2023 Mid Season Rankings Update

Mid Season Rankings Update: AL West Edition

Today we`ll look at some players in the AL West and how they`re faring.

A note on how we generally rank before we get to the goodness. We rank with a three-year window in mind, as most of you know, no one is really sure what the next three years will bring, in our own lives or in the baseball world. We also generalize it to a 15-team roto league with standard categories. Points and head-to-head leagues are a little different ranking-wise, but you can still use these as a general tool. Chris Knock and friends will be coming out with a Top 500 OBP dynasty update soon after our rankings finish just like before the season started.

Again, we value all of your feedback and critiques and hope you enjoy.


Jonah Heim, +18 (Current Rank: 12)

It’s all about the 2023 slash line for the Rangers catcher: .282/.338/.474, good enough to be the second best catcher (to Sean Murphy) on the Razzball Player Rater, and #69 overall. Do we believe this? I have a hard time doing so, but if he could settle in to a .250/.325/.400 that would be good for a 3rd tier starter in most leagues, and that goes along with our ranking him at 12th. Our own Drew Klein noted this back in our preseason rankings, “His BABIP has been low in each of his major league seasons, so while he might be due for a regression, it’s worth noting that it hasn’t happened yet.” At the time it was (.210 in 2021 and .249 in 2022; guess what it is this season? .313).

He’s already shown more power than he did in the minors (38 homers in 1,000 MLB ABs compared to 36 in 1,802 Minor League ABs), so 25 homers would move him into tier-2, and he could get there this season, with 12 already. If you added Heim last season when he hit 16 homers, or this season when he started hot, enjoy the ride. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make it a point to trade for him (unless the price is right, that is).

(Phil Barrington)

First Base

Ty France, -8 (Current Rank: 22)

Going from a borderline starter to a fringe middle infielder is not where the Frenchman wanted to be halfway through 2023. Two straight productive seasons had his managers excited for what should have been a third straight year of improvement, at least in the power department. France is still above average, but just barely. Only seven home runs, a .261 batting average and .720 OPS is not working, that’s for sure. The Mariners are not moving his spot in the lineup, however, as he has hit 2nd or 3rd in every game he’s started in 2023, and thus he has 53 Runs, his lone category bright spot. Is there a way for him to get to 20 homers this year? If you’re betting on it, then now is a good buy low opportunity. For me, I want big time power from my 1B, so will look elsewhere, and leave France to the depths of middle infielders.

(Phil Barrington)

Second Base

Zack Gelof, +8 (32)

“Go get him!” Brett said in our preseason rankings.  Zack Gelof was coming off a 2022 season where he hit 18 homers over 96 games with 10 stolen bases. He had reached Triple A at 22 years old. With a strong start to 2023, Gelof could soften the blow of a rebuild by bringing a power/speed combo to Oakland.

And Gelof followed through to start this season.  Over 308 at bats, Gelof has a triple slash of .304/.401/.529 with 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases. While his 27.9% strikeout rate is still higher than we like to see, he has significantly improved his walk rate to 13.3%, a career best. Gelof’s success (and Oakland’s long-term vacancy) will result in Gelof’s call up shortly after the 2023 All-Star Break.  Gelof is bringing the hammer to Oakland!

How does Gelof stack up against the rest of the second base field? His 12 home runs would have him ranked 7th; his 60 runs would rank 4th; his 44 RBI would have him tied for 7th; his 20 stolen bases would be tied for the most stolen bases; and his 13.3% walk rate would lead all qualified second basemen. That is an elite ceiling. Go get him indeed.

(The Roto Red)

Third Base

Josh Jung, +3 (6)

I will eat some crow when it comes to Josh Jung, I believe I was low man on him in our preseason rankings where I had him as the 12th best third baseman. I was worried about his wrist and the strikeouts. Anyone who strikes out almost 40% of the time raises a big red flag to analysts, and in Jung`s first taste of the Major Leagues last year he sported a 38.2% K rate. Last year it seemed as if he was sitting fastball the whole way and flailing away at off-speed and breaking pitches, whiffing on more than 40% of them. So, he had some work to do in the off season to better recognize the “soft” stuff.

He has so far since silenced the critics (i.e., me), the first half of this year. He`s striking out at a 28% clip now which is palatable when combined with a .280/.331/.504 slash line with 19 home runs. He`s one of the best at barreling the ball in the league (83rd percentile) and has shown he can handle off speed and breaking pitches now.

His average should come down a bit, maybe in to the .265ish range as his BABIP is sitting at an unrealistic .350. That won`t really hurt him at all though if he keeps socking #dingers.

Jung is now firmly entrenched as one of the top third baseman in the league.

(Ryan Epperson)


Zach Neto, +29 (Current Rank: 15)

Woo baby what a whirl Zach Neto’s minor league career was, all 44 games of it. The Angels drafted him as a ‘near-ready’ college bat last year. And it took them two whole weeks this season to throw him into the major leagues. So far, Neto hasn’t disappointed.

His 199 MLB plate appearances (2 less than his MiLB total!) resulted in 6 homers, 5 steals, and a 114 wRC+. His league-average 10% whiff rate backs up a sustainable 19% K-rate. Neto’s strike zone judgment leaves room for improvement with a moderate walk rate of 5.5%. Though for someone who’s been a professional for only a calendar year, this isn’t anything to worry about long term.

Where I worry long term with Neto is that there’s no ‘next level’ that many assume with young players. We have him ranked, deservingly, as our #15 shortstop. I do not see him improving upon that ranking much in the short or long term. He lacks standout tools to help him pop in the big picture. Recovery from his oblique injury will likely drag down his ROS numbers as well. Neto is a great shortstop for deep leagues or a bench piece in shallow ones. I’d still look to trade him out in either type. Wait for a hot streak at some point in the second half and don’t count on him long-term as your shortstop.

(Chris Knock)


Adolis Garcia, +12 spots (16)

We have run out of ways to doubt Adolis Garcia at this point. Breakout rookie season in 2021 at the age of 28, with a 31.2% K-rate? Not gonna last. A 101 RBI season in 2022 with an increase from 16 to 25 stolen bases? No way can he sustain that into his thirties, especially with a chase rate in the bottom ten percentile.

Well, Garcia has been better than ever this season and is now surrounded by an elite lineup that has scored 31 more runs than any other team in baseball. As a result, he is on pace for 41 home runs, 139 RBI, and 127 runs to go with a .267/.335/.525 slash line. Only six stolen bases so far, but it’s tough to steal bases when you are hitting for extra-base hits all the time (24 HR, 21 doubles to date).

Garcia’s plate discipline has improved immensely over his three seasons.

Adolis Garcia K% / BB%

His Chase Rate this season has jumped all the way to the 47th percentile, after being in the bottom 10% his first two seasons. Nelson Cruz’s first great season was also at the age of 28 with the Texas Rangers (even contributing 20 stolen bases at that age) and excelled through age 40. Garcia is improving as a hitter in just about every way possible and he could end up with a Cruz type of career.

(Bob Osgood)

Starting Pitcher

Bryce Miller, +118 (69)

With a devastating fastball and slider combo that both grade out at as a 119 on stuff+ Miller dominated his first few starts, and he was seemingly on his way to stardom while throwing almost all fastballs. Of course, this is the Major Leagues and no matter how good a fastball is, hitters can and will adjust to it if that’s all you throw. After a few first electric starts, Miller now mixes in his equally devastating gyro and sweeping slider much more frequently and becoming more of a complete pitcher.

All things are looking up for Bryce, he`ll have his struggles of course just like any young pitcher but he has shown that he can adapt which is a big part of the cat and mouse game of this great sport.

He was a relatively unknown prospect to fantasy players (unless you play dynasty, which we assume if you`re here you do) and burst onto the scene with a bang when called up. He has moved 117 spots up our rankings and sitting pretty at 69….*nice….* {Editors Note; nice, but not nice}

(Ryan Epperson)

Relief Pitcher

Carlos Estévez, +13 (Current Rank: 18)

Our own The Roto Red wrote this about Estévez back in the preseason, “Savvy owners may realize that Estévez really figured something out last season; he was stellar from June forward, with a 2.72 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, striking out 9.4 batters per nine innings, and batters only hit .172 against him.” Estévez was hot late round draft pick in annual leagues, and even in a few of my dynasties he was available on the wire to start the season. After sharing the duties for April, Estévez has become the Angels closer, accumulating 21 saves and a 1.80 ERA. A 3.57 FIP and 4.19 xFIP may show some regression up ahead, and a 4.63 BB/9 also gives one pause. But it looks like the big righty has a secure job for a team that is trying to compete this season, and that has value for the rest of this season and next for the 30-year-old Estévez in saves leagues.

(Phil Barrington)

The Author

Ryan Epperson

Ryan Epperson

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