Please see our player page for DJ LeMahieu to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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Usually start writing these posts after the game has concluded, but for the Orioles game yesterday, I started working on the Anthony Santander lede about five hours before the game ended. The game was like: Run, run, five runs, seven runs, eleven runs, then fifteen pitcher changes. Has the game ended? I don’t know, and, at this point, it’s no longer my concern. Anthony Santander (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 32nd and 33rd homer) is my concern. He now has four homers in the last two games; six homers in four games; 33 homers in 153 games–Wait, that becomes less impressive again. Santander becomes the 2nd player in MLB history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game four times in a season, joining Ken Caminiti, who did it during his MVP year. Six homers in a four-game span hasn’t been done since the hottest schmotato of all-time, Luke Scott. During Luke Scott’s run, he actually went on Fallon with a schmotato that resembled him. Crazy times. Lucky the season’s gonna end soon or Anthony Santander would pass Judge in…*does quick math*…twelve days. For 2023 fantasy, I bet Santander is still underrated even though he has a 18.6% strikeout rate (excellent for a power hitter), 14.5% HR/FB (not at all obscene), and expected stats that back up just about everything he’s doing. Is he Anthony Santander or Anonymity Santander? Damn, Guy Fawkes, don’t be so Anonymous. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’re towards the end of our marathon, friends. One or two weeks separate us from fantasy glory depending on your league settings. If you’re in a head-to-head league, you’re likely looking at the 7 & 30-day Player Rater. Middle infielders Willy Adames, Gleyber Torres, Marcus Semien, and Gunnar Henderson have been among the hottest bats […]

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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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Corbin Burnes (8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA 2.93) held the Giants to one run as he struck out 14. The last guy to hold down the Giants like that was David in the Bible…*Starts sobbing* I’m sorry! I can’t go on! The Queen! She’s gone! What a way to ruin the end of The Crown! No one even gave a spoiler alert! Maybe rather than mourning the Queen’s death, we should be celebrating that Reggie Jackson finally succeeded. Hope someone was filming it, hate to miss out on a Naked Gun sequel. So, Corbin Burnes is once again the best pitcher in baseball or what? In 2023 fantasy, there’s gonna be a lot of pitchers drafted first, I imagine. Corbin Burnes might be one of them, but I bet he’s not the majority’s choice. Of course, I won’t be interested in a starter that early, but I also don’t see anyone else I trust as much as Corbin Burnes for the top 2023 fantasy baseball pitcher. Definitely not Gerrit Cole; maybe Dylan Cease; possibly Shane McClanhananananannanannananananan if he were healthy, but he’s not. Corbin Burnes has the 6th best K-BB%, 7th best xFIP, 5th best K/9 and is remarkably durable and youngish. For 2023 fantasy, it seems hard to twist myself in enough knots to look at anyone else as the best starter. Though, I’d love to Cease up Dylan. Oh, well, long live King Burnes. Anyway. here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome to another week of Ambulance Chasers, your Razzball fantasy baseball injury report. I am beginning to wonder about my job security because the number of MLB injuries has dropped off significantly in the past two weeks. However, this job in injury is normal. There was a study that found most MLB shoulder injuries occur […]

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Yesterday, Reid Detmers went 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.62, as he threw an immaculate inning. Ya know what? There’s a lotta immaculate innings this year. I bet Rob Manfred has them using an immaculate inning ball. Detmers now has two huge starts this year (he no-hit the Rays earlier in the year) built around a rough patch, surrounding a demotion that was tagged “Fixer-upper,” and upper he fixer’d. Since he was recalled from his demotion, he’s been essentially lights-out (24 IP, 3 ER, 31 Ks). There was 9 BBs in those 24 IP, which is still a concern, but he looks like he’s on the standard path of ugly rookie year (last year), up-and-down year two (that’s right now) and next year will be the real breakout. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Went over the top 25 last week and the comments reminded me to point something out about these rankings. In an effort to be as objective as possible, I am presenting them in the exact order of their projections. One of the great things about points leagues is how straightforward they are. That being said, the exact ranking that an individual player has next to his name isn’t important. In many cases, players are clustered together with four or five guys separated by only a couple points. This basically groups everyone into tiers, afterall, a single homerun one way or the other could shift a guys projection up or down multiple spots in the rankings. The moral of the story is, don’t read too much into what rank a guy holds on this list. Best of luck in the second half and may you bring home that championship. And now, on to the best of the rest.

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On Sunday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.36, which, honestly, is kinda whatever, until you hear this one. The Giancarlo homer (his 17th) in the 7th was the first hit by the Yankees in 16 1/3 IP, and nearly 41 hours. *letting out the longest woof known to man* On Saturday, Cristian Javier didn’t come up short (7 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, one walk, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.73). Well, he kinda did, since the Astros needed two more pitchers for the combined no-hitter in Yankee Stadium. After the game, there was an interview with Cristian Javier where he thanked God multiple times, so as we thought, God hates the Yankees. It’s a brutal way to lose a game, but it’s gotta be demoralizing to hear the Big Man Upstairs hates your guts. Listen, no-hit me, talk that trash, but thank God afterwards proving God hates me? That’s soul-crushing. Actually, I’m a bit scared to write about the no-hitter. The Clay Holmes’s official scorer might go in and change a ground ball to a hit just to feel something. Welp, we got ourselves a top 100 starts of the year page, and you can see for yourself where Javier landed with that gem. If you got sonavabenched by that one, well, God might not like you either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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…And then I say, “Shane!”
Shane Shane bo bane, bo-na-na no faux number one! Shane!
And then I say the name McClanahan!
McClahananananana bo-ana! McClahananananana no faux number one! McClanahan!

The superlatives will be lacking when it comes to Shane McClanahan (8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.87, yeah, and you don’t stop). On the Player Rater, he’s the best starter. On the Rest of the Season Player Rater — that’s right, we have a Player Rater that knows the future, Shane’s number three. Even the stats thinks McClanahananananan will be at worst the third best starter the rest of the year. I wrote a sleeper post about him coming into this year. I love, love, lurve him. Yet, I didn’t even think he would be this good, this fast, but me mi mo whoa he’s been good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The doubleheader in the Bronx started with Ohtani taking on Nestor. The hype, the excitement, the mustache! It was all there. Then the nightcap, what could it do to top such intrigue?! What, I scream at my ceiling. The nightcap ended up being a very stiff shot of Jameson. Did I do that, right? I haven’t drank in, like, ten years, I forget the terminology sometimes. Jameson Taillon took a perfect game into the 8th inning, ending the game with the line — 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 5 Ks, ERA at…What’s his ERA? Go ahead. Guess! You know him! Let’s hear your best guesses! Please, indulge me! Imagine dopey guesses as little chocolate truffles. Roll them in cocoa powder and pop them into my mouth for my consumption. WRONG! He’s got a 2.30 ERA. You were two runs off. At least! No? Then you’re rostering him. So, Taillon is doing it with pinpoint control — 5 BBs in 58 2/3 IP — and that’s coming with almost identical stats from previous years minus some Ks. Elite command can carry a guy pretty far. Maybe not as far as a 2.30 ERA in 170+ IP, but won’t be much worse than 3.50 if he holds that kind of command. That Jameson can scotch tape together a lot fantasy staffs if you’re looking to Taillon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?