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Mid-Round Second Basemen - Fantasy Baseball Draft Values and Targets

brandon lowe fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers mlb player news

Welcome officially to the 2022 fantasy baseball season! Now that an MLB deal is in place, a lot more fantasy drafts will be taking place -- and we're here as always to guide you through it. Once you reach the middle rounds of drafts, everyone is looking to draft players with upside that can provide a great return on value. You can afford to start taking a risk or two on a variety of different players, including emerging prospects, overlooked veterans, players returning from injury, or even talented players who may have some playing time concerns. The early rounds are critical and the late rounds are where you can take your chances on dart-throw sleepers, but the middle rounds can absolutely make or break your roster as those picks are going to make up roughly half of your starting lineup.

Today, we're looking at some middle-round second basemen for you to consider drafting in your season-long leagues this season. Are their ADPs undervalued? Will they make significant fantasy contributions and become a mid-round draft target that you're going to want to prioritize? 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 2022 Draft Kit. Be sure to subscribe today and start reading all of our in-depth 2022 player outlooks, and many other premium articles and tools, available exclusively in our 2022 Draft Kit.

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!

 

Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' second baseman Brandon Lowe had a career year and was one long ball, one RBI shy of joining the 40-homer, 100 RBI club in 2021. He slashed .247/.340/.523 with 39 home runs, 99 RBI, 97 runs scored, and seven stolen bases over 615 plate appearances. The 27-year-old emerged as one of the best power hitters in the game and closed out the season strong with five home runs over his last four contests. Fantasy managers can expect Lowe to blast another 30 homers and swipe 6-to-8 bags, but don't expect the Maryland product to hit for a high average. Lowe did strike out a whopping 28.6% of the time, and his walk percentage dipped from 11.1% in 2020 to 10.2% in 2021.

He should score plenty of runs and is expected to lead off for a loaded Rays lineup, including Randy ArozarenaWander Franco, and Austin Meadows. Lowe could also have dual eligibility at second base and outfield in some league formats, as the Rays slugger logged 15 games in the outfield last season, increasing his fantasy value. Steamer is projecting a .345 WOBA and .244/.332/.479 slash line, which according to Rotoballer's Expected Draft Values, would put Lowe below fair value at his current NFBC ADP of 84.

-- Brad Camara- RotoBaller

 

Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals

Edman is something of a dinosaur in modern baseball, as the speedy infielder was one of only six players to swipe at least 30 bases in 2021, and only one of two National League players to reach that milestone last season. Edman's penchant for steals pushes his fantasy value far above his actual bat skills, meaning his top-80 draft-day price is a dicey proposition for those who rely on and trust in 'quality of contact' metrics. His meager 87.5 MPH average exit velocity and 35.1% hard-hit rate last season leaves something to be desired, and his 4.2% barrel rate in 2021 was downright pitiful. He made the most of his limited physical abilities at the dish by putting the ball in play with an 86.5% contact rate and 13.7% K rate in 2021, and keeping it on the ground, with a 46% GB rate last season, an approach that perfectly complements his speed-first skillset.

The frequent contact is nice, but his 5.5% career walk rate puts a cap on his on-base upside, and with just a .308 OBP last season, one has to wonder how strong Edman's grip on St. Louis's leadoff spot is, especially since the Cardinals will welcome new manager Oliver Marmol in 2022. A new manager might spell trouble for Edman's stolen base totals well; Mike Shildt was let go over "Philosophical differences", and while the general public will likely never know specifics, one can assume those differences were more related to lineup construction and baserunning strategy than debates about Nietzsche and Heidegger. We can't know how the changing of the guard will affect Edman, but between the new manager and suspect hitting skills, there are reasons to doubt a repeat season here. Still, players who can put up 30 steals don't grow on trees, so Edman may be a worthy gamble in 5x5 Roto or categories leagues if his manager can structure the rest of their team with reliable sources of power and batting average.

--Elliott Baas - RotoBaller

 

Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins' second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. displayed his power-speed combo last season, smashing 18 HRs and swiping 23 bags while adding 70 runs and 53 RBI in 124 games. However, he showed a lot of contact issues, hitting .248 with a 28.6 K% to just a 6.7 BB%. Plate discipline was a big problem, chasing pitches 30.8% of the time, and he was in the 17th percentile for Whiff%. The Bahamian product did improve over the year, though, striking out at a 24.6% clip in the second half. Chisholm hit the ball hard (84th percentile for max exit velocity, 9.0 Barrel%) but got on top of the ball too often (49.4 GB%), limiting his power. If the Marlins bat him at the top of the order again, he should rack up at least 80 runs and RBI, and if he can maintain his post-All-Star break strikeout rate, he should keep his batting average around .250, especially with his speed.

However, there's a lot of risk in the young infielder. His minor league numbers show he's never hit much for average and has had strikeout issues throughout his pro career. He has legitimate 25-25 upside, though, and his 129 ADP is an appropriate place to take a shot on him with the hopes that he can improve his contact rates.

-- Spencer Seguin - RotoBaller



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