As much as we all want to draft the next huge fantasy baseball star, a lot of the time, a successful team is defined by how secure each player's floor is — by how safe their production is. Here's 2023's All-Safe fantasy baseball team!
C: JT Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies, Yahoo ADP 44.6
I recognize that calling the top-ranked player at his position "safe" isn't groundbreaking news, but we're talking about arguably the least safe position in fantasy in terms of production. Realmuto was a cheat code last year, delivering league-winning numbers from a horrid position.
1B: Pete Alonso, New York Mets, 18.6 ADP
Alonso gives you power, run production and run-scoring, and he's also not a batting average drain; he hit .271 last year, with a .261 career average. That's an excellent floor for a slugger who hits in the heart of a potent lineup.
2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros, 31.8 ADP
EDITOR'S NOTE: After this story was published, Jose Altuve fractured his thumb during the World Baseball Classic and will require surgery. He's expected to miss two months of the season.
Altuve fits the Realmuto mold: An obviously safe pick at a position that, in 2023, has some questions. But Altuve isn't a top-ranked option due to some huge untapped upside or youth. He's up there because you know exactly what you're going to get: a top spot in the Astros ferocious lineup and five-category potential. Thirty-two years old isn't exactly a hold-your-nose age, either.
3B: José Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians, 4.3 ADP
Sensing a pattern? Ramirez is another player who fits the fantasy archetype of being top-ranked due to his safety in an unsafe position. It also helps that he's one of the best pure hitters in MLB.
SS: Francisco Lindor, New York Mets, 33.9 ADP
With him still just 29 years old, there's a chance we haven't seen Lindor's best season with the Mets yet. Regardless, we're not here for what could be; we're here for what is. And Lindor is an easy .270 with 20-20 potential and some 100-100 thrown in there for good measure. I'll take that.
OF: Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers, 8.4 ADP
A beacon of safety in the first round of drafts the past few seasons, only injury can derail Betts' floor (fingers crossed I didn't just jinx him). He's a quality source of five-category production, and he just so happens to bat leadoff for arguably the best team in baseball.
SP: Julio Urías, Los Angeles Dodgers, 43.9 ADP
Urías is still just 26, yet has 37 wins his past two seasons. In case you missed it, it helps to be a Dodger. But we've known for what seems like eternity that Urías is good; he's just finally putting it all together in the prime of his career. He likely won't give you a 2.16 ERA and 0.96 WHIP again in 2023, but what's to stop him from, say, 3.10 and 1.05, respectively? Elite floor numbers from a guy who hasn't reached his peak yet.
RP: Edwin Díaz, New York Mets, 29.3 ADP
Editor's note: A few days after this column's publishing date, Edwin Diaz tore his patellar tendon at the end of Puerto Rico's victory over the Dominican Republic. He will undergo surgery and is expected to miss the 2023 MLB season.
Díaz is one of the last men standing of the old guard — true workhorse closers who not only own the ninth inning but also excel in it. Just look at his past few seasons with the Mariners and Mets. Last year was particularly a dominant one for "Sugar," as he posted 118 strikeouts in less than 65 innings while maintaining a stunning 1.31 ERA. He's a skeleton key at his position; draft Diaz and you likely won't have to address reliever again for five or more rounds.