“Today is a day that will live in infinity,” as FDRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR….said. It will also live in your hearts and minds for the next few months as you constantly check the 2023 fantasy baseball rankings for updates on projections, rankings and just other little fun bits of tid.
Before we get into the top 10 for 2023 fantasy baseball (though I imagine every single one of you has skipped this intro), I’m gonna lay down some exposition. Here’s where you follow us on Twitter. Here’s where you follow us on Facebook. Here’s us on Youtube. Here’s us on TikTok. Here’s our fantasy baseball player rater. Here’s our fantasy baseball team name generator. Here are all of our 2023 fantasy baseball rankings. Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2023 fantasy baseball. And here is a picture of my son. What a punim! You may not get all of those links in such a handy, easy-to-use format again this year, so make proper note. (Unless you just go to the top menu on this page that says “Rankings” and click it, but semantics, my over-the-internet friend, semantics.) Also, here’s Steamer’s 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Rudy’s on top of it this year! Sorta, he says to note it’s Version 1.0, and tweaks will happen over the course of the next few weeks. Also, Rudy’s Draft War Room is ready for all subscribers.
Now my expositional half insists I breakdown some generalizations about these 2023 fantasy baseball rankings. The 2023 fantasy baseball rankings will be an ever-evolving mass like the blob. This fantasy baseball top 10 for 2023 list is as of right now and could potentially change with a big injury or Trea Turner quitting baseball because he’s bored with being the best and wants to play competitive Mahjong. (I’m not sure yet where Trea would rank in my Mahjong Top 10.) So while it is the 2023 fantasy baseball gospel, take it with a tablet of salt. Tomorrow we will cover the rest of the top 20 for 2023 fantasy baseball, then we will go around the horn with a top 20 (more like 60) list for every position. Then for pitchers and outfielders, I’ll turn the dial to 100 (more like 140). Listed with each player are my 2023 projections. Did I consult with anyone else who does projections? It would be ignorant not to, but, in the end, these are my projections. Players need 5 games started at a position to get included in the positional rankings. If I put someone in a position, that is why. Well, that is whyahoo, actually.
Finally, as with each list in the 2023 fantasy baseball rankings, I will be mentioning where I see tiers start and stop. I look at tiers like this, if Trea and Julio Rodriguez are in the same tier, it doesn’t matter if one guy is ranked 1st and one guy is ranked fourth, they’re both very close. It comes down to personal preference. I would prefer the guy at number one over the guy at four, but you do you, I’ll do me and let’s hope we don’t go blind. Anyway, here’s the top 10 for 2023 fantasy baseball:
NOTE: All my 2023 fantasy baseball rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.
1. Trea Turner – This is the first tier. This tier goes from here until Yordan. I call this tier, “The Smithsonian can eat a D.” Last year, I said something to the affect that this was the largest first tier in the history of fantasy baseball at five players. Then, someone contacted me from the Smithsonian and said, “Contraire, the largest first tier in the history of fantasy baseball was six. That largest first fantasy baseball tier ever occurred on a battlefield of the Civil War. During a break in the action, James P. Boll, who was broadcasting the battle, stopped to read off a sponsorship by Coca-Cola, ‘Now with real cocaine!’, then, due to cattle crossing the battleground, the battle couldn’t start up again for a few minutes. With the downtime, Boll ranked six Cincinnati Stretchy-Pants, as the Reds were known in the parlance of the time, and that was the largest first tier in fantasy baseball. Six!” Well, Smithsonian, guess what? This year’s tier matches that, so you can eat a D!
I nearly added into the 1st tier a 7th in Kyle Tucker, too. I don’t tell you this so you get mad at the Smithsonian. You should’ve already been mad at them, when they said The Constitution was their most prized possession and not Fonzie’s leather jacket. I tell you this, because for the first time since 1877, it doesn’t really matter if you have the first pick or the sixth pick. It truly is a weird time in fantasy baseball. Maybe this year, Tildaddy will bounce back and become the clear number one again. Maybe Fun the Jewels will come alive after his suspension and return to the top of the charts. Maybe Jul-Rod will build on his rookie season. Maybe Judge will repeat the greatest year in the history of fantasy baseball and be the clearcut number one next year. Whatever the case with next year, this is this year, he said staring at a calendar. I can look at all of the top six and feel reasonably happy about any of them for my first pick.
As for Trea, here’s what I said this offseason, “Imagine a very good boy sitting at attention, let’s call that boy, Treat Urner. Treat Urner is looking at you with those doe-eyes giving you all kinds of oxytocin. Your brain is firing off like July 4th over the Hudson. My God it feels good! Stare at me Treat Urner and give me more and more oxytocin! Wag your tail and give me the love! In a baby voice, you lean in, “What does Treat Urner want? Does Treat Urner want a treat? Does he? Okay, to earn one of those treats you need to steal 30 bags, hit 25 homers and hit .300. Can the good boy do that? He can? Aw, what a good Treat Urner this Treat Urner is! Here…” Then I throw the treat into the yard, it lands in the bushes and we spend the next twenty minutes trying to figure out where that stupid treat landed while he licks my ears. Treat Urner was going to be great wherever he went. Landing in Philly gets Kyle Schwarber out of the leadoff slot. Right…RIGHT?! Please someone say I’m right. I don’t want to go to Amoeba Records and scratch Rob Thomas’s name off every CD as an act of deviance vs. the Phils’ manager. By the by, Trea Turner getting 11 years is quite funny.
Trea Turner when the 11-year deal with the Phils ends pic.twitter.com/QrG7Sf1PrT
— Razzball (@Razzball) December 5, 2022
But, of course, this is for this year, and there’s no one better, when consistency is factored in. Just an absolute lock for great counting stats. Now in Philly, it should help maintain the power, that isn’t top-flight, but good enough for a guy with his speed. Hopefully, he doesn’t pay too close attention to all the other Phils’ fly ball tendencies. “So, you’re saying I should have a Launch Angle of 26? Okay!” That’s Trea Turner at the batting cage with Rhys Hoskins and The Schwammer. No, stay away, Treat Urner! Good boy! This signing for Philly means Treastykakes are the best food in Philly since Chase steaks.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 107/22/101/.293/30 in 606 ABs
2. Jose Ramirez – In our year-end top 25 for 2023 fantasy baseball podcast, I don’t remember what I said, but what I think I said was, “Jose Ramirez’s 2nd half scares me like the brain worms it takes to think Kyrie Irving makes some interesting points.” And that’s me quoting a hypothetical me! What Hypothetical Me didn’t know at the time was Jose Ramirez was nursing a thumb injury that required surgery. Jo-Jo Ram said he injured his ulnar collateral ligament back in June. All I know is after 12-14 months, Jose Ramirez is going to be back to throwing 95 MPH with his thumb. *intern whispers in ear* I see…So, I’m being told Jose Ramirez won’t be pitching with his thumb, but should be fine for his normal lead-up to the season. If that changes, I might move him down, but, honestly, there would have to be something awful like the doctors operated on the wrong thumb, because Ramirez is a vet and doesn’t need much time to get ready. Less Spring Training might actually be better for him so his legs are fresher and we get more steals. Just hope whomever is holding his ulnar ligament as collateral promptly returns it. Keith Raniere, is that you with that collateral? 2023 Projections: 88/33/109/.269/22 in 549 ABs
3. Shohei Ohtani – Before typing this up (with my nose, just to showoff), I checked to see if Shohei had been traded yet. Prepare yourselves for the Summer of Shohei Getting Got. That will be what the s’s and g’s stand for all summer. Not shizzes and giggles. But Summer of Shohei Getting Got. Hey, at least I warned you, because I’m telling you now, it will be endless about the Angels possibly shopping Shohei, or at least as long as the list of Reasons Why Shohei Ohtani Might Be The Greatest Player Of All-Time. I’m a Bonds Stan, as the kids say. Kids who likely don’t remember Bonds. I was a Ken Griffey is The Kid kid. I was Reggie Jackson Is Actually My Father son. I believe Trout is the Most Effortless Top 20 Hitter of All-Time. I’m on board with all your great ones. With that said, Ohtani is doing stuff that’s never been done. He’s Him, as the kids say now. Kids who likely don’t watch baseball. Baseball has never seen anything like him. Don’t come with your Babe T-Ruth-erism. This is not being a Shohei Oh-Stan-i. This is me being real with you. If a guy was as terrible as Patrick Corbin and as awful as Kevin Newman, it would still be commendable if he did it for 586 ABs and 166 IP. Ohtani did it for that many at-bats and innings and was a top 20 hitter and top five pitcher. That is truly amazing, and never been done before, and might never be done again. As I have predicted many times before, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ohtani leads to more kids playing in high school and not choosing between hitting and pitching because of Ohtani, and we see a small influx of two-way players in seven to ten years. Ohtani is still doing it better than guys who may follow. Guys who might not exist, mind you. It’s breathtaking. With that said (here’s where Grey turns the ship around), he wasn’t ranked first overall by me because I do worry how long he can stay healthy doing both. Like the IRS, it has to be taxing. In weekly leagues where you lose his pitching, I’d take a 10 pick haircut off his price tag. This is a daily league ranking. If anyone is in a league where they get all hitting and pitching stats, then I don’t know how you don’t draft him 1st overall. 2023 Projections: 12-6/2.67/1.04/194 in 154 IP, 101/37/106/.264/13 in 544 ABs
4. Julio Rodriguez – The gloriousness of a large first tier, and another reason why the Smithsonian can eat a D is it absolves me of having to say, “I absolutely want Ohtani before Jul-Rod!” Honestly, I don’t. “One tier under God, gettin’ down for the funk of it.” As Terry Funk would tell you while dancing to the Funkadelic. Wonder if Terry Funk ever called himself The T. Funk. By the way, Terry Funk is the only pro wrestler to ever reach the age of 75-ish. Bless those Funky genes. Pro wrestlers and rappers *handshake emoji* Dying young. Any hoo! I like Julio Rodriguez. J-Rod makes my heart go pitter-patter like I’m Terry Funk at the age of 75-ish. (I could google his age, but what fun(k) is that?) Sophomore seasons don’t worry me; Julio-Rod is gorge. I’m not going to make this about all the things I don’t like with him, because it really comes down to 30/25/.280 in a bad park from someone with less of a track record vs. three guys above him who have been doing this for a handful of years and are still young enough to keep doing it. I’m not Mr. Let’s See It Again Youngster. I’m not screaming for J-Rodri to get off my lawn. I would be very happy to draft Rod-Jul, but going a tad safer with guys who have done it season after season feels smarter with your first pick. It’s not like Julio-R’s projections aren’t great, but the Smithsonian is eating a D, because this first tier is so stacked. 2023 Projections: 104/32/81/.281/33 in 577 ABs
5. Aaron Judge – He grew up in San Francisco. Judge told associates of mine at the Winter Meetings that he can still remember which Walgreen’s he was in when he witnessed his first shoplifting. He wistfully remembered, “I was by the breath mints, and this man carried out six boxes of Wheat Thins.” Fond memories for Judge that are going to be hard to replicate when he signs a 1-year deal with the Giants in ten years. As we all assumed, Aaron Judge re-signed with the Yankees through his age-39 season. Luckily, Razzball has a time machine at its disposal, and I went forward nine years to take a quick pic of Aaron Judge when he’s in that final year. Here it is:
So, Aaron Judge on the Yankees is more of the same. *claps hands, all done* No? Okay. Not sure how many people heard this, but it was reported the other day that MLB used three different baseballs last year. One of those balls was more batter-friendly. It was found only at the All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, postseason and Yankees games. This sounds like a joke, but the jokes ended with the guy walking out with Wheat Thins. I’m being serious now. Yo, jai alai called, it wants its “this sport is a joke” moniker back. MLB embraces gambling and institutes cheating by way of different balls. It truly is incredible.
How stacked is the first tier of fantasy baseball? A guy who just went 62/16/.311 is 5th overall. It’s so comical, really. 62/16/.311, guys and five girl readers, is the best line of all-time. 40/40 is nice; 50/10 is butter; 60/5 is nomnomnom, get in my belly; 62/12? I mean, c’mon. Seriously, c’mon. C’mon, c’mon! C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! It’s ludicrous. It’s mind boggling. Thesaurus, give me another synonym! It’s BREATHTAKING!!! So, why rank him here and not first overall? He was drafted around 25th overall last year and has Judge changed dramatically because he had the greatest contract year ever? I don’t know. He always had power — he’s a freakin’ giant, of course he has power! — but he’s never hit .300 or stole more than six bags in a season before. Also, being a certified giant (and not a Giant, as was rumored), he’s prone to injuries. That year of 62/12 wasn’t just a career year, it was the career year of career years. How’sever, if he goes 40/10/.280, it’s still very doable and a great, top five-ish year. 2023 Projections: 109/41/102/.283/10 in 548 ABs
6. Yordan Alvarez – Captain Woo Cubano is Aaron Judge minus five years and nine steals. Woo is actually a better bet for 60 homers than Judge even though Judge just hit 60 in a 35-homers-is-a-lot year. If you’ve seen Woo hit, you’re in love. If you’re not in love, then you have no heart. Not sure what that means for your health, but I’d take out a very large insurance policy for your loved ones, because no heart usually means dead. Captain Woo Cubano could be a cardiologist. “Sorry, you’re dead.” That’s after playing a Captain Woo Cubano home run highlight and getting no reaction. CWC reminds me of a lefty Big Papi. Oh, and that he hit .321 vs. lefties says so much. You can’t get Woo out. There’s no actual way. I’m sorry. Woo’s strikeout rate fell from 24.2% to 18.9%; his walk rate went from 8.4% to 13.9%; he’s now a .400+OBP guy and he had the 2nd best HardHit%. Smart money is on Judge being Judge again, but I’d like to put money on Woo being Judge. He’s WOO JUDGE! 2023 Projections: 93/43/112/.304/1 in 531 ABs
7. Kyle Tucker – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 20 for 2023 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Anonymous singing Destiny’s Child Say My Name.” The Destiny’s Child song Say My Name’s chorus goes like this, “Say my name, say my name. If you love me, let me hear you. Say my name, say my name.” Say my name, say my name, say my name and on and on. When one sings the call and response of Say My Name, they are always answered by, “[Fill-in person’s name].” Now if Anonymous were to be singing, “Say my name, say my name,” you don’t say Anonymoys, you say, “Uhh, what’s the answer here,” and are just confused. That confusion is this tier. The confusion comes from why aren’t these guys in the 1st tier. They all have a case to be made. They all could end up in the top six overall at the end of the year, and, as recently as last year, quite a few of them were in the top six overall. Again, it is a huge tier, and it will go into the top 20. They’re all great, and say my name, say my name…Uh, Anonymous? What’s the answer here?
“Say my name, say my name.” Kyle Tucker answers, “Mr. H2H, Mr. H2H.” That’s his name. Mr. H2H because of his uncanny ability to be solid if not spectacular for 24 straight weeks. I wonder if Mr. H2H ever wins a Player of the Week, then the next week goes oh-for-30 to balance the Force. Don’t comment, “ACKSUALLY Kyle Tucker has won the Player of Week honors.” I’m being facetious. I know Tucker can be great, he’s also very predictably solid week-in and week-out. Even Tucker’s career numbers are hilariously solid when you break them out to weekly numbers. He’s hit a home run every five games in his career and stolen a bag every seven and half games. He truly is: One homer, 0.75 steal every week and a .270 average across nearly 400 games. Mr. H2H is not Pitbull’s Mr. Worldwide but he is Mr. Weekly. For roto? 1/0.75/.270 is solid across 24 weeks too, because he never slumps. Kyle Tucker, the Slumpbuster, but not as that term is usually used. 2023 Projections: 91/31/105/.272/20 in 553 ABs
8. Ronald Acuña Jr. – In a lot of ways, all fantasy baseball draft picks are trust falls. You have projections in mind, you hold your nose like you’re going underwater, then you fall backwards and the player catches you by achieving his projections or not. Tildaddy catches you every time. Just not always with his arms. Sometimes he catches you with his legs. But can he catch you with his knees? Are knees a part of legs? Am I doctor? What is this, the entrance exam into Harvard? Say my name, and, uh, Anonymous, why is Tildaddy not in the 1st tier? Okay, Mr. Question, let me answer already! To me, Tildaddy still went 15/29/.266 last year in 119 games or 467 ABs. Don’t hold against him that he missed 40+ games. Yes, he missed almost a half season the previous year, but that was all the same injury. That’s one injury vs. getting injured again and again with different injuries. Is that better or worse? I don’t know. I nearly moved Acuña out of this tier altogether, but I keep going back to what he did last year on a knee that he said “felt terrible” and was being reported that he had a “wet newspaper” for a knee. “Okay, which one of you little doggies peed on Acuña’s newspaper knee?” He has been prone to injuries, but he also gets back on the field and does well. There was just no way I could say I was taking Acuña over a guy in the 1st tier or Tucker, especially not with the possibility that steals would be up across the league with the limited pickoff moves. Tildaddy had a .331 BABIP last year and lost nearly twenty points on average. Could it be because he has The Mummy’s knee? Might be. The Mummy can be wrapped in a wet newspaper. Too many moving parts and the whole “wet newspaper” thing, but, at this spot in the rankings, I will hold my nose, hope Tildaddy feels better another year away from the surgery, and draft him. Will I be out completely in five years when he hits 29 years of age and I start comparing him to the Andruw Jones fall-off? Maybe, but that’s in five years. (Actually, in four years as we prepare too early for the fall-off.) We’re here Tildaddy becomes Andruw Jones! 2023 Projections: 96/26/68/.277/30 in 509 ABs
9. Bo Bichette – Bo knows expectations. Bo knows raw deal. Bo knows what happened last year. Bo knows he did well last year even though people expected him to do better. Bo knows that if every pick you make does as well as Bo did last year vs. expectations then people would’ve won a lot of leagues. Bo knows all of this and Bo also knows there will be people who are like, “Yeah, not this year, devil.” Bo knows the devil too. They went to high school together and keep up with each other over Facebook, so Bo knows he doesn’t care about your opinion on the devil. Bo knows someone will take that the wrong way and accuse Bo of doing some Satanic stuff, and Bo will say, “Yeah, with my tongue,” and try to high-five Vlad Jr. and Vlad will be like, “Yo, bro, what are you talking about?” Bo knows all of this and that if he goes 25/15/.280 with insane counting stats, due to a stacked lineup, he’ll be worth every bit of this draft spot, and that’s the floor. Bo knows his ceiling was when he was the top player overall on the Player Rater the year before, but will keep it to himself, see: Expectations. 2023 Projections: 107/25/86/.287/17 in 603 ABs
10. Mookie Betts – Who’s the best? Mookie Best, of course. Wildly enough, you know who’s better than the Best? Everyone above Mookie on this list. I legitimately tried to convince myself to rank Mookie above everyone above him. I failed myself. If doing an either/or, I could see the case for Mookie over Mr. H2H, Boba or Tildaddy, but I won’t be making that case. I could see leagues where I take Boba instead of Tucker, because I’ve taken Tucker before and want some variety. I am struggling to imagine myself taking Betts in front of Boba, Acuña or Tucker. Even though guys in the same tier should be interchangeable, but I also see Betts’s projections and see them as being rightfully slotted in right here and interchangeable with Boba or Mr. H2H, at least, if not Acuña, due to the injury concern, as well. Betts’s 30/15/.270 is exactly the same value as those other guys. So, why can’t I imagine Betts any higher? I don’t know, to be honest, which is why I’m writing this while sitting in a shrink’s waiting room. Did someone just call my name? Siri, stop typing, I’m talking to the receptionist now. Hello? Siri, please. Yes, I have a two o’clock appointment. I don’t think anything’s wrong with me, but someone needs to instruct my Siri to stop typing! It’s really annoying! 2023 Projections: 112/29/84/.268/16 in 582 ABs
CONTINUE ON TO THE TOP 20 FOR 2023 FANTASY BASEBALL