Please see our player page for Nick Pratto 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.

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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We are really getting down to crunch time now with only a handful of games left in the season. And honestly, that makes it real tricky to decide who to start. Obviously you start your studs, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. Dance with the one who bought you afterall. Don’t worry, we’ll still be going through the hottest hitters of the last couple weeks. Setting the right lineup is more important now than ever and to help with that I highly recommend Rudy’s tools for individual start–sit decisions. Since this is the final push to the championship, we will also be checking in on some guys you may have picked up over the course of the season but may still have doubts about trusting them to take you home. Football season is upon us (we have great content for that too BTW) but you’re here to finish out baseball season. And I’m here for that. So I guess we’re all here, or there. Wherever we are, these hitters are hot.

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And thus the Gunnar Henderson Era begins, not with a whimper but with a cocking of a ballpoint pen, and the cursive of a signature by the 108-year-old Peter Angelos, signing the contract to bring Gunnar up to the majors. “Gunnar, bend down to hear what Mr. Angelos wants to tell you!” His agent yells to him. Gunnar obliges, and Peter Angelos just blehs like Dracula. It’s a fantastic scene, and one Gunnar shouldn’t soon forget. Gunnar won’t be forgotten by fantasy baseball people either, i.e., Us! (Jordan Peele’s second best film. Though, after Get Out, I think they’re all tied, if we’re being honest. Any hoo!) Gunnar Henderson is everything you want — speed, power, contact. He’s Bobby Witt Jr., but better. Call him Better Witt Jr. Actually, call Bobby Witt Jr., a poor man’s Gunnar Henderson. Call him Slingshot Henderson. Itch had Corbin Carroll way above Gunnar Henderson in his top 25 prospects, and, honestly, I don’t know why. You can ask him. Gunnar’s not even particularly high on his top 10 Orioles prospects. Perhaps Itch was once bullied by a 23-year-old who was balding and looked like Cal Ripken Jr. Who’s to say? I’m grabbing Gunnar in every league. With only a month left, he might do nothing, but Gunnar also might immediately click click boom. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Well Razzfolks, I spoke too soon in last week’s edition of Razzball Ambulance Chasers. In this edition, we are chock full of injuries. So, Grey cannot lay me off yet, right? RIGHT? Last week, the Cincinnati Reds descent into madness continues as five Reds, including Joey Votto, hit the IL. Across the country, the Padres […]

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Guess what, y’all?! A new Spencer Torkelson dropped! No, he’s nothing like that old Spencer Torkelson! For one, he’s not young! He’s more like a new older Spencer Torkelson! For two, the Tigers are calling up Kerry Carpenter because they have no conceivable reason to keep him down anymore, because of the stats he was putting up in the minors — .316/.384/.653 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs in 96 games between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. That’s the Mecca of Ohio. It’s why it’s called Holy Toledo. He was on a recent prospect stash list by Itch, and I say stop stashing and start doing! Comerica Park sucks. More like Crummica! Owned it! But someone making that good of contact with that sorta power is worth a look in deeper mixed leagues. Let’s see if Carpenter can drum up some offense and make the Tigers’ stop feeling like Rainy Days and Mondays. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)

Leody Taveras reminds me of how Marshall Applewhite, the co-leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult, made everyone change their name so it ended with -ody. Too bad he had his entire cult leave behind their earth skins, like they were dry potato skins at TGIF’s that was lacking some sour cream, because Marshall Applewhite would be walking around right now gleefully, “Whody on First? Whatody on 2nd? I don’t knowody on third? Becausody is supposed to be in center, but Leody has replaced him.” That’s Marshall Applewhite, known Hale-Bopp comet and fantasy baseball lover. He called himself Bo and his co-leader called herself Peep (or vice versa, I don’t know), but it’s funny to think about the one guy in the cult who was prolly like, “Hey, uh, guys, Little Bo Peep is one character, and you’ve separated the names into two. It would be like two people renaming themselves Michael and Vincent after Jan-Michael Vincent.” Any hoo! Leody Taveras was a sleeper of mine last year; loved him because of his ability to hit for power and steal some bags, while having great contact, but that fish got flushed when he didn’t pan out. Hows’ever, Leody’s still only 23 years old, has 70-grade speed, surprising power, and he’s currently hitting. That’s right, he’s returned from the dead! (Like those Heaven’s Gate people anticipated.) Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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I hope everyone enjoyed the All-Star festivities or at least the couple-day hiatus from eying up box scores. MLB has dialed up a busy week coming out of the break, with 16 teams playing 7 games. There are plenty of two-start streamers for shallow formats. Unfortunately, the 15-team landscape remains as barren as the Tigers’ […]

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As soon as you’re finished with this post, I want you to close your laptop, step outside and look at a bird in flight. Pick up a flower, breathe in its fragrance, sneeze from your allergies, wave to a neighbor and close your robe because you’re not just waving with your hand. How does that feel? Exhilarating? Then your dedication sucks! It should be a total bore. You should be more interested in whether or not I’m going to have a top 100 for the 2nd half of fantasy baseball tomorrow than what your significant other has been doing for the last three and a half months. Luckily, I will have a top 100 tomorrow, and your significant other can keep being your fantasy team. Okay, enough hubbub on the tomfoolery! Chris Sale broke his pinkie yesterday. Well, Aaron Hicks broke it, technically. If not for bad luck, Chris Sale would have no luck. I was minding my own business yesterday, watching the Yankees/Red Sox game when I heard the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life, a pubic hair commercial, then the 2nd thing worst thing was Sale’s pinkie going creeee-ack. Not sure how long this knocks him out, or how long I will be thinking about that pubic hair commercial, but they might be similar timeframes — the rest of the season. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Max Meyer is being called up. *does a highly-choreographed handshake with self that ends with me miming putting food in my mouth* We eating tonight! Three of the last four on Itch’s prospect stash list was Esteury Ruiz, Vinnie Pasquantino and Max Meyer. With Meyer’s promotion, they’ll all be up. Where you at, Miguel Vargas?! I already gave you a Max Meyer fantasy when it appeared like he’d be called up in May. Then he was sidetracked with an injury, but he’s healthy now and, like I said, we’re eating! Will he stay up if Edward Cabrera or Luzardo get healthy? If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d be diabetic squirrels. Meyer might be good for another 50-60 IP, which is nearly a full 2nd half, I grabbed him in my 15-team mixed league immediately, then hemmed-and-hawed for fifteen minutes, and finally grabbed him in my 12-team mixed RCL, too, but we’ll see if I hold him there. Pitchers are pretty plentiful to be holding a possible roofie. He could be the best starter call-up we see this year. *mimes filling a dog bowl, puts it by feet, gets on knees and sticks face in bowl* We eating! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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