5 Fantasy Baseball Targets Based on Spring Training Performance
By Larry Rupp
Opening Day is just around the corner, but there's still time to research and prepare for your 2023 fantasy baseball drafts. Thankfully, The Duel is here to help with our annual fantasy baseball preseason prep as you can check out our top 100 fantasy baseball player rankings here.
There are a ton of different strategies to take when attacking your fantasy baseball draft, including going batter/pitcher heavy in the first few rounds or taking a chance on prospects toward the end. It's important to take notice of the players who are having standout performances in Spring Training, too.
With that being said, here are five fantasy baseball targets for 2023 based on Spring Training statistics.
Fantasy Baseball Targets 2023
5. Noah Syndergaard, SP (Los Angeles Dodgers)
The Dodgers' coaching staff played a big role in the resurgences of veteran pitchers Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney in 2022 as each hurler posted an ERA of 3.10 or better. Noah Syndergaard looks to be the one ready to follow in their footsteps. The 30-year-old has looked solid in Spring Training so far with 11 strikeouts and only 1 walk in 13 2/3 innings. Syndergaard may not have a pitch that gets batters to whiff at a high rate, but he is pitching for a team that finished first in runs per game last season (5.23). He's going to be on the mound with a lead more often than not, which makes him a great depth target at the SP position.
4. Josh Jung, 3B (Texas Rangers)
Josh Jung seems locked in as the Rangers' starting third baseman for the 2023 season given the work he has been putting in during Spring Training. The organization's No. 1 prospect has slashed .342/.372/.763 across 15 games (43 plate appearances) to go along with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 6 RBIs. Jung struggled to make much of an impact when he was called up at the end of the 2022 season, but that experience still helped the 25-year-old prepare for what is to come in 2023. Jung has the potential to hit 20 or more home runs and has an average draft position (ADP) in the 18th round of 12-team leagues, according to FantasyPros. Talk about a low-risk, high-reward option.
3. Jarred Kelenic, OF (Seattle Mariners)
No one entered Spring Training with more to prove than Jarred Kelenic. The former top prospect has shined in every minor league town he has been in, but has disappointed across his first 147 major league games. He has been opening the eyes of the Mariners' coaching staff with a refined batting stance and underrated power this spring, however. Kelenic has slashed .410/.439/.872 with 4 home runs, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 8 runs scored, 9 RBIs and 3 stolen bases in 15 games so far. That's about as good as it gets. Kelenic has a chance to play every day with Dylan Moore and Taylor Trammell sidelined due to injuries, meaning he'll get an opportunity to keep that momentum going.
2. Alex Verdugo, OF (Boston Red Sox)
It's been a noteworthy offseason for Alex Verdugo. The 26-year-old came to camp noticeably stronger and seemingly motivated to prove his last two seasons are not what his full potential is. He was off to a scorching hot start in Spring Training (5-of-9, 1 RBI) before he went to join Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Verdugo came up with a clutch go-ahead double in a semifinal loss to Japan that caused the crowd to erupt in celebration. The love of the game is back for the Red Sox outfielder, which only gives him more upside and makes him a starting fantasy option rather than a bench one. Verdugo could be a steal as a borderline top-50 OF off the board.
1. Jordan Walker, 3B (St. Louis Cardinals)
Baseball fans should get ready to hear the name Jordan Walker a lot throughout the 2023 season. The St. Louis Cardinals' prospect is tied for the best odds to win National League Rookie of the Year on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds (+400) and is backing up the hype with a dominant spring training. Walker posted five multi-hit performances in his first 10 Grapefruit League games and even gathered a 102.6-mph line drive base hit off New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in the process. The 20-year-old has smacked 3 home runs and stolen 2 bases in 16 Spring Training games, showing that he comes with the upside of a 20/20 campaign this summer. Walker is a player worth reaching for across all league formats.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.