With spring just around the corner, that means looking ahead to the 2023 MLB and fantasy baseball seasons. There will be a lot of interesting names that will be available in the later rounds of drafts, one of which being Royals 1B/DH Vinnie Pasquantino. The infielder excelled last season in AAA, before a very strong opening act in the Majors. So, what do we think about Pasquantino come 2023?
A Look at Pasquantino
Just from a quick glance at his numbers, it’s hard not to get excited about Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino. Last season, Pasquantino hit .295/.383/.450 across 298 plate appearances with Kansas City. “The Italian Nightmare” cracked 20 extra base hits and posted a gaudy average exit velocity (91.2) that ranked in the top 15% of hitters. On top of that, the Royals 1B/DH recorded more walks (35) more than strikeouts (34) in the Majors. Those numbers followed up a strong campaign with Omaha (AAA), in which the 25-year-old hit .277/.371/.561 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs over 73 games.
It’s also worth mentioning just how dominant Pasquantino was at the plate — as compared to the rest of the league — during the home stretch of the regular season. From August 2 (Trade Deadline) onward, Pasquantino belted seven dingers, and posted the eighth-highest OPS (.960) and the second-highest batting average (.346) in baseball.
Pasquantino may not have played a full season in the Majors, but the Virginia native made an impression in 2022. But, how much of an impact can he make in fantasy next season?
A 2023 Outlook on Pasquantino
The Old Dominion product can hit for both contact & power, and showcased those abilities with Omaha and Kansas City. However, Pasquantino’s overall value in fantasy this season will ultimately depend on his ability to adjust, as well as the health of the Royals’ lineup.
Pasquantino is locked into the middle of the Royals lineup heading into 2023, a group that features Salvador Perez, as well as youngsters Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez. Kansas City’s group has plenty of potential, particularly when it comes to Witt and Melendez. The key, however, will be whether the top of the lineup can set Pasquantino up to drive in runs. Last season, Kansas City posted the tenth-lowest OBP (.306). That figure isn’t promising heading into 2023. But with a young team on the rise, it could conceivably jump next season.
Thanks to a good amount of strength, the 25-year-old has a solid shot of logging 25-30 home runs for Kansas City next season. Pasquantino should also post a decent looking batting average, although a bit of regression from the .295 average he posted last season is expected. But with a career minor league batting average of .292 and a strong BB/K (131/143) rate, Pasquantino’s penchant for drawing walks should still continue in the Majors.
There are a lot of variables in play for Pasquantino come 2023: protection in Kansas City’s lineup and a possible sophomore slump are among the concerns around Pasquantino. Still, it’s hard to deny his talents. The 25-year-old might not be an elite option at first this season, but he should still be productive nonetheless. If the rest of Kansas City’s squad can do its job, Pasquantino can be quite the find in drafts come the spring.