The 2023 Major League Baseball rookie class is one the deepest in recent memory. There is a good chance 75% of this year’s top prospects start the season in the majors.
Expected playing time has a huge role in determining which rookies make our preseason list. The top two prospects in baseball rank first and second. And while the Brewers’ Jackson Chourio is the third-best overall prospect, he doesn’t appear due to the likelihood he spends all of 2023 in the minor leagues.
Here are this year’s most impactful rookies, 11 of which made their MLB debuts late last season:
1. Corbin Carroll, OF, Diamondbacks
Carroll is one of the most explosive rookies to come around in the last half decade. A former first-round pick, the 22-year-old made his MLB debut last August, showcasing a feel for hard contact and blazing speed. Carroll, a patient hitter, will find lots of opportunities to get on base. His ability to hit for power and average while stealing bases should acclimate him to fantasy rosters well.
2. Gunnar Henderson, 3B, Orioles
Henderson ranks second on our list by the slightest of margins. The 21-year-old also debuted in the majors at the end of August, slashing .259/.349/.440 with four home runs in 116 at-bats. Henderson is noted for his ability to make hard contact. In his short MLB sample, his average exit velocity was 92 mph, four ticks higher than MLB average and identical to his minor league data. He’s patient and a plus runner with the potential for double-digit steals.
3. Miguel Vargas, INF, Dodgers
The 23-year-old Vargas is expected to be the Dodgers’ opening-day second baseman, a position where he’s made just 27 starts in his minor league career. Vargas has a career .313/.390/.488 minor league slash line. He doesn’t impact the ball like Carroll and Henderson. However, he makes contact, utilizes the entire field and can also steal double-digit bases. He has average over-the-fence power for now.
FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 250 overall players for 2023
POSITION RANKS: How the players stack up against their peers
4. Masataka Yoshida, OF, Red Sox
Yoshida is a 29-year-old outfield import from Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan who signed a five-year, $90 million contract this offseason with the Red…
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