Here's the deal: I'm not hating on any of these players. The three I discuss here are talented players, and I am not saying you should not draft them...I'm merely warning you not to draft them too early. There might be a rush for them, given the relative thinness of the position, but you can get similar production without burning a high pick.
Kipnis was a bona fide breakout star in 2013, and in that light, most experts have him ranked as the 2nd overall second baseman. I’m certainly not going to fight anyone on whether or not Kipnis is one of the best players at his position, because he definitely is. But should you draft him over anyone whose name doesn’t rhyme with Yobinson Yano?
Let’s take a look at the first two full seasons of Kipnis’ career. Between 2012 and 2013, Kipnis improved in literally every single offensive category except for stolen bases—he went from 31 to 30.
While I certainly think that Kipnis is going to be in the top 5 fantasy-wise come September, I don’t think he’s going to put up the staggering totals he produced last year. Last year was technically his sophomore season (I’m disregarding the 36 games he played in 2011, FYI), so you’d think he avoided the sophomore slump, right? Hahaha…WRONG. To have a sophomore slump, your rookie season has to be pretty great. Last year was Kipnis’ breakout, and I think this year we see his "sophomore slump", if you can call it that. Don’t avoid Kipnis, but don’t take him as a top 3 second baseman.
Profar is finally going to get a full season to prove if all the prospect-touting was merited. In his limited major league playing time (only 85 games last season), Profar struggled mightily, although it’s pretty tough to get into a groove when you never play more five consecutive games at the same position.
Unfortunately for Profar’s fantasy value, there is no room for him at the top of what might be the AL’s most potent lineup. He’s going to hit 8th or 9th, which means that his counting stats aren’t going to be at the height of their potential. Let’s not forget that he still hasn’t proven himself in the major leagues—he hit just .234 in the bigs last year.
Even if he does jump his average up to the .260’s, there’s no guarantee that the double-digit homers and 20+ steals are going to pan out. Profar is going as around the 13th second baseman off the board in most drafts, and while I recognize this isn’t a particularly deep position, you can wait a bit for him. I always preach proven talent over young phenoms, and Profar is a prime example of why. I warn you now: Do. Not. Draft. Jurickson. Profar. Too. Early.
Gyorko hit 23 home runs last year during his outstanding rookie campaign. Jedd Gyorko, a second baseman, hit 23 home runs last year. Jedd Gyorko, a second baseman who plays his home games at Petco Park, hit 23 home runs last year.
My point is he’s not going to do it again. I am going to stand by that until it happens, seriously. Need another reason why, besides what I already said? 15 of Gyorko’s homers came after August 1st last year, which means that 65% of the man’s major counting stat came during a hot streak.
I urge you to pay more attention to the fact that he’s going to strike out 120+ times and the subpar batting average. Gyorko also isn’t going to blind anybody with his speed, and the Padres offense isn’t exactly the best place to be for counting stats like RBI and runs scored.
Gyorko is riding last year’s numbers into this year’s draft, but don’t drink the Kool-Aid. If someone is going to take him early on, don’t fight them for him. He’s good, but he’s not a top 10 talent at his position...at least not yet anyway.
Agree? Disagree? I wanna know. Tweet me @Roto_Dubs, or leave a comment here.