2023 Bowman released about a month ago, so let’s check up on some players. As there were some comments/questions about my rankings from the last article (especially my Top 10), I would like to clear up that my rankings are my personal opinion. My lists are not necessarily the best players, and instead, it’s just who I think has the best chance at raising their stock in #thehobby more than others.
Below are my favorite 14 players from 2023 Bowman who have recorded stats so far this season.
Dayan Frias (Guardians) – Coming out of the 2022 season with a less than impressive year, Frias had something to prove coming into 2023. Just 20 years old the Guardians were confident enough to place Frias in High-A to start the year. While from the outside many think Frias doesn’t stand out too much, you can start to see some upside if you dig deeper. The most obvious stand out improvement this year for Frias is plate discipline. In 2022, Frias had a 25 K% in 519 PA. This year, though, he sits at 15 K% and has a higher walk rate than that. Though he has not homered yet, he holds an exceptionally good LD% at 26% and a 109 wRC+. I think the power will come and if he continues to track pitches this well, there is some huge upside.
The Dayan Frias Superfractor has been pulled and is up on eBay! His Superfractor auto has not been pulled yet 👀
Full tracker in our bios.#TheSuperChase | @BDKleinman pic.twitter.com/dohSLrZzca
— Kenny (Kenward) V (@KVCardz) May 21, 2023
Juan Brito (Guardians) – Another Guardian, Brito was originally in my top 10 before the product released, and remains there. Like Frias, Brito has walked more than he has struck out and has belted 3 home runs in 124 AB. Posting a 7 SwStr%, the plate approach for Brito is there. If the power continues to show, he should rise through rankings accordingly.
Alejandro Osuna (Rangers) – Another player with an advanced plate approach, Osuna is more dangerous on the base paths than Brito and Frias. Already swiping 10 bags this year in 137 PA, Osuna is having a well rounded year so far.
Yeiner Fernandez (Dodgers) – The most versatile player on this list, Fernandez is gaining attention for playing both 2B and catcher. He deserves credit for more than just his defensive abilities. Fernandez has a K% of just 15 and has already smashed 3 homers this year. With a top 5 wRC+ out of these players, Fernandez will continue to rise up rankings this year.
Christian Cerda (Diamondbacks) – Cerda was a last second removal from my original top 10 prospect list for 2023 Bowman. He consistently ranks high on my lists despite not getting much attention. Walking more than he has struck out, Cerda has a great presence at the plate and looks great at the catcher position on the defensive side. Though his swing is a bit different than other players, I don’t find it much of a concern moving forward.
Gabriel Gonzalez (Mariners) – With the highest batting average at the time of this article, Gonzalez is just 19-years-old and is batting .325 with 13 XBH while maintaining a low K%. Relative to other players on this list, Gonzalez is my favorite to develop more power this year.
19 year old Gabriel Gonzalez is fulfilling his promise this year, flashing advanced hitting skills at Single-A for the Modesto Nuts, slashing .368/.422/.526. While he doesn’t have any home runs yet, I’m certain they will follow soon. This was one of my breakout picks for 2023!… pic.twitter.com/fP4Ec3vSwI
— Ross Jensen (@RossJensen12) April 26, 2023
Hector Rodriguez (Reds) – With the most home runs of all players on this list, Rodriguez is not getting as much hype as his teammate Carlos Jorge. One of my original top 10 players as well, I also replaced Rodriguez at the last second. I personally have Rodriguez ranked higher than Jorge, and this year is reassuring that.
Jorge Ruiz (Angels) – At just 18 years old, Ruiz is the 5th youngest player on the list. Despite his age, the maturity at the plate is shining so for this season: just 16% K-rate. The power-speed combo potential is really starting to show.
Nelson Rada (Angels) – At just 17 years old, Rada is the younger story player on the list and has already reached Single-A for the Angels. Just like Emmarian Boyd, mentioned later in this article, Rada is more of a contact-speed bat. Though I think Rada has a little less of a chance at developing more power than Boyd, the hit tool makes me think Rada is the more promising prospect.
Luis Lara (Brewers) – Gaining some serious hype in the prospect community throughout the last week, many think Lara is the next big thing. With an unreal 8% K-rate, Lara currently holds a 6% SwStr%. Considering he is the 3rd youngest player in Single-A, these stats are mind numbing to some.
Shout out to @PaulCards414 for the smooth transaction on the Luis Lara Superfractor! Super pumped for this one pic.twitter.com/81gFfpmI8R
— EKZcollectibles (@EkZcollectibles) May 22, 2023
Jace Avina (Brewers) – Avina was a shot-in-the-dark player on the list, and I am not worried about his stats so far. Despite batting .163, Avina has been hovering around the 100 wRC+ mark all year. Avina has a short, compact swing. I am not worried about Avina’s future and he has top 50 prospect projections at peak.
Matthew Wood (Brewers) – I have emphasized plate approach with the players on this list. Wood has by far shown he has the most elite eye relative to everyone else here: he has the lowest SwStr% and the 2nd best BB%. Wood also has 11 XBH on the season. I can see Wood ending the year in Double-A.
Ryan Clifford (Astros) – Clifford was one of my favorite, if not my favorite, prep bats from the 2022 draft. He has shown why he was on my top 10 list at product release. Though his plate approach is nowhere as elite as others on the list, one thing is for sure: Clifford smacks balls out of the park. With his recent promotion to High-A at just 19 years old and holding a BA above .300, Clifford remains one of the best prep bats from the 2022 draft.
Emaarion Boyd (Phillies) – The only other prospect on this list that could possibly be considered a shot in the dark is Emaarion Boyd. With a low K% and the ability to draw walks, I have evaluated Boyd as one of the better contact-speed bats in this product. With already 22 stolen bases but pretty much no ability to hit XBH, I am purely buying in hopes the power develops and the elite speed stays.
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