The top 20 shortstops for 2023 fantasy baseball are Daddy Warbucks and all of you are greedy Little Orphan Annies with your hands out wanting more, more, more. That’s all right, due to a high-yield savings account in the British Virgin Islands that he hasn’t paid taxes on for twenty years, Warbucks has plenty to go around and you should plenty satiated for cashola, I mean, shortstops. I.e., there’s a lot of shortstops and you should be drafting them early and often. Okay, let’s get to it! Here’s Steamer’s 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2023 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. Subscriptions are up and running, and you can already get Rudy’s Draft War Room. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2023 fantasy baseball:
NOTE: 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.
Note III: Our discussion of the shortstop rankings on Youtube:
6. Francisco Lindor – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Swanson. I call this tier, “Gold on the ceiling.” There’s the Black Keys song, Gold On The Ceiling, which is an absolute jam. Love that song. This has nothing to do with that, because I don’t know one other word in that song besides “Gold on the ceiling.” This is saying the ceilings of the players in this tier are golden and worth the price tag. Shortstop position is absolutely stacked. You’re drafting one, two, maybe three of these guys, and, oops, now it’s not deep anymore. Wha’ happened? Now, now, that’s for later, later. (How was that not Now & Laters’ commercial jingle? Did Now & Laters have a commercial jingle? They were like 25-cent candies; they couldn’t advertise.) So many of these guys I wanna nomnomnom onto my teamteamteam. I love them all. For anyone who’s followed my advice for an Urbandictionary minute, which is actually a long time, knows that I always say to draft heavy from deep positions, and this year is no different. Think about it like this, your leaguemate is saying stuff like, “I’m going to wait on shortstops because they’re so deep so I’m going to sit back and bank on later options.” Then they draft Jeremy Pena as their shortstop, and grab a catcher early, because of scarcity. Welp, they’re losing that league so fast. They have no chance. It’s kinda sad how badly they’re gonna lose. They think they’re getting 20/20 from Realmuto and 25/10 from Jeremy Pena, and you’re getting Lindor and Swanson. You’re taking victory laps with a combined stats of 200/50/200/.270/40 and they’re getting 140/40/140/.270/15 and, oops, their team’s in last. I like Pena, but, let’s be clear, there’s big fish in the Shortstop pond and then there’s solid MIs. Oh, and how’d I take a 20/20 Realmuto and a 25/10 Pena and get 40/15? Because you’re not getting 20/20 from Realmuto or Pena will disappoint. They’re way riskier!
As for Lindor, this has nothing to do with nothing, but I saw his 16-steal season last year, and thought about how Altuve’s steals jumped last year, and how there’s limited pickoff moves this year, and, well, how about Lindor’s career high in steals in 2023? Why not? His at-bats last year concern me a little. Not as at-bats would usually concern me, but he needed 630 ABs to do what he did (26/16). That’s a lot at-bats to inflate his numbers, but he’s been pretty consistent overall. Even his xBA was .254 two years in a row. Yes, xBA means nothing, but it does point to how year-in-year-out he is. Launch Angle never changes, strikeout rate’s inflated in the last two years, but normalized at 18%, and even his Swing% barely moves from his career 48%. He might seem inconsistent because of his 21 after 20 .230 average, but that was more an outlier than a sign of things to come. 2023 Projections: 101/27/104/.261/17 in 592 ABs
7. Dansby Swanson – Here’s what I said this offseason, “It was clear where Dansby Swanson was going to sign once he got married. Mallory Pugh, his new wife, plays soccer in Chicago. Lucky Dansby didn’t marry Messi. He’d have to play for Argentina, which, I believe, is where Yasiel Puig is playing now. Imagine being so whipped you have to play for whoever your wife roots for. I’d be playing for the “Gilmore Girls reunion.” So, Swanson immediately makes the Cubs much better. Competitive? Well, maybe a Wild Card, then who knows, Their pitching staff’s got more question marks than the Riddler’s leotards, so, yeah, I don’t think the Cubs are competitive, but weirder things have happened. Their middle infield does look solid, though. I am Hoerny for Hoerner and have always loved me some Swanson. Last year, Wrigley played poorly for home runs, but, as mentioned previously, I think that was a flukey thing vs. a new thing. Though, the dead ball and the humidor might’ve finally overcome the Windy City to make it more like Fly Out City. Will need more than one year to determine that. Last year, Swanson did what he’s always done with just a little more luck on BABIP, and flashed more speed. His counting stats might take a little hit in a weaker lineup (though, now the Cubs have Cody Bellinger five exclamation marks). His power should remain around 25-28, steals around 12-15, and average around .260. Assuming he doesn’t get his new marriage annulled and start dating Marge Schott Jr. and throw every game vs. the Reds.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 78/27/84/.262/14 in 591 ABs
8. Oneil Cruz – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Gunnar. I call this tier, “You need to be caping for me.” The tier name will be clear by the end of this blurb. As for Cruz, I fully admit that I might be doing that thing again. That thing I was guilty of last year when I ranked Wander insanely high. I might be getting too excited about a talent before it’s their time. Here’s the thing, bet on the talent. Here’s the other thing, I’d prefer to be too early, and get a little bit of a discount than be too late and need a 1st round pick to draft a guy in the future: See Bobby Witt Jr. and Julio Rodriguez. Here’s one more thing, Wander was on pace for 25/15/.300 season before he got hurt. Here’s the last thing, I want fun, and Oneil Cruz is F******* FUN! Will this ranking of Cruz guarantee I draft him in a lot of leagues? Absolutely. Bring it on, daddy! Even Steamer, which is usually very conservative, is giving Cruz 30/20/.250-type numbers in a full season. As I talked a lot about last year, Cruz went outside of the Pirates organization to hire a hitting coach. To infer his thoughts, “This crap team taught Ke’Bryan Hayes to hit the ball weakly to the 2nd baseman? Yeah, I’m good without that.” Good for Cruz, and right after Cruz did that, the Cruz Missile was born. He hit .288 in September/October and cut his strikeout rate from 42.3% to 29.8%. If he’s hitting 117 MPH tightropes like a kamikaze trapeze artist with a sub-30% strikeout rate, he’s going to hit .250+ and 30+ homers. That comes with the 12th best sprint speed in the majors. My God. Someone drop their cape behind me, I’m going to faint and I don’t want to get dirty. 2023 Projections: 79/30/77/.246/18 in 541 ABs
10. Corey Seager – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Edman. I call this tier, “Giving these guys good PR.” That’s not PR as in public relations. Or Puerto Rico. That’s PR is in Player Rater. I’m applying the Player Rater liberally and conservatively and libertarianly. I’m hammering a Player Rater sign into my lawn to voice my support, and I’m illegally psst’ing at the polls, telling people I’ll give them five dollars if they vote Player Rater. But it’s mostly ranking guys here based on how well or bad they actually did on the Player Rater last year vs. perception, and trying to fight for justice, the American way and, yes, the Player Rater.
As for Seager, mustachioed men don’t el oh el, but I have to give an LOL for how much hate I seemingly have in my heart for Seager. He came around and finally showed his power, so what do I do? Bury him in my rankings. There’s no one drafting Gunnar or Oneil before Seager, and most aren’t even drafting or ranking Dansby in front of him. I, how’sever, have major quibbles appizzarently with Mr. Seager. Steamer projections aren’t everything, but they give Seager a statline of 27/3/.272 in 641 plate appearances. That’s Carlos Correa plus three homers. Of course, I like Seager better than Correa. Sure, Seager was a .300 hitter prior to last year when he hit .245, but — and everyone has a but and they all stink — he *did* hit .245. Sure, his BABIP dropped to historically low levels (.242), but that’s gonna happen when a guy increases his Launch Angle, starts hitting a lot more fly balls and moves to a worse home park. He hit more homers (33), but that’s peak power and he has no speed.
For those that think I am batshizz crazy and loca in the cabeza, due to my ranking. Seager was the 9th best shortstop last year on the Player Rater, in what may have been a career year for power. If you don’t give any real steals, you have to do so much to provide fantasy value. Finally, the shift ending. Seager might be the biggest benefactor of “Infielders stay in your goddamn spots!” How much of a benefactor is so nebulous it may as well be a cloud costumed as a ghost. I don’t know, nobody knows. I’ve seen research that adds 30 points to his average. Hidey-ho, that sounds good! Why it’s hard to say “The shift did this to him last year, that dastardly shift” while crying to his momma, then plotting revenge, is because we don’t know what the shift did to him. We have shift and non-shift stats, but they tell maybe 75% of the story. Is a guy’s approach different when being shifted on? Seager might jump 50 points in average and stop trying to hit everything out. Then again, he won’t be able to go the other way for an easy single anymore either. Also, some balls are hit into the shift that wouldn’t have been singles even if there was no shift. It’s super noisy data. Oh, and the Rangers used a bouncier ball at home, so maybe Seager goes back to being a 22-homer, .290 hitter. Yeah, Seager’s a tough one to nail down. 2023 Projections: 87/30/91/.268/2 in 587 ABs
12. Willy Adames – Wrote a sleeper for him last year; he went 31/8 and *whispers so no one hears* hit .238. A 31/8 guy still going fairly late is goofy, but maybe there’s some other reason that is being whispered about that I don’t know. The wild thing is Captain Willy Adames of the Battlestar Galactica is thought of (I’m guessing he’s thought of this way, but it feels right) as a 25-ish homer guy instead of his 31 homers last year, and he’s actually more of a 35-homer guy. He’s not a Cheapie McGee, watch as my homers die on the warning track. He’s also not likely to raise his average much. Adames was in the top 40 overall last year on the Player Rater, above even Seager. Don’t think anyone realizes that, or they’re choosing to throw out his entire last year, because he’s being drafted way after this. He is a 30-homer hitter, he has 7-steal speed, and should hit around .240. He has more speed than Seager and the same power. Seager should have more average, but he didn’t last year. 2023 Projections: 79/32/90/.242/7 in 574 ABs
15. Tim Anderson – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Correa. I call this tier, “Name brand retail mark-up.” These guys all have a surplus attached to their names, due to, well, their names. You’re paying retail prices for all of these guys. If you put any of these guys with a different name and showed their projections, they’d prolly be half the price.
Give Tim Anderson the name Mance Pursed, and assume he didn’t shorten his first name to Man for fear of being known as Man Purse, and not wanting anyone to call him Murse; he’s sued people in court to get them to stop calling him Murse, yet it still persists for Pursed. So, say Mance Pursed (can’t risk litigation) is projected for the same stats as Anderson, roughly 15/15/.280. He’d be going 50 picks later, because Murse wouldn’t have the retail mark-up. Wait, hearing now, Murse, due to extreme pressure from people mocking him, has changed his name to Amed Rosario, and Rosario is basically Anderson 50 picks later.
As for Tim Anderson, specifically, and maybe I’m being tough here, but he feels like the 2nd coming of Whit Merrifield. More power, for sure. Well, now, at least. Whit did hit 16 homers one year. Don’t really care about OBP or BABIP with a fast runner, but at some point Anderson’s gonna slow. Also, he hasn’t had a full season since 2018, and he’s already slowing down. Not to the point where we can’t count on his BABIP and steals, but the problem with those is everything looks great, until Anderson shows up at camp and needs a golf cart to get around like Miguel Cabrera. Personally, I’m a big fan of Anderson. Fantasily, I’m concerned. 2023 Projections: 81/16/51/.291/17 in 508 ABs
16. Wander Franco – To clarify before anyone even asks me to clarify, Wander is in a seemingly negative tier. But it’s not negative! It’s just reality. You’re paying retail for the guys in this tier. It doesn’t not not not NOT not make them good. Or worth the retail price, possibly. I still love Wander, I think at some point he’s going to have a 25/17/.300 season and people are going to wish they rostered him in every league. You are paying retail this year to find out, though. Doesn’t make it bad, it’s just facts. If his name was Carl Finger, who had the projections of 22/14, Finger wouldn’t budge off the board for 50 more picks. Carl Finger could even be young and go by the name Luis Rengifo, and be coming off a solid season and won’t be drafted anywhere near Wander. The Wander lust is strong. I might even succumb to the Wander lust at some point. Just know you are absolutely dinging and/or donging in the shoulder melon, and might not be getting your draft price value. Now from Wander to Xander… (Which my brain wants to rhyme so bad.) Also, went over Wander in the video at the top of the page. 2023 Projections: 84/22/77/.291/14 in 580 ABs
17. Xander Bogaerts – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Padres. This is related, but a side bar that made me absolutely howl. I looked at the Padres’ depth chart after Bogaerts signed, and there was David Dahl at DH. Oh my. Guess you can’t spell Dahl without DH, but you also can’t spell it without HA! Bogaerts landing in San Diego is a pretty good indicator that Tatis is going to be playing outfield when he returns. Or I guess Kim gets railroaded, like in one of Eminem’s songs. Bogaerts’s K-rate and walk rate have been pretty consistent, even as his batted ball profile has declined. He’s slowly turning into Yelich with so many ground balls. His Hard Contact% also has become flaccid. Steamer projections have him down for 19/6/.271 in 149 games, and that might actually be optimistic with his power. He could bounce back, but I don’t think I’m going to be there if it happens with his current ADP.” And that’s me quoting me! 2023 Projections: 87/17/82/.292/7 in 549 ABs
18. Carlos Correa – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA–breathe, Grey! God damn it, breathe! We’re losing him, sir! *does mouth to mouth on self in a mirror* Oh, my God, sorry, I thought I just read Carlos Correa was on his third team in the last three weeks. It’s true?! Oh Jesus effin’ Aguilar. C’mon, man! Then again, only 27 more teams to go for Carlos Correa and less than two months! You better hurry up! Hey, Mets, you might win some, but you just Car-loss. Every few weeks, Carlos Correa starts humming Olivia Newton-John, “Let’s get physical…Physical…I want a pending physical…”
So, way back (three weeks ago?) when the Giants backed out of the Carlos Correa 25-year contract, claiming it was due to his physical, I thought, “Yeah, sure. And I’m going to diagnose you with cold feet!” Well, I’m starting to think the problem might actually be with Carlos Correa. What’s his leg made of? Pulled pork? Yo, Carlos, you soaking your ankles in an Instant Pot? No wonder he’s only cleared 150 games in a season once in his career. I think Correa’s ankle might really be janky. He’s got a jankle! Also, Correa couldn’t clear 27+ homers with the Crawford Boxes. He’s solid for real baseball, but I’m once again, for what feels like the third time this offseason, telling you I’m not a fan of his for fantasy. 2023 Projections: 83/23/71/.283/2 in 558 ABs
19. Jeremy Pena – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Abrams. I call this tier, “My boys are all grown up.” This tier is filled with guys who I liked previously, who had solid years and are still my boys. What’s up, boys? I said that to my computer screen and waited for an answer. None came, and that depressed me. No fear, just had some ice cream and I’m happy again! Rather than have to answer for war crimes like you commenting, “You didn’t say to draft Hoerner last year.” No, I liked these guys previously. I’ve been Hoerny for Nico before, that doesn’t necessarily mean I advocated for people to draft him last preseason. I might’ve liked some of these guys in the middle of last year. They’re not new guys who I am heart emoji’ing.
As for Pena, I actually did like him last preseason. With that said (NOOOOOOO! Don’t make this negative about Pena! Please!), I think people might be over-evaluating how good Pena was last year. Oh, he was good, but .253/.289/.426? That’s an emoji that is making the Larry David meh face, then does a Larry David shrug. By the way, went to a funeral last month and Larry David sat in front of me. I should’ve took a photo of his bald head, but it felt in especially bad taste at a funeral. RIP Budd Friedman. Any hoo! Pena is a perfectly reasonable MI and MI-ght even be a fantasy shortstop, but that’s no guarantee yet. He doesn’t make great contact. In fact (Grey’s got more!), Pena has the 6th highest swinging strike rate with some real turds, but along with some polished-up turds I like such as Adolis Garcia. Unlike Adolis, Pena makes better in-zone contact, and less outside the zone contact, so that helps. In the end, Pena’s stats feel like Wander minus forty points on average. Call him Wander Lustaverage. Actually, don’t call him that. 2023 Projections: 75/24/79/.243/12 in 541 ABs
20. Amed Rosario – Man (or five women), projections hate Amed. In 143 games, Steamer gives him 13/13/.278. As I always say, you don’t have to agree 100% with them. If you disagree 100% of the time, you’re going to lose your league. But to pick out certain players to exceed expectations or fail to live up to, that’s just smart. You have to do that to find value or know where to zig when others are zagging. So, my takeaway on Amed is he will exceed Steamer, by a decent amount on speed — more than 40% higher — but on power, I just don’t see it. Cleveland kinda sucks, and the park isn’t good either. A quirky little donothingwith: Arlington is tough and he would’ve hit 18 HRs there last year, and only 11 in Cleveland. He swings at everything, which he can still get away with at his age — sounds like any twentysomething when it comes to drinking or eating anything. The swinging at everything leads to contact on everything, including bad pitches, and another reason why the power prolly won’t go up without a wing and a prayer *makes sign of cross* Amed. 2023 Projections: 81/12/68/.281/20 in 609 ABs
23. Nico Hoerner – Every year I get to the rankings in mid-January, and I don’t have time to get out all of my sleeper posts. This year I left two unpublished. Hoerner was in the hopper, and a pitcher was another, who I will get to eventually. Though, the pitcher more got bumped vs. me running out of time, because his team signed a bunch of guys and knocked him out of the rotation. As for Hoerner, he’s an easy 10-homer, 20-steal guy, who should easily hit for a solid average at leadoff. He’s going around 140 ADP, and is easily a sleeper. Easy like Sunday moerning. 2023 Projections: 81/13/62/.284/24 in 551 ABs
25. Jorge Polanco – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Mondesi. I call this tier, “Giant leafs.” “Hello Sharks! On the table in front of you, you’re going to find giant leafs. You might be wondering what are these giant leafs for. Well, I’m going to answer that very question. To help me, I’ve brought my dog, Ted. Say hello Ted. Ted, don’t hump Mr. Cuban’s leg. Okay, Ted and I are walking along, pretend we’re outside, and–Oh, boy! Ted has to poop, go ahead Ted. *Ted poops on the Shark Tank stage* Oh, shoot, only I didn’t say shoot, I said the four-letter word. Not because I’m describing Ted’s business. I’m saying that because I forgot my plastic bag back at home. If only I had some way to cover it–Oh! I know, I have this giant leaf! Perfect!” This tier’s players need giant leafs to hide their many issues. As for Polanco, already went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball..
26. Javier Baez – Last year, Javier Baez cut his strikeout rate from 33.6% to 24.9%, which is legitimately funny. You know why, right? I’ll explain something and see if you can figure it out. He went from hitting .297 on sliders in 2021 to hitting .196 last year. A run value of 11 to a -14. Pitchers went from throwing it to him 25.9% of the time to 34.1%. Figure it out yet? Baez stopped striking out so much because he stopped swinging. At a certain point, he realized he had no chance hitting anything pitchers were throwing 34% of the time, so he just stopped trying. Rarely do you see someone cut their strikeout rate that dramatically, and become–Crap! Someone get me a giant leaf! 2023 Projections: 70/19/68/.234/10 in 564 ABs
27. Adalberto Mondesi – If you look under this giant leaf, you find my Mondesi projections the last few years. If you could’ve bet the under on my projections and Mondesi’s actual production, you would’ve made a fortune. It’s hard not to get swept up, in Mondesi’s last 109 games, he has 12 homers and 44 steals. Unfortch, that’s through three seasons. Mondesi has more than 100 games played in one season — 2019 — and, when I say he wasn’t close to playing a full year, outside of 2020, I ain’t lying. He has 358 games played in seven seasons. Cal Ripken Jr. just gasped. Freddie Freeman’s played about the same amount of games in just the last two years if you include postseason. Not sure how you can project Mondesi for more than 70 games, and that might even be generous. UPDATE: Traded to the Red Sox. “Aprilberto ain’t making it to Maydesi” as I like to call him goes to Boston where he will absolutely stay healthy because. Dot dot dot. Hold on. Trying to come up with a plausible reason. Because Mondesi struggled in KC because their local cuisine BBQ means lots of pulled meats, but New England Clam Chowder is cream-based, and we know where cream comes from. 2023 Projections: 49/7/44/.253/27 in 352 ABs
— Razzball (@Razzball) January 24, 2023
28. Jake Cronenworth – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Enrique Hernandez. I call this tier, “Bunch of ‘already’s.” As for Cronenworth, already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball..
39. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Diaz. I call this tier, “Asking friends to not resuscitate your fantasy team.” You could’ve drafted a shortstop before, like, pick 450. You know that, right?
As for IKF, in 1887 career at-bats, Israeli Diner Falafel has 20 homers and 60 steals. In 2016, Jonathan Villar went 19/62. *blowing a chef’s kiss that reverberates throughout the universe* 2023 Projections: 47/3/31/.272/15 in 304 ABs
40. Jorge Mateo – “Speed is the most important thing, right?” Natalie Portman meme with her blank face. Maybe if the O’s teach Mateo how to hit the ball on the ground or even more line drivey, then he won’t be such dogshi-Wait, here’s a giant leaf to cover up his average, I bought it from another tier. Only problem is Mateo’s career Launch Angle (15) would look good on a slugger, but not him. Wonder if we could do some kind of body switch movie with his Launch Angle and Yelich’s. Not exactly a recipe for success that he’s got the 2nd highest fly ball rate for the bottom 20 of Hard Contact. His Statcast sliders are very funny too. All blue, except sprint speed, i.e., the same as Willie Mays Hayes’ Statcast page. 2023 Projections: 37/7/31/.222/21 in 324 ABs
41. Elvis Andrus – Signed with the White Sox. Don’t really love him for fantasy. Unless he’s got Austin Butler playing him. Then sign me up! That kid was born to play Elvis! 2023 Projections: 54/8/47/.257/13 in 414 ABs
43. Ha-Seong Kim – Against lefties, he had 159 at-bats and went 19/2/18/.270/5. He had 11 homers total in 517 ABs. I’m seeing projections with him hitting 17 homers in 143 games, and 551 ABs. Hey, psst, yo, whisper-whisper to get someone’s attention, you know assuming Tatis doesn’t get ringworm again, Kim ain’t breaking 10 homers in under 400 at-bats, right? 2023 Projections: 42/8/41/.253/7 in 371 ABs
47. Oswald Peraza – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Cruz. I call this tier, “Mary, please help me.” The tier name is you talking to your last-minute draft Hail Mary.
As for Peraza, went to search for a rookie post, and I guess I didn’t write one. Prolly makes sense, and what I was likely thinking is the Yankees aren’t going to give him anywhere close to a full season of at-bats. Yankees badly need to get out of this “play for now by playing the vets” mindset. That is not the path forward. The Braves are a good example. Play to win now by playing young, talented prospects. That the Yanks re-signed Israeli Diner Falafel makes me think they still haven’t learned the lesson. If it appears in the Spring Training that the Yanks are actually going to give Peraza playing time, he could move up in the rankings. UPDATE: With Volpe breaking camp, Peraza was moved down. 2023 Projections: 34/7/37/.272/10 in 326 ABs
48. Brice Turang – The movement of Wong (hey now!) opens a spot on the Brewers for Brice Turang, whose name sounds like Lurch negotiating a new contract. At least the prospect guys are saying Turang is being rung up to start. I don’t doubt he’s ready, but when does ready equal playing time? On the Braves, that’s about it. Could see Turang getting 300-ish at-bats and a June call-up. Why does it matter, asked Mr. Clunky Sentence Opener. Because Turang is dope. Last year in Triple-A, he went 13/34/.286, and you kinda have to wonder what’s taking so long to promote him. Sorry, no one should ever have more than 100 games in Triple-A if they’re hitting that well. One scary thing to note is Turang’s .200 average in High-A, and needing a .342 BABIP in Triple-A, which makes me think the Brewers might turn him into another Keston Hiura. The long and short of it, you may as well take a flyer on an upside guy like Turang. He could be this year’s Rookie of the Year with some power and speed or a usual Brewers’ hitter flameout. 2023 Projections: 31/6/35/.239/12 in 331 ABs
49. Royce Lewis – Still, prolly one of the best pure electric prospects, but the last news on him is he had successful ACL surgery on his right knee, which takes us to: He’s played in 46 games in the last three years. He’s like Byron Buxton if Buxton was even more injury-prone. 2023 Projections: 31/9/33/.279/7 in 281 ABs
50. Elly De La Cruz – Here’s what Itch said about Cruz, “Grey refers to meta-human type athletes as Lab Babies. Next year, if he’s still eligible, that title is reserved for E to the DLC: Lab Baby. Prospect Thanos. Inevitable. Only thing between him and that kind of shine is a 2023 debut. The strikeouts and the Reds’ general level of competitiveness could conspire to delay his arrival, but if he does make the leap, we’ll want him on our redraft squads. The power and speed are elite, and I’m way less worried about the strikeouts (158 in 120 games) than what I’ve seen in some other prospect portals because I think the quality of contact is so extreme they barely matter until proven otherwise. De La Cruz is a switch-hitter at 6’5” 200 lbs who explodes his hips through the zone from both sides of the plate. Like Aaron Jude and Oneil Cruz before him, he doesn’t have to square up a pitch to send it seven rows deep. It’s unique. It’s uncanny. It helped him slash .304/.359/.586 with 28 home runs and 47 stolen bases in 120 games across two levels, and I wish Grey would fall from two levels up.” Not cool. As you’ll see from my projections, I don’t think Cruz is anything but a September call-up. 2023 Projections: 15/4/16/.234/7 in 132 ABs
51. Dylan Moore – This is the last tier. This tier goes from here until the end of the list. I call this tier, “Good luck next year!” As for Moore, already went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2023 fantasy baseball..
52. J.P. Crawford – Throwback to the 1980s number nine hitters when they had get 600 plate appearances to barely crack 40 RBIs. Just Peachy, indeed. 2023 Projections: 54/8/44/.253/5 in 564 ABs
53. Brandon Crawford – If you believe in the Magic Fairy Dust that happens in San Fran every other year, you’re gonna buy into a big bounce back for all of their hitters. Magic Fairy Dust is also what one smokes in San Fran before shoplifting at a CVS. 2023 Projections: 51/12/56/.236/1 in 421 ABs