Are the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball good? How do you define good? Is good definable? Are you Plato? What is a Plato? Any hoo! This post goes on for about 1.8 million words, so let’s dive in. Here’s Steamer’s 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. The projections noted in this post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop. Subscriptions are up and running, and you can already get Rudy’s Draft War Room. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball:
NOTE I: All my 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.
NOTE II: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.
4. Paul Goldschmidt – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Olson. I call this tier, “Blindfolded on an elevator of a three story building and you’re on floor two.” Put on a blindfold. I want you to for science. Okay, now have Jan from HR take you to the elevator. Okay, are you there? How did you answer when you’re clearly still reading this and not freakin’ blindfolded! You lied to me! So, if you’re on an elevator blindfolded, you don’t know if you’re going up or down. That’s this tier. There’s also only one floor up or down you can go. I considered the guys in this tier for the tier above and tier below, but couldn’t convince myself either way which way to go, so they’re here. Clearly, Au Shizz almost went up, and Allahson almost went down, but not really. Down is a huge drop to the next tier. In the end, here they are.
As for Goldschmidt, he’s coming off an MVP year that might’ve sealed his career for the Hall of Fame. Kinda wild to think back to 2013, I ranked Au Shizz in the top 20 overall, and people had a conniption, thinking I was possibly the dumbest person on the planet. Turned out I was the dumbest person, but not because of that, as he went on to go 36/15/.302 and a star was born. Me, not Goldschmidt. Okay, him too. Also, that makes both of us very old. More like Oldschmidt. High five me! Right now! No? Okay. 2023 Projections: 94/29/105/.291/7 in 554 ABs
5. Matt Olson – What’s also similar about these two guys is Goldschmidt just won the NL MVP as a dark horse coming into the year, and, if I wanted to make a silly bet, I’d bet Olson wins the NL MVP in 2023. I won’t actually bet it, and jinx the bet, so you’re free to do it. I won’t project Olson for those numbers, but he’s absolutely capable of 50 homers, .270 average, 120 runs and 130+ RBIs. Just an insane year. Also, with his strikeouts going up, he’s capable of a 30-homer, .220 average year too. If you were to just look at his Statcast page, you’d think he was better last year than the year before, but, alas, his average fell by 30 points and his homers by five. Still have a huge amount of hope, and realistically he should be very solid, and not awful, i.e., pray to the east as Allahson is very safe for production. 2023 Projections: 92/37/111/.246/1 in 587 ABs
6. Nathaniel Lowe – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Hoskins. I call this tier, “Happily in the puzzle aisle of a toy store.” I used to love puzzles. That was my jam when I was a kid and an absolute, bonafide nerd. “I see you have the new ‘Polar bear in all-white doctor scrubs operating on the Invisible Man’ puzzle. That will be my next challenge.” That’s me in KB Toy Store right before getting beat up the kids there to buy sporting goods. Any hoo! This tier is a fun, challenging puzzle that I’m excited about. See next tier for the flip side of the coin. Also, one general note about 1st basemen, this is the biggest gap in 1st basemen tiers that I can remember. I haven’t done my top 100 overall yet, but Olson’s gonna be around 40, and Lowe won’t be until around 80. That’s a huge difference.
As for Lowe, he changed in exactly the way you want to see from two years ago to last year. Got way more aggressive — 22.8% O-Swing to 30.5%; 44.6% Swing% to 52.2%, and held most of his contact. Hitting a ton of balls outside the zone isn’t exactly a recipe for success, but his contact in the zone went up too, and it shows you that a guy can be too patient — Lowe in 2021 with a 12.5% walk rate — and cut his strikeouts. The slight concern is what if he keeps going with the aggressiveness and hits more pitchers’ pitches? His average could bottom out and his power. Here’s to him just repeating. 2023 Projections: 86/26/94/.277/5 in 579 ABs
7. Jose Abreu – Here’s what I said when he signed, “The Astros got their new Cuban. Astros, for real, have a pipeline down there in Houston where they glue together a bunch of Cohibas into the shape of a scarecrow, call it a 1st baseman, and pitchers are shook. Have the Astros ever had a none Cuban 1st baseman? Don’t name Bagwell. His real name was Jefe Plaintain. Few people know that, but now you do. So, the Astros got their new Cuban first baseman, kinda the same as their old Cuban first baseman, Aledmys Diaz. Wait, I mean, Yuli Gurriel. Wait, Yordan played 1st–Okay, my point’s been made, but Abreu likely isn’t that different than Gurriel, if being honest, and the Crawford Boxes could add 7-10 dingers onto the Dongcake from Chicago, and be icing on top of his decent average and good counting stats sandwich.” And that’s me quoting me! Also, go over him in the video at the top of the page. 2023 Projections: 83/26/109/.273 in 581 ABs
8. Christian Walker – The puzzle here is figuring out if his previous year is repeatable. After much deliberation, I bought in hook, line and *holding my nose, worried for a stinker*. His Launch Angle is solid for him, and, more specifically, him hitting homers. Will Walker become a .250+ hitter? I doubt it. He kinda looks like Rhys Hoskins, but with more power in his immediate rear. For those who googled “more power in his immediate rear” and found us, welcome! We won’t judge you, but you might be looking for a different type of fantasy. The Ks went down, walks went up with fly balls. If he can maintain his career HR/FB%, which he should, he should be able to repeat. 2023 Projections: 79/33/87/.240/2 in 564 ABs
9. Vinnie Pasquantino – “Ay yo, it’s Vinnie Pasketti of the Staten Island Paskettis, and I was wondering if you’ve seen my house during the holidays, it’s the one with Virgin Mary in an Italian flag t-shirt. Ay oh, I know what you’re thinkin’, but it’s very tasteful. So, last year was my rookie year, ay yo, fresh-faced, Vinnie, ya know what I mean? People think I’m all power, but I hit .295 with a 11.4% strikeout rate, that’s so good the only thing better is my mama’s lasagna. The 10 homers I hit, bada boom, prorated out is 20 homers, which sounds like nothing, but I got the power of thousand Camaros. Ay yo, thank you for your time.” One word of note about ADP, I don’t think I’m drafting Vinnie Pasketti this year, because, while I like him, his ADP is higher in some places than I want to go. The good thing is, I could see a site like ESPN or Yahoo being way too low on Vinnie Pasketti, and him being a sleeper at those there places. Okay, I need to stop talking like I’m from Staten Island now. 2023 Projections: 71/27/82/.279/1 in 533 ABs
10. Rhys Hoskins – His Launch Angle was too steep, which made his batting average prone to dramatically garbagey averages, but then last year he changed his Launch Angle a bit, and it was less steep and his average went from .247 to .246. El oh el. His last few averages are .245, .247, and .246. That means this year will be .244 or .248. Guaranteed. Besides his averages always being the same, his power numbers are always around 30 homers, and his steals around three and…2023 Projections: 84/31/77/.245/3 in 584 ABs
11. C.J. Cron – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until France. I call this tier, “The entire ‘Polar bear in scrubs operating on the Invisible Man’ is complete, but I’m missing one key piece.” This tier is guys who I considered for the tier above, but there was something missing that stopped me, so I dropped them down a rung. They are equally puzzling, but I fell on the side of being slightly more negative for them. You can’t be out on any 1st basemen, because the position is a mess, but I’m definitely lukewarm on these guys.
As for Cron, in the 2nd half, Curtis Jackson Cron hit about as well as 50 Cent throws. Singing a’la 50 Cent, “I’ll take you to the Candy Shop,” because drafting C.J. Cron makes you an all-day sucker. Maybe. 2nd halves are tough to ignore, because there’s the general feeling what a guy did in the 2nd half he will continue right into the 1st half and never stop. How’sever, he could easily do what he did in the 1st half again, and be great, then tail off again in the 2nd half again. That has not been Cron’s career norms, though, so I’m hesitant to write-off his 2nd half, like me writing off baseball games. At the end of the day, and this blurb, he still puts up similar numbers year after year. 2023 Projections: 71/28/86/.251 in 543 ABs
12. Ryan Mountcastle – He would’ve had 40 homers if he called Cincy home. He hit 22. BBC should renew Mountcastle for another season just so he can get to the bottom of where Baltimore moved their left field fence. “That’s not a foul line heading out to the foul pole, that’s a chalk outline of all the fly balls that died at the warning track.” That’s Mountcastle talking to his trusty confidant, Santander. I like Mountcastle, but that park would’ve even kept Roger Maris as the AL Home Run record holder over Judge. Move the fences back in, you absolute ghouls! 2023 Projections: 74/24/88/.253/5 in 558 ABs
13. Andrew Vaughn – After the top two tiers, just about every first baseman is in the 30-homer, meh average mold. Like every 1st baseman modeled their careers after the once-great Richie “Big Sexy” Sexson. By the way, a few Richie Sexson factoids. I thought he was the best example of a home run hitter with a meh average from ten years ago, but then I checked. He was a career .261 hitter! He’d be better than most of these 1st basemen. Also, I thought he played in the last ten years, oops, wrongo! He last played in 2008. He’s been retired for 15 years, and he’s still only 48 years old! Retired with $50 million! Any hoo! Vaughn is the first guy who doesn’t fit the Big Sexy mold. Wonder if the humidor hurt the White Sox more than other teams. Not sure why, but their entire team looked like it was from a dead ball era. Maybe with La Russa retired to a farm upstate–Wait, he didn’t retire to a barn, it says here he retired to a bar. Uh-oh. Vaughn might be able to find more power, but his Launch Angle is terrible and it would take an entire change of approach. 2023 Projections: 73/18/82/.264 in 554 ABs
14. Ty France – Puts on France’s National Anthem, marches to Au Bon Pain, demands extra dipping jus with my French Dip and tells them Ty France is my boss and sent me. They tell me they don’t serve my kind, my kind being the kind that likes good hitters. Yo, what happened to Ty France, though? Seriously, his numbers were ugly. Wonder if he could actually get worse on his Launch Angle and become a 12-homer hitter. He actually hit worse last year with no shift, which kinda made me laugh, but it was also in only 2.1% of his at-bats, so a silly small sample size. I thought France was as good as it baguettes, but his exit velocity is also kinda like the taste in your mouth after you barf. 2023 Projections: 73/18/79/.271 in 562 ABs
15. Jose Miranda – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Brown. This tier is called, “Please, deity of choice, can I have some upside?” I’m shoving a turkey baster up the rankings’ anal cavity and injecting some upside. By the way, I said ‘anal cavity’ in my wedding vows. Am I the only person in the history of the world to slide that phrase into their wedding vows? I like to think so. Okay, I’ll give you some context. For my vows, I said I’d like to take a page from the Meatloaf songbook. As with his song, I’ll Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), I listed a bunch of things I won’t do for love. One of those things I said I won’t do is smuggle drugs in my dog’s anal cavity across international borders. Any hoo! As you can kinda sense from my rankings, I’m not super excited for the 1st basemen from Cron to France (a terrible drive, by the way, should’ve taken a train), so here’s some 1st basemen that are more corner men that I’m excited about.
As for Miranda, here’s my Jose Miranda sleeper. I wrote it while practicing my oboe. 2023 Projections: 79/22/90/.283/1 in 551 ABs
17. Anthony Rizzo – HR to the Izzo went back to the Yanks this offseason, and I have some insight into how he came to that decision. I dressed as a fly and clung to his wall while he talked to his agent. Rizzo said, “I like playing for the Yanks. It’s a good stadium,” and his agent said, “Let me check in with the Pirates to see if they have money to match the Yanks–Kidding! Yanks can also pay you more than anyone else.” And then Rizzo screamed, “There’s a 5-foot, six-and-three-quarter-inch fly on my wall!” And I jumped out of his window. 2023 Projections: 74/29/78/.226/7 in 481 ABs
18. Alec Bohm – Can look at him one way and see a 20/7/.290 season, and look at him another way and see 15/5/.270, and that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but it might be the difference between him being a top 15 overall 1st baseman and top 25. I’m choosing to look at him mostly like the 1st way, and hope Bohm goes the dynamite. 2023 Projections: 81/18/75/.286/6 in 591 ABs
20. Josh Bell – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Cronenworth. I call this tier, “Larry David’s meh face.” The tier name is pretty self-explanatory. These guys might be interesting to some other fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!), but I’m not interested unless it’s a deep league and you’re going more for at-bats than excitement.
As for Bell, here’s what I said when he signed with the Guardians, “Solid landing spot with Cleveland, the home of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. They’ll appreciate him since you can’t have Rock ‘n Roll without more Bell. Cue The Reaper! Don’t fear it, at least. Progressive won’t help Bell, but nowhere was going to with his Launch Angle. Surprising too, because if you’ve ever seen him, he seems to have a pretty upper-cutty swing, but it beats everything into the ground. His career 31.2% FB rate is so blech, and his Hard Contact is almost as bad. It’s a solid landing spot though, because Cleveland doesn’t buy high-priced free agents, so they’re playing him 162 games, if he’s healthy and in the middle of the lineup. Blue Oyster Cult’s new single about using the Bell, (Don’t Fear) Counting Stats.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 71/19/83/.261 in 563 ABs
21. Brandon Drury – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Angels. The Angels made a bunch of mid-range moves this offseason. No, big ones. I guess, why bid on the Judge when you can buy off the Drury? *cringe* So, the Angels just went and got Urshela, but I guess they’ve realized they can’t count on Rendon for anything. Smart thinking! Drury is a bit puzzling. He’s always been able to hit, just has not always hit, if you follow. I won’t discount what he did entirely last year in my projections, but he feels like a guy who will go 15/.240 and be a total bust.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 61/21/67/.258/3 in 509 ABs
22. Joey Meneses – Remember Luke Voit’s ranking after his “huge” 2020? That was two months and Meneses is that time of month, and I can’t understand how so many people who I think are smart are being taken in by Meneses this preseason. For reals, it’s not just big ol’ dummies who like Meneses this preseason, and it’s got me scratching my head, wondering if I’m wrong, but let’s just say when I saw Steamer’s projections for him at 29 homers, I choked on a boba and spit it across the room like Keith Hernandez spitting on Kevins, Kramer and Newman. 2023 Projections: 68/20/74/.261/2 in 576 ABs
23. Luis Arraez – He’s a giant in the Land of Batting Average Little People. Better than a mid-sized person in a Land of Giants or a Giant in the Land of Giants. Or a Twin in a Land of Hope Solo. Wait…That last one might be okay. UPDATE: Traded to the Marlins. You could put Arraez on any team and he’s be Arraez. You can move him to the moon and he’d be–well, the moon might play more hitter friendly. I need to see the moon’s park factors. How does Tesla Stadium on the Moon play? With no gravity, it’s gotta be good for power. Okay, anyway, off topic, Arraez is a .310 hitter anywhere and has zippo power and speed. Enjoy! 2023 Projections: 93/7/53/.312/5 in 557 ABs
24. Jake Cronenworth – For each and every player, I go to their lineup depth chart to see what a guy’s runs and RBIs might look like. Things change for everyone, due to injuries, and manager’s peccadillos, but it feels like Cronenworth’s runs and RBIs matter more than most and his spot in the Padres’ lineup feels more tenuous than most, for what it’s him. 2023 Projections: 79/18/78/.247/5 in 571 ABs
25. Triston Casas – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Yepez. I call this tier, “Norman Lear at The Vow screening.” In November, I went to a screening of The Vow, the cult doc on HBO. After the screening, they had a Q&A. There was a few of the cult members who got away with only brandings, and Norman Lear was there because his wife produced it. So I was excited to see Norman Lear, and went up to him afterwards to say I was a big fan and maybe take a picture, but he was surrounded by cult members, who were very emotional, so I told him, “You’re so great,” as people sobbed around him, and it was really not a great time for a pic. Or a great time to be saying anyone was great. It was super awkward. That’s this tier. There might be some fun moments, but you might be left sobbing that you didn’t draft someone better.
As for Casas, already gave you a Triston Casas fantasy. It was written while staying in my Lavender Haze. 2023 Projections: 57/19/66/.243/1 in 471 ABs
26. Josh Naylor – “Naylor, in the bathroom, with a flirtatious stare.” Damn, Colonel Mustard, only needed one Clue; nice one, DeJong. So, Naylor’s had a 16.1% strikeout rate and solid exit velocity. Not spectacular, and has no speed. He feels like a guy with just a slightly higher Launch Angle who could take his game to the moon, literally. As it stands now, he hits a few too many ground balls with no speed that could bottom out his game. Though, the shift ending doesn’t hurt. Hey, there’s some optimism here, but let’s be honest, there’s a reason why he’s not ranked higher. Plus, he likely won’t see lefties. 2023 Projections: 56/18/64/.259/2 in 434 ABs
27. Wil Myers – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed by the Reds. You know that Kombucha Girl meme? A girl looks like something is good, then bad, then rethinks and it is good, then, after all, it’s not good. That’s this signing for me. Cincy makes every hitter better. Though, Myers is so bleh. Though, Part II, They Keep Making More Of Thoughs: Cincy even made Drury good! Though, Part III, Though’s Revenge: Wil Myers will absolutely be traded by the end of July and become a part-time player.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 49/18/53/.246/5 in 403 ABs
28. Brendan Donovan – In almost 400 ABs last year, Donovan hit .281 with a 15% strikeout rate. He’s got about as much power and speed as Luis Arraez, but close to his hit tool too. He’s a cheap Arraez. Call him Roni. Ya know, a cheap “a-rice” to Roni? No? Yeah, you’re prolly right. 2023 Projections: 69/8/51/.286/7 in 470 ABs
29. Alex Kirilloff – Keeping it real for a second here, if you’re a lefty, you have a 75% of getting platooned whether it makes sense or not, and that sucks. Though, Kirilloff might just suck. So much suck…Wait a group of sucks is a straw! “Hey!” That’s Myles Straw. UPDATED: Due to the trade of Arraez, Kirilloff moved to a near-full-time 1st baseman. 2023 Projections: 57/19/62/.261/3 in 473 ABs
30. Juan Yepez – *puts on Naughty by Nature, waves hands in air* Yepez…Hooray…Ho…Hey…Ho…Hey…*five hours later*…hey…So, as I was saying, Yepez has a 27-homer bat and a hit tool that wouldn’t be embarrassed seen around Arraez-a-Roni. It’s pretty wild he’s sat in the minors since 2015, and a little disconcerting, tee be aitch, but he was a 24-homer, .255 hitter last year, his rookie year, if you prorate his 12 homers in half a year. 2023 Projections: 49/16/56/.262 in 364 ABs
31. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Votto. I call this tier, “Sweatpants.” What I mean by the tier name is once you start wearing sweatpants, they’re comfortable and you keep wearing them. Then, in three years, you look back on the last years of your 30s and you realize you wore sweatpants for the last three years and have all but given up on life. This tier could be okay, and you might feel comfortable with them, but you won’t feel alive owning them.
As for Gurriel, here’s what I saw this offseason, “Traded to the Diamondbacks. This should guarantee him everyday playing time. That’s good, right?! Right? Hmm…His line last year was 5/3, and doublechecked that to see if I was missing a zero or something. Or if I was looking at one week of his season. Aaron Judge had a better series in September than that line. Lou-Gu-Ju sounds like a Pokemon character and he’s starting to hit like one too.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 62/10/68/.281/5 in 477 ABs
32. Trey Mancini – Signed with the Cubs. Are the Cubs putting together a team to simply trade at the end of July? Because it’s beginning to feel that way. Actually don’t mind Mancini, in general, but a team going nowhere with one of the best corner infield prospects doesn’t go out and sign Mancini (and Hosmer) without thinking they’re having a yard sale in July. Mancini’s actually a two-year deal, so color me perplexed. 2023 Projections: 57/20/66/.241/1 in 471 ABs
33. Luke Voit – FREE AGENT 2023 Projections:
34. Yandy Diaz – Call him The Newspaper, because his Statcast page is black and white and red all over. Yandy is an example of how it doesn’t matter how hard a guy hits the ball if it’s right into the ground. 2023 Projections: 52/10/58/.285 in 459 ABs
35. Jared Walsh – Guess how old he is. Go ahead, I’ll wait. *scratches chin, accidentally kills a Lilliputian that was living on chin, Lilliputian detective attempts to investigate but the system is corrupt and there’s Lilliputians in City Hall who don’t want to see the crime solved* 29 years old, about to turn 30! What took the Angels so long to promote him? They were waiting to see what they were going to get from Albert Pujols? If they would’ve cut Pujols sooner, he would’ve passed Bonds on the all-time homer list for the Cards. So, last year was a total wash, but not necessarily totally Walsh. Play on words points! How’sever, Walsh underwent thoracic outlet surgery, and it says he’ll be ready for Spring Training, but that surgery has had a lot of victims of “And he was never the same.” 2023 Projections: 49/14/52/.237/2 in 418 ABs
36. Wilmer Flores – It’s time to give Wilmer his Flores. He’s been much better in his jaunt to the bay, than anyone in the Mets’ organization likely thought was possible, and he cried for them, but he’s still not that good. He had a 46.4% fly ball rate and a 9.5% HR/FB. That is comically bad. 2023 Projections: 61/15/64/.234/1 in 412 ABs
37. Joey Votto – What’s funny in a very unfunny way that’s very nerdy, Votto always gets better projections than the production he actually does minus one year (2021). You know things are officially bad when you see his projections for this year are only 19 HRs with a .225 average, and you know that’s still too optimistic. When Votto gets into the Hall of Fame with, like, 2200 hits, 360-ish homers, and a .295 career average, you can chalk it up to writers just electing guys they like. 2023 Projections: 52/15/58/.220/1 in 441 ABs
38. Christian Vazquez – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Dozier. I call this tier, “What’s a bunch of suck called?” A group of crows is called a murder; a group of cats a clowder; what’s a group of suck? If it’s not clear from the tier name, I don’t exactly love these guys as my corner man. For what it’s Cronenworth, if any of these guys have different eligibility–*cough* catcher *cough*–they might not be that bad at that position or if they actually get at-bats, I could like them a lot *cough* Mervis *cough*. As for Vazquez, already went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2023 fantasy baseball..
39. Matt Mervis – He’s in the video at the top of the page, and I still love him, but I’ve lowered him, due to offseason signings by the Cubs. The Hosmer signing? Well, I was able to convince myself that was nothing. A mere backup plan. Mancini? I don’t know what the eff the Cubs are doing. Sign players you need! Don’t sign players to block players you have! I lowered my projections on him since my Matt Mervis fantasy. The stuff I say in that post still pertains, but I had to shave 150 ABs off his line. 2023 Projections: 38/15/42/.254/1 in 381 ABs
40. Isaac Paredes – Seeing Paredes isn’t even a full-time player on the Rays, then seeing he hit 20 homers in only 331 ABs last year and dropping my eyes further down his page. Sadly, my eyes landed on he also hit .205. 2023 Projections: 41/18/46/.241 in 309 ABs
41. Spencer Torkelson – It’s irresponsible to prorate out his last week of at-bats when he hit two homers and .278, right? Not when he’s being drafted around 340 overall. Prorate away! 2023 Projections: 64/22/63/.217/1 in 486 ABs
42. Spencer Steer – Can everyone be a Cincy Redleg? Dumb Bell is well-named, because he’s an idiot, but he’s also the kind of idiot that helps us on occasion, playing insane upside plays like maybe Spencer Steer. Dumb Bell, “I’m the captain of this ship!” Bench coach, “So take the wheel!” Dumb looking around, seeing Steer and smiling. So, Steer could surprise with at-bats, and everyone has power in Cincy. UPDATE: With the Reds kicking Mostsuckass to the curb, I moved up Steer. 2023 Projections: 56/19/61/.223/2 in 466 ABs
43. Miguel Vargas – Not sure why I didn’t do a Miguel Vargas rookie outlook post. November Grey, “I know why, you giant jackhole! You didn’t trust the Dodgers to actually play a rookie. These teams get too big to fail and they forget what made them good to begin with, which was a fertile minor league system. Except for the Braves, they remember.” Hey, November Grey, I stopped listening after you called me “jackhole.” Vargas could go 20/7/.280, but I have serious doubts about the Dodgers playing him. November Grey, “That’s what I said, you idiot!” Do you hear something? I don’t. By the by, I had him ranked higher initially doing my rankings, but lowered him when it became more clear in January that the Dodgers aren’t going to play him. November Grey, “I’ve been saying this!” I don’t hear anything, do you? 2023 Projections: 37/10/32/.271/4 in 309 ABs
44. DJ LeMahieu – Member The Simpsons episode at Itchy & Scratchy Land theme park? They went to T.G.I. McScratchy’s Goodtime Foodrinkery where it was New Year’s Eve every day. The deejay in there is LeMahieu. Only instead of every day, it’s every year and it’s his stats that sound good in theory but you get halfway through the season and you’re like, “Please kill me.” 2023 Projections: 51/8/41/.268/3 in 361 ABs
46. Garrett Cooper – You know you absolutely suck when you’re penciled into the three hole of your team’s lineup and full-time at-bats and are projected for ten homers. 2023 Projections: 41/10/54/.254 in 424 ABs
47. Hunter Dozier – With the trade of Mondesi, Dozier was added into the rankings. Once upon a time Hunter Dozier and Christian Walker were joined at the hip in the rankings. Walker excelled last year and left Dozier in the dust. So, does Dustier have any chance to follow in Walker’s footsteps? Not even if he’s at the mall with the seniors at 7:30 AM. 2023 Projections: 56/15/63/.232/5 in 481 ABs
48. Matt Carpenter – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Sheets. I call this tier, “Platoon guys, or should be platoon guys.” I’m not talking Charlie Sheen and actors in Platoon, in case you were confused. As for Carpenter, here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Padres. Prolly the most toolsy hitter. Sorry, that was a bad pun, and has nothing to do with his actual ability. Practicing my DJ’ing. Sorry, that’s a bad pun too. DJ as in Dad Jokes. Hey, at least I copped to it, and well within my rights. Sorry, yup, also bad pun.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 51/16/56/.251/1 in 367 ABs
49. Eric Hosmer – Signed with the Cubs. Uhh, okay, but why? Hey, real question: What stage is denial? Because I’m currently trying to convince myself that Eric Hosmer goes to DH, shifts Wisdom to the bench, Morel to utility, Mancini to left, Happ to 3rd, and Matt Mervis is still an everyday 1st baseman. That’s what’s happening, right? RIGHT?! The other stage, bargaining, is what I’m counting on too, as in, let Jed Hoyer bargain with a team in June and trade Hosmer for anything! 2023 Projections: 39/10/41/.273/3 in 303 ABs
50. Ji-Man Choi – Went over him already, when he was traded to the Pirates, saying, “Thinking about Oneil Cruz firing a 120 MPH throw to first for Ji-Man Choi to go into one of his patented splits and getting giddy. For fantasy? Ji-Meh.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 51/14/62/.231 in 412 ABs
51. Jonathan Aranda – Not only did he have a huge Triple-A season last year (18/4/.318 in 403 ABs), but if you say his name at your auction and cover your mouth a little, you might be able to get people to bid him way up, thinking he’s Arenado. “I’ll start the bidding at $30 for…*muffled* Aranda.” 2023 Projections: 48/12/52/.271/4 in 365 ABs
53. Aledmys Diaz – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Aledmys is a poor man’s Yuli Gurriel. Call him Lourdes. Ooh, low blow — that’s what she said never!” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 57/14/63/.248/2 in 486 ABs
54. Jace Peterson – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the A’s. Financial terms were not known yet, but maybe he gave them a discount if they agreed to refer to themselves as the Oakland J-A’s. So, Peterson is the type of guy that the J-A’s will give the worst 500+ ABs you’ve ever seen. Hopefully not, but, then again, what else do they have?” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 51/11/54/.228/14 in 429 ABs
55. J.D. Davis – Giants are like Oliver asking for more gruel but they’re reaching their plate out under the Mets’ waiver wire moves. That’s so sad. Jonathan Davis Davis’s stats don’t look that bad for his short period of time on the Giants, but he’s gonna be 30 and all he has is small sample size seasons, because he never plays. 2023 Projections: 51/15/55/.258/2 in 393 ABs
56. Gavin Sheets – Because Sheets had a career year and still only hit 15 homers last year, people are way overdrafting him. There’s so many instances of things like this happening, even though I can’t think of one right now. If only I Gavin two Sheets. 2023 Projections: 42/13/47/.251 in 361 ABs
57. Dylan Moore – This is the last tier. This tier goes from here until the end. I call this tier, “*shaking your shoulder*” “Hey, man, you don’t have a 1st baseman yet, are you…Alive?” *shakes shoulder* As for Moore, he’s a bit of a favorite of mine. He’s good? Oh heck no! He’s great! Kidding. No, he’s not great either, but I like drafting him super late for a steals play. An AL-Only Jon Berti, if you will. 2023 Projections: 43/5/31/.219/23 in 297 ABs
58. Brandon Belt – Signed with the Jays. Gonna be weird seeing Belt in another uni. Will be thinking, “That Belt doesn’t match.” Sorry, sorry, I know! Sartorial humor is something most people thread. So, Belt stunk last year, and now doesn’t have a full-time job. Not a fantastic bet for fantasy value. 2023 Projections: 38/12/39/.218/1 in 306 ABs
61. Nick Pratto – Strongly debated between ranking two Rockies’ prospects, Michael Toglia and Elehuris Montero, or Pratto, and refused to do all three, even though they’re not really related, except for maybe their profiles. Went with the Royals’ corner man over Rockies’ corner men, because Bud Black has darkened my soul. Pratto hit .184 last year with a 36% strikeout rate. As Pratto’s paisan, Vinnie Pasketti, would say, “That’s notta so good,” but the minor league numbers are very interesting, so it’s a flyer. 2023 Projections: 34/14/39/.202/3 in 271 ABs
62. Keston Hiura – At one point last year, I thought Hiura fixed his stance and himself. In related news, at one point last year, I was wrong. Just one, though! 2023 Projections: 47/12/51/.229/6 in 302 ABs
63. Carlos Santana – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed by the Pirates. The Pirates don’t rob booty; they are booty. Peeeeee-you! With the shift ending, this is actually a very astute signing by the Pirates, said a beat reporter who wanted to stay in the Pirates’ good graces. This signing stinks. Sorry, Carlos Santana hasn’t been decent since Rob Thomas, and he’s in Philly.” And that’s me quoting me! By the way, with the Phils’ manager being Rob Thomson, I now want to call the Pirates’ manager, Rob Booty. 2023 Projections: 53/15/58/.212 in 422 ABs
64. Miguel Rojas – Traded to the Dodgers. In his short, and relatively uneventful career, Rojas has made a real name for himself for being one of the top prospblocks. There’s only room for one Miguel, and it’s Los Angeles, not Los Vargas. As for Rojas, this guy should be embarrassed for his previous year’s stats. Call him Miguel Rojas-faced. My goodness, in 140 games last year, he went 34/6/36/.236/9. Is that the worst 140-game line of all-time? Holy crap! I just fell off my seat looking at his career numbers. Sorry, this post is 7,000 words long and I will end it, but he has 39 homers and 46 steals. Roughly one season from a healthy Acuña. Only Rojas accumulated those stats in 3082 plate appearances! Rojas’s career = Acuña in one season. 2023 Projections: 43/7/46/.251/7 in 487 ABs
Considered but omitted: Alfonso Rivas, David Villar, LaMonte Wade Jr., Yuli Gurriel (FREE AGENT), Kyle Manzardo, Dominic Smith, Mike Moustakas, Owen Miller, Franchy Cordero (FREE AGENT), Michael Chavis, Christian Arroyo, David Bote, Jonah Bride, Yu Chang, Matt Reynolds, Josh VanMeter, Johan Camargo, Diego Castillo, Ernie Clement, Matt Duffy, Sheldon Neuse, Emmanuel Rivera, Pavin Smith, Bobby Dalbec, Michael Toglia, Elehuris Montero, Miguel Sano (FREE AGENT), Connor Eyed Joe, Jesus Aguilar (FREE AGENT), Harold Castro (FREE AGENT), Cavan Biggio, Lewin Diaz