be off the board by pick 300. However, two utility spots are the norm, and some of those players like Luis Arraez are likely slotted in at other, shallower positions. This makes it as easy to make room for Walsh as it is to argue in favor of a bounce-back season.

Walsh first broke out in 2020, slashing .293/.324/.646 with nine home runs in just 32 games. He followed that up with a very useful 2021, slashing .277/.340/.509 with 29 long balls and 98 RBI, ranking as the 12th most-valuable first baseman that season.

2022 turned into a short and injury-plagued season in which Walsh slashed just .215/.269/.374. Even with those injuries, Walsh managed 15 homers and kept his average exit velocity over 90 mph (better than his 2021 mark) which ranked just outside the top quarter of MLB hitters. After undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, Walsh looks healthy and has slashed .367/.472/.567 over 36 plate appearances this spring.

The Angels have a lineup jam-packed with stars and it’s easy to see a healthy Walsh posting strong power and run production totals batting behind Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon (whom I recommended in a previous article). I’d be ready to move on from players like Ty France, Josh Naylor or Joey Meneses and grab Walsh once we assess some early April action.



Second Base: Michael Massey, Kansas City Royals, ADP: 449


The keystone was already going to be a difficult position to fill, with a big drop-off after the top-four second basemen. And then Gavin Lux was lost for the year, and then Jose Altuve’s thumb was broken, and then the Braves optioned Vaughn Grissom to AAA. Second base truly is the Lake Mead of offensive positions right now. Thankfully, the Royals are embracing a youth movement that includes a 2B with some enticing potential.

Massey appeared in 52 games for Kansas City last season, producing a modest .243/.307/.376 triple slash with four homers and three stolen bases. Nothing too exciting there, but he did manage an 89.3 mph average exit velocity, which was nearly one full mph better than the league average, and a strong 13% barrel rate, which was nearly double the league average of 6.7%. Massey held a very nice .312/.371/.532 line between AA and AAA before his call-up and looks set to open the season as KC’s starting second basemen.

He’s also looked great in spring training where he carries a 1.049 OPS with three home runs and two steals over 35 plate appearances. Massey is not just a good replacement for some of the missing 2B, he is a real breakout candidate. Don’t wait too long here. Seriously.



Third Base: Jeimer Candelario, Washington Nationals, ADP: 531


The hot corner situation is remarkably similar to the one at second base; elite talent up top that’s off the board by the end of round three, followed by a slew of less-enticing options. I like the Alex Bregman, Max Muncy, Matt Chapman, and Gunnar Henderson group just fine, but with the exception of Bregman, these are players with potentially low floors. Many of the 3B eligible players beyond that point are unlikely to even make the cut for utility slots. Still, you may find yourself in need at some point this season and the Candy Man is locked in as the Nat’s starting 3B to open the year.

Candelario was not good in 2022, his last season in Detroit. He finished with just a .217/.272/.361 line to go along with 13 round trippers and 99 combined runs and RBI. However, just one year prior, Jeimer led the entire American League with 42 doubles and finished the season with a totally respectable .795 OPS. One year before that (2020), Candelario ended the shortened season with a robust .297/.369/.503 triple slash. He ranked in the top third of the league in average exit velocity, and barrel percentage and inside the top 15% of hitters in hard-hit percentage.

Still just 28 years old, and with the starting job in hand, Candelario could be a batting average boost and provide some run production even if the Nationals’ offense is expected to rank in the league’s bottom third. You almost certainly do not need to draft Candelario in shallower leagues, but he is a player I’m keeping my eye on early in the year.



Shortstop: Elvis Andrus, Chicago White Sox, APD: 309


After slashing just .237/.301/.373 with eight homers and seven stolen bases over 106 games with Oakland, Andrus was traded to the White Sox and quickly got his groove back. The 33-year-old veteran infielder slugged nine more dingers and stole 11 bases, without being caught, over 43 games with his new club. He also posted a .271/.309/.464 triple slash over 191 plate appearances with Chicago, his best line since 2019.

Andrus is slated to be the Sox’s starting second baseman to open the 2023 season, so he should pick up the extra 2B eligibility sometime in April as well. I’m not expecting the power surge we saw last year to continue. Andrus did rank in the bottom third of the league in average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage. But I do think the career .270 hitter can be a plus in batting average and swipe enough bases to be useful even in 12-team leagues.

Andrus makes the perfect stopgap for teams that drafted Fernando Tatis early on and need an option at short for the first 20 games. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Andrus was productive enough that those managers decided to keep him rostered even after Tatis returns. Andrus could continue to hold value as a bench bat eligible to slot in at multiple positions.



Catcher: Mike Zunino, Cleveland Guardians, ADP: 490


This will be quick.  I personally hate drafting catchers. If I don’t shell out for one of the top five or six, I likely won’t draft one at all, and pick one up before the season starts. There is not, in my opinion, a truly helpful catcher at this point of most drafts. Zunino at least hits the ball very hard.  His average exit velocity over the past two seasons came in at 90.7 and 91.8 MPH. But his batting average over those same seasons was just .216, and .148!

Zunino, and really any catcher available around this ADP, is going to offer a modest boost to runs, home runs, and RBI, but will almost certainly be drag on batting average. He has crossed the 20-homer mark four times in his career and bested 30 homers once, just a couple of years back in 2021. If you find your team in need of extra power and can take the hit in batting average, Zunino is not a terrible option.



Outfield: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh

Pirates, ADP: 421


Heading into the 2018 season, Cutch was traded from the Pirates to the Giants for a package that included Bryan Reynolds. Since then he has made stops in New York, Philadelphia and Milwaukee, but now the greatest Pirate of my generation is coming home. Outfield is a thin position this season, and with a minimum of 48 outfielders started every day in standard leagues, along with some slotting in at other positions and two utility spots per team, there is plenty of reason to roster outfielders around this ADP.

At 36 years old, McCutchen is no longer the MVP-caliber player he was almost a decade ago, but he still slashed a respectable .237/.316/.384 over 580 plate appearances for the Brewers last season. He also chipped in 17 homers and eight stolen bases. He managed just a .222 average the previous season for the Phils but smacked 27 dingers and notched six steals. Those are helpful numbers.

Looking beyond those surface stats, McCutchen still ranks in the top half of the league in average exit velocity, barrel percentage, and walk rate. He astoundingly still ranks in the Top 10% of MLB hitters in sprint speed. We should all hope to age so gracefully.



Starting Pitcher: Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh

Pirates, ADP: 402


I had originally planned to recommend Pirates’ starter Roansy Contreras at this spot, but the wisdom of the crowds has already pushed his ADP into the high 200s and he’s thusly ineligible for this article. So, it’s an easy pivot to the Buccos’ opening-day starter: Mitch Keller.

Keller’s 2021 campaign, his first full MLB season, was not a huge success. He posted a 6.17 ERA and 1.78 WHIP along with an uninspiring 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He also exhibited control issues as evidenced in his 4.4 walks per nine innings.

His 2022 season wasn’t anything special, but it did represent a big step forward. Keller’s K/9 dropped a little further to just 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings, but his BB/9 dropped even more to reach 3.4 walks per nine. He finished the season with a 3.91 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. Again, those are not fantastic rates but point to Keller heading in the right direction.

That trend looks even better when we split 2022 into two halves. Keller owned a 4.55 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over 16 first-half starts, but a very tidy 3.09 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 13 starts after the All-Star Game. He ranked in the top-half of MLB pitchers in average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage last season as well.

The Pirates open the season at Cincinnati, which is one of the best parks for offense so it’s unlikely you would deploy him immediately, but with an ADP above 400, you likely can take a “wait and see approach” with Keller and gauge an outing or two before adding him.

Speaking of stashes… Andrew Painter’s ADP has fallen all the down to 525. Painter posted an eye-popping 1.56 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, along with 155 strikeouts with just 25 walks, over 103 minor league innings last year. Sadly, Painter has been diagnosed with a UCL sprain and is currently shut down. This means he will not debut as a teenager since he’ll turn 20 in early April and isn’t expected to be ready until at least early May. However, the Phillies still expect him to pitch this season and those numbers are too impressive to ignore. If you have IL space, Painter is worth a stash.



Good Luck!


It is already the last week of March and Opening Day is just a week away! This year has been my first chance to offer draft advice as a Pitcher List staff writer and I hope some of my suggestions have made your drafts a little smoother. If your league is still waiting to draft, get these guys queued up for those later rounds, or get them watchlisted just in case you need to pivot early on.

Good luck this season, and may the deities of baseball injuries show mercy upon your players!


Featured Image by Justin Redler 



Sam Lutz

A Pittsburgh native and long suffering Pirate fan, Sam turned to fantasy baseball to give him a reason to follow the sport after July.

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