Value, value, value. It seems that’s all we look for as consumers nowadays. How can we get the cheapest things but have them still be good quality?
When it comes to things fashion, that often involves buying clothes from companies that pay slave wages in overseas sweatshops. When it comes to food, there’s always an outside chance that you’re consuming horse meat.
But luckily for us, there aren’t many ethical violations involved in fantasy baseball value picks. Here are a few guys at every position who you should keep a lookout for in the late rounds.:
SP: Brayan Bello (402 ADP)
Boston’s top pitching prospect debuted to a 2-8 season with a 4.71 ERA in 11 starts. While that initial stat-line looks really ugly, there’s a lot more to it. Bello had a strangely unlucky season, with nearly a full point difference between his ERA and xERA and an insane .404 BAbip. Those two stats, in combination with a September ERA of 2.59, show that Bello should overperform his 402 ADP. His offseason work with baseball legend Pedro Martinez shows the Red Sox’s investment and confidence in their top pitching prospect. Take a late-round flier on Bello.
RP: Evan Phillips (286 ADP)
With the Dodgers’ closer position still being wide open, it’s good practice to pick up the guy in their bullpen with the best stuff. Phillips had a 367 ERA+ in 64 appearances for the Dodgers. His main competition should be Yency Almonte (who, in all honesty, had a better season than Phillips), but Almonte has little high-leverage experience compared to Phillips. It’d be a gamble to take Phillips – especially knowing that Almonte could very easily snatch up the closer spot instead – but his low ADP and extremely high fantasy ceiling should be enticing enough. It might be a good idea to invest in Almonte as well (748 ADP).
C: Logan O’Hoppe (282 ADP)
O’Hoppe was the Angels’ headliner in the return from the Phillies for outfielder Brandon Marsh. O’Hoppe shredded through AA hitting in 2022 and made his debut for the Angels as a September callup. While 16 plate appearances aren’t anywhere close to a reliable sample size, O’Hoppe did have 4 hits. Those 4 hits were enough for STEAMER to project him as a 118 wRC+ player. With catcher always being a position with little depth, take a chance with O’Hoppe in the late rounds.’
1B: Triston Casas (221 ADP)
Triston Casas made his long-awaited debut for the Red Sox last September. In 27 games, Casas slashed .197/.358/.408 with 5 HRs in 2022. STEAMER projects a .800 OPS in Casas’ first full year, and for good reason. Casas has always shown superhuman control at the plate, with a 20% walk rate to prove it. Primed to be an everyday top-of-the-order starter, draft Casas with confidence.
2B: Gavin Lux (253 ADP)
Through several recent blockbuster trades, the Dodgers have not even thought of parting with Gavin Lux. While Lux hasn’t really returned on that investment, he should be in for a good 2023 season. No matter what happens, I don’t see a situation where Lux doesn’t overperform his 253 ADP. In his 2022 season, Lux had 3 fWAR and a 113 WRC+. Those numbers don’t jump off the page, and his peripherals don’t indicate much growth, but Lux is still an everyday starter for the LA Dodgers. Lux will get his fair amount of chances to perform and should finish with an OPS above .750.
SS: Jon Berti (216 ADP)
It looks like the Marlins are headed nowhere. I think that’s a fair assessment with the number of holes in this Marlins roster. Jon Berti is an interesting case though: Berti can run really fast. Like really fast. One of the fastest in the league actually (97th percentile in sprint speed). Berti is a mediocre hitter, but he’s fast. Jon Berti wins roto leagues, and he makes other leagues a lot more fun.
3B: Ke’Bryan Hayes (181 ADP)
The league’s best defender in 2022 is my pick at third. Hayes is, by most measures, a mediocre hitter… but he hits the ball hard (near the 90th percentile for EV and HH%). Similarly to Berti, you have to be a little caveman-esque when drafting in the later rounds at positions like 3B. If you come into the later rounds with a hole at third, you take a chance on the good defender that hits the ball hard.
OF: Myles Straw (304 ADP)
I’ve weirdly talked a lot about Myles Straw (see: here and here). You’ll get the gist of Straw as a fantasy baseball piece from those two articles. To keep it short though, Straw is a defensive specialist who hits at the bottom of an elite offensive lineup. Straw is going to start mostly every day, and will most likely get driven in by one of Cleveland’s big bats if he gets on base. Straw is a decent end-of-the-bench value piece in somewhat deep leagues, but don’t reach for him.
OF: Masataka Yoshida (270 ADP)
The Red Sox outfielder makes his way from the NPB’s Orix Buffaloes. With Orix, Yoshida had a career OBP of .419. In 2023 projections, Yoshida consistently reaches the top 3 ranks in OBP and BA. Masataka Yoshida knows how to get on base, and had success against major-league-level pitching in Japan. I know NPB players are hit-and-miss, but you can’t teach Yoshida’s plate discipline.
OF: Joc Pederson (224 ADP)
The 2022 all-star had a 144 OPS+ and 23 HRs in his first year with the San Francisco Giants. Forever a power threat, Pederson is an attractive option in the later rounds. Pederson, with regular playing time, should reach 20 HRs this season (at the least). 20 HRs is enough to justify picking him at his ADP.