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First base may be the ultimate fallback position for prospects, but second base has become something similar in recent years. And why not? Anyone with soft enough hands should be able to handle it, what with infield shifts and all. 

Oh, right. That particular crutch is going away. Second basemen will suddenly have more ground to cover, and it stands to reason, then, that the same quality of bats won't be able to hide out there anymore. The defensive threshold is higher, and so for some of the bat-first types depicted here, the path to the majors -- or at least a full-time role -- has narrowed a bit.

It doesn't mean they're not prospects, but it does mean they're the sort of prospects who you don't need to sell out for, with the exception of maybe No. 1 on the list. The rest all have the potential to get squeezed.

Take note that while you may see the Rays' Jonathan Aranda on some prospect lists, I hold to a stricter standard (45 days on the active roster) that excludes him from mine. He would probably rank seventh, offering a plus hit tool but with questions about his power, defense and ability to play every day, especially for a team like the Rays.

Note: This list is intended for a variety of Fantasy formats and thus weighs short-term role against long-term value. Not all of these players will contribute in 2023 — most, in fact, will not — but among prospects, they're the names Fantasy Baseballers most need to know.

1. Termarr Johnson, Pirates

Age (on opening day): 18
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, Low-A
Minor-league stats: .222 BA (63 AB), 1 HR, 6 SB, .731 OPS, 16 BB, 21 K

The scouting reports on Johnson coming out of high school were effusive in their praise, mainly for his hit tool, which must truly be something special if his small stature (5-feet-7) and cloudy defensive outlook are mere footnotes. Suffice it to say his floor is high, particularly in points leagues where his plate discipline should set him apart even if his power ends up being second-rate (and it may not).

2. Michael Busch, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 25
Where he played in 2022: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .274 BA (552 AB), 32 HR, .881 OPS, 74 BB, 167 K

Bush so thoroughly dismantled Double-A pitching early on that it looked like he might just cruise to the majors, but he struggled with strikeouts upon reaching Triple-A and needed a couple months to adjust. As good as the numbers are, with the home runs and walks in particular standing out, there may still be another gear here if the Dodgers can find the motivation to give him an honest chance.

3. Jace Jung, Tigers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2022: High-A
Minor-league stats: .232 BA (108 AB), 1 HR, 1 SB, .706 OPS, 25 BB, 28 K

The 12th pick in last year's draft (and little brother to the Rangers' Josh Jung) rates out well as a hitter, projecting for average and power with a good batting eye. Still, it seems to me like he's trying to catch up to what Busch already is, only with worse park and lineup in his future. Maybe he'll overtake Busch, but I'd like to see Jung prove himself at A-ball first.

4. Edouard Julien, Twins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2022: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .300 BA (400 AB), 17 HR, 19 SB, .931 OPS, 98 BB, 125 K  

Have we reached the point where on-base ability is undervalued again? Julien is on another level as far as that goes, reaching at a .441 clip this year, a .434 clip last year and a .563 clip in the Arizona Fall League, yet the scouting reports ding him for less important things like his high BABIP and lack of defensive home. I'm getting a Ben Zobrist vibe.

5. Connor Norby, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2022: High-A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .279 BA (477 AB), 29 HR, 16 SB, .886 OPS, 55 BB, 114 K

Though he was already a prospect of some note, Norby's stock skyrocketed over the final two months, when a new setup and timing mechanism helped propel him to a .338 batting average, 16 home runs and 1.062 OPS in just 49 games. He keeps the strikeouts under control and elevates well, but Camden Yards is no longer the best place for a right-handed power bat.

6. Nick Yorke, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2022: High-A
Minor-league stats: .232 BA (337 AB), 11 HR, 8 SB, .668 OPS, 33 BB, 94 K

His stock may be down, but I'm still in on Yorke. The Red Sox reached for him in the first round two years ago because they believed in his bat, and he responded by hitting .325 with a .928 OPS in his full-season debut. His struggles in 2022 can be blamed on a string of injuries and the mechanical quagmire that followed, but a big Arizona Fall League performance (.342/.424/.526) suggests he can get back on track.

7. Justin Foscue, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2022: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .288 BA (400 AB), 15 HR, 31 2B, .850 OPS, 45 BB, 66 K

I've been higher than the consensus on Foscue since the Rangers selected him 14th overall in 2020, but my confidence is shaken a bit, both because his power has played down with the new ball and because the Rangers blocked him with Marcus Semien last offseason. Foscue may already be making the necessary adjustments, though, having cut way down on his strikeouts to improve his batting average potential.

8. Nick Gonzales, Pirates

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, Low-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .264 BA (269 AB), 7 HR, 21 2B, .817 OPS, 44 BB, 93 K

Regarded as a hit-over-power guy when the Pirates selected him seventh overall in 2020, Gonzales made an adjustment for power that initially paid off but now is holding him back. If he can rejigger his swing for contact, particularly in this new era of deadened balls and banned shifts, he may still live up to the billing, but he's made himself into more of a project than he needed to be.

9. Enmanuel Valdez, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2022: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .296 BA (500 AB), 28 HR, .918 OPS, 64 BB, 124 K

I'll stick my neck out a little for Valdez, who has put up numbers befitting a top prospect even though no one regards him as such. Part of the reason is because his poor defensive outlook depends on him continuing to hit for power, which is all the more questionable considering he's 5-feet-9. Still, a lot of times these minor-league overachievers stick, so let's keep an open mind.

10. Lenyn Sosa, White Sox

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2022: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .315 BA (483 AB), 23 HR, .881 OPS, 39 BB, 83 K
Major-league stats: 4 for 35, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 BB, 12 K

Another player whose production exceeds his pedigree, Sosa was pressed into big-league duty a couple times this year, and it didn't go well. We won't judge him too harshly for that, but regardless, his future is probably in a utility role given that he's not much of an on-base threat and doesn't hit the ball hard enough to live up to his minor-league power production.