We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 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 2023 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. Mookie Betts – Briefly spelled his name Bettes, like he was the possessive of Bette Midler, and I laughed for 25 minutes until someone came in with smelling salts. Any hoo! Mookie Best had career highs in homers, and that’s it, i.e., he’s had a fantastic career. Miss the Mookie Ballgame in Fenway, but Dodger Stadium is even better for power, and he’s made good on it. His two years in Dodger Stadium, where he was healthy, he’s had 35 and 39 homers. You might not think of Betts as a 35+ homer guy, but it’s hard to say it with a straight face. If you’re split on his speed, then I get it, but he’s gonna pick that up too, and bowl you over. Preseason Rank #1, 2023 Projections: 112/29/84/.268/16 in 582 ABs, Final Numbers: 126/39/107/.307/14 in 584 ABs

2. Marcus Semien – Similar to the iconic Mean Joe Greene commercial, someone says, “Semien, you’re my favorite,” and he says, “Thanks for being a good spurt,” and tosses him a hotel towel that has some weird dried glue stains. And this is why my career on Madison Ave. never worked out. He was down a bit in speed, which is weird, because no one was down in speed this year, but everything else was purdy. Preseason Rank #2, 2023 Projections: 104/31/79/.246/22 in 637 ABs, Final Numbers: 122/29/100/.276/14 in 670 ABs

3. Ozzie Albies – Having a Braves player in the top three for a position? Yeah, get used to it. As I mentioned the other day in our 2024 fantasy baseball top 25 podcast, two years ago Bichette and Vlad Jr. were the top two overall, and this year it was Acuña and Olson, but it didn’t stop there by any means. So, about Albies specifically, I was right on with his preseason ranking and projections, but it would be dishonest to say I nailed it, because he worried me. My misses on the Braves were legion. Don’t worry, I haven’t learned anything, betting on a Phils/Twins World Series. Preseason Rank #3, 2023 Projections: 82/27/87/.254/14 in 579 ABs, Final Numbers: 96/33/109/.280/13 in 596 ABs

4. Nico Hoerner – There was a clear drop-off between Albies and Hoerner, but Nico was on his own level, as Marte was a step down, then that level lasted until Gimenez, which was another level, then the final level down was McMahon. If you were wondering about tiers. As for Hoerner, all I can see in his numbers is how he can even better next year. Yeah, I’m getting Hoernier! Preseason Unranked for 2B, 2023 Projections: 81/13/62/.284/24 in 551 ABs, Final Numbers: 98/9/68/.283/43 in 619 ABs

5. Ketel Marte – I’d say I was off on Marte, but that’s doing the word “off” a disservice. I couldn’t have been any more wrong if I were drinking Ketel vodka and throwing darts with numbers on them to come up with my projections. Going in my favor, I don’t think anyone knew his power was going to return. His power previously seemed so clearly a product of the bouncy 2019 ball, and, well, oops, I guess not. Preseason Rank #24, 2023 Projections: 68/13/59/.258/5 in 509 ABs, Final Numbers: 94/25/82/.276/8 in 569 ABs

6. Max Muncy – Bunch of misses in the 2nd basemen ranks, and I’d count Muncy amongst those. He was coming into this year as a health question mark because of his elbow and, oh my God, I can’t stop thinking about Ohtani. Preseason Rank #13, 2023 Projections: 62/26/71/.219/2 in 441 ABs, Final Numbers: 95/36/105/.212/1 in 482 ABs

7. Justin Turner – Already went over in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball recap.

8. Ha-Seong Kim – Another miss from me. Had less faith in Kim than Eminem. It shows you though that if a team and/or player *wants* to run, then they can easily swipe 30+ bags. It’s not even about ability, assuming they’re not Vogelbach-slow and Miggy doesn’t come out of retirement. So, if a guy can hit 15+ homers and *wants* to run, he could go 15/30 without any uptick in talent. Preseason Unranked for 2B, 2023 Projections: 42/8/41/.253/7 in 371 ABs, Final Numbers: 84/17/60/.260/38 in 538 ABs

9. Gleyber Torres – Likely will keep drafting Gleyber and liking him, because he’s super predictable. I might’ve had more misses than a Mormon, but I didn’t miss on Gleyber. Preseason Rank #6, 2023 Projections: 81/25/78/.261/11 in 549 ABs, Final Numbers: 90/25/68/.273/13 in 596 ABs

10. Spencer Steer – Already went over in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball recap.

11. Bryson Stott – Same story as Ha-Seong. Gonna start calling it The Ha-SAGNOF Theory. It says that all a guy needs is some ability to steal and a desire from him or his team, and he will steal 30 bags. Preseason Rank #20, 2023 Projections: 64/15/70/.276/14 in 493 ABs, Final Numbers: 78/15/62/.280/31 in 585 ABs

12. Luis Arraez – Already went over in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball recap.

13. Isaac Paredes – Already went over in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball recap.

14. Andres Gimenez – This guy seems like a clearcut case of Ha-SAGNOF, a brand-new theory that now everyone is taking about. Preseason Rank #5, 2023 Projections: 71/16/76/.277/23 in 548 ABs, Final Numbers: 76/15/62/.251/30 in 557 ABs

15. Jose Altuve – In general, I underestimated steals in this year’s projections. Easy to see in retrospect, but no one knew exactly how much steals would be up. Altuve prolly could’ve stole 30 with a full season. Ha-SAGNOF, I guess. Crazy how much we’re hearing about that theory I just made up. Preseason Rank #21, 2023 Projections: 66/18/42/.289/10 in 393 ABs, Final Numbers: 76/17/51/.311/14 in 360 ABs

16. Whit Merrifield – Yes, Ha-SAGNOF, again, but also it’s interesting to see Merrifield’s speed was on the decline. He only stole 16 bags in 2022, but it shows you again, you can have declining speed, or just about no speed, and just want to steal bags. Welcome to the new world of MLB. Where 15-steal guys are now 25 to 30-steal guys. Preseason Rank #25, 2023 Projections: 51/9/57/.254/15 in 461 ABs, Final Numbers: 66/11/67/.272/26 in 547 ABs

17. Brandon Drury – Position check! He was 25th for 1st basemen and made this list, so 2nd basemen are clearly not as deep compared to 1st basemen, which seems about as surprising as finding out that drinking 12 Cokes per day isn’t great for you. Drury was the one bright spot for the Angels, after Ohtani, which Guinness lists as the world’s biggest fall-off. Preseason Rank #22, 2023 Projections: 61/21/67/.258/3 in 509 ABs, Final Numbers: 61/26/83/.262 in 485 ABs

18. Ryan McMahon – Finally, a non-Ha-SAGNOFer. McMahon is just your run-of-the-mill 20+ homer guy with no real speed, who relies on a home park to maintain his value. It’s also wild how players in Coors are no longer guarantees to hit .250 or better. If McMahon were on another team, he’d be on the St. Paul Saints, because he’d be released by any other team. Preseason Rank #11, 2023 Projections: 63/20/67/.252/6 in 483 ABs, Final Numbers: 80/23/70/.240/5 in 555 ABs

19. Nolan Gorman – NoGo’s gonna be mo’ mo’ next year. Thinking about how hitters cut their strikeouts as they progress in their careers, and, if Gorman does, I’m doing a Ralph Kramden bam-to-the-moon with his value. Yes, a very new reference. 35/15/.250 doesn’t seem out of the question. My God, I’m going to have Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman and Tyler O’Neill on so many teams next year, and cursing the Cards every game. Wait, that was this year. Preseason Rank #27, 2023 Projections: 48/20/57/.233/4 in 364 ABs, Final Numbers: 59/27/76/.236/7 in 406 ABs

20. Christopher Morel – Is there room in the top 20 for Morel? Mushroom! Take it, Highlights, it’s yours! I loved getting Morel off waivers this year, but, as the sign reads in the Department of Everyone’s Better for Free, “Everyone’s better for free.” Preseason Rank #46, 2023 Projections: 31/8/37/.224/6 in 255 ABs, Final Numbers: 62/26/70/.247/6 in 388 ABs