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Mid-Round Second Base - Targets and Avoids in 2020

Once you reach the middle-to-late rounds of drafts, it would be smart to consider drafting some upside fliers that can provide a great return on value. You can take a risk or two on a variety of different players, including a prospect, forgotten veterans, players returning from injuries, or even players with skills but have playing time concerns. It is essential to know the player pool so you can take a chance at a spot in the draft that you're comfortable without deviating from your overall strategy.

Today we are looking at some mid-round second basemen for you to consider. Do we think they are draft targets or players to avoid? Are their ADPs undervalued? Will they make significant fantasy contributions and be one of your later-round draft sleepers? Read on to see our take.

Our editors have hand-picked these specific MLB players for your draft prep enjoyment. Normally only available to Premium subscribers, the five outlooks below are meant to give you a taste of the in-depth analysis you receive with our industry-leading 2020 Draft Kit. Be sure to subscribe today and start reading all 400+ of our 2020 player outlooks, and many other premium articles and tools, available exclusively in our 2020 Draft Kit.

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Eduardo Escobar - Arizona Diamondbacks

Escobar enjoyed what will almost certainly be his career year in 2019, slashing .269/.320/.511 with a whopping 35 long balls and 118 RBI for the Diamondbacks last season. Regression is almost certainly in order in 2020. Escobar is a power compiler, meaning that he hits a ton of fly balls (44.6 FB% in 2019) that allow him to produce 25-30 HR even if his Statcast power indicators aren't great (91.1 mph average airborne exit velocity, 7% Brls/BBE). Escobar is projected to hit third in Arizona's lineup, so he should be a positive contributor in the counting stats as well.

Unlike others who profile similarly, Escobar neither pops up (5.2 IFFB%) nor strikes out (18.6 K%) at elevated clips. Unfortunately, there are also several warts here. Escobar actually has atrocious plate discipline (40.8% chase rate) that doesn't lead to Ks because he's such an aggressive swinger (52.5 Swing%). Such profiles tend to fall apart quickly, adding risk to the 31-year-old's profile. Baseball Savant's xStats pegged him for a .258 BA and .468 slugging percentage in 2019, significantly denting his value. Multipositional eligibility is nice (32 games at 2B, 134 at 3B), but it might be better to let somebody else roll the dice with an ADP of 118.

--Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

 

Cavan Biggio - Toronto Blue Jays

Biggio burst onto the scene in 2019 as one of three highly touted prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays system. He did this by slashing .234/.364/.429 with 16 HR, 48 RBI, 66 R, 14 SB, and a ridiculous 71 BB in 354 at-bats. One thing we should immediately notice about this youngster is his well-trained eye. This typically spells great things moving forward, especially for a player in their first year. This allows quite a bit of forgiveness for the .234 average as it is almost a certainty to rise in 2020.

With more at-bats this season, we should also see a solid rise in other counting stats. He should easily be a 20/20 player and could find himself in the 30/30 range as he continues to grow comfortable with big-league pitching. He plays in a solid hitter park, which also helps his stock, and he should find himself hitting near the top of the order (likely second, sandwiched between Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel) in what figures to be a potent lineup in 2020. He currently has an ADP of 144 and is being taken as the 10th second baseman off the board. He should return immense value at this position and can certainly be looked at earlier around pick 130 ahead of Lux.

--Kipp Heisterman - RotoBaller

 

Tommy Edman – St. Louis Cardinals

Edman emerged as another St. Louis middle infielder to seemingly come out of nowhere. Edman’s rookie season featured a .304 batting average, 11 home runs, 59 R, 36 RBI, and 15 steals. While his walk rate (4.6%) might have been lower than ideal, Edman features a 60-grade hit tool, and he could swipe 25 bags this summer. Those attributes make Edman an interesting mid-round option at second and third despite the small sample size, a lack of pedigree, and modest power.

Edman may offer more pop than his scouting report suggests. In 141 games between AAA and MLB, Edman slugged 18 HR. The new ball certainly had something to do with that power output, but if Edman is an everyday starter for the Cardinals his ISO projection would make him a 14 HR player. That along with his batting average, run production, and steals could make him a player with top-125 potential. However, Edman’s 134 ADP only partially reflects the uncertainty around him. The ceiling is probably top-100, but the floor is a player who needs to be dropped. To his credit, Edman was a consistent performer through the minors, and the Cardinals believe he’s an everyday MLB player. Look for a season with a .290 BA, 14 HR, 85 R, 75 RBI, and 19 SB.

--David Emerick - RotoBaller

 

Gavin Lux – Los Angeles Dodgers

Lux earned a call-up in September just in time to earn a starting job as the Dodgers second baseman. Although he had some strong moments, including five multi-hit games and a pinch-hit home run in Game 1 of the NLDS, he ultimately hit .240 in the regular season and .222 in the team's brief postseason run. Lux has the upside to be a 20-20 threat and could be another Ozzie Albies if he proves ready to hold down the job all year for a perennial contender. Then again, he has all of 75 at-bats at the Major League level under his belt and may not have as long of a leash if he struggles for an extended stretch.

Early NFBC drafters have him as the 15th-ranked second baseman off the board (ADP 160), ahead of 2019 rookies like  Michael Chavis, Garrett Hampson, and All-Star Brandon Lowe. Betting on a breakout is always a tricky proposition but Lux has the tools to make it happen.

--Pierre Camus - RotoBaller

 

Garrett Hampson – Colorado Rockies

Hampson showed glimpses of his promise during the 2019 campaign despite finding irregular playing time for most of the year. He slashed .247/.302/.385 with eight HR, 40 R, 27 RBI, and 15 SB in 105 games while showing his versatility by starting at four different positions. Hampson struggled through his first 80 games sporting a woeful .212 BA after hitting over .300 at every minor league stop, but over his final 25 contests, he turned it around as a regular starter. The 25-year-old swatted a shiny .330 during this span with five dingers and nine steals as he earned the leadoff job before the season ended.

With several aging veterans on the Rockies roster, Hampson will undoubtedly carve out a path to playing time, especially if his bat stays hot in the early part of next season. His on-base skills as a minor leaguer (career .383 OBP) paired with his 30.1 ft/s sprint speed that would have finished second among all qualified players, makes him a viable top of the order bat. Hampson’s 183 ADP carries some risk with limited power production, but it has some potentially sneaky value with an expected high SB and R total.

--Riley Mrack - RotoBaller

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