Welcome to my positional prospect rankings series for 2023. The offseason is always a fun time, especially in the world of dynasty and prospect rankings. This is the time of year when we have additional time to dissect our rankings in many different ways and dive deeper into prospect profiles to see if we have them ranked appropriately. The two most beneficial ways to break them down are by team and position. In this series, I’m going position by position, continuing with my top Outfield Prospect Rankings here today.
NOTE: International signees will be in an upcoming update.
The Top 10
Corbin Carroll, ARI: With his elite speed, blossoming power, and ability to post a solid AVG/OBP, Corbin Carroll has a realistic chance of developing into a fantasy first-rounder someday with Trea Turner level stats. Trust me, I hate saying stuff like this, but if the cleat fits, lace it up. Watch Carroll go 20/20 this season. Heck, maybe even 20/30.
I'm expecting Corbin Carroll to exceed expectations and projections this season, especially in SB.
– Sprint speed was 1st in MLB last season
– ARI ranked 6th in SB
– Career .426 OBP in MiLB
– Increased power in 2022
– Could leadoff some
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) January 27, 2023
Jordan Walker, STL: Due to the presence of Nolan Arenado, Jordan Walker will be moving to the outfield full-time, and it’s not unreasonable to think he might be in St. Louis’ opening day lineup if he rakes in spring training. Walker is a double-plus power bat with sneaky-good speed and exceptional on-base abilities. If everything breaks right, he could be Eloy Jimenez with some speed. That would look better at the hot corner but would make him an early-round fantasy player regardless of the position.
Jordan Walker was easily the best player on the field out in the AFL. EASY elite raw power, good athleticism, good feel for hitting.
I said on @FantraxToolshed and elsewhere that I think he can be 90-95% of what J-Rod is going to be.
Possible? Absolutely. pic.twitter.com/PqS7Sv1ZXD
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) November 9, 2022
Jackson Chourio, MIL: In just one season’s time, Jackson Chourio went from a borderline top-400 prospect (in my rankings) to a top-10 prospect basically everywhere. That’s what will happen when you dominate as he did at such a young age against more advanced competition. Plus to double-plus raw power and above-average speed lead the way here, and if Chourio can continue improving his approach at the plate (which isn’t bad to begin with), he very easily could capture the #1 overall spot at some point during the 2023 season. Chourio just went 71st in the Baseball America Dynasty Mock draft, just to give you an idea of where the hype is at right now.
James Wood, WAS: With the frame of an NBA small forward, the raw power of a middle-of-the-order slugger, and outstanding athleticism, James Wood is a scout’s dream. The bigger frame can always be a slight hindrance, but it hasn’t stopped Wood yet as he’s showing that he can hit for a high AVG with a high OBP to go along with his power/speed upside. Wood is another prospect on this list with #1 overall prospect potential in 2023 if he continues doing his thing in Hi-A to open the season.
Druw Jones, ARI: Honestly, Druw Jones reminds me a bit of a younger Corbin Carroll. Like Carroll at the same age, Jones already has a great hit/speed combination with around average raw power and the projection for more if he adds bulk to his frame. Ranking him in my top 10 overall prospects already is a testament to Jones’ immense upside and the confidence I have in him adding more power just as Carroll did.
Colton Coswer, BAL: This ranking just goes to show that talent is talent regardless of whether they attended Texas or Sam Houston State. Cowser flirted with a 20/20 season in 2022, racking up 19 homers and 18 steals in 138 games with a .278/.406/.469 slash line. There’s more power upside for Cowser to unlock as well, potentially even pushing 30 homers to pair with double-digit steals, a .260+ AVG, and a strong OBP. He’s the first one on this list that lacks the true “wow” factor, but Cowser is a damn good fantasy prospect all around.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, CHC: Like Cowser, Pete Crow-Armstrong doesn’t have the sexy profile to rival the names in the top 5, but what he does have is a skill set that should provide plenty of fantasy value longterm. PCA is an above-average or better hitter with plus speed and sneaky power. While he’ll likely never be a 20+ homer bat, PCA should be in the mid-teens more often than not with a well-rounded offensive profile overall. There’s a fair high floor here.
Elijah Green, WAS: I’m not some seasoned scout that has been around for decades, but in my time evaluating prospects, Elijah Green might be the most toolsy prospect I’ve ever seen. Double-plus raw power and speed aren’t a combination that just grows on trees. However, there are additional swing-and-miss tendencies in Green’s game that will need to be ironed out. But as is the case with Elly De La Cruz, if Green can even sniff a 45-50 grade hit tool and keep the strikeout rate somewhat reasonable, he has the chance to be a fantasy monster.
Evan Carter, TEX: While being fairly young for every level he’s been at, Evan Carter continues to impress all that have watched him either in person or on video. To start, Carter displays a phenomenal plate approach that led to a 13.5% walk rate, 17.1% strikeout rate, and a .397 OBP. Carter’s power has also been trending up as well with 43 extra-base hits last season in 106 games. That power continuing to materialize in games more consistently is really the final piece of the puzzle for Carter who has already showcased his speed and on-base abilities.
Jasson Dominguez, NYY: Before the ripe old age of 20, Jasson Dominguez has been comped to all-time greats, deemed overrated, deemed underrated, and everything in between. Dominguez climbed three levels in 2022, finishing with 16 home runs, 37 steals, and a .273/.376/.461 slash line across 120 games. While he’ll provide some speed, don’t read too much into those 37 steals as 36 of them were in Lo-A and Hi-A. Dominguez also has a frame that lacks projection. But with that said, he’s shown the ability to hit for a solid average in the .260-.275 range with a sound plate approach and the ability to swat 20+ home runs annually. Stop comping him to all-time greats and accept him for who he is: a very good prospect.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) November 6, 2022
Names to Buy
Emmanuel Rodriguez, MIN: Before a torn meniscus and subsequent surgery ended Emmanuel Rodriguez’s season in June, the rising Twins prospect had a ridiculous .493 OBP in 199 plate appearances along with nine home runs, 11 steals, and a .280 ISO. There’s a fine line between having a high walk rate and being too patient, so hopefully Rodriguez doesn’t cross it. But if he can find that happy medium, the upside for fantasy purposes is very exciting given his on-base abilities and power/speed blend.
Chase DeLauter, CLE: Mark my words, there will be serious regret by the end of 2023 for those that passed on Chase DeLauter after pick 5-6 in FYPDs. DeLauter is an OBP machine with plus power and above-average speed that is being undervalued partially due to not playing for a University that consistently played top-notch collegiate programs. Well, how’d that work out with Colton Cowser last year?
Gavin Cross, KCR: Another fairly undervalued top bat from the 2022 FYPD class, Gavin Cross continued to dominate offensively in Single-A after the draft, just as he did at Virginia Tech. Cross is a plus power bat with an above-average hit tool, solid approach, and could flirt with double-digit steals early in his career as well. I’m expecting his ranking to be cut in half by this time next year.
Luis Matos, SFG: After a breakout 2021 season that had him inside my top 25 overall, the 2022 seasons was one to forget for Matos. But I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here as he wasn’t really fully healthy until later in the season. But beginning on August 7th, Matos recorded an 8-game hit streak and was able to finish the season strong with a .293/.315/.463 slash line over his final 130 PA with seven doubles, four home runs, and seven steals. He’s still too aggressive for my liking though, but in general, Matos is a great buy right now given his suppresses cost.
Gabriel Gonzalez, SEA: In his two seasons in the Seattle organization, Gabriel Gonzalez has excelled, displaying an all-around offensive skillset that could lead to plenty of success in our fantasy baseball world. While Gonzalez doesn’t stand out in any one area, he could be above-average across the board offensively and still has some power projection left on his frame. I’m fully expecting his ascension up prospect rankings to continue in 2023.
Spencer Jones, NYY: When you have a mammoth left-handed bat in the Yankees organization that possesses big-time power, can hit for power, and even provide some speed, it’s difficult to contain your excitement. This was a fit made in fantasy baseball heaven. The hype surrounding Jones is already rising quickly, but get ready for this hype train to fully derail once he has a full season to show his exciting offensive talents. We realistically could be looking at a top-10 prospect by the end of 2023.
Benny Montgomery, COL: When Benny Montgomery was drafted in 2021, evaluators lauded the power/speed potential but many also questioned whether the hit tool was going hold him back from fully maximizing the power/speed blend. Well, Montgomery came out and proved that he’s a better hitter than he got credit for. Montgomery hit .310 across 286 PA with a 26.9% strikeout rate. You can contribute some of that to the offensive-friendly environments in the California League, but it was certainly an encouraging performance from Montgomery. The arrow is pointing upwards here.
Josue De Paula, LAD: Oh look, another exciting Dodgers prospect. In 53 games for the Dodgers DSL affiliate, De Paula racked up 20 extra-base hits (five home runs), 16 steals, and a .350/.448/.522 slash line with more walks (32) than strikeouts (31). Many evaluators that have seen him are incredibly excited about De Paula’s bat in general with the chance to grade as above-average to plus across the board offensively. Get in now before his price tag continues to sky rocket in 2023.
FYPD Targets: Druw Jones, Elijah Greene, Chase DeLauter, Gavin Cross, Spencer Jones, Drew Gilbert, Justin Crawford, Jordan Beck, Brock Jones, Masataka Yoshida, Dylan Beavers, Sterlin Thompson
Redraft Targets: Corbin Carroll, Jordan Walker, Colton Cowser, Sal Frelick, Will Brennan, Joey Wiemer, Esteury Ruiz, Alexander Canario, James Outman, Tyler Gentry, Cade Marlowe, Garrett Mitchell
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2023 Outfield Prospect Rankings
Other positions can be found here.
|12||Robert Hassell III||WAS||21.5||2024|
|40||Josue De Paula||LAD||17.7||2026|
|72||Lonnie White Jr.||PIT||20.1||2024|
|98||Jeremy De La Rosa||WAS||21.0||2023|
|112||Carlos De La Cruz||PHI||23.3||2024|
Media Credit: Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire