Fantasy Baseball: Second Base Rankings – Points

Altuve

So far I have given you my catcher and first base rankings, which have been really underwhelming. And frankly, second base isn’t much more exciting. The advantage it does have is there isn’t a massive drop off until we have been through four tiers. Even then the next seven names will be popular to some people in your league and will be drafted higher than I have them here, adding further depth to the position.

As with the last two positions we have a clear number one followed by a couple of elite options, but the difference to first base is that a round or two will pass before you clear that second tier after Jose Altuve goes off the board. 1 to 13 this is among the more solid of the infield positions, so in 12-team leagues everyone has a shot at a solid starter at the very least. Even as low as 26 there is still a case to be made for players to be drafted depending on how you see their potential upside.

This year my hitter rankings and tiers will be based off my own projections, which I have produced this year and they are the only projections I will be using during my drafts (I also use ADP for the site I am drafting on to help make decisions).

Each position will not only be ranked, but will be split into tiers as if I was drafting tomorrow. If you haven’t used tiers before it is a very helpful way of looking at how talent pools at that position and whether it is worth drafting a player right at the spot you are considering him. My general rule of thumb is I don’t want to take the first guy from a tier if I can avoid it (Unless there is only one guy in said tier!).

C

1B

2B 3B SS OF SP

RP

 

The Untouchable

  1. Jose Altuve, HOU

I debated a three man top tier but I have Altuve projected to finish nearly 60 points better than either Gordon or Cano (That is the same difference as between Gordon and Kipnis). Per plate appearance I don’t think he has a massive advantage but I think he has 30 more plate appearances than either in a better team and therefore there is at least a rounds difference between them.

The Elite

  1. Dee Gordon, MIA
  2. Robinson Cano, SEA

These two are almost polar opposites, one offers speed and the other power. Cano will drive in more runs but Gordon will score more. In a points league it doesn’t matter how the points come as long as they accumulate and I think both of these two put up a solid points total on the season at a position that gets weird quick.

The Solid Group

  1. Brian Dozier, MIN
  2. Ian Kinsler, DET
  3. Jason Kipnis, CLE
  4. Anthony Rendon, WSH
  5. Joe Panik, SF
  6. Ben Zobrist, ChC
  7. Daniel Murphy, WSH

This group just feels safe to me even if they have each had some wobbles in the last few years. Dozier has a great power speed combination but he swings a misses too much to really challenge the tier above. Kinsler has the speed to steal 15-20 bases but the power has declined enough to keep him from being considered earlier. Kipnis has 20-30 steal speed but there are too many strikeouts for not much power for him to be any higher. Rendon has the potential to be better than Gordon or Cano but he stumbled with injury last year. He doesn’t have the speed of Kinsler but he has the power upside to get close to Dozier. Panik doesn’t offer anything special in power or speed but offers solid batting average with a low strike out total. Zobrist offers more power but I fear his age could catch up to him and limit his playing time just enough to stop me putting him higher than the back end of this tier. Murphy is going to bat second in what should be a really good line-up in Washington and that should allow him to put up decent runs and RBI totals to go with solid consistent hitting.

The Safe Starters

Can Pedroia hold off Old Father Time and perform well for fantasy owners again?

Can Pedroia hold off Old Father Time and perform well for fantasy owners again?

  1. Neil Walker, NYM
  2. Josh Harrison, PIT
  3. Brandon Philips, CIN
  4. Dustin Pedroia, BOS

This is another nice safe group but they don’t have quite the upside as the group above. Walker’s move to New York won’t have a drastic effect on his batting so he is fairly easy to project forward. No speed, moderate power and above average strikeouts. Harrison is a really useful player but more so in real than in fantasy. He has decent speed but limited power and is just a fraction too inconsistent to be in the tier above. My over-riding concern with Philips is that he may get moved at some point to make room for Peraza coming up. Leaving Cincy would dent Philips value as you would expect to see a slight decrease in his mid-range power. Pedroia is no longer the 20/20 threat he once was and is closer to a 10/10 threat now but he doesn’t strike out much so is still a safe option.

The Question Marks

  1. J. LeMahieu, COL
  2. Rougned Odor, TEX
  3. Kolten Wong, StL
  4. Enrique Hernandez, LAD
  5. Logan Forsythe, TB
  6. Starlin Castro, ChC

People will be really shocked to see a few names in this group and I don’t think I will own the three main names here in any leagues because someone will always be higher on them than me. LeMahieu is someone I debated putting a tier higher because he hits in Colorado but in two full seasons there he only has 11 home runs. If he can find some extra power to go with 20 steal potential then he could be a steal at this price. Odor is someone I see going much higher than this but the first stint last season did happen and scares me a lot. Also there is this guy called Jurickson Profar who is probably the more naturally talented of the two. Wong is another name people will snort at seeing here but he has been inconsistent and the Cardinals added Jedd Gyorko who could platoon with Wong. The potential is there for him to go either way and I don’t like him enough to risk it.

Hernandez had a strong half a season last year hitting seven homers in just 200 AB’s. Batting atop the Dodgers order he should get plenty of opportunities to score and put up points. Forsythe is going to get to bat in the middle of this Rays order so he should have plenty of opportunities to impress and put up points. Castro has had some down years since bursting onto the fantasy season but the move to New York may be just what he needs to find his mojo. He is currently slated to bat at 9th for the Yankees which is a concern but he has speed and power potential that could pay off. Coming off his post-season heroics Murphy is the overdraft candidate of the year and is someone I am not touching even with his move to the Nationals.

The Intrigue Group

  1. Cesar Hernandez, PHI
  2. Cory Spangenberg, SD
  3. Brett Lawrie, OAK
A full time role could lead to fantasy success for Spangenberg

A full time role could lead to fantasy success for Spangenberg

This group has a weird attraction to me. They will cost nothing and all have intriguing upside in deeper leagues but they have a lot of question marks that hold them back. Hernandez has speed to burn but the strikeouts are high for the power he offers. He should be a lock to stick in the line-up but could get moved around the batting line-up plenty. Spangenberg has 5-10 homer power with 15-20 steal speed but he has yet to show he can lock down a consistent place in the team and is slated to be in a platoon right now. Lawrie has sparked and crashed and sparked and crashed so many times now that I just struggle to believe. A move to the White Sox is an improvement over Oakland and he is still relatively young so there is room to develop. 15ish homer power but you would be lucky to get 10 steals and there is a relatively high strikeout rate that comes with him. A breakout candidate for me but only in deeper leagues.

I Love A Gamble

  1. Jurickson Profar, TEX

The title says it all. Profar is a really talented player but the injuries have derailed his career. If he starts the season strong and Profar struggles then he could force himself in and the talent could shine through. Lots of ifs here but the talent is worth keeping an eye on. You cannot draft him unless you are playing in super deep formats but he could be a handy in season pick-up.

Upside Plays

  1. Addison Russell, ChC
  2. Devon Travis, TOR
  3. Javier Baez, ChC

Both Russell and Travis are likely to start the season batting low in the line-up and neither has shown the major league upside of Castro. They have a lot of upside but I think the situation makes them a tough buy in most points leagues. Baez is another tough buy in points league with a ton of upside. He strikes out an insane amount but the power is immense and he has some decent speed as well. If he can cut down on the strikeouts he has a shot to be an everyday player in the best line-up in baseball. This is a long shot but Baez has major upside.

Really Desperate

  1. Chris Owings, ARI
  2. Brock Holt, BOS
  3. Jace Peterson, ATL

I like Owings as a player but he is a better fielder than a hitter, Holt will play as a utility guy but the consistency of AB’s won’t be there. I am so close to done with Miller’s inconsistency and I don’t see batting in a platoon in Tampa as the way he becomes fantasy relevant, Peterson will play but that’s about all you can say and he is stuck in a TERRIBLE line-up.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Chris

    January 7, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Johnathan Schoop?

  2. David A

    January 7, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Seems kinda crazy that Schoop isn’t listed anywhere. He hit 15 HR in 305 ABs…

  3. Ben

    January 7, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    No Jonathon Schoop on the list at all? In a points league, with his power potential, I am surprised that he is not on the list at all.

  4. Ben Rolfe

    January 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I actually looked into Schoop further whilst I was writing the article as I was surprised he didn’t rank top 30 for me but looking into it more I don’t think this format maximises his value. (A lot of strikeouts and barely any walks relative to other lower end options, he also doesn’t steal much) There are still concerns over the number of PA’s. You could make a case he should be above Owings and in the Baez, Russell group but I can’t see him being any higher.

    I will be publishing updated rankings closer to the season so I will be sure to look at him again (I currently have him for 120ish games).

    Cheers for the comments guys!

  5. David A

    January 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Oversight maybe? Feel like he should at least be slotted in the intrigue group.

    • Ben Rolfe

      January 8, 2016 at 11:05 am

      If I had him projected for 140 games that is exactly where he would be but currently I have him for 120 which has him pretty much spot on 20 homers. Its the 125 projected strikeouts (average of around 0.240) which depresses his value in this format for me.

  6. Josh P

    January 8, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Spangenberg isn’t part of a platoon anymore since the Gyorko trade. 2nd base is all his now.

  7. Ben Rolfe

    January 8, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Roster Resource currently have him platooned with Jose Pirela but I really hope he earns the job full time this spring

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