The Strikeout: 2023 fantasy baseball second base and shortstop preview

What second basemen are reliable this year? And in a deep shortstop position, which late-round pick should you target?

Trea Turner runs during a Phillies Spring Practice game. He is wearing white pants and a red jersey and red helmet.

“The Strikeout” is a column by Diego Ynzunza dedicated to all things fantasy baseball.

Welcome to Week 4 of “The Strikeout.” This week, I’ll be previewing second base and shortstop for 2023.

When it comes to second base, I see Altuve as being the surefire first choice. He went back to stealing bases last year, and although his sprint speed has decreased in the past couple of years, I still see him being a monster in the other four categories. Especially with the bigger bases this year, I could see him stealing over 12 bases. I’m a little wary of Jazz Chisholm, as his low batting average and high strikeout rate will come with some up-and-down stretches. At his NFC ADP of 43, I would much rather wait for Andres Gimenez and Tommy Edman 30-40 picks later.

  1. José Altuve
  2. Marcus Semien
  3. Jazz Chisholm
  4. Ozzie Albies
  5. Andrés Giménez
  6. Jorge Polanco
  7. Tommy Edman
  8. Ketel Marte
  9. Luiz Arráez
  10. Jonathan India

While I don’t think this player will break out, I see Kolten Wong as an excellent late-round pick that can provide steady production. Wong has been a solid player for years. With the Cardinals and Brewers, he’s provided steady production and decent stolen base numbers. While his sprint speed was the lowest of his career last year, he still managed to steal 17 bases. With the new rule change, as well as his historical propensity to run, I see him as a surefire lock for 12 steals with the potential for 20 or more. He also hit a career-high 15 homers last year, which makes sense as his launch angle was the highest of his career. It looks like he’s making a concerted effort to elevate the ball. That approach will be needed in his new home park in Seattle, which, according to Baseball Savant, suppresses homers the most of any ballpark in baseball. Even if he’s only giving you 10-to-12 homers, he will bat in one of the more talented lineups in baseball, with ample opportunities for counting stats. At his NFC ADP of 270 over the past two weeks, I see him as someone I’m targeting in drafts this week and next.

Shortstop is deep, as it has been the past few years. Turner is the consensus No. 1 choice, as he’s become arguably the most reliable player for speed and has developed into quite the power hitter. He will bat lead-off for one of the best lineups in baseball, and I would debate taking him or José Ramírez with the first pick. Tatis is also an interesting case, as he’s projected to be the top shortstop from THE BAT X. He’s only projected to play in 115 games because of his suspension, and I’m wary of his ability to perform at a high level again. I’d rather wait until next year and pay the full price rather than take him at his discounted price of the late first or early second round when I can get full production from someone else, such as Freddie Freeman, Corbin Burnes or Gerrit Cole.

  1. Trea Turner
  2. Corey Seager
  3. Fernando Tatis Jr.
  4. Bo Bichette
  5. Bobby Witt Jr.
  6. Tim Anderson
  7. Francisco Lindor
  8. Xander Bogaerts
  9. Wander Franco
  10. Carlos Correa

I want to dive into CJ Abrams, who has an ADP of 250 in the NFC over the past two weeks. Abrams is a former top prospect for the Padres, who was traded to the Nationals in the Juan Soto deal. Abrams is a shoo-in to be the Nats starting shortstop and should be able to amass upwards of 500 at-bats. Because the Nats severely lack talent, Abrams will have difficulty piling up counting stats. However, he could be a great late pickup for steals. He was in the top 9% in MLB last year in sprint speed. His speed is his best weapon, as told by THE BAT X, who has him projected for 20 steals. He’s never going to be above average in power, but his hit tool was always projected to be better than he showed last year during the season. I could see him batting over .265 with 16 steals and 10 home runs. The steals alone make him worth the shot at his ADP, with his prospect pedigree offering some upside down the line. With a more solidified starting role, he’s someone I could see returning decent value at a very low cost.

Seeing as Opening Day is Thursday, “The Strikeout” will now shift to a column focused on waiver-wire pickups, streamer discussions, as well as general updates on how various players are doing. I encourage you to tune in sometime this weekend to see your favorite teams and players in action! This is a long time coming for a fantasy baseball nerd like me, who has been preparing for drafts since the last out of the World Series in 2022.

“The Strikeout” runs every Monday.