2023 Mid Season Rankings Update

Mid-Season Rankings NL Roundtable Discussion

Welcome to the last roundtable for our Midseason rankings! Today, Drew Klein and Taylor Case take the proverbial mics to discuss who we got wrong in the rankings to date. Should be fun! /s

Drew Klein (@aok_fan)

The first name that jumps out at me as someone we were way too low on is Matt McLain, Cincinnati Reds.  (Preseason consensus SS 53, personal preseason SS 46, midseason consensus SS 18)  It may be that he was overshadowed by EDLC and CES in terms of hype and ceiling, but I think there was something else at play.  As we looked at the crowded Reds system, particularly with infielders and with Jonathan India locked in at second base, we agreed that McLain would be the odd man out.  As the saying goes, a good bat is going to find a way into the lineup and that’s what’s happening.  And to be fair, his .232/.363/.453 slash line in Double A last year wasn’t a great predictor of this year’s breakout.

The NL player we missed in the other direction is Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers.  The 35 home runs and 2 stolen bases in 2022 must have blinded us to the .219 batting average, as collectively we ranked him 1B 13, I had him at 1B 15, and now our midseason rankings have him down to 1B 27, which still may be a few slots too high.  To date, he’s slashing .213/.285/.388 with 12 home runs and no stolen bases, tying him with Joey Bart and Daniel Vogelbach in that category.  He’s on the IL currently, and the fact that Owen Miller is playing first shows there’s not a lot of depth at that position in their system.  I’d look for the Brewers to look to move one of their outfield prospects, or even Yelich, to first base, or look outside the organization.  The idea of Tellez giving you 35+ home runs from a strong side platoon is fun, and is what we discussed during our preseason rankings, but it doesn’t look like that’s something we can count on going forward. (Note, two hours after I uploaded this, the Brewers announced the trade for Carlos Santana.  I’m still interested to see what their long-term plan will be.)

Ranking Henry Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Preseason consensus C 19, personal preseason C 24, midseason consensus C 6). is like hanging a picture in your living room. “Higher,  bit higher… no, now lower… uh, do we even want it in this room?”   During the preseason, we all knew he would be an elite hitter, but we couldn’t predict how soon he’d make his major league debut.  This year he ate up Double A pitching, quickly showed that Triple A pitching wasn’t much of a challenge for him either, and the Pirates promoted him to the majors where he has continued to mash (.261/.351/.417 slash line in 131 plate appearances).  Is six too high?  Maybe Jonah Heim could be higher, and maybe we’re giving up on Willson Contreras too soon, but I think the more important question to ask is “Is this the right room?”  The Pirates have played Davis almost exclusively in the outfield and have also called up catching prospect Endy Rodriguez.  With only one inning behind the plate, Davis won’t even get us the “Varsho Catcher Eligibility Factor” so as rankings go, we’ll need to start evaluating Davis as an outfielder.

Taylor Case (@TCasesLoaded)

What’s up, readers. Back again on the back end of the afternoon slot. And you know what? I’m still trying to figure out how I got signed up for this slot. Why would I do that to myself? I mean, my Padres are not good, I’m perfectly slammed at work, and I’m not getting enough sleep – why would I also sign up for an article re-hashing what I got wrong in my dynasty rankings?

I’m just going to assume Ryan signed me up. Screw you, Ryan.

Be that as it may, there definitely are some names I would rank differently if I could’ve seen my July-an future back in March, particularly when examining my Top-500 for Dynasty Points Leagues. Elly de la Cruz at 105? Vaughn Grissom at 114?! Will Benson at 512!?!? Some stinkers in there for sure. And while I can say (as I always do) that a lot of my rankings are weighted heavily in favor of the “who can help me right now or very soon” category, it sure is stinky to look back and not have Elly a bit higher. Hindsight sure has perfect vision. To be honest, I think Vaughn Grissom is the best example of that for me this season.

The truth is that I just really *wanted* Grissom to be the guy in Atlanta this year. Sometimes those blinders come up and they’re tough to take off. And I think (and hope) that we all do this as fantasy baseball managers sometimes – we see a guy who we think really has the sauce, can contribute to the MLB team, can contribute to a fantasy team, and can be drafted in reasonable spots. Poof! Excellent, all the ingredients are there, and I’m sure the organization sees it the same way, right?

Wrong.

Orlando Arcia was my kryptonite. And kudos to everyone who saw through Grissom and his flash last year. Credit to the Braves as well (which is not something I say often) – Arcia has been extremely good and is the clear ace up the middle on defense.

In any case – sorry to anyone who I advised on Grissom. I’m trying to get those blinders off! Getting those removed and seeing things through the lens of the MLB org will be a big takeaway for me if I get another list going this offseason.

The Author

Ryan Epperson

Ryan Epperson

Lead prospect analyst and managing editor for The Dynasty Guru.

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