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2023 MLB Fantasy Team Rundown: Bill James Is Daddy

Fantasy Baseball Bill James

The man himself (Wendy Maeda / The Boston Globe)

The man himself (Wendy Maeda / The Boston Globe)

2023 MLB Fantasy Team Rundown: Bill James Is Daddy

Self-proclaimed as the “Rays of Vendetta,” Bill James Is Daddy is absolutely changing the fantasy baseball landscape. I had the final pick of the draft, which may be considered detrimental to many, but I used it to my advantage.

The Process

The path taken for this fantasy draft wasn’t easy. Gathering all of the player’s offensive WAR and pitching WAR is no small task. From then, I had to determine who was good. Using WAR was an easy, condensed way.

For my criteria, I didn’t look for players whose WARs were less than 3 in terms of offense and pitching last season (fuck defense!). Pitching is a priority for me and I know that the best teams always feature good pitching.

Banking on this, I used my first 3-4 fantasy rounds to stock up on great pitching. In the following rounds, I went after positions that had less 3-plus oWAR players like outfielders and catchers. I waited to draft positions that had an abundance of 3-plus WAR players like shortstop and first base.

The Team


Sean Murphy – Murphy is quietly becoming one of the best catchers in the game. In his first full season with Oakland last year, he slugged 18 home runs and posted an oWAR of 4.0, ranked third amongst catchers. His slash was fantastic too (in catcher terms): .250/.332/.426.

Will Smith – Trading off with Murphy is this impactful Dodgers catcher. He will either be in the lineup as a utility player or catcher, but will see constant action. Dave Roberts has him in the 3-hole for the team, so he will drive in a lot of runs. Last season he hit 24 homers and had an oWAR of 3.5.

First Base

Joey Meneses – Meneses was my very last pick in the draft, and it’s unfortunate that everyone seemed to forget about him. In only 56 games, he posted an oWAR of 2.0 and an incredible slash line of .324/.367/.563 with 13 home runs. Even if the production dips, he’s still a force at the plate.

Seth Brown – I like Seth Brown. His power is something to marvel at and definitely explains his 2.6 oWAR last season. He also has versatility in the outfield which can be helpful. He is the perfect backup for fantasy and definitely has the opportunity to hit 30 home runs this season (he hit 25 in 2022).

Second Base

Andres Gimenez – This man is an underrated rising star over there in Cleveland. He shocked the world last season, posting an oWAR of 5.6. His slash line was also a marvel with a .297/.371/.466 with an OPS+ of 141. Not only did he club 17 homers but he also stole 20 bases. Don’t sleep on this man.

Third Base

Yandy Diaz – Despite not being a power hitter, Yandy Diaz hits the ball incredibly hard. This is displayed in his awe-inspiring 5.0 oWAR and his stunning slash of .296/.401/.423 in 2022. Even if the production slips a little, you can trust that his incredible eye at the plate will carry him. Perfect for Bill James.

Eugenio Suarez – Suarez is the definition of a potential low-risk/high-reward player perfect for fantasy. He is the ideal backup to Yandy but also can fill in as a utility player. The man has a ton of power, hitting 31 homers last year, and hitting as many as 47. His oWAR last season was an astounding 4.2.


Tommy Edman – Another underrated bat in this lineup! Edman is a throwback-type player who seems to keep getting better. In 2021 his oWAR was 3.0 but in 2022 that rose up to a whopping 4.3. On top of scoring 95 runs, he slashed a very modest .265/.324/.400. He can also play some second base.

Ha-Seong Kim – Banking more on versatility, Ha-Seong Kim is a vital fantasy piece off the bench. He can patrol the left side of the infield and has the bat to remain in the lineup. He hasn’t shown much power in the states, but that may change in 2023. This may shoot up his already impressive oWAR of 3.7.


Brandon Nimmo – One of the more well-known names on the roster is the Mets’ leadoff hitter. Drafting him was a gamble as he is injury prone. When healthy, however, he is among the best. Last season he put that on display with his 5.0 oWAR and a slash of .274/.367/.433 with 16 homers and 102 runs scored.

Michael Harris II – Many slate Harris as a superstar in the making. He rightfully won Rookie of the Year last season and had the numbers to back it up. In only 114 games, he slashed .297/.339/.514 with a crazy oWAR of 4.4. Harris also slugged 19 home runs and had an OPS+ of 135.

Andrew Benintendi – People bag on Benintendi, but he’s an exceptional hitter. He only hit five home runs last season, yet was able to post an oWAR of 3.0. He also slashed .304/.373/.399. I believe his power numbers will go up, as he’s hit as many as 20 homers before.


Sandy Alcantara – Here is one of the few superstars on this team. Alcantara was so damn good last season. He easily took home the Cy Young Award and has the numbers to back it up. He posted a remarkable 8.0 WAR with a 2.28 ERA in 223 innings. His ERA+ of 178 is a marvel.

Aaron Nola – The workhorse ace for the Phillies is always a threat for the Cy Young Award. He led the team to the World Series, especially with his 6.0 WAR and 125 ERA+ season. He averages 230+ strikeouts a year. This man will be a force for Bill James. The other fantasy owners must watch out.

Logan Webb – As a Dodger fan, I believe that Logan Webb is the scariest pitcher in baseball. He keeps getting better and better. The Giants are lucky to have this ace as do I for Bill James. Last season, he posted a WAR of 4.8 with a 2.90 ERA. I definitely see a Cy Young in his future.

Drew Rasmussen – Rasmussen has a chance to be an epic pitcher. He’s displayed it a bit so far, with his 2.9 WAR in only 146 innings pitched last year. His ERA was an awesome 2.84 and his ERA+ was 128. The Rays are looking for him to be a starter, so this may be his first full breakout season.

Freddy Peralta – This man needs to stay healthy. Peralta is a great pitcher without a doubt. It’s pretty remarkable he was able to post a 4.0 WAR in 2021 with only 144 innings under his belt. If he can return to form, he could be an under-the-radar fantasy signing.

Patrick Sandoval – Sandoval is another pitcher who seems to keep getting better and better. The Angels are marginally bulking up his workload. Last year he had a 3.5 WAR in 148 innings pitched. I expect both of these numbers to be higher. He also had a great ERA of 2.91 and an ERA+ of 138.

Nick Pivetta – Although arguably the weakest pitcher in the rotation, Pivetta has still been able to post back-to-back 2.6 WAR seasons. He puts up solid strikeout numbers and definitely has that workhorse mentality. Could be considered low-risk/high-reward for Bill James.


The final result is a team that’s rooted in sabermetrics. Consistency is key. With the exception of a few players that are finding their way back to the spotlight, I expect Bill James to put up really solid numbers throughout the season.

No, there isn’t a ton of power but that’s made up for in many other qualities. It’ll be interesting to see how such an analytically based Fantasy team will compete with the others in the league.

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