There may not be a fantasy baseball superstar at the second base position, but there are a few guys knocking at the door in that next tier. Using ADP data at NFBC, there is no second baseman, on average, going in the first two rounds of 15-team setups, or the first three rounds of 10-team setups. The second base position also includes one of my popular fantasy baseball busts for 2023, as well as a few guys I love as fantasy baseball breakout candidates. There are even some great potential fantasy baseball bounceback stories at second base this season. We’ll talk about the depth of this position and value targets later on. For now, let’s look at the top of the board and break down my top five second basemen for the 2023 fantasy baseball season. If you haven't already, check out Fantasy Alarm's FREE Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide to prepare for the season.


Top 5 Fantasy Baseball MLB Second Basemen

1) Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins

After posting 18 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 2021, Chisholm was a popular guy for fantasy baseball in 2022. However, his season started a bit rocky. Chisholm was buried at the bottom of the Marling lineup for whatever reason, was quite vocal about his frustrations, and was protected against left-handers. Once Miami committed to him, though, that was all she wrote – until a back injury ended his season early. In just 60 games, he hit 14 home runs and stole 12 bases (on 17 attempts) while improving his strikeout and walk rates – even if the improvements were minimal. His Statcast metrics were through the roof, highlighted by a 16.6% barrel rate, and his massive improvement against breaking pitches was a revelation for his 2022 season.

Per 162 games or 650 PA, Chisholm was on pace for 37 home runs, 105 runs scored, 121 RBI, and 32 stolen bases last season. For his career, his splits over 162 games or 650 PA are .243/.305/.449 with 26 home runs, 92 runs scored, 82 RBI, and 29 stolen bases. He’s going to maintain second base eligibility this season while adding outfield to the mix. While he needs to improve against southpaws and cut back on the strikeouts a bit more, the additions of high OBP guys like Luis Arraez and Jean Segura should improve the upper third of the Miami lineup. 

2) Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

Altuve is no longer the stolen base threat he once was, but last year’s 18 stolen bases were a pleasant surprise. However, seeing as he had just 13 stolen bases in the 318 games prior across the 2019-2021 season, expecting a repeat here seems foolish – even with the larger bases. Despite the expected regression in the stolen base department, he’s a guy that has transformed his offensive ideology. The increased hard contact and launch angles have sustained his power production over the years. The little 5-foot-6 Altuve has the third-most home runs and fourth-highest ISO among qualified second baseman over the last four seasons. It’s crazy! He’s in a good Astros lineup and has 28 or more home runs in each of the last three seasons (sans 2020). Even if we bake in a little regression, Altuve is a .280 hitter with 25+ home runs, 100+ runs scored, 10-12 stolen bases, and a .370+ OBP. If your league values OBP, in particular, Altuve is an excellent second baseman to target.

3) Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers

I’m lower on Semien than most, I’ll admit that. Regression in 2022 following his insane 2021 season was expected, as his power numbers, batting average, and OBP returned to more expected levels. However, his 25 stolen bases were a career-best, and his 33 stolen base attempts were outlandish. Overall, his quality of contact dropped, his 7.3 percent walk rate was his lowest since 2015, and if you like expected numbers, his xHR mark last year was 23.7.

If it weren’t for the stolen bases, it seems like we’d be a lot less excited about Semien in 2023. What if he doesn’t run as much in 2023? Texas led all of Major League Baseball in stolen base attempts per game, and they had a total of 169 stolen base attempts. In his younger years as a manager, Bochy-led teams ran a good bit, but as he’s gotten older, the stolen base attempts have dwindled. Semien relies on massive volume, 700+ PA in four of last five seasons, to accumulate his numbers, and while the larger bases may play up stolen bases, I don’t know if Semien will run as much with Bruce Bochy at the helm, and any reduction in his stolen base numbers will greatly diminish his fantasy value. Semien seems more of a 25/15 guy to me in 2023, compared to a guy who will renew his membership to the 25/25 club.

4) Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

We are just one year removed from Albies’ impressive 2021 season where he hit 30 home runs, stole 20 bases, scored 103 runs, and drove in 106. What he did that year was absolutely insane, and while he started the 2022 season a bit cold, things were coming around for Albies. In his last 60 plate appearances before he broke his foot, he posted a .464 SLG and .214 ISO. The injuries wrecked his season, and while I agree he wasn’t dominant prior to the injuries, he did still manage to post a 162-game pace of 20 home runs, 88 RBI, and seven stolen bases. The injuries last year have dropped his price a bit heading into drafts this season, making him an attractive target at second base. Health willing, he should be a member of the 20/15 club this season at least, and he’ll be more endearing to those in leagues that value batting average compared to OBP.

5) Andrés Giménez, Cleveland Guardians

I debated between Gimenez and St. Louis’ Tommy Edman, but ultimately, we’ll look to Gimenez to build upon a breakout 2022 season. Gimenez doesn’t turn 24 until September, and he’s coming off a season where he slashed .297/.371/.466 with 17 home runs, 66 runs scored, 69 RBI, and 20 stolen bases across 146 games. His batted ball metrics look solid, and the jumps in his launch angle, barrel rate, and hard hit rate are key numbers heading into the 2023 season. He made more contact than he did in 2021, which was a key piece of his 2022 breakout, and when his batting average regresses a bit this year, a few more walks can help keep his OBP at an above-average clip. The larger bases may add a few more stolen bases to his ledger, and he was dominant over the final 56 games of the season, hitting .302 with five home runs, 10 doubles, and 12 stolen bases. Cleveland has an improved lineup, and Gimenez shouldn’t spend over half of the season hitting in the bottom half of the lineup in 2023 as he did in 2022. While his batting average likely regresses a bit to the ..275-.280 mark, he has a fighter's chance to join the 20/20 club this season, while pushing 75-80 RBI.


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