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Jon Anderson's Early Second Base Tiers & Rankings for 2023 Fantasy Baseball

marcus semien fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers MLB injury news

Welcome back RotoBallers to my early 2023 fantasy baseball second base rankings and projections. Today we are onto the second base position in my early positional ranks and tiers posts. So far, we have hit up catcher and first base, read those below:

Second base has long been a tough position to fill in fantasy baseball, but in recent years, things have strengthened a bit. I wouldn't call it a deep position yet, and there is not a single top-20 overall pick at the position, but there are strong options pretty far down the list.

Nothing more to say in the introduction, let's get to Tier 1.

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Tier 1 - Best Available

Player Team Rank Tier PA R HR RBI SB AVG
Marcus Semien TEX 1 1 643 97 25 66 21 .250
Ozzie Albies ATL 2 1 555 69 18 69 17 .246
Jazz Chisholm Jr. MIA 3 1 587 85 29 72 36 .256

You could argue that Semien and Albies have had first-round caliber seasons in recent years, but they never actually project that way - and that's true again this year. Semien is great across the board, but he depends a ton on the volume of PAs for his fantasy production (he's not elite in anything, but good in everything - so when he plays 162 games as a lead-off hitter, he will inevitably turn in a great rotisserie season). The risk here is that he finally hits the IL and falls a bit shy of the lofty heights he's reached recently in scoring runs and stealing bags.

There's no reason to not think this ironman will play a full year, and he's locked in as the lead-off man in a capable lineup. With Albies having some injury-related concerns, Semien leap-frogs him for the top second baseman for me in 2023.

Albies and Chisholm are close to Semien in my estimation, and they get drafted significantly later. We are seeing a steep discount on Albies this year after all of the injury problems he had last year. Those concerns aren't really convincing me, however, as he came back late in the year from his original foot injury but then broke a finger. Finger breaks aren't a long-term concern, of course, so I'm willing to believe Albies will be 100% in 2023. That means he should put up some really great counting stat numbers in a loaded Braves lineup. This guy is just one year removed from a 30-20 season, let's not forget that!

My #3 here might make some waves, as I'm sliding Chisholm into Tier 1 territory. I just love his power and speed ability, very few hitters have the skills he has. I'm also not going to ding him too much for his injury history; to me, it's too early in his career for that. If he plays a full year, I don't see how he doesn't easily go 25-25 with a "fine" at worst batting average, and that's a Tier 1 bat.


Tier 2 - A Lone Stro

Player Team Rank Tier PA R HR RBI SB AVG
Jose Altuve HOU 4 2 641 110 28 76 15 .278

Altuve certainly projects as a Tier 1 guy here, but I'm dinging him because of his age and questions about his power and speed. That said, he didn't have any trouble in 2022 as at the age of 32. He scored 103 runs, hit 28 homers, stole 18 bags, and hit .300. That's one of the better seasons of his Hall of Fame career.

The Astros lineup certainly allows a huge run projection here, and he's shown the ability to pull enough fly balls to easily get into the twenties in homers. The bigger bases and pickoff restrictions will probably get him above a dozen steals again in 2023 with ease, so there's no reason to not expect another great fantasy season from Altuve.


Tier 3 - Huge Upside with Risk

Player Team Rank Tier PA R HR RBI SB AVG
Trevor Story BOS 5 3 614 75 23 74 23 .232
Andres Gimenez CLE 6 3 578 66 12 74 28 .279
Brandon Lowe TB 7 3 567 70 27 81 6 .232

You're giving up something at this point. Story had a brutal time with the strikeout and the batting average in his first year away from Coors, but still turned in 16 homers and 13 steals in just a bit more than a half season. With a full season of PAs and a slight improvement in whiffs (this is likely), he's an easy 20-20 player with a .240+ batting average. That would make him a perfectly good pick where he's being drafted, but it's hard not to hesitate a little bit after what we saw last year.

Then you have your young riser in Gimenez, who had a great season in 2022 but still fell a little bit short in homers with 17. The 21 steals were nice, and the .295 batting average was great. The projections have him losing some homers here, which is probably because of the 6% barrel rate we saw last year. Not a ton of swing speed here, but Gimenez could easily turn in a 20-20 season with a .290 batting average, so I'm perfectly happy to draft him where he's at.

The biggest discount of the year might be Brandon Lowe, who lost most of his 2022 season to injury. The Rays say he's healthy now, and I'm prone to believe them - but the fantasy community doesn't seem to fully buy into it as his ADP has fallen a ton. I'm happy to take the discount here since Lowe has proven to be one of the game's most consistent home run hitters since 2018.


Tier 4 - Late Talent

Player Team Rank Tier PA R HR RBI SB AVG
Jorge Polanco MIN 8 4 594 77 25 81 10 .246
Max Muncy LAD 9 4 547 75 24 87 2 .235
Tommy Edman STL 10 4 621 92 10 63 37 .263
Gleyber Torres NYY 11 4 593 88 19 61 16 .266
Jonathan India CIN 12 4 656 70 15 60 11 .237
Ketel Marte ARI 13 4 620 82 16 70 5 .267

This is a pretty great tier as well. I think all of these names are starting-caliber second basemen in 2023, although they could certainly all find a way to fail (as they all have in the past). My favorite of the bunch is Polanco, who turned in a bad 2022 but the underlying numbers don't give us much to worry about.


Max Muncy could be a big beneficiary of the shift ban, and we still have lots of upside in those talented bats of Torres, Marte, and India. I love taking a player from this tier here - they're all great values at their ADP.


Tier 5 - Category Specialists

Player Team Rank Tier PA R HR RBI SB AVG
Jeff McNeil NYM 14 5 622 69 9 77 5 .294
Thairo Estrada SF 15 5 577 72 12 50 20 .258
Luis Arraez MIN 16 5 639 85 9 58 4 .306
Josh Rojas ARI 17 5 519 59 10 66 18 .257
Gavin Lux LAD 18 5 537 65 11 64 8 .266
Vaughn Grissom ATL 19 5 405 58 11 51 14 .275
Nick Gordon MIN 20 5 355 42 13 42 12 .273
Christopher Morel CHC 21 5 477 53 16 52 14 .232
Brendan Rodgers COL 22 5 551 62 14 61 0 .260

We lose most of the power at this point, as none of these guys projects near 20 homers. Despite that, some guys here get it done with steals (Estrada, Rojas, Grissom?), and plenty of them offer a strong batting average (McNeil, Arraez, Lux). The most interesting of the bunch are the two young guys, Nick Gordon and Christopher Morel.

Gordon put up a pretty exciting 2022 season, going for a .271/.312/.426 line with a useful 9.7% barrel rate and a 45% hard-hit rate. Morel posted an elite 13.4% barrel rate but it came with a high strikeout rate of 32%. I really like taking a shot at Gordon this year (the PA projection here is admittedly too low, but I think he'll find his way to near everyday playing time - especially if he comes out of the gate hitting well), and I'm perfectly happy with Morel late in the draft as a guy you can at the very least squeeze some homers out of.


Tier 6

Player Team Rank Tier PA R HR RBI SB AVG
Jake Cronenworth SD 23 6 629 70 15 78 3 .228
Luis Garcia WSH 24 6 484 52 15 51 3 .253
Whit Merrifield TOR 25 6 522 65 8 61 27 .244

We are approaching the point where players maybe shouldn't be drafted in standard leagues. Cronenwoth really doesn't contribute well in any category, and he will certainly not be a top-of-the-order bat in 2023, which makes him very interesting. Whit Merrifield's steal rate is slowing and the playing time is uncertain.

Luis Garcia is the most interesting of the trio, as a young hitter that puts a lot of balls in play and can hit the ball pretty hard. The 15-homer projection here is pretty strong for just 484 PAs, he could feasibly end up being a 20-homer guy if he can lift the ball a bit more, and his batting average should stay at least decent since had doesn't strike out a ton and hits the ball with good velocity.


Tier 7

Player Team Rank Tier PA R HR RBI SB AVG
Kolten Wong SEA 26 7 521 59 14 58 18 .241
Jon Berti MIA 27 7 382 43 7 42 34 .227
Chris Taylor LAD 28 7 569 69 16 67 15 .223
Luis Urias MIL 29 7 557 62 19 62 3 .235
DJ LeMahieu NYY 30 7 493 64 7 63 5 .249

Not a lot here. You could see Chris Taylor and DJ LeMahieu having a useful season, but there are playing time and health concerns (major health concerns with LeMahieu right now). Wong and Urias just don't seem to be fantasy-relevant at this point, and with the increase in steals likely coming this year, Berti's one-category production seems like a bad idea for a fantasy pick.

And there you have it, 30 second basemen ranked and tiered. Let me know what you think!

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