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Dynasty Second Basemen - Top MLB Prospects for Fantasy Baseball


Welcome back, RotoBallers. I'll be breaking down impact prospects in dynasty leagues by position over the next several weeks. I’ve already covered catchers and first basemen. Today I'm bringing you my top 10 second basemen - prospect rankings for 2018 dynasty baseball leagues.

The second base position is often a challenging position to find good prospects. Many times, the best second basemen are shortstops who don’t have the range or third basemen who don’t have the arm. And often the lack of defensive skills force a move over to outfield. But lately, plenty of potent bats have come from second base and that trend appears to continue as plenty of the games’ best prospects coming up playing second base.

Without any further ado, here is the dynasty positional prospect rankings for second basemen.

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Top Second Base Prospects for 2018 Dynasty Baseball Leagues

1. Franklin Barreto (OAK, MLB)
Triple-A Stats: 510 PA, .290/.339/.456, 15 HR, 15 SB, 5.3% BB%, 27.6% K%
ETA: early 2018
This placement is due to the fact I believe Barreto is a second baseman long-term. He does not appear likely to stick at shortstop, and fantasy owners are probably hoping he avoids the outfield. But if his home is second base, fantasy owners will be more than excited to have a shot at Barreto.

Still only 21 years old, Barreto is one of the youngest prospects on this list and has a chance to open up the 2018 season in the big leagues. In every full season he has played, he has recorded double-digit totals for both home runs and stolen bases. His power/speed combination is regarded highly by scouts, who believe his ceiling is a 20/20 hitter with a .290-plus batting average. He doesn’t have much patience, and the strikeouts last season looked concerning, but he is still young and scouts believe he will be able to drop the strikeout rate below 20 percent. The upside is tantalizing with Barreto, and he should be a must-own in all dynasty leagues.

2. Scott Kingery (PHI, AAA)
Stats: 286 PA, .294/.337/.449, 8 HR, 10 SB, 4.5% BB%, 20.3% K%
ETA: 2018
Before 2017, Kingery was a small second baseman with plenty of speed, little power and a contact-heavy approach. Then the 2017 season rolled around, and Kingery exploded across the board. Though the speed and contact remained much the same, Kingery began to drive the ball with plenty more authority en route to a 26-homer, 29-stolen base season. Though it was just one season, scouts have bought into Kingery’s power, citing improved strength and promising bat speed. The one-time walk-on at the University of Arizona now looks like a potential franchise second base and a potential 20/20 or even 20/30 threat in the majors with a .290-plus batting average. He has gone from a fringe add in deep leagues to a must-own in all dynasty leagues.

3. Willie Calhoun (TEX, MLB)
Stats: (from AAA) 534 PA, .300/.355/.572, 31 HR, 4 SB, 7.9% BB%, 11.4% K%
ETA: 2018
Power hitters tend to struggle to make consistent contact. Even Kingery strikes out somewhere close to 20 percent, and he just recently discovered his power. But Calhoun has always been different. Calhoun has always been one of the best power hitters in the minors, but has never struck out more than 16 percent, and typically sits somewhere around an 11 percent strikeout rate. The bat is all-around explosive. He makes tons of contact and has one of the best power bats in the minors. The question will be if he stays at second, shifts to the outfield or is even stuck at designated hitter. He is more likely than not to move off of second base, but he has shown defensive improvements and second is not the most demanding position in the world. Still, owners should prepare that he might not be long for the position. His bat will play anywhere, however, so he should be owned in all leagues.

4. Keston Hiura (MIL, A)
Stats: 115 PA, .333/.374/.476, 0 HR, 2 SB, 6.1% BB%, 20.9% K%
ETA: 2020
The Milwaukee Brewers might have landed one of the steals of the draft in Hiura. The second baseman out of UC Irvine had scared off a lot of teams as it appeared he was facing Tommy John surgery. But he was able to fight through it and should be able to recover without going under the knife. His bat is what really stands out. Hiura has a lightning-fast swing and always seems to generate hard contact. The power has not jumped out just yet for him, but scouts believe it is only a matter of time until he grows into 20-homer pop. Speed will not be something he grows into, however, putting a little bit of added pressure on the hopes he can become a solid power hitter to make him more than just a one-tool fantasy prospect. He could have to move to the outfield, but has a far better chance to stick at second than the aforementioned Calhoun. Hiura has the potential to stick at second, so owners should count on him remaining there for the foreseeable future.

5. Isan Diaz (MIL, A+)
Stats: 455 PA, .222/.334/.376, 13 HR, 9 SB, 13.6% BB%, 26.6% K%
ETA: 2019
If there is any roadblock to Hiura’s ascendance to the starting second base gig in Milwaukee, it would probably be Diaz. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound second baseman appears to be one of the best power-hitting second basemen in the minors, as he has posted at least 13 home runs in each of the past three seasons. He struggles to make consistent contact and could continue to strike out a lot in the majors, but he takes his fair share of walks, which should help keep the OBP up. He also is a slightly above-average runner, which will help him steal 10-plus bases. Defensively, he is a lock to at least man second base if not shortstop. Of the current five second basemen listed, he is the second-most likely to stick at the position behind only Kingery. Owners are taking somewhat of a risk on the 21-year-old second baseman by hoping his strikeouts won’t hold him back forever, but if he pans out, he could be a regular source of power from a position that generally lacks great home run hitters.

6. Shed Long (CIN, AA)
Stats: 160 PA, .227/.319/.362, 3 HR, 3 SB, 11.9% BB%, 19.4% K%
ETA: 2018
There might not be a stranger case on this list than Long. The 5-foot-8, 180-pound second baseman put together a strong 2017 campaign that began in Advanced Class-A and ended in Double-A, and resulted in him shooting up evaluator boards. He is an above-average power hitter and base-runner and has the potential to be at least 15/15 with both while also posting a respectable .270-plus batting average. But what makes him such a strange case is the fact his second position after second base is not outfield, shortstop or third base, but catcher. The athletic 22-year-old broke into the pros as a catcher, but eventually shifted out to second base. He could be sort of like Austin Barnes in that he eventually gains eligibility at two positions, especially given the Cincinnati Reds’ struggles in finding a solid backup for Tucker Barnhart — at least while Devin Mesoraco is hurt.

7. Travis Demeritte (ATL, AA)
Stats: 511 PA, .231/.306/.402, 15 HR, 5 SB, 9.6% BB%, 26.2% K%
ETA: 2018
The first player to land on this list whose height reaches the 6-foot mark, Demeritte is one of the better power hitters on a list that features plenty of potent power bats. He has three times in his professional career slugged over 15 home runs in a single season, and twice gone over the 20-homer plateau. Strikeouts, unlike most others on this list, are a major issue for Demeritte. The 26.2 percent strikeout rate he posted in 2017 was the lowest by a large margin in his professional career, and it was only after he sacrificed quite a bit of power — a .402 slugging percentage was the lowest in his career. He is one of the riskiest players on this list because it is unclear if he will try to sacrifice power or sacrifice contact. Demeritte’s upside is tantalizing, but he is now just more of a post-hype sleeper in dynasty leagues.

8. Nick Solak (NYY, AA)
Stats: 132 PA, .286/.344/.429, 2 HR, 1 SB, 7.6% BB%, 18.2% K%
ETA: 2018
Solak was a player who stood out in college while at Louisville, proving to be a contact-heavy hitter with speed, but without many more standout tools. And while that was enough to get him drafted in the second round, Solak was not recognized very highly by evaluators. But with more professional time, the more Solak impressed scouts as he continued to hit and steal bases, while also adding at least slightly below-average power. He will probably not be much more than a 10-homer guy, but he should be able to hit for a high average and rack up stolen bases while sticking at second base. And given his maturity already and quick rise to Double-A, he could be in the majors as early as this season. This makes him an intriguing sleeper in dynasty leagues for team needing second base depth.

9. Luis Urias (SD, AA)
Stats: 526 PA, .296/.398/.380, 3 HR, 7 SB, 12.9% BB%, 12.4% K%
ETA: 2018
There have been several players on this list described as contact-first or contact-heavy hitters, and no one fits that mold more than Urias. The Padres’ prospect avoids strikeouts about as much as anyone beyond just Calhoun, but Urias is more of a line-drive hitter who is going to post a high batting average without any power. He is not likely going to be a guy who even reaches 10 home runs, but he should be able to routinely post high batting averages while taking a fair amount of walks and occasionally swiping a bag or two. Urias is far from the most exciting dynasty prospect, but he has a very high floor and could be starting in the majors as early as June for the still-rebuilding Padres. That's pretty remarkable for someone who doesn’t turn 21 until June 3.

10. Luis Garcia (WAS, ROK)
Stats: 211 PA, .302/.330/.387, 1 HR, 11 SB, 4.3% BB%, 15.2% K%
ETA: 2022
The youngest player on this list by far, Garcia is entirely an upside play. The 17-year-old Nationals prospect has only 49 games in the Rookie League under his belt, but he comes with plenty of upside. Scouts see a young hitter capable of making plenty of contact with power left to add in his 6-foot frame. Adding power might slow him down to a certain degree, but he has plenty of speed and slowing down a tad would still allow him to rack up plenty of stolen bases. He might not move off of shortstop, but with Trea Turner firmly established at short, it would seem Garcia is likely to move there eventually. He is obviously a high-risk/high-reward play given the amount of development time he has left, but owners in deep leagues could find the end to be profitable should Garcia pan out.

 

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