2023 Dynasty Baseball Rankings

THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2023 TOP 50 DYNASTY LEAGUE SECOND BASEMEN, #31-50

Continuing with our highlights of the league’s top Second Basemen, as judged by our collection of industry experts, below are the players ranked #31-50.

31. Nick Gonzales, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 15)

Where to begin with Nick! I want to begin by saying that I have a lot of faith in Nick’s long-term success. One aspect of Nick’s game that needs to be cleaned up is his high strikeout rate. Gonzales struck out nearly one-third of the time at Double-A last season. This wasn’t the beginning of those struggles. In 2021, at High-A, Gonzales struck out at a similar clip. Gonzales is still able to get on base at a high clip so this isn’t the end of the world for Gonzales, but with better talent, at the major league level, you definitely want to see that number go down. One more thing. I expect Nick to climb the rankings next year if he begins to cut down on the strikeouts. (Brett Cook)

32. Luis García, Washington Nationals, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 14)

This guy. I am not a backer. I had very high hopes for him three years ago but he has not met those expectations. Based on the metrics, there does seem to be some improvement from García, but I would rather invest in prospects with a higher ceiling or players who have better fantasy production. The bright spot for García was his max exit velocity which was in the top ten percent among qualifying hitters. His xBA was slightly above average, along with his xSLG, but every other sabermetric for García was below average. This is why I am not on the García train. (Brett Cook)

33. Brendan Donovan, St. Louis Cardinals, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)

Now here is someone to get excited about! I love the upside here with Donovan. Donovan put the ball all over the field last season, and I look for him to continue his success this year. The sabermetrics for Donovan is more red than blue which you love to see. His strength is plate discipline. He doesn’t chase pitches outside the zone. He doesn’t whiff a lot either and he also doesn’t strike out a lot. He also walks a ton. His xBA and xwOBA are both in the top 75 percent of the league as well. He doesn’t hit the ball hard but that is totally fine with me. Even minimal improvement in his ability to hit the ball harder will see him jump in rankings next year. (Brett Cook)

34. Jace Jung, Detroit Tigers, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

I hate to be the guy that says this but in my opinion, for the most part, younger brothers just aren’t as talented at the major league level. I believe that Josh will have a better career than Jace. Fernando Tatis is leaps and bounds better than his siblings. Jason Giambi was better than Jeremy. Roberto Alomar was better than Sandy Alomar. I will give you that Robin Yount was better than Larry Yount. And Tony Gwynn was way better than Chris. You get the point. This may be the highest that Jace ever goes on a list in my opinion. (Brett Cook)

35. Luis Rengifo, Los Angeles Angels, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 68 at SS)

I know of at least one person here at TDG who is very high on Rengifo. I also know that this particular writer is an Angels fan in real life. Before last season, I heard his positive thoughts on Rengifo and totally wrote Rengifo off as someone who couldn’t succeed at the major league level. I was wrong. Rengifo had a pretty successful season last year. He is definitely someone you can roster as a second option at second base and even put in your utility at times if you just need a bat. The strongest sabermetric for Rengifo in 2022 was his ability to not strike out. He was in the top fifteen percent of the league in that area of his game. The next closest strength for him was his whiff percentage (67th percentile), which doesn’t scream all-star or anything but it is serviceable in relation to building a dynasty team. If you need some depth then Rengifo could be a good option in a 20-team league or larger. (Brett Cook)

36. Vidal Bruján, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 11)

You are going to have two camps with Bruján. The first camp is going to say that all Bruján is speed but he will never be able to get on base consistently at the major league level. The second camp is all over Bruján. They believe he will not only succeed in the base paths in the majors but will be an on-base machine. Believe it or not, I am in the second camp. I am all aboard the Bruján hype train. I really do believe that Bruján will begin to figure things out in Tampa Bay soon and when he does a lot of dynasty players who have him will be very happy. (Brett Cook)

37. Justin Foscue, Texas Rangers, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 29)

Here is another guy that I believe is set to jump in the rankings next year. Sadly I traded him in the only league I was able to get him. Am I a homer on Foscue because he is in the farm system of my favorite team? Maybe…but I doubt it. Foscue is able to hit for pretty solid power and I expect those numbers to teeter around 20 home runs at the major league level. One area that Foscue needs to improve on is his strikeout numbers which come with hitting for power. Foscue could start in Triple-A to begin the 2023 season which means that a cup of coffee may not be too far away. (Brett Cook)

38. Whit Merrifield, Toronto Blue Jays, (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 7)

Merrifield is trending in the wrong direction and the sabermetrics tell you everything you need to know. Merrifield is not able to hit for power. His power declined in 2020 and 2021 only to have a minimal raise in 2022. All of these areas of metrics were worse last year compared to the year before; max exit velocity, xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, k%, whiff%, sprint speed, and outs above average. In over half of the metrics, Merrifield declined. Tread lightly with Whit in dynasty formats. (Brett Cook)

39. Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

If you are in a 20-team league then Steer is someone you want to set your targets on. If you want to take a risk in your next minor league player draft if you have that in your league, then Steer will be a solid later-round target. Steer could develop into someone that you can trust on your major league roster as depth. So take a flier on him and see how he improves. It will be interesting to see if he begins the 2023 season with a role carved out in Cincinnati, or if he will begin the season in Triple-A. If he does begin the season in Triple-A don’t be discouraged. Steer will have more chances to play at the major league level. (Brett Cook)

40. Zach Gelof, Oakland Athletics, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 63 at SS)

Rounding off this section we have Gelof who finished 2022 in Triple-A with the A’s system. Gelof had a very successful short stint with the A’s in 2022. His wRC+ was 136 at Triple-A. At his previous stop in 2022, Gelof had a stat line of .271/.356/.438 in 402 plate appearances. Gelof is definitely someone to get excited about. If there is one guy you should try to grab in a minor league draft in this 31-40 section it is Gelof. He could be someone who jumps next year and is someone that you man at your 2B slot on your roster in a few years. Go get him! (Brett Cook)

41. Wilmer Flores, San Francisco Giants (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 46 at 3B)

Flores has been an above-average hitter every season since 2016. The narrative throughout Flores’ career has been that he mashes left-handed pitching and does enough against right-handers to stay on the roster. Despite this, Flores has been above average by wRC+ against both sides since 2017. This is certainly lower than I would personally put Flores, but hopefully, that says something about how much people are sleeping on someone in their early thirties who can still consistently produce. I chose him in the yearly Sleeper Draft on Join the Ranks prior to last season, and it seems like I might be able to do that again this year. (Joe Garino)

42. Rodolfo Castro, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 60 at 2B)

The improvements made to the Pirates lineup will surely be a boost for Castro in 2023. Most of the value Castro can bring to your team will be through HR, RBI, and SLG. Given that the hitters in front and behind him are likely to be improvements over last year’s crop, Castro has a chance to put up big power numbers in 2023. Despite that, playing time could become an issue for Castro should he not get off to good start. With SS and 3B occupied long-term and with the next player on this very list knocking on the door, Castro could find himself in a bench role or back in AAA if he doesn’t hit the ground running. I think the ceiling here is pretty high if he can figure some things out but the lack of a hit tool keeps the floor quite low as well. (Joe Garino)

43. Ji-Hwan Bae, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 23, Previous Rank: Unranked)

While Castro is a high-variance player the other half of the second base platoon for the Pirates has a much higher floor. Bae will likely never see the power numbers that Castro could post, but his hit tool and speed are out of this world. 30 steals at AAA in 2022 shows Bae’s willingness to run and when given a chance has run at any MiLB level, his batting average was .271. Accompany this with a solid eye and a strikeout rate that typically falls between 15-20% and you have yourself a budding leadoff hitter. I personally prefer Bae’s skillset to Castro’s but this season could be critical in determining which of them could fill this role for the next good Pirates team. (Joe Garino)

44. Nick Madrigal, Chicago Cubs (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 17 at 2B)

Last year I was mocked for comparing Madrigal to the great David Fletcher and asking what differentiates them. This year I ask that very same question and I assume there will be less mocking and more nail-biting. However, this season I have a better comparison to make and this one might be even harsher than the last… Is Nick Madrigal just the Chris Carter of batting average? There are zero categories to fall back on with Madrigal if he is not hitting above .300, he either needs to be one of the league leaders in this category or on the waiver wire. We just saw what a “low” BABIP season would look like for him and the returns are not promising. I would stay as far away as you can and wish your other league mates luck with this one. (Joe Garino)

45. Hao Yu Lee, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 20, Previous Rank: Unranked)

The sample size is still incredibly small with Lee only having 25 PA stateside prior to 2022 but in 300+ plate appearances at A-Ball this season he showed enormous potential. He will likely need to find more power to stick in the majors long-term but he has a couple of years to find it. I think there is a chance he ends up as a 1B/DH long-term due to the shift going away in 2023 but regardless of where he ends up on the field he will hit. This may be the last chance for you to get on the train so you better do it quickly. (Joe Garino)

46. Santiago Espinal, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 55 at 3B)

The Toronto Blue Jays lineup is so stacked that playing time is my biggest concern with Espinal. Should there be an injury to Vlad, Bichette, or Merrifield then Espinal and Biggio are next in line to fill those holes. Besides that, they are utility infielders on a team that is going to score a ton of runs. Espinal is worth rostering in deeper leagues but assuming you can pencil in Espinal for regular PAs is not something you should be looking to do. If he gets traded and a chance at a full-time job opens up then there is a different discussion to be had, but with two options left and a roster full of infielders you likely want to look elsewhere for a serviceable bench player. (Joe Garino)

47. Lenyn Sosa, Chicago White Sox (Age: 23, Previous Rank: Unranked)

Sosa got his first cup of tea last year with the White Sox but the 36 PAs he saw were not enough to take anything useful away. Projection systems seem to have him between 90-100 wRC+ if given 300 PA so that is an encouraging sign for the 23-year-old. The biggest upside here is the White Sox’s lack of middle infield depth which could lead to Sosa seeing regular playing time if he hits well. Leury Garcia is likely their starter there and besides that, the position is his for the taking. Barring any additions via Free Agency or Trade this could be a sneaky pickup before Spring Training starts. (Joe Garino)

48. Carlos Jorge, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 19, Previous Rank: Unranked)

If I had to pick any of the players slotted between 40 and 50 on this list to be in the top 15 by next year this would be the guy. Carlos Jorge has the power/speed combo that every fantasy manager is constantly looking for in young players. Last year he slugged .529 with 27 steals in just 42 games as an 18-year-old at the Complex level. He could be destined for the outfield but regardless of where he ends up, this is the type of player to take a chance on. Likely starting the year in Rookie ball and not reaching single or double A-ball until next year means we will be waiting quite a bit for this one to pan out, but the end result could be beautiful. (Joe Garino)

49. Hector Rodríguez, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 19, Previous Rank: Unranked)

Included in the Tyler Nauqin trade at last year’s deadline, the Reds have another middle infield prospect here who could turn out to be something quite nice. An all-around solid player who excels at nothing but has few gaps in his game should see time in the lower minors this season. Rodríguez is extremely switchable on the defensive side of the ball and this could help him get a cup of tea on the Reds bench sooner than one would imagine. There are plus speed and bat-to-ball skills here that could eventually end up with everyday infield play at a middle infield spot. (Joe Garino)

50. Liover Peguero, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 37 at SS)

Peguero has barely played any second base with the Pirates and will likely end up at shortstop but we have him here so let’s roll with it. Contact and speed are the game here for this defensive stalwart. Stealing 28 bases each of the last two years shows that Peguero is willing to run if given the opportunity and he has the speed to get the job done. He is not going to light the world on fire in the home run department but will not kill you there either. Ideally, he ends up as an everyday shortstop for a team where he can provide above-average defense and a fine bat. (Joe Garino)

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Brett Cook

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