Please see our player page for Wilmer Flores 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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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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Well. This is it.   You’ve been thinking And I’ve been drinking We both know that it’s just so right Now you’re pretending That it’s not ending (The season) You’ll say anything to avoid a fight Grey don’t lie, and tell me that you need me Grey don’t cry, and tell me nothing’s wrong I’ll […]

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Oakland called up 3B Jordan Diaz after the 21-year-old slashed .348/.383/.545 with four home runs and a 12.5 percent strikeout rate in 26 games at the level. I love to see it and don’t think we would’ve in previous seasons. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement ain’t perfect, but it’s changing the way teams operate, and I’m feeling oddly thankful right now that we wound up with a full 2022 season that felt mostly like baseball. He started at first base in his first game, and he’ll likely stay there as long as the club keeps Dermis Garcia around. It’s an interesting set of corner men for 2023 redraft leagues. They’ll be starters in their fantasy lineups coming out of the auction in the real deep leagues. 

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I was going to copy and paste the whole list here, but then I remembered last time I did that, I had to scroll forever to read the profiles on this group, which is arguably the most important group in the list for our purposes given that they’re the likeliest to be available in the most leagues. Anyway, the links are still here and the most streamlined way to build this out, I think. 

Here’s a link to the Top 25

Here’s a link to the Top 50.

Here’s a link to the Top 75.

 

76. RHP Gavin Williams | Guardians | 22 | AA | 2022

77. RHP Cade Cavalli | Nationals | 24 | AAA | 2023

78. C Tyler Soderstrom | Athletics | 20 | AA | 2023

79. OF Sal Frelick | Brewers | 22 | AAA | 2023

Gavin Williams threw six hitless innings his last time out, bringing his Double-A ERA down to 1.59 and his WHIP to 0.95. That’s in 45.1 innings across 11 starts. WHIP is 0.81 in eight starts since July. Cleveland is somehow getting better at pitcher development, partly because they’re applying their systems to better and better athletes. Williams is 6’6” and 255 pounds but repeats his delivery well. Two plus benders. Double-plus fastball. 

Cade Cavalli is similarly enormous at 6’4” 240 lbs. You could convince he’s three inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than that. Looks like a linebacker pumping high heat with extreme run to the right-handed batter’s box. Bigtime tempo guy. When it’s going well, he’s back on the mound and firing in blinks. When it’s not, his whole game slows down. He’s been awesome for three months (2.12 ERA, 1.02 WHIP since May 22) and would likely be in the majors at the moment if the Nationals were. 

I’ve never been a Tyler Soderstrom pusher. I think he can hit, and I’ll give him the high-probability big leaguer thing, but ours is a game of impact. Standout tools. Soderstrom’s best tool is hit, which is often what you’d like to see, but Oakland is not the best home for a hit-first catcher who might not catch but doesn’t have much speed to handle the outfield. 

Get your money for nothing and your licks for free. Better Call Sal has a 200 wRC+ in 15 games at Triple-A. He’ll be on the next stash list. 

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The All-Star break was fantastic, even though Kyle Schwarber cost me some cash in the home run derby. How the hell did he lose to Albert Pujols? In any case, these teams should be ready to roll for the second half, and it’s going to be fun watching them battle for the final three months. […]

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Two homers apiece for Jesse Winker (2-for-8, hitting .226) and Juan Soto (2-for-6, 4 RBIs, hitting .245). 7th and 8th homer for Jesse Winker; 18th and 19th homer for Juan Soto. Both guys, dreadfully disappointing 1st half. For Winker, it’s kinda wild how a trade to a giant-dumptruck-on-the-ass-crack-of-bad-stadiums-for-hitters can completely derail a career. Now I know why he’s named Winker, he hoodwinked us into thinking he was a .280+ hitter. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, kazoo, Winker sucks! Neutral luck, Winker might not hit .245. Speaking of .245 said Captain Segue, Sexy Dr. Pepper is in a better place today than he was last year at this time. I’m also sick of him being in a 1st half slump every year. Is The Pepper Man disinterested? Can they trade him anywhere? Well, except to Seattle. Is he always going to be a 2nd half guy, because, while I like how he turns the Home Run Derby into a three-month thingamaderby, I wouldn’t mind if he did that for six months vs. three? How about before each game he has a coach toss him some lobs and smacks them into the upper deck? Can I be the only one ever to think of this? Why is this not going on if he keeps “needing” the “derby” to get “fixed?” I got questions, y’all! Toss Soto some 60 MPH fastballs pre-game and let’s go! 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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