The World Series begins Friday, meaning the MLB offseason is just around the corner. But there never really is an offseason as the action just changes from the field to the front office.

And just like the majors, there is no offseason when it comes to fantasy baseball. Fantasy baseball GMs are already thinking about next year, and that is especially true for those who are in keeper leagues.

Since the last pitch of the regular season, those who play in keeper leagues have been looking at trade targets to shore up weaknesses exposed during this past season and wondering who the top keepers are going to be in 2023 fantasy baseball.

Well, I’m here to try to help you with that last part of the sentence – who are the top keepers for next season. Each week I am going to reveal my list of top keepers for 2023, starting with relievers. Next week I will focus on starting pitchers before going around the infield and then ending with the top outfielders.

A CRAZY GROUP

Before we move ahead, a disclaimer about relievers. The three things we know about relievers are this:

They are wildly inconsistent from year to year
They are wildly inconsistent from year to year
And they are wildly inconsistent from year to year

The inconsistent play even takes place during the season, with Josh Hader being a prime example of that. If there is one position that could use a dartboard to help with the rankings, it is relievers. Thus, these rankings are based a little on past performance, a little on the eye test and a lot of what my gut is telling me.

Unlike other positions, where age weighs in heavily for my top keepers, the age of a reliver doesn’t factor in as much. It may move them down the list if I think other relievers on the staff can become the closer in 2023 (I’m looking at you, Jose Alvarado), but if they are proven closers and also 33, I’m fine with that.

Also, I am assuming that most keeper leagues don’t just use saves but also have holds or saves+holds. A deep league doesn’t just showcase closers. A real pitching staff has starters, middle relievers and closers, so this list features top closers and setup men.

With that in mind, let’s get on with the Top 40 keepers for 2023 – reliever edition.

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With the season winding down, this is the time of the year when clubs take a look at some of their top prospects.

For the Colorado Rockies, they have been giving their young players extended looks for much of the season. In fact, Rockies fans have been given a preview of what 75% of their infield may look like in 2023.

ROOKIES IN THE ROCKIES

Elehuris Montero was once a top 100 prospect, ranked 81st by Baseball America in its 2019 preseason rankings. But after a rough 2019 campaign, he fell out of the rankings and finished the 2021 season as the club’s fourth overall best prospect.

A third baseman, Montero can also play first base and has seen time at designated hitter as well with the Rockies. Third base or designated hitter will likely be his home in the future thanks to Michael Toglia.

The Rockies have been high on Togila for years. The switch-hitter was drafted by Colorado in the 35th round of the 2016 draft and then again by the Rockies in 2019, this time as the 23rd overall pick.

While Montero and Toglia have more than 100 at-bats in the majors, a third rookie is getting a chance to show his skill on the Major League level. That rookie is shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. He is not the power hitter the other two area. Instead his top tool is his defense and the ability to hit and steal some bases.

So let’s dive right in and take a deeper look at these three players.

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Welcome back to another week of Top Dynasty Keepers.

The regular season will soon be coming to and end, which means the major league debuts of two of the games top prospects will also be coming to an end.

VERY DIFFERENT PLAYERS

This week we are going to take a look at Riley Greene of the Detroit Tigers and Tristan Casas of the Boston Red Sox.

Both players entered the season as two of the top prospects in the game. Riley was a consensus Top 10 prospect, entering the season ranked fourth by Baseball America, fifth by MLB.com and sixth by Baseball Prospectus.

Greene was one of the top hitting prospects in the 2019 draft and has remained so since become a professional.

Meanwhile, Casas entered the 2022 season as the 19th best prospect by Baseball America, 16th my MLB.com and 44th by Baseball Prospectus. Unlike Greene, Casas was not drafted because of his hit tool. He was drafted in the first round of the 2018 draft because he can hit the ball a long way.

GETTNG THEIR FEET WET

While Greene and Casas are very different players, both have one thing in common – they have both reached the majors this season.

So far, their debuts have been a mix of good and bad. Both have struggled at the plate at times. Greene is currently hitting under .250 while Casas is barely hitting about .100 during his brief time with the Red Sox.

But both players have shown off the tools  – Greene’s overall hitting skill and Casas’ massive power – that got them promoted from the minors.

So let’s take a look at the two rookies.

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Welcome back to another week of Top Dynasty Keepers.

If you have been a regular reader of this column throughout the season, then you know I have focused on a wide variety of players – from the hot-shot prospects to the players who have flown under the radar as prospects and perhaps throughout this season.

This week I want to highlight a player who falls into the “under the radar” category. That player is Jake McCarthy of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

OPENING EYES

McCarthy is not one of those players who was drafted toward the end of the draft and slowly made his way through the minor league system before getting his shot in the majors. However, he is not a player who everyone was waiting for him to get his chance so they can try to pounce and add them to their roster.

A left-hander who can play all three positions in the outfield, he was never close to being a top 100 prospect. In fact, McCarthy wasn’t even a top 10 prospect with the Diamondbacks entering the season. But that is why prospect lists are only one tool to use when evaluating players. Raw tools are great, but so too is desire and basic talent.

McCarthy doesn’t hit for a lot of power, but he is strong enough to not hurt you in the power department. He also doesn’t have elite speed, but he is above average and, coupled with his ability to get great jumps, he is a great base stealer.

Despite his lack of eye-popping tools, McCarthy has turned himself into a regular for the Diamondbacks. So let’s take a deeper look into the Arizona outfielder.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome back to another week of Top Dynasty Keepers.

Our attention is turned toward two of the games top prospects who were recently called up to the majors – Gunnar Henderson of the Baltimore Orioles and Corbin Carroll of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Fantasy owners have been waiting for these two players to reach the majors and so far they have to like what they see.

Henderson began the year as a consensus Top 100 prospect, ranked 57th by Baseball America, 64th by MLB and 88th by Baseball Prospectus. By midseason, Henderson was playing in the Futures Game and was ranked as the second best prospect by MLB before earning his promotion to Baltimore.

Like Henderson, Carroll was regarded as one of the top prospects in the game entering the season. Baseball America had him ranked 20th while MLB ranked him at 19 and Baseball Prospectus had him ranked 34th. Like Henderson, Carroll competed in the Futures Game and moved up to No. 3 in the MLB rankings before joining the Diamondbacks.

So far, Henderson and Carroll have been living up to the hype. So let’s dive in and take a look at these two players.

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Welcome back to another week of Top Dynasty Keepers.

With the calendar flipping over to September, it can only mean one thing in the baseball world – roster expansion! For teams that have been out of contention for weeks or months, this is a chance to reward two prospects having great seasons on top of the many top prospects who have already been called up to the minors.

But for a team like the Houston Astros, this is a chance to not only reward two prospects who have had outstanding seasons, but to see if they can possibly offer some help down the stretch or even in the postseason.

CHANCE TO PROVE THEMSELVES

With the rosters expanding to 28 players starting Sept. 1, Houston added right-handed pitcher Hunter Brown and catcher Yainer Diaz to the major league roster. Brown is the club’s top prospect and is currently ranked 71st in the Top 100 Prospects list by MLB.com while Diaz is the team’s No. 3 prospect.

Both players dominated the competition in the minors, Brown all season at AAA Sugar Land and Diaz at AA Corpus Christi before moving up to Sugar Land.

The Astros entered Saturday with an 11-game lead over the Seattle Mariners in the AL West standings. Thanks to that large lead, it gives the club a chance to see what Brown and Diaz can do on the major league level – a chance they may not have received if the lead was one or two games.

Let’s dive in and see why the Astros promoted Brown and Diaz.

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Welcome back to another edition of Top Dynasty Keepers.

The final month of the regular season is just around the corner, meaning one of two things – you are gearing up for a playoff run or you are trying to figure out who should and shouldn’t be on your fantasy team next season.

Hopefully, you are in the category of owners gearing up for a playoff run. But if you are in the other category, here’s the simplest way to become a contender next season – hoard as many Atlanta Braves players as possible.

YOUNG TALENT EVERYWHERE

Major League Baseball is bursting with young, talented players. But it seems the Atlanta Braves are leading the pack when it comes having that talent currently playing on the major league level.

Already this season I have featured Michael Harris III and Vaughn Grissom, both of whom are only 21. But the Braves also have Matt Olson and Dansby Swanson, who are both only 28, to go along with 25-year-olds Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley or 24-year-old Ronald Acuna Jr.

That is just the offense. The starting rotation is loaded with young talent as well. Mike Soroka is on the 60-day IL, but he is only 24 and was the staff ace last year during the team’s World Series run. Max Fried is 28, Kyle Wright 26 and Ian Anderson is only 24.

And now comes along Spencer Strider. He has seemingly come out of nowhere to become another young stud on a team filled to the brim with them. Strider was pitching in college only two years ago. Today he is arguably the best starter for the Braves.

Let’s dive into Strider and his rise to prominence this season.

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Welcome back to another edition of Top Dynasty Keepers.

This week we are going to take a look at two youngsters recently promoted to the majors – Vaughn Grissom of the Atlanta Braves and Brett Baty of the New York Mets.

Grissom and Baty both earned their promotions to the majors thanks largely to the fact that the Braves and Mets were shorthanded at second base and third base due to injuries. The Braves have been without Ozzie Albies at second base while the Mets will be without Luis Guillorme into September and Eduardo Escobar has been banged up and not playing well.

Both players were having outstanding seasons in the minors, and both players were drafted in 2019, but that is about it when it comes to comparing Grissom to Vaughn.

DIFFERENT PATHS

Atlanta didn’t draft Grissom in 2019 until the 11th round as the 337th player selected. Unless you play in leagues with deep minor league rosters, you or most of the other players in your league likely didn’t have Grissom on your radar entering the season.

He certainly wasn’t on the radar of the people who put together rankings lists. Grissom wasn’t ranked as a Top 100 prospect by Baseball America, MLB or Baseball Prospectus entering the season before finally reaching 79th in the MLB midseason rankings.

As mentioned earlier, Baty was also drafted in 2019. However, he was taken off the board 325 picks ahead of Grissom as the Mets tabbed him with the 12th overall pick. Because of his draft slot, Baty has likely been on the radar of most fantasy players. He entered the season as the 39th best prospect by Baseball America, 27th by MLB and 13th by Baseball Prospectus. Before being recalled by the Mets, Baty worked himself up the MLB rankings to 19th.

FANTASY OWNERS FAVOR GRISSOM SO FAR

It could be a matter of timing as Grissom reached the majors first, but right now fantasy owners are favoring him more than Baty. Grissom is rostered in 38.5% of leagues while Baty is rostered in only 17.5% of leagues. In Yahoo, both players are getting a lot more attention. Grissom is getting a lot of love as he is rostered in 66% of leagues while Baty is rostered in 38% of leagues,

With Albies appearing to be closer to a return to the Braves and with Baty clearly in position to get a lot more playing time, perhaps more fantasy owners will turn their attention to Baty.

Right now, let’s shine the spotlight on both.

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Wow, another week of the baseball season has come and gone, which means it is time for another week of Top Dynasty Keepers.

This week I am going to change things up a bit and focus on two of the top prospects entering this season – Bobby Witt Jr. and Oneal Cruz. Both players have been on the radar of dynasty owners for years, and this season we are finally getting the chance to watch them play every day.

Witt has been a top prospects since being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2019 and entered this season ranked as the third best prospect by Baseball America (BA) and the top prospect by MLB and Baseball Prospectus (BP).

The left-handed hitting Cruz entered the year as the 14th best prospect by BA, 26th by MLB and 12th by BP. Pittsburgh gave us a very small peak of what Cruz could do last season when he played in two games for the Pirates and went 3-for-9 with a homer. After starting the year in the minors, the Pirates finally brought him up to the show in June and he has been a mainstay in the lineup.

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Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another week of Top Dynasty Keepers.

Earlier this week we saw the trade deadline come and go, and when the dust settled a host of big-name stars were traded for some big-name prospects. When  it comes to Dynasty Leagues, we all love the top prospects. These the the players we all know and follow and try to build our teams around.

But as is often the case, a lot of these top prospects never quite live up to the billing once they reach the majors. If you are a fantasy owner who relies only on taking the top prospects to build your team, then your team could be struggling in the standings.

FINDING THE HIDDEN GEMS

If you really want to succeed in your dynasty league, you must look at young players who may not have ever been a top prospect but have nonetheless been successful in the minors and early in their major league careers. This week we are going to look at one of those players – Cristian Javier of the Houston Astros.

The Astros signed Javier out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 15. Now 25, Javier worked his way through the team’s minor league system before making his major league debut in 2020. Javier never appeared in any Top 100 Prospect lists, and he wasn’t even rated as a top prospect in the Astros system.

Despite not ever reaching top prospect status, Javier has become a key member of the Astros rotation and on fantasy teams everywhere as he is rostered in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues and 89.5% of ESPN leagues.

The success he is having on the mound this year makes it easy to understand why he is rostered on so many teams. The question, however, is should he be a player everyone should keep on their dynasty teams moving forward.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello once again. Glad you are back for another round of discussion about Top Dynasty Keepers.

If you have been reading this column every week, then you know how much I prefer young hitters over young pitchers. Heck, I prefer young hitters over old pitchers as well. That being said, pitching is part fantasy baseball.

With starters taking the mound only twice a week, max, and relivers able to blow up your ERA and WHIP in a heartbeat, finding solid starting pitchers is always a chore. Finding young starters this late in the season who may also be good to great keepers is nearly impossible, but not completely.

EXPANDING THE SEARCH

Because the search for good starting pitching is a little harder, I also expand the age of the players I am willing to look at when considering them as good keepers or not. So this week let’s examine two 28-year-old starters who pitch on two lousy teams.

The first is left-hander Cole Irvin of the Oakland Athletics. Irvin has the distinction of being drafted three times in his career – once out of high school in the 29th round of the 2012 draft then twice in college after his 2015 season (32nd round) and 2016 seasons (5th round) at Oregon. Cole is widely available in Yahoo and ESPN leagues, rostered at 39% and 30.2% respectively.

The second pitcher is right-hander JT Brubaker of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 draft, Brubaker is rostered in only 13% of Yahoo leagues and 8.2% of ESPN leagues.

Both of these pitchers are having career years, which is why we are taking a look at them. At this stage of the season, if you are looking at them they are probably worthy of adding to your staff for a spot start or two. But are they worthy of being a keeper?

Let’s dive in.

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