As we get nearer and nearer to Opening Day, there will probably be predictions and projections galore for groups and particular person gamers in 2023. One key query in relation to projections is: Who would be the leaders within the main statistical classes on the common season’s finish? That’s precisely what we break down right here because of FanGraphs’ Steamer projections for the upcoming season:
Aaron Judge, Yankees: 44 residence runs
If a house run whole of 44 for No. 99 appears means too low, don’t fret — these projections at all times are typically on the conservative facet. That being mentioned, can you actually see anybody having an opportunity to dethrone the 2022 residence run king, who set the all-time AL single-season document with 62 final 12 months?
Juan Soto, Padres: 113 runs, .431 OBP, 172 wRC+, 7.1 WAR
Considered by many to be the most effective pure hitter within the sport, Soto is projected to steer the Majors in a number of classes, and given the conservative nature of these kinds of projection methods … wow — an on-base proportion of .431, a 172 wRC+ and seven.1 WAR? Only 5 place gamers had 7.1 or higher WAR in 2023, solely three certified hitters had higher than 172 wRC+, and none had an OBP increased than .425 (Judge).
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays: 111 RBIs
Steamer sees a giant season coming from Guerrero after a 2022 marketing campaign through which he took a step again offensively on the heels of a runner-up end to Shohei Ohtani within the ’21 AL MVP race. And why not? He’s nonetheless solely 23, and the most effective years are very seemingly nonetheless forward for Vlad Jr.
Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves: 35 steals
Acuña has missed vital time resulting from damage, most notably a proper ACL tear in 2021. But the one time he performed in additional than 150 video games in a season (156 in 2019), he swiped an NL-best 37 bases. He additionally belted 41 homers that 12 months, his second within the Majors, fueling hypothesis that he might sometime turn out to be a 40-40 participant. If Acuña can keep on the sector in 2023, he is an incredible candidate to steer the Majors in steals.
Masataka Yoshida, Red Sox/Luis Arraez, Marlins: .298 batting common
Yoshida will attempt to comply with within the footsteps of fellow Orix alum Ichiro Suzuki by making the transition from the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball group to MLB with a batting title in his rookie season. Ichiro hit .350 for the Mariners to steer the AL in 2001, and Steamer has Yoshida hitting .298 with the Red Sox in ’23. Yoshida was a profession .327 hitter in seven NPB seasons, together with a .335 clip for Orix in ’22, when he additionally had a 1.008 OPS with 21 homers.
Arraez, in the meantime, will look to win back-to-back batting titles, however this time within the NL with the Marlins after being traded to Miami from Minnesota. He hit .316 in a breakout season with the Twins final 12 months, when he was chosen as an All-Star for the primary time in his profession.
Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres: .574 slugging proportion
Will Tatis be the identical after lacking greater than a full season resulting from damage and suspension? Only time will inform. But Steamer does not see him lacking a beat, with a projected .574 slugging proportion to steer baseball in 2023. Given his profession slugging proportion of .596, though the pattern measurement is comparatively small (273 video games), it is actually one thing you’ll be able to see occurring. If it does, he’ll actually be within the NL Comeback Player of the Year dialog.
Gerrit Cole, Yankees: 14 wins, 249 strikeouts
Cole has had some nice seasons up to now, ending runner-up in AL Cy Young Award voting twice and main MLB in strikeouts twice (together with final 12 months, when he fanned 257 batters over 200 2/3 innings), however we’re nonetheless anticipating the primary really overpowering season from the workhorse right-hander in Yankees pinstripes. Steamer has him main MLB with 14 wins and 249 strikeouts, but when he does “get away” and have an enormous 12 months for New York, we may see 20 or extra wins with 300 or extra strikeouts (which isn’t unprecedented for him — he struck out 326 in 2019).
Sandy Alcantara, Marlins: 211 innings pitched
No one has thrown extra innings than Alcantara’s 673 2/3 during the last 4 seasons. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner led MLB with a career-high 228 2/3 frames pitched final 12 months, taking a begin into the eighth inning or later in precisely half of his begins in 2022 (16). That consists of six full video games and a shutout. The 27-year-old right-hander has solely gotten higher with every passing 12 months, and if that pattern continues, his ’23 marketing campaign might be one thing really particular.
Jacob deGrom, Rangers: 2.65 ERA, 5.5 WAR
New uniform, similar deGrom. That’s what Steamer sees forward for the two-time Cy Young Award winner, who will don a uniform apart from the Mets’ for the primary time within the Majors when he takes the ball on Opening Day for Texas. The solely unsure aspect right here, although, is a giant one: well being. deGrom has been restricted to solely 26 begins over the previous two seasons resulting from numerous accidents, though he is been his typical super self when on the mound, pitching to a 1.90 ERA over that span.
Emmanuel Clase, Guardians: 35 saves
Clase had a low-key nice season in 2021, when he posted a 1.29 ERA over 71 appearances, selecting up 24 saves for Cleveland. But it was in ’22 that he really arrived on the broader baseball world’s radar, saving a Major League-high 42 video games with a 1.36 ERA for the AL Central champions. There’s no cause to assume that will not proceed into the ’23 marketing campaign for the hard-throwing right-hander, who turns 25 in March.