Hope springs eternal when it comes to baseball teams, both in the major leagues as well as with fantasy baseball squads. Some of the biggest importers of hope each season are those “shiny new toys” — highly touted rookies who have yet to disappoint, bringing tons of promise and optimism to the table.
The list you’re about to read is strictly for fantasy purposes and is a spin on my real-world value Top 100 list, which is heavily influenced by scouts, executives and my own scouting looks. I don’t play fantasy anymore, but I do help some friends with their teams, and I get the big-picture adjustments from the baselines of my other lists: defense doesn’t matter, position matters a little, speed doesn’t really matter unless they steal bases, etc. This list will generally be in the order of that list, only after adjusting for those factors.
With that in mind, here’s my ranked top 20 of the best fantasy bets for 2023 among prospects and rookies — and I’ll detail below where those two terms diverge. These candidates were culled from my original list of 1,294 players whom I ranked on this year’s team lists (split into AL and NL prospects), so there are a few dozen more viable Rookie of the Year (ROY) candidates I could rank. However, I know you are looking more at the top of this list for your drafts than the bottom.