Second Base (2B) - Fantasy Baseball Rankings & Projections
Going into 2014, second base just might be the thinnest position in fantasy baseball. Doesn’t matter how you score it, how you slice it-- this position is 50 Shades of Weak. But, you do still need one on your team, so let’s make it happen anyway. My rankings are based on, well, my own intuition. I could give you a whole bunch of statistics and trends and stuff, but let’s be honest—projections don’t mean diddly. If you used math and came up with Max Scherzer winning the Cy Young Award last year, you’re either a wizard or you’re lying. I based my projections on what I personally think will happen, and nothing more.
The first thing I’ll address is draft strategy. Since second base is so thin, you might be inclined to take one of the top guys very early in the draft. My advice here is simple: is the second baseman you might take going to outperform someone else you could have taken at a different position? For instance, say you’re in the third round and you’ve got a choice between Dustin Pedroia and Adam Jones—do you think Pedroia is going to put up more fantasy points than Jones? If so, pull the trigger. If not, take Jones. Don’t over think it. You’re not going to be the only guy in the league with a non-elite second baseman, so chill. Speaking of which, let’s take a gander at who those elite second basemen are.
*Please note that I’ve only ranked players who are certain to have second base eligibility
Cream of the Crop
1. Robinson Cano (.298, 21 HR, 80 RBI, 80 R, 4 SB)
I am firmly in the camp of people who believe Cano’s stats are headed down this year—he’s not in Yankee Stadium, he has a much weaker supporting cast, etc. But don't be mistaken—the talent is still there. If you’re gonna be the first person to take a 2B, you’re taking Cano.
2. Matt Carpenter (.315, 11 HR, 70 RBI, 97 R, 7 SB)
Anybody who paid attention last year noticed that Carpenter was quietly one of the best fantasy second basemen overall. I think he’s only scratched the surface, and is going to cross into superstar status before the year is over.
3. Dustin Pedroia (.305, 17 HR, 73 RBI, 75 R, 15 SB)
This is one of those “don’t get cute” guys. Pedroia’s been doing his thing in Beantown for a while now, and I don’t see anything changing-- top three at his position if he stays healthy.
4. Jason Kipnis (.281, 20 HR, 79 RBI, 25 SB)
Kipnis has only played two full seasons, but the improvement from his first to his second was impressive. Based upon what I’ve seen, I think he has an extremely high ceiling, and I expect 2014 to be an encore of 2013-- certified stud in the making.
Next Best Thing
5. Ian Kinsler (.273, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 87 R, 18 SB)
While certainly no longer in his heyday, which was from around 2008-2011, Kinsler is still a five-tool player who, when healthy, is a great fantasy asset. I think the change of scenery will do Kinsler wonders, and hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera won’t hurt either.
6. Aaron Hill (.285, 21 HR, 80 RBI, 78 R, 13 SB)
At his best, Hill is a premier talent. Entering his age 32 season, I think we can expect something in that ballpark. Wouldn’t surprise me if he broke the top five this year, nor if he fell out of the top 10. I’m inclined to think the former.
7. Brandon Phillips (.275, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 77 R, 9 SB)
@DatDudeBP is gonna keep on keepin’ on in Cincy, don’t you worry. You know what you’re going to get at this point, and you’re certainly not going to complain.
8. Jedd Gyorko (.260, 29 HR, 83 RBI, 70 R, 2 SB)
After an impressive rookie campaign, Gyorko is poised to be a breakout stud at second base this year. His power is particularly rare for the position, making him even that much more desirable.
9. Jose Altuve (.301, 6 HR, 50 RBI, 75 R, 38 SB)
Altuve is not going to blow anyone away statistically, but he also isn’t going to bring you down either. He’s been consistent through his first two full seasons, and I expect him to improve upon his 2013 stat line.
10. Brian Dozier (.270, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 75 R, 15 SB)
I am high on Dozier this year after a middling campaign in 2013. He’s in a weak lineup, which detracts from his fantasy value of course, but he’s still a competent hitter with some pop and a touch of speed.
Getting The Job Done
11. Daniel Murphy (.297, 12 HR, 79 RBI, 88 R, 21 SB)
I’m high on Murphy this year. He’s a talented player who’s got experience but isn’t old yet. He’s got a quality skill set, and I think he’s going to be an important part of the Mets offense in 2014.
12. Chase Utley (.274, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 69 R, 5 SB)
This is another one of those guys who isn’t in his prime anymore, but isn’t useless just yet. After a couple uninspiring seasons, Utley quietly returned to productivity in 2013, when he was finally healthy enough to play 130+ games. He’s not going to be spectacular, but you could certainly do a lot worse.
13. Omar Infante (.302, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 70 R, 9 SB)
Infante is going to hit in front of the boppers of the Royals lineup, and he’s going to be on base for them. The speed isn’t there, but the batting average is. Another guy who’s not gonna blow you away, but is a solid every day option.
14. Kelly Johnson (.271, 19 HR, 63 RBI, 72 R, 12 SB)
Johnson is a particularly unspectacular player at the dish, but he’s now in an incredibly potent offense. As a lefty, he'll benefit from the short porch in right field, and I think he’s got an above-average season in him.
15. Ben Zobrist (.271, 17 HR, 73 RBI, 80 R, 13 SB)
I’ve never been a huge Zobrist fan, but I still think he’s going to produce in the Rays lineup. Very average production with a ceiling for much more, but this is second base—you’re alright with average here.
Hit Or Miss
16. Jurickson Profar (.261, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 61 R, 10 SB)
I’m not sold on Profar. I know we’re working with a very limited sample size, but I just don’t have faith in Profar to be a top-tier player yet. He is in a very, VERY good lineup, but chances are he’s going to hit near the bottom of itm which means less AB than most of these other guys. Expect better results than what we’ve seen so far, but don’t expect a breakout season just yet.
17. Howie Kendrick (.291, 11 HR, 65 RBI, 62 R, 13 SB)
Kendrick’s statistical success is going to be based on the production of the rest of the Angels lineup. Coming into his age-30 season, you know what you’re going to get from him personally, and I think the Halos will be better overall than they were in 2013. Solid option here.
18. Anthony Rendon (.270, 13 HR, 66 RBI, 70 R, 5 SB)
Rendon has serious potential, and I liked what I saw from him last year in his limited playing time. I’m not going to call this his breakout year, but I really think he could wind up close to the top ten come the end of September.
19. Neil Walker (.275, 13 HR, 69 RBI, 67 R, 3 SB)
Walker has always showed potential, but he’s had quite a few years to realize it. I think we’ve seen what we’re going to see from him, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’ll make for a good backup or spot starter if your guy gets injured.
20. Gordon Beckham (.262, 13 HR, 59 RBI, 59 R, 4 SB)
To quote the immortal Charlie Brown—“AUGHHHHH”. I’ve been rooting for Beckham since he broke into the bigs, mainly because I just like how he plays the game. Problem is, he hasn’t really busted out. In his age-27 season, it’s not out of the realm of possibility, but I’m not putting any money on this being his year.
Agree? Disagree? I wanna know. Tweet me @Roto_Dubs or leave a comment here.