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2023 Fantasy Baseball: AL West players to target in drafts

Fantasy baseball analysts Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and Andy Behrens reveal the player they're targeting on each AL West team. The reason behind their selections could be tied to draft value, a star they want to build around or someone they’re going out of their way to take.

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Houston Astros

Some of us are a little petrified of the second-base pool outside the top eight or 10, which means we’re drawn to Jose Altuve in the early rounds. You shouldn’t need a hard sell on Altuve, a guy who’s a near lock to score a zillion runs while going 20/15 and challenging for a batting crown. — Andy Behrens

Jeremy Peña was a star as a rookie during the times when he was playing healthy. He’ll rack up counting stats no matter where he bats in Houston’s loaded lineup, and a 25/20 type campaign looks well within reach. Peña comically isn’t being drafted as a top-15 fantasy SS in Yahoo leagues. — Dalton Del Don

Alex Bregman’s slow start last year made sense; he was coming off wrist surgery. He was a top-25 hitter in the second half, and that’s how you should view him now. — Scott Pianowski

Los Angeles Angels

Jared Walsh might be the cheapest source of 30 homers now that he’s healthy and playing in one of baseball’s best parks for lefty power. Angel Stadium has boosted home runs for left-handed batters a whopping 32% the past three seasons. — Dalton Del Don

Brandon Drury was probably over his skis last year, but he qualifies at three infield spots, and the Angels will run him out every day. Around ADP 182, it’s a very affordable 20-plus homers. — Scott Pianowski

It’s possible you’re looking for some mid-round target or end-game sleeper. But if we’re being completely honest here, the Angels player(s) I want is Shohei Ohtani preferably both. — Andy Behrens

Seattle Mariners

There’s some batting average risk with Eugenio Suarez, but perhaps the angle is overplayed — he’s a career .250 batter, and last year’s .236 wasn’t a kill shot in today’s game. At least the power is consistent, with 31 homers in back-to-back years. He’s not a league-winner, but he’s priced to be a value. — Scott Pianowski

Andres Munoz gave us an obscene 13.3 K/9 last season over 65.0 innings with a WHIP of 0.89. Those numbers will play in any mixed fantasy league, regardless of where he slots in the Mariners’ bullpen hierarchy. — Andy Behrens

Kolten Wong is barely going in the top 250 picks of fantasy drafts, despite being one of only eight middle infielders who went 15/15 last season. It’s a downgrade in home parks to be sure, but Wong is in a nice role, slated to hit leadoff in Seattle ahead of Julio Rodríguez. — Dalton Del Don

[Divisional Draft Prep: AL East | AL Central | AL West / NL East | NL Central | NL West]

Texas Rangers

Corey Seager is on the short list of hitters likely to benefit most from the new limits on defensive shifting, and we’ve already seen him feast in multiple years. There’s a decent chance he’s about to deliver a 90-30-100-.300 season. — Andy Behrens

Andrew Heaney is a former top prospect (and top-10 pick) with a checkered injury history who possesses a ton of upside. He recorded a 32.9 K-BB% on the road last season that would’ve led all MLB starters by a significant margin, and he'll be leaving a park that increased home runs to RHB an MLB-high 44% the past three seasons. Heaney is a dark horse Cy Young candidate. — Dalton Del Don

Marcus Semien couldn’t do a thing right for about six weeks last year; he was a first-round fantasy producer the rest of the season. He’ll last until the 25-35 range in most Yahoo drafts, which is an outright steal. — Scott Pianowski

Oakland A’s

Let the record show that you are not actually required to draft any member of the Oakland Athletics in 2023. But it’s worth noting that Esteury Ruiz has elite speed potential — think 50-plus steals. If you don’t mind getting your steals from a specialist, give him a look. — Andy Behrens

Wins will likely be a problem pitching for an Oakland team expected to score the fewest runs in baseball this season, but Shintaro Fujinami’s stuff appears far better than projection systems would suggest. He had control issues in Japan, but Fujinami will benefit from pitching in a park that’s among the leaders in decreasing batting average and home runs. — Dalton Del Don

Nobody is going to make a Hollywood movie about this year’s Oakland team, that’s for sure. But maybe Seth Brown can give us some sneaky contributions. He’ll cover two positions (1B, OF), his playing time is safe, and he’s projected for 23 homers and eight steals. Not bad around Yahoo ADP 250. — Scott Pianowski