As we move into the home stretch of the regular season, I’m going to change up the Corner Infield Mashup and give you my fantasy highs and lows for 2023.  It may be September 14, but it’s never too early to start planning for next draft season.

Today I’ll focus on the hot corner.  My “highs” are players on the rise and my “lows”… well you can see where this is going.  What you won’t see below are names like Rafael Devers, Manny Machado or Jose Ramirez.  You don’t need me to tell you to draft them early and often to fill your starting 3B positions.  On the same token, you won’t see names like Mike Moustakas, Hunter Dozier, or Evan Longoria.  Age is clearly starting to catch up with these guys.  I expect they will either be drafted at the very end of drafts or relegated to injury replacements on the waiver wire.

This column is named “Corner Infield” for a reason.  I’m looking for players that we’ll need to evaluate during the middle rounds of drafts when filling out our active rosters.  The names below as players I expect we’ll all be considering to fill the “CI” position on our rosters.

 

HIGH:

Jose Miranda, Twins: Jose Miranda has put together an impressive rookie campaign for the Twins.  While some scouts viewed him as a likely Quad-A player, his lower K% and BABIP at .315 at the MLB level is earning him everyday ABs.  As he approaches 400 plate appearances, he’s hitting a solid .275/.330/.447 with 14 HRs and over 60 RBIs.  Miranda splits his time between 1B and 3B so will have dual positional eligibility and will make an ideal Corner Infield target in your drafts next year.

Alec Bohm, Phillies:  Alec Bohm has had quite a Jekyll and Hyde season.  In April, he endeared himself to Phillies fans by expressing his “affection” for playing in the City of Brotherly Love.  To his credit, he owned his mistake right away and got to work, achieving career-best counting stats across the board.  I think it’s safe to say his trajectory continues to point upward in Philadelphia and for our fantasy rosters.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates: It’s not often that the Pirates earn the universal praise of baseball fans.  Their decision to start Ke’Bryan Hays at the MLB from jump street created a lot of excitement for the Pirate faithful.  More importantly, it gave Hayes a full season to grow at the highest level.  Ke’Bryan was limited a bit due to injuries but he was not overmatched by MLB pitching when he was in the lineup.  He possesses a combination of speed and power that could allow him to grow into a 20:20 player as the game continues to slow down for him.  Imagine drafting the next Marcus Semien to your Corner Infield spot.  I’m not guaranteeing that quite yet but it’s coming.

 

LOW:

Yoan Moncada, White Sox:  It wasn’t that long ago when Yoan Moncada was one of the young “must have” players on all your fantasy teams.  You hate to say a player peaked at age 24 but that’s looking more and more the case for Moncada.  In 2019, he slashed .315/.367/.548 with 25 HRs.  Over the next 3 seasons, he has failed to hit better than .263 (.208 this season) and has a 3-year total of 29 HRs.  Another shot at the starting gig on the Southside is expected next season.  Some will surely argue he’s a rebound candidate in his year 28 season.  You won’t hear those words coming out of my mouth though.

Jeimer Candelario, TigersI was high on Jeimer Candelario coming into this season.  After posting back-to-back seasons with OPS of .872 and .794, it wasn’t a stretch to think he was still ascending.  Well, the baseball gods had other plans for Jeimer this year.  BB% (down), K% (up), Contact % (down), BABIP (way down), ISO (down), wOBA (down).  See a trend here?  He’ll be a free agent this Fall and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move on from Motown.  Signing with a team like Oakland may get him another shot at a starting gig.  However, I see him more likely being a role player elsewhere and it pains me to say, not fantasy relevant on draft day.  

Cavan Biggio, Blue JaysAnother player who will be playing in his year 28 season next season.  Biggio’s shine has already faded quite a bit the past couple years and he’s done little to get that back in 2022.  Toronto still runs him out there 4-5 times per week but he’s really not doing much to earn that playing time (.221/.340/.399 slash).  He signed a 1-year contract for 2022 so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up next season.  One thing for certain though, he should not be on any of your fantasy rosters.

There you have it, my 3B highs and lows going into the offseason.  Next week, I’ll give you my list for 1B.  Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know what you think.

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Frank Drebin
Frank Drebin
14 days ago

I loaded up on 3b prospects this year. I currently have Miranda, Jung, and Vargas. It is a 20 keeper forever league. Who do you like the most long term? I am thinking i have some trade bait with the weak position.

Frank Drebin
Frank Drebin
Reply to  Frank Drebin
10 days ago

Thank you and will let you know. I can’t trade until next year, just mulling over and planning ahead.

keelinbillue
14 days ago

I like that Ke’Bryan pick.

Moncada is frustrating. He has flashes of greatness sandwiched by long slumps. Look at his WOBA and XWOBA. :(

Last edited 14 days ago by keelinbillue
Stl Squat Cobblers
Stl Squat Cobblers
14 days ago

Like this! Good stuff. Geez this position sucks yugely!

Is Drury for real? Also, would you put Josh Rojas in with the Highs or more with the Lows?

Stl Squat Cobblers
Stl Squat Cobblers
Reply to  The Lineup Builder
14 days ago

Methinks you were looking at Rojas’ 3B eligibility from 2021. He has played 83 games or so at 3B this year…needs 2 more at 2B for 20-game minimum leagues next year

Stl Squat Cobblers
Stl Squat Cobblers
Reply to  The Lineup Builder
13 days ago

Thanks TLB!