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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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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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This fall on Disney+ It’s LoGi! A Seattle Mariners pitcher,  Logan Gilbert (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.13) discovers his worst case scenario is still better than 95% of pitchers and decides to show them suckas. Critics rave, “He really shows them suckas.” “Suckas be shown,” another critic pronounced. “Showing suckas isn’t easy, but It’s LoGi makes it seem effortless.” The thing with starting pitchers is there’s just too many of them. In 2023 fantasy, the Scherzers, Coles, deGroms whoevers will be drafted early, but at a certain point, all those schmohawks drafting starters early will let up on the gas and draft hitters. While those hitters are being drafted, guys like It’s LoGi will just be sitting there, and you’ll be like, “Did I really just draft a starter who had a barely-3.00 ERA last year at pick 75?” And the answer is, as always, yes. There’s just so many pitchers that guys always fall through the cracks. Then next year It’s LoGi is again a 2.95 ERA guy and everyone like, “Damn, I can’t believe I drafted Gerrit Cole in the first 15 picks when I could’ve waited for It’s LoGi.” Yeah, no kidding. It’s always like this. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Not since Rollie Fingers’s mustache left his face in the middle of the night in July, 1979, and impregnated my mother, during one of her weaker moments, after being told her ravioli wasn’t as good as her mother’s, has a mustache had such a remarkable evening. Yes, I’m saying that to you today. The mustache that impregnated my mother that usually laid on the upper lip of Rollie Fingers was not as great as Spencer Strider‘s. Do you know how hard it is for me to admit this? Spencer Strider (8 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 16 Ks, ERA at 2.67. ) is having such a ridiculous season his ERA is 2.67; his xFIP is 2.33. That’s right, he’s been unlucky! Spencer Strider came into the year with a 45-grade from Fangraphs. Itch ranked Strider behind Langeliers and Cristian Pache in the Braves’ system. This is not to disparage either. This is to say, no one saw this coming. For 2023 fantasy, Spencer Strider can’t get better, can he? I just told you, he’s been unlucky! His command could get better; his strikeouts are prolly maxed out. I don’t see Strider getting better, maybe staying similar for 2023 fantasy. That’s still really good! I wouldn’t be shocked to see Spencer Strider as my 1st pitcher selected in some leagues in 2023 fantasy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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Just yesterday, Prospect Itch featured Corbin Carroll as the number one prospect to stash, and now he’s called up. Maybe Itch can make things happen with his words, which is why I’m worried when he talks about locking me in the trunk of a car and driving me into the desert. Also, driving into the desert is Corbin Carroll! Hashtag nailed it! He’s not looking for holes though, and he’s got no holes in his swing. He was also number one on Itch’s Top 25 for Dynasty Leagues. I don’t know if Gunnar Henderson is called up this year, my guess is no, but I wasn’t sure on Corbin Carroll either. I did give you a buy on him about six weeks ago, where I said, “Corbin Carroll has to be on the short list of 2023 ROY candidates if he stays down. Yeah, yeah, keyword: Short. Hardy har har! You tall guys think you’re so cool! ‘Hey, look at me, I can get cereal down without standing on a chair!’ Aren’t you fantastic?! Sounding like an alien who is just discovering old HBO shows, Corbin Carroll is under six feet. Much like Mookie Betts with both power, speed and average. He is the total package like Paul Orndorff.” And that’s me quoting me! I grabbed him in my shallowest league, and I would grab him in any league.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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

It’s September call-up season, or SZN if you’re crazy hip. Down like a clown. Fresher than def. Only MLB scaled back the number of call-ups a team can do to make it less obvious teams were manipulating time. (That’s why I think, at least.) So, I debated Corbin Carroll, Gunnar Henderson, or Josh Jung for the lede vs. Keston Hiura. Guess which one I went with. Go ahead, I’ll give you five guesses, if you can’t get it, just be lucky you haven’t accidentally suffocated yourself in your own drool. Any hoo! Time for some pictures! Who doesn’t like pictures? First two pictures are Keston Hiura in 2020 and the 2nd two pictures are Keston Hiura in 2022.

You, “Ooh! Fun! Like one of those games where you have to figure out the difference between two pictures only this one is figuring out the difference between the top two pictures and the bottom two. Oh! I know! That’s a different pitcher! Clever, because it’s two different ‘pictures,’ so you made it different pitchers! You can’t get me! So, if you have no other picture games for me, I’m gonna take a nap…” And, with that, you remove your two glass eyes and place them in two glasses of water. You, “Hope I don’t drink them.” Okay, so what you might’ve missed is Hiura’s 2022 stance is much more closed, and his giant leg kick is reduced. He went from stepping over a dwarf to tip-toeing into the room.  For all hitters — all hitters — Keston Hiura has the best OPS vs. righties when sorting by only 90 plate appearances. That’s insane. He has a better OPS (1.120) than Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, Juan Soto, Bryce Harper– EVERYONE! That’s crazy. His slugging percentage vs. righties is .704, which also leads the league. He’s also apparently hanging out too much with Pollock and can’t hit lefties, which is very odd for a righty, but you just switch him out when he faces those that use the weird scissors. Not exactly a fresh-faced call-up, but you can see why I wanted to highlight Keston Hiura with those pictures. Places glass eyes back in head, “Oh! Those are Keston Hiura?” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs with his 32nd and 33rd homer. Au Shizz twizz! Paul Goldschmidt leads the NL in batting average; Goldy leads the NL in RBIs; Au Shizz is two behind the NL league leader in homers (The Schwammer). That’s right, Goldy could be the first NL Triple Crown winner since Ducky Medwick in 1937. Since Ducky Medwick won that Triple Crown, MLB has changed the baseballs five times in the last six years; Rob Manfred has invented something called ghost runners, and they’re not wearing full-body sheets; there were 7-inning doubleheaders that everyone hated except Rob Manfred, and Cheez Whiz was invented. That’s all the major things since 1937. That’s all of them. Don’t try to do a google for more. *rips Google out of hands* I said no more googling! Usually by mid-August, I make these ledes slightly geared towards 2023 fantasy, but I don’t know what there’s to say on Paul Goldschmidt other than he was incredible in the 1st half (.330/.414/.590), and he’s actually gotten better in the 2nd half (.350/.425/.728). If you thought Au Shizz was Old Shizz, you misread the shizzuatation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As we march diligently toward the two-thirds point of the season, we are getting closer and closer to knowing who players actually are for the 2022 campaign. But, because it’s major league baseball, we are also still getting surprised every day. Jordan Montgomery is the best pitcher of the last two weeks? Randy Arozarena has […]

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