Get it at Home Depot. 

Unless “it” is a major league baseball team with a divine team theme. 

The Angels are no longer for sale, as of this week. 

I’m about 99.9 percent sure the non-sale is not connected to the club’s minor league system, but I can say this group was a pleasant surprise late in the process. Best system Los Angeles of Arte-time has seen in a long time, and the best part is that the best players look like high-probability major league hitters. 

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After we went over the top 10 for 2023 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2023 fantasy baseball in our (my) 2023 fantasy baseball rankings, it’s time for the meat and potatoes rankings. Something to stew about! Hop in the pressure cooker, crank it up to “Intense” and let’s rock with the top 20 catchers for 2023 fantasy baseball. […]

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Well, the World Series is over, the citizens of Houston got to have their parade and now here we are – the offseason.

But don’t fret. If you are a regular Razzball reader, then you know we have been looking at the top keepers for 2023. Over the last two weeks we’ve released the 2023 Top Keepers 2023 – Relievers and 2023 Top Keepers – Starting Pitchers. This week – catchers!

Catchers are almost becoming like the place kickers of fantasy football – everyone needs one, but except for a few top players who can actually sway an outcome, they are all the same.

So here are a few simple rules when it comes to catchers:
Catchers, in general, will only play in about 110 to 120 games except for a few outliers. So don’t expect catchers, as a group, to perform like other position players.
If you think two catchers are equal except for age, go with the younger catcher. Few catchers age well.
Be happy if you have a catcher who is a standout in one scoring category. Rare is the catcher who hits for average and homers, even more rare if they add steals.
There are some catchers who make Rule #1, #2 and #3 completely false. If you have one of them, hold onto them for as long as you can.

In backing up rule No. 3, the career leader in home runs by a catcher (as in hitting a homer while playing catcher in that game) is Mike Piazza with 396. There are only three more players who hit more than 300 – Carlton Fisk (351), Johnny Bench (326) and Yogi Berra (305). That is it. This season, the highest batting average by a catcher with more than 200 at-bats was .285 by Alejandro Kirk of the Blue Jays – .285!

So for the below rankings, if you see a player like Martin Maldonado, you are going to wonder why he is even ranked. Dude slashed only .186/.248/.352. But he did hit 15 homers and drove in 45 runs.

You know how many other catchers hit more than 15 homers? Twelve. Do you know how many other catchers drove in more than 45 runs? Fourteen. When looking at a catcher like Maldanado for just his power and run production, he is actually close to being a starter in deep fantasy leagues.

Moral of the story – catchers are their own breed and should be viewed differently.

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Hey, let me ask you something, are we shipping Roger Maris Jr. and Aaron Judge‘s mom? What? Why are you booing me? Okay, serious-serious question, how many changes of clothes does Roger Maris Jr. have with him in Toronto? Okay, serious-serious-serious question, isn’t Roger Maris Jr. actually just Roger Maris but with an asterisk? Stop throwing tomatoes at me! I can’t use all my Roger Maris Jr. material anywhere else. So, Aaron Judge (1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit 61, becoming, what, the seventh most prolific home run hitter in a season? Honestly, when you really stop to think about what Barry Bonds did, it’s truly remarkable. I don’t care if he was sticking Babe Ruth’s DNA in his butt and Ted Williams’s DNA in his male sack, it’s freakin’ impressive! Aaron Judge? Also, incredibly impressive. I’m not going to lie, when I hear stuff like, “He becomes the first player to have 130 runs and 130 RBIs in the same season since 2007,” and how he’s almost 20 homers higher than anyone else in the majors, I get extreme FOMO for any teams of mine that don’t have him. His 60/20/.315 with 130/130 might be the best fantasy season any of us witness. Or at least until Barry Bonds returns at the age of 58 with Hack Wilson’s DNA in his arm, Ruth’s in his butt and Williams’s in his sack. Let’s go! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tis the season to watch the scoreboard. My own teams are fighting down the stretch, and I’m looking their way more often than necessary. I’m hoping to write a postseason piece on my processes and outcomes, but I don’t want to jinx anything by starting early. 

For fantasy tweeters, it’s victory lap season. You might’ve seen a few threads already, typically in a shape like “What’d you get right and wrong this year?” Always worth our time to review the roads that brought us here, so I’ll be hopping back to March 30 to revisit my early season Brash Predictions 2022: Prospects Edition

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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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With a little more than two weeks left in the season, my home league playoffs haven’t even started yet. We’ve voted to get them moved up, of course. Commish just couldn’t get it figured out, or couldn’t remember to do it. Time went by. People forgot, and here we are, deciding the winner of a 26-week season when all but two or three teams have called it a regular season. Don’t try this at home, if you can avoid it. Another league that’s a little more actively governed has its final set up as the last two weeks of the regular season, and I think it’s generally closer to the rule than the exception for head-to-head leagues to last up until the final day. Few things bother me more than that in our game, partly because my home league has been stuck in this rut forever, partly because it’s so obviously ridiculous. 

If your league is like ours, you know that names don’t matter at all right now. Joey Meneses has been carrying my ten-team outfield of Ronald Acuña, Luis Robert and Giancarlo Stanton. Bobby Witt Jr. has been on my bench for a long time while Luis Rengifo captains a shallow-league infield headed for the postseason. Without these guys, I’d be hurting. Every hot-now bat won’t keep it sizzling, but it rarely hurts to rotate some fresh swingers in if your lineups are scuffling. I know this is Fantasy 101 stuff, but I have to remind myself to go ahead and bench some names every year. 

Dynasty leagues aren’t all that different. You’ve only got so many days left. If you’re in the hunt, you might as well try the Rodolfo Castros and Nathan Eatons of the world. They may not matter for long, but they matter now while Castro is dropping bombs and Eaton is running wild. 

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Rangers RHP Jack Leiter is a good place to start because he exemplifies what’s  weird about the Futures Game. Leiter hasn’t earned his spot on the field (6.30 ERA), but that’s not uncommon to this game, which different organizations use for different reasons on a player-by-player basis. It’s not an All-Star game, in other words. It’s not even an all-famous game, although that’s what gets Leiter on the roster. It’s not even really a combination of the two. Some organizations might send a middle reliever, like Baltimore did with Marcos Diplan in 2021, who the team DFA’d the other day, almost exactly a year after Diplan gave up home runs to Brennan Davis and Francisco Alvarez in Coors Field during the sixth inning of last year’s Futures Game. 

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