2023 Dynasty Baseball Rankings


Continuing with our highlights of the league’s top First Basemen, as judged by our collection of industry experts, below are the players ranked #11-30.

11. Kyle Manzardo, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 53)

I apologize fellow Gurus but I think we missed a huge opportunity here with the ranking of Mr. MANzardo outside of the top 10. I myself would entrench Manzardo firmly above Casas and (with what we saw last year) Torkelson. In three seasons he is batting a career .330/.427/.616 with an On-Base plus Slugging of 1.043. Eye-opening for sure especially with the 24 home runs in 367 at-bats and impending Triple-A stats to come in 2023. Crazy to say, because I love how they have been running their organization, but the Rays love to have their players move around the diamond and this is gonna be strictly a first baseman which may hurt him with playing time. Alas, that is one heck of a bat at first. (Brian Shanks)

12. Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 48)

Christian Walker was good last year, I mean really darn good. He averaged .242, got on base at .327, and slugged .477. He showed the pop with 36 home runs and almost eclipsed 100 RBIs with 94.   We have seen this from Walker before, in 2019 when he was starting to show this type of ability. The biggest culprit and the reason I wanna buy in now is he cut his strikeout percentage down to 22 while maintaining a solid average and not losing power. Do I give 2020-2021 Walker a pass? No. It’ll stay in the back of my mind, I’m petty that way. (Brian Shanks)

13. Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 34)

What to make of Rowdy Tellez. For one I think the move to Milwaukee was a good one for him if for nothing else than playing time. This shouldn’t come as a shock and this is a great example of a player completely forgetting any kind of batting average and 100 percent selling out for power. He has shown that he can maintain a decent average in 2020 hitting .283 and in 2021 hitting .242 but completely losing the power stroke with eight and eleven home runs respectively. Then selling out for power in 2019  for 21 bombs with a .227 average and last year, a .219 average and 35 bombs. Obviously, give me the latter but if he could uptick that average we have a top-10 first baseman. (Brian Shanks)

14. Ty France, Seattle Mariners (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 14)

Ty France is really starting to gain traction and becoming a really good baseball player. Seattle played this one correctly in letting him mature before giving him the full-time role at first but he is now solidly entrenched there. He has always shown a good average with a career .279 in 1447 at bats but the power numbers are really starting to show since he was given the full-time role in 2021. He has hit 18 and 20 home runs in the last 2 years and I think he has another level to unlock. Look for him to gain another five to seven home runs this year and you will have a first base fantasy stud. I love the strikeout percentage at only 15.3 last year and career 17.7. Interesting little stat he loves to get hit by pitches, In 2021 he lead the league with 27 and added another 21 last year. Fantasy relevant? Probably not. Certainly doesn’t hurt the OBP. (Brian Shanks)

15. Anthony Rizzo, New York Yankees (Age: 33, Rank: 16)

Really great career Anthony Rizzo has put up. Interesting to me that he has never led the league in any category (other than hit by pitches three times and plate appearances once) in his 12-year career. He has produced 39.2 wins above replacement which is nothing to turn your nose up to. Can he replicate the power numbers he put up in 2022 where he tied his career-best 32 home runs? I am skeptical especially with his average dipping to .224 last year. He can absolutely help your ball club but don’t be shocked when he is ten home runs off his pace come October. (Brian Shanks)

16. Jose Abreu, Houston Astros (Age: 36, Rank: 12)

The Astros are pretty darn good at extending players’ careers lately while keeping them statistically relevant. So when Jose Abreu signed with them that was the first thought that crossed my mind. He has been the definition of health averaging 632 at-bats throughout his career. He wasn’t bad in 2022 but the power numbers shrank to only 15 when he owns a 31 home run average in 9 years. 36 years old though has me questioning if he can replicate any of the years in his career. He can still hit the freaking ball, as other than the home runs he didn’t dip much last year. I could certainly be wrong on this but sorry everyone, if I have him on my team he is getting moved for as much value as I can get before it’s too late. Would love to be wrong and see him average .300 for four more years. (Brian Shanks)

17. Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 26, Rank: 10)

One of my go-get-em’s last year, Ryan Mountcastle didn’t have the 2022 that I was envisioning. 2021 saw Mountcastle’s slash line sit at .255/.309/.487 with 33 home runs and a .798 ops at only 25 years old. I was drooling and I couldn’t throw enough offers out to get him. None of those offers were accepted. 2022 didn’t pan out as we saw his numbers across the board dip down to .250/.305/.423 and 22 home runs. I don’t want these numbers to completely scare me away but they do make me take a step back and re-evaluate. With that strikeout percentage hovering above 25 percent, he needs to keep those power numbers up, and honestly, that’s what makes him intriguing. I plan on offering again for him but it won’t be quite as much as it once was.  (Brian Shanks)

18. C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies (Age: 33, Rank: 20)

Five teams for a player that has only been in the bigs for 9 years and has been solid since he debuted back in 2014. That’s got to mean something. I just have no clue what the answer is.  Ever since arriving in Colorado in 2021, he has been really good. 2021 was a banner year where his slash line was .281/.375/.530 and hit 28 salami’s. He followed that up last year with .257/.315/.468 and 29 homer runs. The main culprit for the dip was, of course, the strikeout percentage that jumped up to 26%. In that thin Colorado air this is still a good power add at first base and one I would be looking to add at a decent price. I have no reason to think he won’t eclipse 30 dingers next year. (Brian Shanks)

19. Josh Bell, Cleveland Guardians (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 18)

Every now and then I get a little taken aback by a stat or a random thing while looking into players. For Josh Bell it’s that he is still only 30 years old. That breaks my brain a little bit. Just seems like he has been around forever. Mr. Bell is a good first baseman, this I know, but he is really inconsistent and 2022 was no different. His slash line, while he was with the Nationals, was a clean .301/.384/.493 and 14 home runs added in 375 at-bats. He then gets traded to the Padres and in 177 at-bats he hits .192/.316/.271. No, that slugging percentage is not a miss print. When Josh Bell is on he is a top-10 first baseman, and when he is not, he is not. HA! If you have the crystal ball for 2023 and you can tell me he will help lead the Cleveland Guardians to another playoff appearance please let me know.  (Brian Shanks)

20. Josh Naylor, Cleveland Guardians (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 150 at Outfield)

Nice way to piggyback on the previous player Guru’s. If Josh Bell falters at first he will have a heck of a backup. Josh Naylor will see some time at first and keep his eligibility but he primarily will play in the outfield. 2021 should have been the year that Naylor was gonna start to break out but he had an unfortunate nasty injury when he ran into 2nd baseman Ernie Clement and was diagnosed with a fracture and dislocation of his ankle. 2022 was a nice year for Naylor coming back from said injury to the tune of .256/.319/.452 adding 20 home runs. Honestly, he just needs to get more bats to show what he can do.  With the off year in 2020 and the injury has really slowed his progression but I think 2023 could be the year that he jumps off the page. One big concern could be playing time but he has the talent to stay in the starting lineup most days and he will prove it. I wanna hammer this home though he will not be an everyday first baseman so beware. (Brian Shanks)

21. Tyler Soderstrom, Oakland Athletics (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 10 at Catcher)

Soderstrom is slowly transitioning from catching to playing first base. His defense was improving behind the plate, but the A’s think they already have their major league backstop in Shea Langeliers. Soderstrom’s power tool is graded as plus and his hit tool is good enough that he can be a four-category player at the highest level. He put up a .267/324/.501 slash while slugging 29 home runs over three stops this season. His plate discipline could use a little refining before he makes his big league debut; he posted a 7.3% walk rate with a 26.6% strikeout rate in 2022. He was also going the wrong way with his ground ball rate as the season progressed, a couple of things to monitor. Soderstrom’s debut should be sometime in 2023, he may still play a little catcher going forward, but his future home is at first. (Greg Hoogkamp)

22. Matt Mervis, Chicago Cubs (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

Matt Mervis has been one of the most talked about names this off-season, and truth be told, he’s earned the recognition. Mervis had one of the best seasons in the minors in 2022. He slashed .309/.379/.984 with 36 homers while maintaining an 8.9% walk rate and 19% strikeout rate. Even more impressive, he improved his walk rate while decreasing his strikeout rate at each of the three levels he played in. Mervis is a very cerebral hitter who knows his weaknesses and how pitchers are trying to attack him. He has already made adjustments to combat some of these tactics. Mervis was picked by many to be the Cubs starting first baseman this season, but with the additions of Hosmer and Mancini, he will most likely begin the year in the minors. With a hot start, however, he might just force his way into the Cub’s plans. (Greg Hoogkamp)

23. Seth Brown, Oakland Athletics (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 199 at Outfield)

Brown is a very underrated, lesser-known hitter, who was helpful to fantasy owners last season. He quietly slugged over 20 home runs for the second consecutive season and did so while improving his walk rate (7.5%-9.2%), strikeout rate (29.0%-26.3%), and zone contact (82.0%-85.8%). Brown should also be a big beneficiary of the shift ban as he was shifted 88.6% of the time and had a nearly 80-point improvement in his wOBA without the shift. Brown can also play the outfield, if necessary, so the impending arrival of Tyler Soderstrom doesn’t hurt him as much as it could. Brown will most likely be part of a platoon (he played very little vs lefties in 2022) which will limit his counting stats, but he can still help your fantasy team with his power.  (Greg Hoogkamp)

24. Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 13)

Walsh had a tough season in 2022. The 2021 All-Star started off relatively well (.765 OPS from April 7th to June 30th), but once July rolled around, he began to regress in a big way (.420 OPS from July 1st-August 24th with a 33% K rate). He had his season cut short by injury and had Thoracic Outlet surgery in late August to help correct the issues he was having. If this was the main cause of his struggles, we should expect to see a closer resemblance to his 2021 season where he slugged 29 home runs with an 11.3% barrel rate. The Angels added a lot of depth over the off-season which will help if they need to ease Walsh back into the lineup. Monitor his spring closely, if he looks more like 2021 Walsh, he may be a possible buy-low candidate in dynasty.  (Greg Hoogkamp)

25. Jonathan Aranda, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

The Tampa Bay Rays keep churning out talent and Jonathan Aranda is another player who should help contribute to their big league success. The left-handed swinging Aranda is a bat-first infielder who has a great approach (9.2% walk rate, 84.6% zone contact rate, and a 24.6% chase rate) and makes solid contact (45.5% hard-hit rate in his brief debut). He doesn’t have a lot of speed, so at peak, he will be a four-category player, but he should be solid in all four. He also isn’t an elite defender, so he may find himself moving around and even DHing some of the time, but the bat will play.  (Greg Hoogkamp)

26. Trey Mancini, Chicago Cubs (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 19)

Mancini signed with the Cubs in January and will look to get his career back on track after a difficult 2022. No doubt, he will take the World Series ring, but after he was traded to Houston from Baltimore, he struggled mightily and was relegated to a bench role. The source of his struggles was his batted ball metrics dropping off (barrel rate dropped from 10.4%-9.8% and hard hit rate from 42.0%-40.4%). Was there an injury involved? Mancini is on the wrong side of 30 at this point, but his plate discipline skills have remained steady which gives hope that a bounceback is still in the cards. The Cubs are taking a flier hoping that this is the case. Matt Mervis is waiting in the wings for his opportunity and it could come sooner than later if Mancini struggles. (Greg Hoogkamp)

27. Joey Meneses, Washington Nationals (Age: 30 Previous Rank: NR)

Meneses was a wonderful story last season; the late bloomer debuted at the age of 30 and was one of the best hitters in the majors over the last two months of the season. He debuted after Josh Bell was traded and slashed .324/.367/.563 with 13 home runs in just 240 plate appearances. A look under the hood showed a strong barrel rate (9.9%) and decent plate skills (83.5% zone contact rate, 6.3% walk rate, and 21.7% strikeout rate). There is no doubt that regression will take place for Meneses in 2023 (no one can maintain a .371 BABIP or 25.5% HR/FB rate). However, Meneses does enough good things that it’s likely he can continue to have success for Washington going forward. He will certainly be given the opportunity to play; a .270 batting average with 25 HR is a reasonable expectation. (Greg Hoogkamp)

28. Nick Pratto, Kansas City Royals (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 22)

Pratto is your prototypical first baseman, he’s big and strong and can hit the ball a country mile. He showed this in his cup of coffee with the Royals late in the season by slugging seven long balls in just 182 plate appearances. With the power, however, comes a lot of swing and miss. Pratto struck out at a 36.3% clip during his debut and this followed his minor league track record where his K rate hovered between 28% and 34%. It’s not so much that he chases pitches out of the zone, his 26.3% chase rate is actually very good, but he whiffs on pitches in the zone which is a difficult trend to reverse. It doesn’t help that the Royals have another young slugging first baseman who has incredible plate discipline in Vinnie Pasquantino. Pratto looks to be a plus-power, below-average-hitting first baseman. (Greg Hoogkamp)

29. Tyler Locklear, Seattle Mariners (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Locklear was a second round selection by the Mariners out of VCU in 2022. He made his professional debut late in the year and did not look overmatched in Low-A Modesto where he hit .282/.353/.504 with seven home runs in 133 plate appearances. He hits the ball with authority (40.9% hard-hit rate) all over the field. Scouts grade the corner infielder to be above average to plus with his hit tool, raw power, and game power. If he can perform like he is capable, he should move quickly. (Greg Hoogkamp)

30. Blaze Jordan, Boston Red Sox (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 60)

We’ve known about Blaze Jordan for a long time; in 2016, as a 13-year-old, he hit a 500-foot home run in a home run derby at Globe Life Park (if you haven’t seen it you need to watch it on YouTube). In 2020 he was drafted by the Red Sox in the 3rd round and made his pro debut in 2021. Jordan has worked very hard to become a solid all-around hitter and it’s paid off. In 2022, he hit .289/.363/.445 with 12 home runs and 30 doubles in Low-A/Hi-A combined. He struck out just 18% of the time with zone contact rates in the mid-’80s. We all know the power is there and if he can maintain the hit tool improvements as he gets into more power, he could be a very special player for the Red Sox. (Greg Hoogkamp)

The Author

Brian Shanks

Brian Shanks

Just a normal everyday dewd trying to compile as much information I can get. If I pass along one piece of information you didn't know about than I have done my daily duty.

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