Welcome to this series of analyzing our site’s points league rankings, compiled by myself and Kyle Bishop. We’re good people, you should get to know us. Today we're taking a look at our tiered second base rankings for points leagues.
Points leagues abide by different rules, with walks and strikeouts usually being of notable importance compared to typical 5x5 leagues. It’s not as simple as that of course, but we’ll go off of ESPN’s default model. For hitters, it's one point per Total Base, Run Scored, Stolen Base, Walk and RBI, with a point deducted per strikeout. We’ve covered catchers and first base, and now coach is giving us the steal sign. Let’s tackle second base.
Editor's note: Be sure to also check out our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. It's already loaded up with tons of great rankings articles and draft analysis. Aside from our tiered staff rankings for every position, we also go deep on MLB prospect rankings, impact rookies for 2017, and dynasty/keeper rankings as well. Bookmark the page, and win your drafts.
2017 Fantasy Baseball Points Rankings: Second Base (February)
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Second Base Points Rankings Analysis: The Tiers
Jose Altuve is a first rounder, if you have him then congratulations are in order. Trea Turner is the apple of everyone’s eye heading into 2017, but just keep two feet on the ground when speculating on him. Better to be pleasantly surprised rather than overshoot. There’s no doubting that he has the talent to challenge Altuve as the top 2B, though.
Don’t expect 2016 numbers out of Cano again, but 27-30 homers with 90 runs and rib-eyes with a .290s average is still a good bet. His decent 14% strikeout rate won’t burn anyone, but his walk rate has slipped back to around 6-7% after a few seasons around 9%. 9% is right around where Daniel Murphy’s K rate should sit, making the 2016 breakout stud a deservedly enticing pick in the early rounds.
We kick off with Brian Dozier and Matt Carpenter, two known commodities, though one can see that we’re not going to go overboard due to Dozier’s 2016. He still has that special blend of power and speed, alongside a 100-run seat in the lineup, that makes him a solid pick.
The biggest point of contention is with Rougned Odor, with Kyle slotting him at No. 45 while I’m bearish at No. 80. We know he’s got power and we know he’s got speed, but points leagues really emphasize poor plate discipline. I realize he’s a fresh 23 years old, but I can easily see a 25-28 homer season with 12 steals alongside a .265 average and a further slip in strikeouts. Buyer beware, but his upside still special.
Dustin Pedroia and Ben Zobrist both seem to be rather unheralded going into 2017, but it can happen with veterans in a young, flashy world. Two solid bats both in very strong lineups and while they don’t have new fun ceilings to blow anyone’s mind with, they will provide stats with healthy plate discipline metrics.
Most of the other names here are pretty well established in who they are, but Javier Baez provides a little excitement later in the mid-rounds. His plate discipline is on par with Odor, with 20/15 potential in a lineup that could yield 80 runs and ribbies. He’ll need to earn that second base job, but he makes for a decent gamble.
One can see I’m a shade behind Kyle on most of these guys, with the exception of Joe Panik – who I really like to bounce back. He reportedly had a terrible time picking up the ball in the batter’s box after his concussion. Anyone who thinks that they can’t have long-term effects needs to go read up on the matter. I’ve had a stupid amount of them and it can be a fright. Anyway, Panik said he opened his stance more so as to compensate for the blurry vision and it led to some frightful results. This should not be the case in ’17, so buy into a bounceback.
This territory isn’t going to bring you any world-beaters, though super-utility man Josh Harrison could sniff a 75/8/75/20/.285 season depending on the health of the Pirates and the availability of Jung-ho Kang. Ryan Schimpf has ridiculous power in that bat, his .315 ISO led all players with at least 300 PAs (David Ortiz was second at .305), but that’s his only real trick. He won’t steal many bases and will likely strike out 27-30 percent of the time, but that kind of power earns him a little love.
The Rest of the Field
If you really need to dig then Brett Lawrie is likely your man. Yoan Moncada is unlikely to open the season in the bigs and Lawrie was actually solid last season before leg injuries wrecked his season. It turns out that new orthotics were the culprit, which can certainly throw off one’s gait. Before then he had 12 homers and seven steals in 94 games, which would’ve amounted to roughly 20 homers and 12 steals in a full season. Not too shabby. Don’t forget that it’s a hitter-friendly park there in Chicago.