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Welcome back, everyone. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. 

This week we are going to dive into the 2023 Top Keepers – Second Basemen. When it comes to second baseman, it is a position that now seems to be home of platoon players.

Today’s managers and general managers believe that if you can play a position in the field, then you can play second base. In 2022, only 12 players started more than 100 games at second base, and only 15 appeared in more than 100 games at the position. In all, 160 different players started at least one game at second base in the majors this season.

WHAT HAPPENED TO SECOND BASEMEN?

There are 30 teams, and there were only 16 pure second baseman who reached enough plate appearances (3.1/team games played) to qualify for the batting title. Ouch. Injuries did factor into that as Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Ozzie Albies missed a chunk of time. But it is still amazing at how few true second baseman reached enough plate appearances to qualify for a possible batting title.

And the quality of those 16 second basemen isn’t great. Of those players, only two of them (Jeff McNeil and Jose Altuve) hit .300 or better with one (Andres Gimenez) just missing at .297. Then it drops down to .266.

Overall, the position is just not deep. There are tons of players getting in time at second base who are now eligible to play there in fantasy leagues. So, in order to narrow down the candidates to consider for these rankings, I made the cutoff to rank a player at 25 starts at second.

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I’m not sure what has gotten into general managers, but they are making trades like it is the midseason deadline and free agents are already coming off the board.

This action has me so excited, I can’t wait to get into this week’s 2023 Top Keepers – First Basemen edition.

What Kind of First Baseman Do You Want?

Today’s first basemen are all over the board. Some fall into the category of the traditional first baseman – the dudes who hit with power but didn’t do too much more at the plate. You also have your high average, high OBP first basemen who didn’t hit for a lot of power. And there are the few that do it all – or at least get close to doing it all.

Then you have your utility first basemen. Today’s game features plenty of first basemen who also play two to three other positions. We have second baseman who are playing first, or first basemen playing in the outfield or third base.

Because of this versatility, the position is no longer the home of just sluggers. You have to pick a first baseman to keep who best fills your specific needs because the complete first baseman – a run producing power hitter who hits for average and gets on base, are a rare breed.

So let’s dive in and get to the rankings.

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The good news is the top 20 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball are better than the top 20 3rd basemen. The unfortunate news is, if you had a five-outfielder league, you need at least 60 of these guys, and by the time we get through 40 in our next post, we will have already run dry of solid outfielders. Outfield isn’t shallow, but I wouldn’t say it’s deep either. This end-of-the-year ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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And we’ve reached our final top 20 recap for the infield, and, if you exclude the top 20 catchers, 3rd base is by far the shallowest position. 3rd base ain’t great, y’all! This is the first position where there’s guys at the tail end that I actively wouldn’t have wanted on my fantasy teams, and guys like Yoan Moncada, Bobby Dalbec, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Adalberto Mondesi and Anthony Rendon all stunk, and didn’t even come within a sniff of the top 20 3rd basemen. Also, even the top 20 2nd basemen, which wasn’t great saw Wilmer Flores at 20, he’s 19th overall here, so this was a tad shallower. To recap my recap before the recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. This is not for next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool. Make sure to go feet first here, because it’s shallow and I don’t want you cracking your medulla oblongata all over the place. To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Today’s journey through the recaps take us to the 1st basemen. They’re better than the top 20 catchers for 2022 fantasy baseball (not clickbait at all), but by how much? How do I explain that? I have an idea! By recapping them! To recap my recap before the recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. This is not for next year. Hayzeus Cristo, just enjoy a recap before we get into next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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I know what you’re all doing. Counting down a New York slugger to home run immortality. Great! Me too! Pete Alonso (4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 39th homer) moves to within 34 of tying Barry Bonds. That is so laughably funny. You can have an insane year and still be almost half away from Bonds. That’s like Aaron Judge vs. everyone else this year. Almost. Still not quite as ridiculous, but close. Wait, Pete Alonso secured an even more important record — the new Mets’ RBI record (128). So, it’s been truly a fantastic year for Albombso, as he hits .270, and has a legit shot of a top five slot on the Player Rater. A lofty status for a guy who runs like he’s an insect in molasses, though, he does have five steals. For 2023 fantasy, I could see Pete Alonso still being underrated because there is no real speed, and his average this year might be considered fluky-ish, as he’s more of a .255 guy. Think you are selling him short though. For hitters with the most homers in his 1st four seasons, only three guys have more than Alonso: Ralph Kiner, Pujols and Eddie Mathews. 40 homers is the new 60 homers, and do you want a guy who is as much a lock for 40 homers as anyone? Then Albombso! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Friends, the Queen of England died this week. However, that news overshadowed the news about Keibert Ruiz’s balls. It may come as a surprise to at least some of you that I am not a cisgender man. Thus, I have never experienced being hit in the testicles. However, when I read that Keibert Ruiz took […]

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