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Second Base Draft Values for Fantasy Baseball - EDV Finds Undervalued, Overvalued Picks

marcus semien fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers MLB injury news

And we're back to the Expected Draft Values (EDV) series, where we look at historical data to identify both over and undervalued players of all types. Whether you're targeting power, speed, power+speed, batting average+power, and so on, we've got you covered. We started with first base and now head to second base as we make our way around the diamond for 2023.

Today, we'll look at 2023's second basemen and compare their projected statline via my Cutter Projections against their ADP's expected return. Due to a variety of factors such as name recognition, your fantasy platform's default rank in the draft room, or social media buzz, ADPs can be swayed to poorly reflect the stats you're drafting. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as we bring you a deeper look at undervalued and overvalued players from each position using Expected Draft Values.

Generally, what we'll do in this series is identify players who will return a positive or negative value, based on their NFBC ADP in Draft Champions Contests spanning January into February, their Expected Draft Value (i.e. the average stat line typically produced at that ADP), and the player's projection.

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How Expected Draft Values (EDV) Help You Win Your League

Expected Draft Values (EDV) try to provide concrete answers to those who say, “Player X is a great value at that ADP.” We've taken historical data and come up with a data set that reliably shows stat lines along the ADP totem pole, with players falling into seven cohorts: 1) HR+BA+SB 2) HR+BA, 3) SB+HR, 4) SB+BA, 5) HR, 6) SB, 7) BA.

We all know players don't fall neatly into one bucket of production, but we can read between the lines and apply the appropriate context if necessary. EDV is not some definitive practice, just as projections are an imperfect science, but it helps sharpen the tools in your kit on draft day. Now, let's move along.


Top Second Base Tiers

Jose Altuve is a stable piece if you’ve gone without a strong batting average bat earlier who won’t sandbag your power or speed. We got a renaissance 2022 from Altuve, hitting .300 while going 18-of-19 on steal attempts. He had gone just 13-of-24 on the basepaths between 2019-21. CUTTER gives him 36 HR+SB in '23 while ATC yields 38, but his EDV demands 46 with a -12 gap for R+RBI. I understand seeking a high floor but the math isn't quite checking out.

Marcus Semien paces the keystone ahead of his EDV, providing a boost over expectations in home runs, stolen bases, runs, and RBI. And he’s within 10 points of his average expectation, so it isn’t four pluses tied to a massive anchor. His EDV calls for 46 HR+SB as he's turned in 60 and 51 in the last two respective seasons. He's also played in 159 or more games in five of the last six full seasons. Altuve hasn't eclipsed 146 since 2017, for reference.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. is extremely volatile but the tools and ceiling will draw teams in that kicked off their draft with pitching. Most agree his power-speed combo can obliterate the 44 HR+SB EDV but can Miami's lineup get him close to 175 R+RBI? Can he come close to hitting .270? I don’t love Ozzie Albies coming off of his down 2022, but the projections have him even with his EDV. But if he hits at the bottom half of their order then we could have trouble.


Mid-Round Second Base Tiers

And then there are two big green lights for Tommy Edman and Andres Gimenez, who beat their EDV across all five traditional categories. Each of them is on par with HR+SB expectations but their likelihood of hitting high up has them ~20 R+RBI above EDV. Gimenez is the big buy here, as he can also kick his .260 average EDV by nearly 20 points. But you saw Edman mentioned in the earlier Cross tweet regarding durability, which carries weight!

Jorge Polanco is the first man up who doesn’t qualify for a cohort, so you’d be heavily relying on middle-of-the-order R+RBI to give him a boost. He's sitting around 30 HR+SB while his EDV calls for 36. It’s possible, but banking on such things is unreliable and I don't want to lean on it just to break even. He also slugged .512 off of sliders in '21  (.537 xSLG) but that fell to .158 in '22 (.321 xSLG). Does middle ground emerge? I'm not buying at ADP.


Late-Round Second Base Tiers

Others who pop up along the way: Thairo Estrada, Whit Merrifield, Josh Rojas, and Jean Segura. That makes two different vets and a pair of youngsters depending on your risk tolerance. Can Whit find his footing north of the border? Segura's team environment stepped backward but he remains a steady contributor across most fantasy categories.  Rojas could push for a 10/30 season, especially if he can improve strikeouts against southpaws as he did versus right-handers. And Estrada, well let's dive more into that.

In 140 games, Estrada slugged 14 home runs with 21 swipes and a .260/.322/.400 slash line as his career finally gets a chance to blossom following tragedy. He was shot in Venezuela back in 2017 and underwent a botched surgery where his thigh was damaged, and the bullet wasn't removed until six months later. He made his way to San Fran and took off thanks to obliterating fastballs and punishing mistakes. His "Meatball Swing" rate jumped from 70.7% in '21 to 87.4% (25th out of 317 hitters, min. 250 PAs) as he hit .320 off of four-seamers. Capitalize on opportunities via pull-side fly balls and I'll forgive shoddy overall exit velocities.


Top Second Base vs. EDV - Full Data Table

We've got players, the cohort they qualify for (if applicable), their HR+SB projection against what EDV demands, same with their R+RBI, a similar batting average score, and notes.

Player ADP Cohort HR+SB
v. EDV 
v. EDV
AVG Notes
Jose Altuve 33.79 HR+SB -9.2 -11.5 3.3 Not a buy unless you're all-in on 2022's SB resurgence
Marcus Semien 34.3 HR+SB 7 6.6 -1.3 Solid get across most categories to anchor keystone
Jazz Chisholm Jr. 42.07 HR+SB 10.8 -22.3 -5.5 Flashy HR+SB, you'll get OF elig. but R+RBI lags in Miami
Ozzie Albies 49.57 HR+SB 0.2 1.2 -2.1 Can he grab a top-half spot in the order?
Tommy Edman 72.58 SB 7.5 14.9 1.4 90+ R, 10+ HR, 30+ SB, .260+ AVG in '21 & '22. Buying.
Andres Gimenez 82 BA+HR+SB 3.9 -5 -3.3 Scores look low but only BA+HR+SB at 2B. Higher bar, buy.
Gleyber Torres 112.8 HR+SB -2.2 -6.3 2.4 Not everyday player with NYY depth, ~140 games again?
Max Muncy 131.17 HR -4.7 1 -3 Elbow injury sunk most of '22, exit velo rose after mid-Aug. adjustment
Jorge Polanco 135 Is knee 100%? No cohort, not a buy for 2023
Brandon Lowe 161.35 HR 3.8 11.6 -3.2 If BA foundation is there then nice power, R+RBI buy
Vaughn Grissom 169.08 He faded, but was only 21! Not an EDV buy, but a fine mid-rd flier
Thairo Estrada 170.87 SB 3.9 22.1 1.9 Probably has 2B/SS/OF elig. with plus projections across the board
Jeff McNeil 175.97 BA 3.6 13.6 -1.7 BA w/ little category juice but NYM R+RBI ops boost stock
Jonathan India 179.56 No cohort but if speed returns w/ leg health then you'll be happy
Brandon Drury 184.1 How much magic was tied to GABP? .724 OPS post-trade
Whit Merrifield 185.03 SB 0.3 21.1 3.6 Good dart if lacking speed later on w/ TOR aggression comments
Jake Cronenworth 187.29 Lesser projections, but CI/MI flexibility is nice
Luis Arraez 204.4 BA -1.3 28.5 0 Last hope for BA boost, ADP is right per EDV
Ketel Marte 205.58 Gamble on health and dormant speed potential if you dare
Josh Rojas 208.8 SB 3.7 11.7 2.9 Nice, versatile speed bat w/ 10-12 HR juice and 3B eligibility
Ryan McMahon 210.79 Gets boost in shallower leagues if you can juggle home/road
Gavin Lux 222.04 Don't mind a late dart here w/ improved swing per Driveline
Bryson Stott 228.28 Fatigue got to him as a rookie but modest HR & SB offerings
Luis Urias 232.83 2B/3B/SS is nice, but low AVG and SB output limits appeal
CJ Abrams 233.08 SB 1 16.3 1.1 Quick path to MLB made for turbulence, but speed is real
Jean Segura 237.73 SB -1.1 30.2 6.9 MIA not great for power but R+RBI and AVG alone make a buy
DJ LeMahieu 245.71 Hard to lean on as consistent starter if NYY protects foot w/ depth
Christopher Morel 249.83 SB 0.8 -0.4 -1 Fine with later dart, see if he can win adjustment battles thru '23
Kolten Wong 259.59 SB -0.6 18.2 1.9 Good value here even if shielded from southpaws

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