Fantasy Baseball 2023 Draft Prep: Where Consensus Infield Rankings Are Wrong

ECR stands for “expert consensus ranking,‘, signifying the fantasy baseball industry average ranks and typically similar to ADP (which differs from site to site). This will be an ongoing series of positions highlighting some major differences between ECR and my own ranks.

We’ll start by looking at five infielders.

I like infielders more than consensus

Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins (No. 4 second baseman in ECR vs. No. 2 DDDs)

Chisholm won’t help batting average with his high strikeout rate, but he’s ready to be a fantasy monster even when playing in Miami. In the last two seasons cut short by injury, he hit 32 home runs and 35 steals in 677 at-bats, including an impressive 139 wRC+ last year, before breaking his back. Chisholm will take the lead for the Marlins and his move to midfield will soon see him eligible for fantasy leagues.

THE BAT X predicts that Chisholm will record the second most steals in baseball this season, which is the hardest (hardest to acquire) among the hitting categories. Chisholm and Aaron Richter were the only players with 12+ stolen bases and a barrel rate above 16% all baseball last seasonso a special 2023 fantasy campaign might be in store. Chisholm would be my top-ranked fantasy second baseman if Mookie Betts were also not allowed in Yahoo leagues.

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Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers (first baseman #15 in ECR vs. #9 by DDD)

Tellez has a chance to have an even better season than last year’s breakout and should be one of the biggest beneficiaries of No-Shift Rules. The Milwaukee park will continue to help him greatly as Tellez’s home/road splits over the last year have been dramatic: 22 HR/13 HR, .537 SLG/.391 SLG, 137 wRC+/85 wRC+. THE BAT X predicted to hit the second most homers per plate appearance, yet Tellez is rarely drafted as a top-15 fantasy first baseman.

Jeremy Peña, Houston Astros (shortstop #16 in ECR vs. #9 by DDD)

Pena was a star as a rookie when playing healthy. He’ll rack up scoring stats no matter where he hits in Houston’s loaded lineup, and a 25/20 campaign looks within reach. Strangely, Peña is not drafted into Yahoo leagues as a top 15 shortstop, despite a profile similar to that of players entering the second round of fantasy leagues.

I like infielders less than consensus

Adleyrutschman, Baltimore Orioles (#5 catcher in ECR vs. #8 by DDD)

Chuteman will be incredibly valuable to the Orioles, with a high walking rate and excellent defense, but he’s overrated as a top five catcher (and in the seventh/eighth round). Among the catchers, THE BAT X predictsrutschman to finish in the top three WAR but not the top 10 for home runs or batting average — and not the top 5 for runs made, RBIs, or stolen bases. Camden Yards does him no favors either. Tyler Stephenson goes almost 100 picks later in the yahoo leagues but I ranked him higher thanks to him his home park And Volume over the DH.

Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres (No.9 shortstop in ECR vs. No.16 DDDs)

Bogaerts is drafted as a top-10 SS and top-75 pick despite suffering a major demotion in parks at the hands of Fenway (who leads the AL in increasing BA and has scored by a wide margin for the past three seasons) to Petco (which introduces the NL decreasing BA and runs scored in that span) after signing a $280 million contract as a 30-year-old. Bogaerts is moving into park for extreme pitchers and without a ton of power/speed up (23 HR/SB combined over 630+ PAs over the last year in a much better batting environment) and is overrated in 2023 Fantasy Drafts.

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