This is it, folks. The final draft weekend of the 2023 baseball season is here. This is always a bittersweet time of year when we balance the excitement of Opening Day with the sadness of draft season winding down. For those of you squeezing in some final drafts, I thought it’d be helpful to put together a list of some of my favorite dart throws for the 2023 fantasy baseball draft season. All of these players have a post-250 ADP, and all should provide late-round value. Good luck drafting!
The season is not here yet, but why not get a head start and jump in a Fantrax Classic Draft contest? Get a jump on the season with a Best Ball league or maybe a Draft and Hold. Or put some green on the line with a new season-long league to try and conquer. There’s no better time than now to get your baseball on!
Late-Round Dart Throws for 2023
ADP based on NFBC Online Championship drafts since March 11
Shea Langeliers (C, OAK) – ADP 276.12
I’ve been targeting Shea Langeliers in a lot of my two-catcher leagues this season. The Athletics’ top prospect brings plus power as well as a little bit of speed to the fantasy table. In 402 Triple-A plate appearances last season, Langeliers hit 19 home runs with 62 runs scored, 56 RBI, five stolen bases, and a .283 batting average. He also displayed strong plate skills with a 10.7% walk rate and 21.9% strikeout rate.
Langeliers made his major league debut last August, but his plate skills didn’t carry over. In 153 plate appearances, he had a paltry 5.9% walk rate and 36.4% strikeout rate. Yikes. However, he still flexed power and quality contact, hitting six home runs and barreling the ball at a 9.9% clip.
Langeliers should get a ton of playing time this season – most projections peg him for 460+ plate appearances. The free-swinger who won’t do much for your batting average, but Langeliers should be a power asset and could chip in some steals. Keep in mind that he’s only UT-eligible in some leagues to start the season, so you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before you can slot him as catcher.
Hayden Wesneski (P, CHC) – ADP 280.30
As of this writing, the Cubs’ Opening Day rotation isn’t set. But that hasn’t stopped me from scooping up multiple shares of Hayden Wesneski this draft season. Wesneski isn’t a high-strikeout pitcher but carried a respectable 9.6 K/9 across the minor leagues. He also limits walks and homers and is good at inducing ground balls. Tell me more!
Wesneski came over from the Yankees at the August trade deadline last season. He made two relief appearances followed by four starts to end the year. In those final starts, Wesneski pitched 24.1 innings and posted a 1.85 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 0.95 WHIP, and 17.3% K-BB%. He primarily throws his sweeper, which limited hitters to a .119 BAA and induced whiffs 38.3% of the time. Wesneski’s other offerings are nothing to sneeze at, either. In fact, three of his five pitches generate whiffs at a 30% clip or better. (For a more in-depth look at Wesneski’s pitch mix, be sure to check out this excellent write-up by Fantrax’s Matt Heckman.)
Wesneski looks fantastic this spring. He has a 2.12 ERA and 22:6 K:BB across 17 innings, making it no surprise he’s quickly moving up draft boards. If you want to speculate on starting pitching, Wesneski is a solid dart throw for the 2023 draft season.
Oswald Peraza (SS, NYY) – ADP 284.42
Between Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe, the Yankees infield is oozing with upcoming talent. Both players have similar power/speed profiles and both are worth taking fliers on this draft season. I’ve been leaning Peraza because he’s about 30 picks cheaper, but you really can’t go wrong with either option.
Peraza is currently penciled in as the Yankees’ starting shortstop and has a nice blend of pop and plus speed to his game. In Triple-A last season, he hit 19 home runs and stole 33 bases, to go along with a .259 batting average in 429 plate appearances. The power/speed combo is nothing new for Peraza. In 2021, he cruised through three minor league levels and combined for an impressive 18 home runs and 38 steals in 511 plate appearances.
Peraza also held his own in his brief 18-game stint in the majors last season. It’s a small sample size, but he slashed .306/.404/.429 with one home run and two steals across those 57 plate appearances. Peraza is currently going just inside pick 300 in drafts and has 20/30 upside. He’s one of my favorite dart throws for the 2023 season.
Adam Duvall (OF, BOS) – ADP 317.48
Adam Duvall is a great late-round power target. He’s coming off an underwhelming 2022 season that was cut short by wrist surgery. Across 315 plate appearances, Duvall hit 12 home runs and slashed .213/.276/.401 with an 87 wRC+. While that doesn’t exactly scream dart-throw material, there are reasons you should consider taking a shot on him this season.
Duvall got off to a horrendous start in 2022 (48 wRC+ through May). But he came on strong in June and July, hitting 10 of his 12 home runs and carrying a 143 wRC+ in his final 129 plate appearances. Additionally, Duvall’s quality of contact metrics remained strong. He posted a 40.4% hard-hit rate to go along with a 12.8% barrel rate.
Duvall is now healthy and has been making some noise this spring. He’s popped four home runs in 17 games with a .636 SLG and 1.001 OPS. He won’t help you out in batting average (career .230), but he’s one of the few players going outside pick 300 that has 30-homer upside. If you need a late power boost, Duvall is worth a dart throw in 2023 fantasy baseball drafts.
TJ Friedl (OF, CIN) – ADP 328.97
In deeper leagues, TJ Friedl has been my go-to outfielder. He provides a nice balance of pop and speed, and has the added bonus of playing in a great hitter’s park. Last season, Friedl hit eight home runs and stole seven bases while slashing .240/.314/.436 across 258 plate appearances. He also recorded an impressive 15.5% strikeout rate, which aligns with his sub-20% strikeout rates throughout the minor league.
Friedl has strong plate discipline metrics and a knack for getting on base (career .367 OBP in minor leagues). He’s currently penciled in to hit at the bottom third of the lineup. However, Friedl was the Reds’ leadoff hitter for the final month of the 2022 season, so it’s not crazy to think he moves up the order at some point this season. A 15/15/.245 season is in the cards for Friedl, making him a solid late-round dart throw in leagues with five outfielders.
Other dart throws to consider: Ha-Seong Kim (3B/SS – SDP), David Peterson (P – NYM), Carlos Carrasco (P – NYM), Clarke Schmidt (P – NYY), Elvis Andrus (SS – CWS), Oswald Cabrera (OF – NYY), Jurickson Profar (OF – COL), Michael Massey (2B – KCR), Mike Yastrzemski (OF – SFG)
Who are your favorite late-round dart throws? Share the love in the comments below! For more great analysis check out the 2023 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!