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2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

keston hiura fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is perceived by its customer (fantasy owner) to meet his/her needs or wants." The Keeper Values are derived from my Keeper Valuation Formula which accounts for age, player cost (ADP), remaining player pool, past performance, future projections, missed playing time, and even positional scarcity.

The final product is a quantitative depiction of a player's ability to meet/exceed fantasy owners' needs based on the cost they paid for the player in the previous season (2019 ADP) and will subsequently pay for in the current season's draft (2020). The higher the score, the higher the return the fantasy owner will receive from the player keeping him at their associated cost. Approaching Keeper selections with this value-based attitude will greatly increase the effectiveness of a fantasy owner's draft in a keeper league.

Whereas the main purpose of the Keeper Value Formula is for customization based on specific leagues and keeper costs, I create these yearly rankings with standard 12 team league data, 2019 ADP, and 23rd Round cost for UDFA just as a baseline to help managers get an idea of their options. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @RowdyRotoJB to check out your specific league's values.

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JB's Keeper Value System

TIER SCORE DESCRIPTION
1 >100 Finders Keepers! These are the Elite Keeper Values. MUST BE KEPT at all costs.
2 75-99 Great Keeper values. Unless you have a full load of Tier 1 players, these guys need to be kept.
3 50-74 You are gaining good value with these players. A majority of good keepers options tend to fall into this category.
4 25-49 Minimal value. The value exists, but not as much as your opponents are likely receiving with their selections. Consider if your options are limited.
5 0-24 Break-even point. Keeping these players will likely hurt your overall draft, as you are not adding enough value. Don't waste a Keeper selection here.
6 <0 The associated costs make it impossible to return any value, these players will ruin your draft. Stay far away.

 

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

POS RANK KEEPER
TIER
PLAYER/TEAM ADP (ROUND) SCORE
1 2 Ketel Marte ARI 21 95.95
2 2 Keston Hiura MIL 23 90.82
3 2 DJ LeMahieu NYY 18 78.17
4 3 Jeff McNeil NYM 23 72.64
5 3 Jonathan Villar MIA 8 63.53
6 3 Danny Santana TEX 23 62.50
7 3 Gleyber Torres NYY 6 61.76
8 3 Cavan Biggio TOR 23 55.73
9 3 Gavin Lux LAD 23 50.07
10 4 Ozzie Albies ATL 5 49.61
11 4 Lourdes Gurriel Jr TOR 21 46.74
12 4 Eduardo Escobar ARI 15 46.00
13 4 Ryan McMahon COL 23 41.26
14 4 Tommy Edman STL 23 38.26
15 4 Mike Moustakas CIN 12 34.86
16 4 Max Muncy LAD 10 25.45
17 5 Kevin Newman PIT 23 23.75
18 5 Brandon Lowe TBR 23 21.50
19 5 Kolten Wong STL 23 9.01
20 5 Michael Chavis BOS 23 3.43
21 5 Jon Berti MIA 23 2.09

 

Tier Two

As you can see right off the bat, nobody at the keystone position reaches Keeper Tier One in 2020. However, our first two studs sure came close. The formula goes with the more-proven hitter Ketel Marte slightly ahead of the touted prospect Keston Hiura for the top spot at the position. Marte shocked the industry in 2019 with 32 HR, 10 SB, and a .329 BA as he finished top-20 overall in standard leagues. It was nothing short of amazing, especially considering he played 119 games with the Mariners in 2016 and hit ONE HR. Whether you believe in a repeat or not, RotoBaller has him ranked right at the 50 overall line, which combined with his position eligibility bonus makes for a fantastic keeper choice in the late rounds.

Hiura is a no-brainer keeper option after he made his MLB debut in 2019 and did not disappoint with 19 HR, 9 SB, and .303 BA in just 84 games. The 30.7 K% and .402 BABIP are a little uneasy on the stomach but there's no doubt that Hiura is a staple at the position for years to come in fantasy.

 

Tier Three

There are two surprise scores sitting atop Tier Three, as Jeff McNeil just misses the second tier from his UDFA ADP. Like DJ LeMahieu and Ketel Marte, this certainly won't be the last positional list you see McNeil on in this series, as he qualifies for second, third, and outfield on many fantasy sites for 2020. In his first full season at the big league level, McNeil hit an impressive .318 with an equally impressive 13.2 K%. His 11.2 Soft% was good for fifth-lowest in baseball, and RotoBaller projects him as a top-100 fantasy player again in 2020. Again, the multi-position eligibility is a huge bonus.

Jonathan Villar is the second surprise of the tier, and probably my biggest one from the formula at the position. The poor guy balls out and finishes as a top 20 fantasy player in 2019 while playing for the Baltimore Orioles, and is rewarded by a trade sending him to Miami this offseason. Despite the universe being against him, Villar still represents a huge value from his eighth-round ADP from 2019. He was the only hitter to reach 20/40 last season and was still able to rack up 111 R in the last place offense. He projects as the Marlins leadoff hitter for 2020 and appears to be on track for a super-utility Marwin Gonzalez-esque season where he could potentially add OF and 3B eligibility to his carried-over 2B and SS.

We finish out the third tier with a splash of youth with Gleyber Torres, Gavin Lux, and Cavan Biggio. Lux and Biggio will both be experiencing their first full seasons in the bigs and both present enticing power/speed combos. Torres is coming off an anticipated monster season where he nearly missed out on a 40/100/100 line in that terrifying Yankee lineup. I personally wouldn't be near as excited over a 6th round Gleyber as I would be with a 23rd round Biggio or Lux, but the formula says we can actually expect similar values respectively for 2020.

 

Tier Four

The value is getting tighter in the fourth tier. As stated in the scoring explanation up top, this tier is still valid keeper options - but you probably are getting bested by your opponents and their selections. But if the options are limited, Ozzie Albies in the fifth round still returns value despite him being ranked as a fifth-round player this season also. This is similar to Freddie Freeman in the first base rankings. There is no way a 23-year-old 20/20 second baseman hitting between Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman makes it to you in the fifth round of your keeper draft, and that's why Albies walks out of the formula with a respectable 49.61.

I like the three mid-round veterans chilling in this tier, with Max Muncy, Eduardo Escobar, and Mike Moustakas showing that keeper selections are not just the elite studs and late-round prospects. Eduardo Escobar gets watered down slightly thanks to projections not believing in the 2019 power outburst, which could be warranted pending on the level of juiciness in the balls this year. But for what it's worth, Escobar has increased his Hard% for three straight seasons, and really appears to enjoy hitting out in the desert. We may not see 35 bombs ever again but I don't think 30 is out of the question and the RBI potential behind Starling Marte and Ketel Marte is just rowdy for a mid-round CIF/MIF-eligible bat.

Tommy Edman and Ryan McMahon are two names I keep finding myself scooping up later in drafts as I am filling bench slots or frantically trying to find a CIF/MIF. McMahon probably doesn't even get drafted in fantasy if he was on a different team, as he hit 18 HR and .270 at home in 2019, compared to just 6 HR and .226 on the road. But the reality is he does get to play half his games in Coors Field and is still just 24 years old. There is room for massive improvement in the power department if he can join the rest of the league in the launch angle era. Despite an impressive 44.1 Hard%, he really struggled to keep the ball off the ground, sporting a measly 27.9 FB%. Tommy Edman is also a fairly ground-ball heavy 24-year-old, but a top 10 Speed rating makes it a much more welcomed sight. In just 349 PA, Edman stole 15 bases while hitting 11 HR and a .304 BA. Like Villar, Edman should see an almost every day role with the Cardinals in a super-utility role this season, which along with the big speed potential can give fantasy owners a lot of draft-day flexibility if used as a keeper selection.

 

Tier Five

The fifth tier is nothing but last round flyers. Keeping these players doesn't appear to gain much value in 2020 mostly due to the fact that you can still draft them late in your drafts. Michael Chavis has serious power upside, but the plate discipline is still a ways off and has Jose Peraza and Mitch Moreland (and a pending Bobby Dalbec call-up) blocking his path to full-time AB in 2020. Brandon Lowe had a much more successful stint in the majors last year and should see the majority of 2B starts for the Rays, but is essentially just as blocked from full-time AB as his AL East counterpart. Jon Berti is 30 years old with just 77 MLB games under his belt, but as we saw in 2019 has some serious wheels. If Miami finds a way to find him 500+ PA, we could very easily see 30 SB, albeit without beneficial accompanying fantasy stats.

If I were to have beef with the formula anywhere at the second base position, it would probably be Kevin Newman's score. He is just so undervalued right now. He is essentially a younger Jean Segura on an ugly offense. In 531 PA last year, he hit 12 HR with 16 SB and a .308 BA. ATC projects him for 9 HR with 16 SB and a .283 BA in 2020. Jean Segura in 2019 hit 12 HR with 10 SB and a .280 BA. Segura is ranked 70 spots higher in RotoBallers 2020 rankings. Of course, Newman missed a tier four score by less than two points, but I still sense some unwarranted disrespect.

 

Other Keeper Value Rankings

 

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