Friday, January 31, 2014

Fantasy Focus: Second Base Rankings

Second base has been Robinson Cano and everybody else for the last few seasons.  That may be changing as he moves to a much less favorable hitting environment in Seattle.  It is a thin position where you don't have to worry about other owners stocking up on utility guys from the second base pool.  This means that if you are in a 10 team league, you can reliably count on your 10'th or at least 11'th ranked guy still being there at the end of your draft.  If that guy is gone, then most likely a higher ranked dude fell instead, so it's win-win, if you can live with the 10'th ranked guy, that is.  On with the list:

1.  Robinson Cano, Mariners:  81 R, 27 HR, 107 RBI, 7 SB, .314 BA, 681 PA.  I think you can pretty much count on these numbers being down significantly in Seattle, but he's still probably the best fantasy  second baseman, just not by as much of a margin.

2.  Jason Kipnis, Indians:  86 R, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 30 SB, .284 BA, 658 PA.  With Cano's power numbers almost sure to drop, a lot of fantasy owners might prefer the additional SB's that Kipnis gives you.

3.  Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox:  91 R, 9 HR, 84 RBI, 17 SB, .301 BA, 724 PA.  Pedroia definitely benefits from being in a good lineup, but who cares in fantasy?

4.  Matt Carpenter, Cards:  126 R, 11 HR, 78 RBI, 3 SB, .318 BA, 717 PA.  Talk about benefitting from your lineup!  Carpenter will likely move to 3B but retain 2B eligibility for fantasy purposes in 2014.   Can he repeat these numbers?

5.  Brandon Phillips, Reds:  80 R, 18 HR, 103 RBI, 5 SB, .261 BA, 666 PA.  Phillips isn't the 5 category threat he used to be, but the R, HR, RBI are still very nice.

6.  Ben Zobrist, Rays:  77 R, 12 HR, 71 RBI, 11 SB, .275 BA, 698 PA.  Zobrist will consistently give you moderately good numbers across the board.  There is a lot of value in that, but only if you don't have to pay too much.

7.  Daniel Murphy, Mets:  92 R, 13 HR, 78 RBI, 23 SB, .286 BA, 697 PA.  Wow!  I did not realize Murph stole 23 bases!  He put up better numbers across the board than Zobrist last year and can be had for a lot less.  Can he repeat it again this year?

8.  Jedd Gyorko, Padres:  62 R, 23 HR, 63 R, 1 SB, .249 BA, 614 PA.  Gyorko showed surprising power in his first full MLB season.  He should be on an upward swing of his career trajectory.

9.  Ian Kinsler, Tigers:  85 R, 13 HR, 72 RBI, 15 SB, .277 BA, 614 PA.  Kinsler is on the downside of his career and is moving to a much less friendly hitting environment.

10.  Chase Utley, Phillies:  73 R, 18 HR, 69, RBI, 8 SB, .284 BA, 531 PA.  Utley seemed to be healthier than in years in 2013, but how long will it last.  He's good when he plays.

11.  Jose Altuve, Astros:  64 R, 5 HR, 52 RBI, 35 SB, .283 BA, 672 PA.  How can a guy who hits .284 and steals 25 bases end up with only 64 Runs?  I am sure there will be someone in my league who overpays for the SB's, though.

12.  Neil Walker, Pirates:  62 R, 16 HR, 53 RBI, 1 SB, .251 BA, 551 PA.  Walker is always a guy I take a long look at and have even added a couple of times, but his production is ultimately disappointing and inadequate for a 10 team league.   Maybe in a 12 teamer?

13.  Howie Kendrick, Angels:  55 R, 13 SB, 54 RBI, 6 SB, .297 BA, 513 PA.  Is there a more empty BA in all of baseball?

14.  Dan Uggla, Braves:  60 R, 22 HR, 55 RBI, 2 SB, .179 BA, 537 PA.  I'm sure someone in my league will go for the dingers, but the BA absolutely kills you!

15.  Brian Dozier, Twins:  72 R, 18 HR, 66 R, 14 SB, .244 BA, 623 PA.  I had only vaguely heard of this guy before I researched this post, but those are close to Ian Kinsler numbers!  Can he do it again?

16.  Jurickson Profar, Rangers:  30 R, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 2 SB, .234 BA, 324 PA.  The Rangers traded Kinsler to make room for Profar as a fulltime 2B for 2014.  Do they see a breakout coming?  Hey, if you are not enamored by some of the names higher on this list, why not take a flyer?

17.  Anthony Rendon, Nationals:  40 R, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 1 SB, .265 BA, 394 PA.  Former first round pick who has had setbacks due to injuries.  He as blocked at 3B and 1B in Washington, but took over 2B last year when Espinosa's performance collapsed.  I picked Rendon up late last year and really liked what I got out of him.  He's a sneaky bottom of the barrel pick who could have a huge upside.

18.  Omar Infante, Royals:  54 R, 10 HR, 51 RBI, 5 SB, .318 BA, 476 PA.  Nice safe fallback pick.

19. Aaron Hill, D'Backs:  45 R, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 1 SB, .291 BA, 362 PA.  Those numbers would look a lot better with more PA's.  Nice pick for a bounce back.

There is nothing wrong with going for one of the top 4 here, but if you miss out on one of them, might as well wait it out and pick up the pieces at the bottom of the draft.  Rendon is my secret weapon here.  Profar has huge upside with a lot of risk.  I think Hill is a nice potential bounce back pick.


  1. I don't play fantasy baseball, but Jason Kipnis 8 days a week. Cano is yesterday. Kipnis is now and the future. Stud. Give him some real world MVP votes why you're at it. 63rd overall pick in 2009 out of HS. Why didn't the Giants get this guy? Kidding. But they did pick up Tommy Joseph 8 picks ahead.

    1. And Tommy Joseph helped them get Hunter Pence.

    2. Once again, if you do this kind of comparison with individual draft picks for ANY team, you will quickly become convinced that your team is terrible at drafting. You can't go around examining the bark on individual trees and expect to find out what the forest looks like! you can make a case that the Cardinals have done a better job of drafting than the Giants over the past 5-10 years and even that is a close call. The Giants track record for scouting, drafting, signing and developing homegrown prospects is as good as any team in baseball!

    3. Agreed with Dr. B here. It's pretty easy to hindsight any round in any draft for any team in baseball, Ryan. However, the Giants seem to understand some things that no or not many other teams do. That's why the Giants took a now 2-time CY Young winner after 9 other teams had a chance, and didn't. They scouted and signed and developed Brandon Belt from the 5th rd, and got a potential GG shortstop with an average to + bat in like the second our third round. They also got 1st round talent in Kyle Crick in the supp.

      So honestly, it's a crap shoot...except the Giants have been beating the house more often than not. Kinda hard to argue with the results at the ML level, too..

      PS - They also got Angel Pagan for Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres....I mean, seriously...