Undervalued Second Baseman for Fantasy Baseball Drafts
You're getting ready for your season, so I'm sure you've read the rankings from your favorite analysts. I'm here to tell you why they're wrong in some cases-- here, it's regarding undervalued second basemen. Let's get to it, shall we?
Murphy busted out somewhat in 2013, and yet he’s still being slept on a bit this year. He’s ranked somewhere in the 11-15 range as far as second basemen go, but I think he has the potential for top 10 in 2014. He played a full season last year, and rewarded the Mets with very solid numbers--.286 with 13 homers and 23 steals is pretty darn good for a second baseman.
If Murphy can stave off the injury bug, I don’t see any reason why he can’t duplicate or improve upon his numbers from last year. The average will range from .275-.290, which is great for a second baseman from a fantasy perspective. He’s not going to ever hit more than 20 jacks in a season, but I don’t see why 15 is out of the question—again, a terrific number from your fantasy second baseman. Murphy also quietly set a career high in stolen bases last year with 23, and I expect he can maintain a similar pace this year, perhaps even improving by a handful.
I expect that Murphy will hit second behind Chris Young and in front of David Wright and Curtis Granderson, which means he will have even more opportunities to score and bring runs home, bumping his value further. Murphy is going to be an important part of the new Mets offense, and I think he’s going to rise to the occasion.
Okay, everything I’m about to say is conditional on Hill playing at least 140 games this year. A long shot, I know, but fingers crossed. He’s going to be 32 this season, and while he’s certainly not a fresh-faced rookie, I wouldn’t yet classify him as “aging.” Hill is cracking the top 10 for only about half the fantasy “experts,” but if you’re asking this expert, he should be in the top six.
Ready for some numbers? In the past five years combined, Hill’s stats for each 162 games played read like this--.266, 26 homers, 88 RBI, 11 steals and 90 runs. That’s big-time for second basemen, and Hill is more than capable of those numbers. He’s going to be near the top of the Diamondbacks’ lineup, which puts him in prime position in a very capable offense. One way or another, he’ll be setting the table for Goldschmidt, Montero and the newly acquired Mark Trumbo, which is going to boost that run total and ensure that he’s going to get pitches to hit. Say I’m wrong and he hits sixth or seventh? His RBI total skyrockets. You can’t lose here.
Hill is probably going to slip a bit in your drafts, so don’t get too crazy with picking him early. If you get him later than the eighth round or so, you’re getting a steal.
Dozier played his way into a full-time job in Minnesota last year, and proved that he can truly produce. He quietly hit his way to a very solid season in 2013, and being as young as he is, I expect him only to improve in 2014.
He’s pretty much universally ranked in the 15th-20th range for second basemen, and if you snag him around there you’re getting a damn sweet deal. Last year, Dozier performed in every category except one—batting average. At .244, Dozier was a bit of a letdown. However, he outperformed the second base average in almost every other category. He has a noticeable mix of pop and speed, with 18 jacks and 14 steals to go along with his 66 RBI and 72 runs scored.
Here’s why I think this year will be different: he’s going to hit higher in the lineup, which is going to increase his plate appearances and therefore most of his other counting statistics. I refuse to believe that he’s going to hit in the .240s again, particularly with a full season under his belt. If he bumps it up to even .260, and gets himself on base just that little bit more, I think he could be a top 15 talent, and perhaps even push him into top 10 contention at his position.