Roto 2B Rankings – Fantasy Baseball

Altuve

Maybe it is just new season optimism but the 2B rankings have offered me another chance to get excited about the depth of a position and it may even be deeper than first base! Whilst there are only 13 absolute starters there are perhaps another 13 options who are fine and acceptable at the middle infield spot. Some of the depth will go if Murphy, Carpenter, Turner and Segura are drafted to play other positions but even so there is a tier of veterans who will make more than adequate low end starters.

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C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF| SP | RP

The Monster

  1. Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU

Last year Altuve cemented his spot as the man to catch at the second base position and he is now a potential top 5 or 6 draft pick overall.  He may not hit as many home runs or steal as many bases as the guys below him but he combines 15ish bombs with 35ish steals with a really solid average to make him an all-around fantasy stud.

The Elite

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

Cano may not be the at the same level he was in his prime with the Yankees but any player at the middle infield who can combine 20+ home runs with a close to 0.300 average is always going to rank well. Gordon had somewhat of a lost 2016 due to his suspension but with the prospect of a full 2017 he is right back to being a top 3 second base option. He has the ability to steal 60+ bases and he combines that with a really nice average batting atop a solid if not spectacular line-up which should see him get close to 100 runs scored.

The Multi-Position tier

  1. Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B, WSH
  2. Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B/3B, STL
  3. Trea Turner, 2B/OF, WSH

Murphy backed up a solid 2015 post-season with a quality first year in Washington. He has 15-20 home run power backed by a 0.300 average in what will be a decent line-up and then you can add multi-positional eligibility which is always a bonus. Carpenter is the lynch pin in St. Louis and if they are to have a good year he will need to lead from the front. 20ish home run power at a 0.270 average is what we can expect. If Turner performs how to the upside of my projections we are talking about a kid who could be pushing to reach that Altuve tier. He has decent power, awesome speed and his average at around 0.280 is good if not spectacular but we will have to see how he does as a young player still finding his way in the majors.

The Safe Starters Tier

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B, DET
  2. DJ LeMahieu, 2B, COL
  3. Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX
  4. Brian Dozier, 2B, MIN
  5. Jason Kipnis, 2B, CLE
  6. Jean Segura, 2B/SS, SEA
  7. Devon Travis, 2B, TOR

Kinsler tops this tier because of his consistency and is position a top a good Detroit batting order. However, I am not expecting another 28 home run year and I think 18-22 with 10-15 steals is a more realistic projection but at a 0.280-0.290 batting average those numbers won’t disappoint. LeMahieu has alternated his steals in odd and even year so the pattern suggests we are on for 18-25 this season but frankly as long as he keeps that average over 0.300 (he isn’t repeating 2016’s 0.348) then anything around 10 bombs and 10-15 steals makes him a solid second base option. Odor broke out in a big way last year and whilst I’m not going to project him to repeat that I think he can be a 20-25 home run, 10ish steal and 0.265ish average guy who hits in a really nice line-up. Dozier is perhaps the biggest power/speed combo threat at the position outside of Altuve but the fact he could put up a 0.240 average is what keeps him down here in the rankings (for the record I am projecting 0.250). Kipnis returned to form last year in a big way with 23 home runs following two single digit years. I struggle to see him hitting 20+ again as he had never done it before 2016 but I think 15ish with a matching 15ish steals at a hopefully 0.270ish average will see him a safe starter you can just draft and leave alone. I have just enough doubt about how much Seattle will let Segura run that he slips to the back end of this tier. Moving from hitter friendly Arizona to pitcher friendly Seattle means we have no chance of seeing him repeat his 20-home run season with something closer to 10 more likely. Travis had a decent season in a 100-game year in 2016 and if he can stay healthy he has the ability to really push on and be an everyday guy at the position. He has flashed 15-20 home run power and he can chip in 5-10 steals all while hitting at around 0.300. If we get 150+ games from him then we are looking at a guy who could be ranked close to the top 5 next year.

Schoop

The Dinger Excitement Tier

  1. Jonathan Schoop, 2B, BAL
  2. Neil Walker, 2B, NYM

This ranking is all about upside. Schoop hit 25 home runs last year at a respectable average and if he can repeat that in 2017 then he is going to a valuable middle-infield commodity providing far more power than you’ll get in the following tiers. Walker doesn’t offer the 25+ upside of Schoop but a guy whose power floor is 15 homers with a 23 ceiling is someone worth drafting. Last year Walker also packaged his power with a 0.280 average but I think that slips a little this year into the 0.270 region.

The Could This Position Be Any Deeper Tier

  1. Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, ChC
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS
  3. Brandon Philips, 2B, CIN

Power wise Zobrist bounced back to his prime nicely in his first season in Chicago but the added value from the steals seems to have gone leaving him as a 15/5 guy who hits 0.270ish which just isn’t enough to be an everyday guy at second base but at a MI position that is more than useful. Pedroia flashed the old Dustin last year with a 15-homer season at a 0.318 average. If we can get 10-15 homers this season at a 0.290-0.300 average then I will be more than happy to have him as my everyday middle infielder hitting in front of a good Red Sox line-up. Philips is not the power/speed threat he once was but he can still package 10/10 with a 0.290ish average and we would all take that at middle infield.

The Power Risk Tier

  1. Javier Baez, 2B/3B/SS, CHC
  2. Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B/SS, STL

This is the frustration tier. If I was convinced Baez and Gyorko were playing 130+ games they would be up with Schoop for their 20+ home run power but right now I can’t be sure Baez will get out of his super utility bench role or that Gyorko will get the full time role he is currently projected for.

The Why I Am Not Worried Tier

  1. Josh Harrison, 2B, PIT
  2. Logan Forsythe, 2B, TB
  3. Starlin Castro, 2B, NYY
  4. Howie Kendrick, 2B/OF, PHI
  5. Brett Lawrie, 2B, CWS
  6. Cesar Hernandez, 2B, PHI

The reason second base doesn’t worry me is because this tier is a group of names you can survive with easily at your middle infield spot without having to panic. When a position is 26 guys deep of usable talent, with a couple of extra perhaps in the mix if playing time works out, then you know it isn’t a position you need to panic draft if there is a run on them. Harrison is solid but nothing more after showing the last two years that 2014 was the outlier. Forsythe, Castro and Lawrie offer the power in this tier with Castro the one with the least power but the best average projected. Forsythe gets the bump over Lawrie because he is projected atop a good Dodgers line-up who should generate opportunities for him. Kendrick and Hernandez offer a little speed at the back-end of the position but Kendrick’s projected 25 point higher average make him the more desirable guy.

The Playing Time Issues

  1. Kolten Wong, 2B, STLL
  2. Joe Panik, 2B, SF
  3. Ryan Schimpf, 2B, SD
  4. Cory Spangenberg, 2B, SD

All four guys here could bump up a few spots if they fall into full time jobs. Schimpf and Spangenberg are going to take time away from each other whilst Wong is in a crowded middle infield situation in St. Louis. Panik has lost the everyday job in San Fran but a good start to the season could see him earn that back.

2 Comments

  1. BradP

    February 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I’m confused with your very low rating of Joe Panic and your even more confusing comment that he’s lost his everyday job at 2B. Just who do you expect to be starting at 2B for the Giants??

    • Ben Rolfe

      February 12, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Roster resource have him in a platoon. I believe it will be with Jae-gyun Hwang. Obviously if that changes I will adjust my ranks but right now playing 100-110 games is not enough to be a fantasy relevant guy really

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