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2018 Second Base - Early Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings

We continue our fantasy baseball tiered rankings analysis with the second base position. Even though it is only January 6, 2018 in an extremely slow offseason, RotoBaller writers Kyle Bishop, Pierre Camus, and I have come up with our initial pre-draft rankings to give you a sense of player values as early as possible.

As the offseason progresses, these rankings are sure to change quite a bit over the coming months. We'll be updating our rankings on a monthly basis, so be sure to keep checking in on our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for the most updated lists.

In case you missed them, you can read about catcher and first base. Without any more delay, let's take a peek at the 2018 second base rankings for January.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings: Second Base (January)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Pierre Jeff
1 1 Jose Altuve 2B 2 2 2
2 1 Anthony Rizzo 1B/2B 20 21 19
3 1 Jose Ramirez 2B/3B 19 19 24
4 1 Brian Dozier 2B 42 30 33
5 2 Daniel Murphy 2B 25 77 38
6 2 Jonathan Schoop 2B 59 43 56
7 2 Robinson Cano 2B 38 46 77
8 2 Dee Gordon 2B/OF 35 82 58
9 2 DJ LeMahieu 2B 86 60 105
10 2 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 124 96 114
11 2 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF 96 175 106
12 2 Ian Kinsler 2B 63 203 136
13 3 Rougned Odor 2B 145 84 174
14 3 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 84 111 225
15 4 Javier Baez 2B/SS 122 166 133
16 4 Ian Happ 2B/OF 114 169 148
17 4 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B/2B/OF 171 148 123
18 4 Yoan Moncada 2B 146 137 192
19 4 Ozzie Albies 2B/SS 181 #N/A 146
20 4 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 142 221 129
21 5 Scooter Gennett 2B/3B/OF 170 #N/A 172
22 5 Paul DeJong 2B/SS 203 197 #N/A
23 5 Jason Kipnis 2B/OF 278 188 160
24 5 Howie Kendrick 2B/OF #N/A #N/A 216
25 5 Starlin Castro 2B 251 215 220
26 5 Jose Peraza 2B/SS 282 177 #N/A
27 5 Chris Owings 2B/SS/OF 220 267 211
28 5 Jonathan VIllar 2B 214 292 #N/A
29 6 Josh Harrison 2B 286 252 221
30 6 Dustin Pedroia 2B 268 285 219
31 6 Neil Walker 2B 246 #N/A 271
32 6 Cesar Hernandez 2B 261 289 240
33 6 Jose Reyes 2B/SS/3B 281 #N/A 253
34 6 Asdrubal Cabrera SS/2B/3B 298 #N/A 244
35 6 Brandon Phillips 2B 301 #N/A 275
36 6 Hernan Perez 2B/3B/OF 297 #N/A 291
37 6 Logan Forsythe 2B/3B 295 #N/A #N/A
38 6 Kolten Wong 2B #N/A 298 #N/A
39 6 Joe Panik 2B 307 #N/A

 
 
Tier 1

In the first tier, Jose Altuve stands above his peers. After an MVP season where he slashed .346/24/112/81/32, he deserves it. That line was extremely close to his 2016 when he posted a .338/24/108/96/30 stat line. At 27 years old, there is no reason to expect him to slow down now.

At the top of tier 1b is a man who really is a 1B: Anthony Rizzo. Thanks to Joe Maddon's creative shifting, the consistent first baseman is now eligible at a second position: second base. Still just 28 years old, Rizzo has been within the following narrow ranges each of the last four years: 31-32 homers, 94-99 runs, and 101-109 RBI. While many keep awaiting a "breakout," his steady excellent production is extremely valuable as it stands. I was all-in on Jose Ramirez last year, and it appears others now are too. The 25 year-old posted a .318/29/107/83/17 line and will have both 2B and 3B eligibility. Dozier, the elder statesman of the group at 30 years old, posted his second consecutive monster season, with a .271/34/106/93/16 line. He has been a bit more erratic than the others in terms of performance, but his past two years keep him near the top of the list.

Tier 2

At the top of tier two is a player who the three of us rank very differently: Daniel Murphy. One of the first believers in the fly ball revolution, Murphy has been outstanding since his breakout 2015 playoff performance. However, he is a thirty-two year old who has not played more than 144 games since 2013 and underwent offseason knee surgery. I think Murphy will be healthy by the start of next year, but I expect about 140 games out of him again which explains my ranking.

Murphy is not the only source of wide disagreement in this tier. We also disagree widely on Robinson Cano, Dee Gordon, D.J. LeMahieu, Chris Taylor, and Ian Kinsler. I have Cano lower than Kyle and Pierre because he is 35 years old, has hit over 23 homers once in the last four years, and has not eclipsed a .300 average since 2014. I have LeMahieu lower because he has career highs of 11 homers and 66 RBIs and no longer steals bases. My ranking for Chris Taylor is boosted by his eligibility at three positions. I am the middle ground between Kyle and Pierre on the others.

Tier 3

Tier 3 consists of only two players: Rougned Odor and Whit Merrifield. I am the lowest on both of these players due to their lack of consistent production. While Odor will be just 24 on Opening Day and has shown great home run power, he has been incredibly streaky, never hit over .271, and has not been able to secure a good lineup position. I plan on moving Merrifield higher in my next set of rankings, but he does have just one successful year under his belt despite the fact that he will be 29 on Opening Day. The Royals also are likely to lose a number of key pieces of their lineup. For these reasons, I will likely remain more cautious than Kyle and Pierre on his ranking.

Tier 4

Tier 4 has some of the most interesting players in my opinion. I love Ozzie Albies, but I am trying my hardest to remind myself that he will only be 21 years old to start the season and is likely to have growing pains. I have Marwin Gonzalez rated so highly due to his ability to play so many fantasy positions; his multipositional eligibility will be a great tool in daily leagues. I am low on Moncada because I think his average (lowered by a high strikeout rate) will kill your fantasy team's batting average. If Nunez lands on the right team, his multipositional eligibility, batting average, double digit homer power and 30+ stolen base potential make him an undervalued fantasy asset.

Tier 5

Tier 5 is where every player starts to have significant question marks. I am higher than the others on Jason Kipnis. His 2017 was not pretty, but it can be explained by the fact that he battled injuries. In 2016, when he was healthy, he posted a .275/23/91/82/15 line. He has shown the ability to hit for more average and steal more bases. If healthy, I think he bounces back. On the other hand, I am a skeptic of Paul DeJong despite his breakout 2017. I expect his average and run production to dip, and without stolen bases, I expect him mainly to be a source of power. I will move him into my next set of rankings, but I still plan to have him lower than the others.

Tier 6

The bottom tier is hardly exciting, but for deeper leagues, these players need to be in some discussions. Josh Harrison has always hit for a decent average and stole bases, but last year he hit the ball harder and put the ball in the air more. However, he has has not been able to put together a full season recently. If he can stay healthy, I expect he will be a good value play. Jose Reyes does not yet have a team, but if he finds a full time job, he could be a sleeper. In 61 games after the break last year, he slashed .288/7/39/22/14. If not for his .222 BABIP in the first half, he would have had a great fantasy season overall.

 

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