2023 Dynasty Baseball Rankings


This is a companion piece to our 2023 Top 50 Dynasty League First Base series. The opinions below are my own and do not reflect the TDG consensus.

First base is a deep position. Yeah, there are a few names considered ‘cream of the crop’. Though there’s a lot to like for the next 12 to 15 players after that first handful. A few weeks back I wrote about third-base options to help soothe your fantasy psyche after missing out on the top-tier names. This time, I’m trying to help you celebrate when can’t draft a headliner first baseman. 


Who wants to roster a 30 home run, 80/80 Runs/RBI lock? Everyone, that’s who. Especially when that lock is also getting on base at a .330+ clip year after year. Yes, Rhys Hoskins’s career OBP has dropped over the last two seasons. His formerly sterling mid-teen walk rate hovered over 10% during that span. You must keep it in perspective though. Many sluggers would love to have a double-digit BB% and Hoskin’s .332 OBP last year isn’t exactly a lead weight. His splits are another attribute that hurts his fantasy reputation. As righty first baseman, Hoskins isn’t quite as damaging when facing the more common right-handed pitchers. Although I don’t think there is truly a risk for a platoon anytime in the near future. Hoskins’s K% is relatively stable versus both-handed pitchers and his wRC+ is 118 over his career versus righties.

The Phillies have one of the premier offenses in the majors and Hoskins will be batting in the heart of the lineup in ‘23. Their farm system is not overflowing with talent, and particularly there isn’t anyone ready to overtake him at first base. Based on his statistical track record and a safe roster spot, Hoskins is a great pickup after the first 6 or so first basemen are taken off the board.


All it took was an entire season in Yankee Stadium for Anthony Rizzo to return his near-prime Cubs numbers. As our 15th-ranked first baseman, he provides appropriately discounted fantasy stats to those of Hoskins. Before I get into the why, I want to be fully forthcoming: The left-handed batter is likely selling out for power. Over the last few seasons, Rizzo has steadily raised his Pull Rate, coupled with a similar K% rise and an AVG decrease. This all played a part in him hitting a career-best .256 ISO last season. 

While that may appear to be a mixed bag of news, I take it as a positive opportunity. Power is what pays the bills, evident in his freshly signed 2-year contract. This contract will allow Rizzo plenty of opportunities to hit at the infamous right-field porch. In addition to the sustained power, Rizzo continues to get free passes at a low-teens pace. Recent OBP decreases (last year was .338 versus his career .366) are almost entirely due to the power stroke adjustments. Another calling card over his lengthy career is Rizzo’s health. Last year’s 130 games were the fewest games he appeared in (ignoring 2020) as a full-time player since 2013.

All this equates to a player who will likely provide mid-20 homers, 140 R+RBIs, and a .330 OBP for the next several years. Drafting Anthony Rizzo as your first baseman late allows you to take other prime performers early. He is a perfect fantasy segue to your MiLB roster depth. Just like this segue to…


For those of you just now paying attention to baseball, Matt Mervis was one of the most hyped dynasty prospects this past offseason. So why would I target him if he’s getting lots of digital ink? Sometimes with prospects, it’s all about playing the ‘perceived value market. Please, allow me to establish my perceived value for this young slugger. 

Mervis signed with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent during the shortened 2020 draft cycle.  After a meh first professional season, the Cubs placed him on the High-A roster to start the 2022 season. Because he was a college senior signee when drafted, this High-A placement put Mervis almost 2 years older than his competition. He spent a month there dominating offensively and the parent org quickly challenged him with a promotion to age-appropriate Double-A. Mervis kept on mashing. In 53 games, he swatted 15 long balls while batting .301 with a .414 wOBA.

Halfway through the year, the Cubs rechallenged Mervis with a promotion, now to their Triple-A Iowa affiliate. And again, Matt was marvelous. His AAA numbers were even better than the lower levels, producing a .297/.383/.593 triple slash. He hit an additional 15 home runs in the final two months at the level to make it a combined 36 for the MiLB year. His dynasty and real-life perceived values were soaring.

So naturally, Cubs leadership decided to sign two other first basemen to slow down Mervis’s march to the MLB. While he won’t make an immediate impact now, this leaves the dynasty buying window open. For an impatient league mate, it may even drop the asking price in trades. Both dynasty-centric and real baseball outlets were initially discussing the Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini signings as ‘blocking’ Mervis.

The reality is neither players are a dominant offensive force and neither is the long-term answer for the Cubs. Heck, if the two perform well this year there is a solid possibility the Cubs could move them in trades. Chicago will likely keep Mervis in AAA to open ‘23, where he will work on his somewhat aggressive approach and his first base defense. This is the news and the opportunity for you to acquire Mervis, his dynasty value won’t be perceived this low again. 

The Author

Chris Knock

Chris Knock

Chris is a father of two kids and husband of one wife. His next loves are baseball and whatever seasonal beer you have on tap. He's played fantasy baseball for almost 20 years and is excited to share his relatively educated opinions!

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