Welcome back, RotoBallers. I've already looked at the top 10 prospects for each MLB team, and now I'll be breaking down impact prospects by position. Today I'm bringing you my top 10 second basemen - MLB prospect rankings for the 2017 fantasy baseball season.
The second base position has seen better days, at least in the minors. Though second base is starting to become loaded with offensive juggernauts like Jose Altuve, Daniel Murphy and D.J. LeMahieu, there are not as many explosive second base prospects coming up through the minors. Some of the second base prospects could potentially have high impacts in the majors (see Yoan Moncada, Ozzie Albies), but many of the other guys considered to be top prospects at the position look to have futures more of as utility guys.
Part of this is because many of the top second basemen in baseball today came up as shortstop prospects. Guys like Brandon Phillips, Ian Kinsler, Javier Baez and Dustin Pedroia all came up as shortstops are eventually shifted over to second base. Even in the minors today, Ozzie Albies has shifted over to second from short and Franklin Barreto is likely going to follow that path as well (though for now, he only qualifies as a shortstop so he will not be listed here). But there are still some pure second base prospects who could have value in 2017 redraft leagues. These guys could all be sleepers in fantasy leagues and could produce for owners who are able to pick them up.Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Top 10 Second Base Prospects for 2017 Fantasy Baseball
1. Yoan Moncada (CWS, MLB)
Stats: (from AA) 207 PA, .277/.379/.531, 11 HR, 9 SB, 13.0% BB rate, 30.9% K rate
This was a very easy choice. The White Sox recently released Brett Lawrie which leaves them with a grand total of zero quality second base options outside of Moncada. I mean really, is Tyler Saladino going to prevent Moncada from reaching the big leagues? I think not. Moncada is an explosive prospect with perhaps the most enticing skillset in the minors. All he needs to do is reduce his strikeout rate and make more consistent contact and he will be promoted by the White Sox. If he receives a promotion, he will warrant ownership in all leagues for his insane upside.
2. Ozzie Albies (ATL, AAA)
Stats: 247 PA, .248/.307/.351, 2 HR, 9 SB, 7.7% BB rate, 15.8% K rate
Much like Moncada, Albies will determine his own fate by how well he performs in 2017. He is currently blocked only by Brandon Phillips and Jace Peterson at second base and with the Braves in a rebuilding state, they may shift Phillips and Peterson to the bench in order to get Albies some playing time if he earns a promotion. Albies is a true burner who lacks power, but can still drive the ball to the gaps with consistency. If he gets the call up to the big leagues, Albies could provide owners with a ton of stolen bases, runs scored and a high batting average and should be owned in all leagues.
3. Alen Hanson (PIT, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 478 PA, .266/.318/.389, 8 HR, 36 SB, 6.7% BB rate, 16.3% K rate
ETA: Opening Day
Hanson has a chance to open up the season with the Pirates as a utility infielder with a chance for more playing time. While Hanson does not have the strongest bat out there, he is a very fast infield prospect with the chance to steal a ton of bases if given the time. Manger Clint Hurdle recently said Hanson could serve in a utility role like Josh Harrison did back in 2014 and with Jung-Ho Kang’s future in question, the opportunity could emerge for Hanson to receive a fair amount of starts in 2017.
4. Chad Pinder (OAK, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 465 PA, .258/.310/.425, 14 HR, 5 SB, 5.4% BB rate, 23.2% K rate
ETA: Opening Day
Pinder has maintained a track record of being a surprisingly decent power bat for a second baseman. He has posted double-digit home run totals every full season of his professional career and typically brings in a solid batting average to boot. He has issues with plate discipline which could limit his upside, but he only has to compete with Jed Lowrie right now for starting playing time at second base. Until the A’s start seriously considering Franklin Barreto as their 2017 second baseman, Pinder could be a solid sleeper add in deeper leagues.
5. Eliezer Alvarez (STL, A)
Stats: 499 PA, .323/.404/.476, 6 HR, 36 SB, 10.6% BB rate, 19.2% K rate
ETA: Early August
I know, it’s a bit crazy to put someone on here who has not even reached Class-A Advanced yet, but the Cardinals added the speedy second baseman to their 40-man roster. Clearly they have some confidence in his bat and believe he could potentially force his way to their 25-man roster this season. He is blocked by Kolten Wong, Jedd Gyorko and probably Jhonny Peralta, but if he hits well enough and Wong struggles, he could force himself up to the big leagues and leap frog the two veterans. But it is a longshot owners in mixed leagues should not count on unless injuries start coming up in St. Louis.
6. Ian Happ (CHC, AA)
Stats: 274 PA, .262/.318/.415, 8 HR, 6 SB, 7.3% BB rate, 21.9% K rate
Happ has about as much offensive upside as anyone on this list outside of Moncada and could be a strong fantasy producer if he gets the chance to start. Unfortunately for him, he is currently sitting behind both Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist on the second base depth chart in Chicago. His positional versatility gives him a little bit more of a chance to reach the majors than some of these other guys, but it should be noted that just about everyone on the Cubs can play every position. Happ is going to need some help from the injury bug to have a fantasy impact this season.
7. Wilmer Difo (WAS, MLB)
Stats: (from AA) 451 PA, .259/.318/.354, 6 HR, 28 SB, 7.5% BB rate, 13.1% K rate
Difo has some fantasy upside as a second baseman with a ton of speed. He could easily steal 30 bases in a single season and it would not take a ton of playing time to do it. The only problem is, he is going to have a tough time finding that precious PT. Daniel Murphy is not going to give up second base without an injury and Difo is pretty much limited to that position right now. If he gets a chance to start, his speed makes him immediately fantasy relevant. But who knows if he will ever get the chance to play on a regular basis.
8. Willie Calhoun (LAD, AAA)
Stats: 560 PA, .254/.318/.469, 27 HR, 0 SB, 8.0% BB rate, 11.6% K rate
No you did not misread any of that stat line. Yes, he hit 27 home runs and yes, he only struck out 11.6 percent of the time. His batting average was not great, but that was more the result of bad luck than lack of talent (.242 BABIP). The problem he faces is the same that so many before him face: no clear path to playing time. With Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley at second base, Calhoun will need an injury to occur to see any time in the big leagues. He would become a serious force with his power potential if he becomes a full-time second baseman in the majors, but it likely will not happen this season.
9. Carlos Asuaje (SD, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 597 PA, .321/.378/.473, 9 HR, 10 SB, 8.2% BB rate, 13.7% K rate
ETA: Early May
Admittedly, Asuaje is not the most exciting prospect out there. But like I said earlier, most of the second base prospects are going to be utility guys. Asuaje is a solid hitter who controls the strike zone well and manages to make consistent contact. He does not have much power and he is not going to steal more than 10-15 bases in a given season, but if he starts on a regular basis, he could provide owners with a solid batting average and a few steals. He could be a solid depth piece in deeper leagues when he is promoted.
10. Andy Ibanez (TEX, AA)
Stats: 340 PA, .261/.318/.391, 6 HR, 5 SB, 7.4% BB rate, 13.8% K rate
ETA: Late July
We’ve essentially reached the end of the second base prospect list. Ibanez is a solid hitter, but he has roughly the same skillset as Asuaje, only with a much tougher path to the majors. He is not going to pass Rougned Odor and if Odor gets hurt, Jurickson Profar is probably the next guy up at second base. If everyone gets hurt, Ibanez could be a solid own, but odds are he has little to no impact in 2017.