Second Base: Updated March Rankings and Tiers

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The positions that are usually thought of as thin are unusually deep this year, with second base being no exception. Unlike years past, you won’t be forced to have a poor first base option if you don’t take one early.

Nonetheless, we need to examine each tier to see where the best values lie. Here, I examine how my second base rankings compare to my peers in order to determine who is being overvalued and undervalued.

This list reflects the RotoBaller staff's consensus rankings as of March for the 2017 fantasy baseball season.

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Second Base Rankings

Ranking Tier Player Position Brad Kyle Nick Bill Harris Jeff Auction $
1 1 Jose Altuve 2B 10 7 6 2 5 9 42
2 1 Trea Turner 2B/OF 13 24 15 22 17 7 34
3 1 Robinson Cano 2B 21 27 33 36 24 23 28
4 1 Daniel Murphy 2B 30 23 37 34 27 34 27
5 2 Brian Dozier 2B 45 43 44 18 46 41 24
6 2 Rougned Odor 2B 70 41 56 49 55 40 22
7 2 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 44 48 58 58 65 52 21
8 2 Jean Segura 2B/SS 51 85 83 68 99 43 19
9 2 Ian Kinsler 2B 66 68 82 61 94 65 19
10 2 Dee Gordon 2B 71 75 81 66 76 69 19
11 2 DJ LeMahieu 2B 68 103 80 81 96 79 17
12 2 Jason Kipnis 2B 85 110 78 116 95 100 16
13 3 Dustin Pedroia 2B 78 102 94 113 124 111 14
14 3 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF 132 117 157 183 150 109 9
15 4 Jonathan Schoop 2B 185 183 160 198 160 145 6
16 4 Logan Forsythe 2B 97 173 185 243 197 191 6
17 4 Javier Baez 2B/SS 167 187 226 201 163 165 6
18 4 Neil Walker 2B 92 181 169 248 196 263 6
19 4 Devon Travis 2B 222 184 204 254 181 168 4
20 5 Starlin Castro 2B 277 237 238 251 209 293 2
21 5 Brandon Phillips 2B 310 239 304 229 257 273 2
22 5 Ryan Schimpf 2B 212 361 302 234 288 244 2
23 5 Jedd Gyorko 2B/3B 296 274 270 270 287 271 2
24 5 Josh Harrison 2B 267 319 281 278 259 294 2
25 5 Cesar Hernandez 2B 271 240 320 337 303 295 2
26 5 Joe Panik 2B 294 318 230 361 258 330 2
27 5 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF 302 370 245 374 350 228 1
28 6 Tyler Saladino 2B/SS 400 287 286 371 364 334 1
29 6 Kolten Wong 2B 254 372 378 407 302 333 1
30 6 Howie Kendrick 2B 283 346 403 406 366 296 1
31 6 Raul Adalberto Mondesi 2B 494 426 252 363 347 1
32 6 Nick Franklin 2B 402 339 423 408 407 353 1
33 6 Derek Dietrich 2B 307 369 491 417 424 332 1
34 6 Scooter Gennett 2B 366 360 374 413 426 403 1
35 6 Joe Wendle 2B 383 388 404 #N/A 464 1
36 7 Jace Peterson 2B 369 424 418 433 463 1
37 7 Brett Lawrie 2B 423 464 437 436 481 433 1
38 7 Adam Frazier 2B 435 467 #N/A #N/A 1
39 7 Chase Utley 2B 431 455 448 #N/A 491 1
40 7 Jed Lowrie 2B 474 477 464 #N/A 427 1
41 7 Greg Garcia 2B/SS/3B 436 465 485 #N/A 1
42 7 Cory Spangenberg 2B 500 458 #N/A 1
43 7 Whit Merrifield 2B 484 476 1
44 7 Kelly Johnson 2B #N/A 482 1
45 7 Carlos Asuaje 2B 487 486 #N/A #N/A 1

 

Tier One

I am the only ranker with Turner ahead of Altuve. I explained here why I have Turner so high. I have Altuve slightly lower than the others simply because his stolen base totals have declined for three straight years, and that trend was exacerbated by him going seven for 14 in stolen base attempts in the second half. While I am a believer in his power breakout (career high hard hit percentage and line drive percentage with a fly ball percentage above his career average), I will still take the under on last season’s .338 batting average and 24 homers.

Cano and Murphy are solidly behind the top two but meaningfully ahead of the next group. Murphy is below Cano for me only because Murphy hasn’t played a full season since 2013.

 

Tier Two

Tier two has players ranked as high as 18 and as low as 116. At the top of the tier, I have Odor, Dozier and Segura packed tightly together. Odor went .271/33/89/88/14 in only 150 games as a 22-year-old. Dozier was hitting .246 with 14 homers and seven steals at the break, but he put up an otherworldly .291/28/57/56/11 line in the second half. Wow. Dozier did hit the ball harder and more fly balls than years past, but I am not ready to boost him above a player like Odor; the 18.4% HR/FB rate seems unlikely to stick. The third player in this trio for me is Jean Segura. I lay out why I ranked him there in my upcoming shortstop piece, so stay tuned….

At the bottom of this tier, Jason Kipnis slid down my rankings due to his shoulder injury. With the latest news on his shoulder, I would have moved him down a touch farther.

 

Tier Three

Tier three has only two players: Ben Zobrist and Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia finally played a full season, going .318/15/105/74/7. I’d expect a slight drop in the average and run production (due to Ortiz retiring), but he should still post solid numbers in that strong lineup. Zobrist has posted an average between .269 and .276 each year since 2011, so I’ll pencil him in for .272 (his average last year). He should give you 15 homers and a handful of steals, combined with good run production in a strong lineup. There just is not much room for upside, as he is who he is at this point, and Joe Maddon suggested he may get some days off this year. If not for Zobrist’s extra positional eligibility, I would have him ranked lower.

 

Tier Four

Tier four is where our rankings really start to diverge. Schoop is my favorite player in this tier. After hitting .279 with 15 homers in 86 games in 2015 due to a knee injury, he was hitting .304 with 14 homers at the break in 2016. He appeared to wear down in the second half, whether it be due to coming off only playing 86 games in 2015 or the toll of playing all 162 games. Despite the fact that he won’t draw many walks, he could still hit .280 with 30 homers; he reminds me a bit of Adam Jones at the plate with less speed but maybe even a touch more power.

Javier Baez is another player who I will explore in more depth in my shortstop piece, but suffice it to say that his ADP is 122nd, but many of our rankers have him well below my ranking of 165th for some reason. Devon Travis, despite his injury history, is also too low. He has a batted ball profile that does not allow teams to shift him effectively, resulting in a career line in 163 games of .301/19/92/85/7. I would have him higher than anyone in this tier if not for the injury, although it is possible that he is ready for opening day.

On the other end of the spectrum, Neil Walker is rated too highly. His season ended with back surgery, which makes me ding him for injury risk (especially since he has one full season in the past five). Sure, he was on pace to hit .282/33/82/81/4. And yes, he did increase his hard-hit percentage, increase his fly ball rates, and finally hit lefties. But his line was buoyed by an unsustainable 23 of his 33 extra base hits going for homers and a career-high HR/FB ratio. To me, a .270 hitter with 25 homers in a lineup that finished bottom five last year, who is an injury risk and coming off season-ending surgery, isn’t worth the mid round pick.

 

Tier Five

In tier five, I like Steve Pearce a great deal, as I wrote about him already. He will qualify at second base, outfield, and first base, and has had monster rates when healthy in 2014 and 2016 (.293 with 21 homers in 102 games, and .288 with 13 homers in 85 games). In 2015, he showed power (15 homers in 92 games) but suffered from bad luck (.232 BABIP).

Schimpf could be a source of cheap power, albeit with low average, in this tier: last year, he hit 20 homers in 89 MLB games and 15 in 51 AAA games. He has a track record of minor league power. I would avoid overpaying for Starlin Castro. He no longer steals more than a handful of bases, so even if he goes .270 with 20 homers again, he isn’t hitting high enough in the lineup to have enough upside at a deep second base position.

 

Tier Six and Below

In tier six, we are well into dart-throwing territory. Kendrick is worth a look in deeper leagues as a multipositional player who could bounce back from a down 2016 to give you a .295 average with 10 homers and 15 steals; he had been a pretty consistent player until last year, where his strikeout rate remained similar but his average dropped to .255 due to a low BABIP.

If Mondesi wins the job, he could be a great source of cheap steals; if not, I’d keep him on my watch list. Kolten Wong and Tyler Saladino are two players that are also worthy of a watch list add. Wong combined for 23 homers and 35 steals in 2014-2015 before having a down 2016. Saladino hit .282 with eight homers and 11 steals in just 93 games last year and could provide speed and some power, although the average will likely dip.

Nick Franklin just turned 26 and hit .270 with six homers and six steals in under 200 plate appearances last year; if he had a clear path to regular playing time, I would have him higher. Keep him on your watch list in case an opportunity opens for him.

 

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