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Second Base - Early Points League Rankings and Tiers


It’s never too early to start looking toward the fantasy baseball season, so I’m here to carry on RotoBaller’s position-by-position rankings analysis series for points league and head-to-head (H2H) formats with the keystone position. Traditionally a scarce position in fantasy, second base has truly risen over the past few years, and truthfully I'd be happy with grabbing anyone in the first four tiers (top 17) to start on my points teams. The main issue is that 12 of those top 17 are multi-position eligible, meaning you can't feel safe waiting on a second baseman this year. 

Our mixed-league points staff rankings come straight from the minds of Nick Mariano, myself and Bill Dubiel (a.k.a. the fourth-most accurate MLB expert for 2017 on FantasyPros), and we’ve got them broken down into tiers, as it should be. For this format, hitters get a bump for total bases, walks and take a hit for strikeouts.

Keep an eye out for all other positions to follow! In the meantime, you can also see all of our preliminary 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for mixed leagues here. Bookmark that page and come back for updates throughout the coming months as you prepare to dominate on draft day. Without any more delay, let's take a look at the 2019 second base points league rankings for January.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

2019 Fantasy Baseball Points Rankings: Second Base

Rank Tier Player Name Position Nick JB Bill
1 1 Jose Ramirez 2B/3B 2 3 3
2 1 Jose Altuve 2B 18 20 12
3 2 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 41 39 39
4 2 Javier Baez 2B/SS/3B 50 49 50
5 2 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 54 50 53
6 3 Scooter Gennett 2B 80 72 63
7 3 Daniel Murphy 1B/2B 71 78 72
8 3 Ozzie Albies 2B 77 74 81
9 3 Robinson Cano 1B/2B 79 77 82
10 3 Jose Peraza 2B/SS 90 96 93
11 3 Travis Shaw 1B/2B/3B 96 94 97
12 4 Brian Dozier 2B 109 104 110
13 4 Gleyber Torres 2B/SS 112 111 102
14 4 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B 102 102 151
15 4 Jurickson Profar SS/3B/1B/2B 141 118 126
16 4 Adalberto Mondesi 2B/SS 86 129 194
17 4 Cesar Hernandez 2B 136 134 142
18 5 Dee Gordon 2B/OF 144 137 154
19 5 DJ LeMahieu 2B 172 144 133
20 5 Jonathan Villar 2B/SS 147 147 160
21 5 Rougned Odor 2B 180 174 159
22 5 Yulieski Gurriel 1B/2B/3B 184 166 172
23 6 Jonathan Schoop 2B 193 181 171
24 6 Garrett Hampson 2B 192 167 192
25 6 Jed Lowrie 2B 206 178 205
26 6 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF 199 187 208
27 6 Yoan Moncada 2B 207 196 206
28 6 Joey Wendle 2B/3B/SS/OF 214 212 201
29 6 Lourdes Gurriel 2B/SS 202 231 #N/A
30 6 Luis Urias 2B 252 238 235
31 7 Jeff McNeil 2B 339 249 214
32 7 Starlin Castro 2B 293 259 287
33 7 Jason Kipnis 2B/OF 286 277 286
34 7 Ian Kinsler 2B 299 291 299
35 7 Johan Camargo 2B/3B/SS 359 281 258
36 7 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/SS/OF 320 306 316
37 7 Isiah Kiner-Falefa C/2B/3B 327 326 323
38 7 Yolmer Sanchez 2B/3B 395 325 300
39 7 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF 370 359 350
40 7 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 381 365 346
41 7 Josh Harrison 2B 379 396 344
42 7 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B/2B 375 373 #N/A
43 7 Eduardo Nunez 2B/3B 394 370 368
44 7 Keston Hiura 2B 450 421 400
45 7 Brock Holt 2B/3B/OF 443 435 399
46 7 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF 467 416 #N/A
47 7 Adam Frazier 2B 449 446 #N/A
48 7 Derek Dietrich 2B #N/A 453 #N/A
49 7 Zack Cozart SS/2B/3B 463 447 #N/A
50 7 Kike Hernandez 2B/SS/OF 459 451 #N/A
51 7 Dustin Pedroia 2B 472 448 #N/A
52 7 Chris Owings 2B/3B/OF 478 455 #N/A
53 7 Asdrubal Cabrera SS/2B/3B 483 460 #N/A
54 7 Kolten Wong 2B 480 467 #N/A
55 7 Logan Forsythe 2B/3B 481 468 #N/A
56 7 Devon Travis 2B 488 462 #N/A
57 7 Joe Panik 2B 479 473 #N/A


Second Base Points League Rankings: Top Tiers

Tier One

After a surprise breakout campaign in 2017, very few, if any fantasy players were expecting Jose Ramirez to take it to an even higher level in 2018. The 26-year-old’s encore performance consisted of career-highs in Runs (110), HR (39), RBI (105), and SB (34) en route to a top-five fantasy ranking. This newfound power came at the expense of his BA, however, as he set his sights on the bleachers. He became a top-ten fly-ball hitter with the second-highest pull-rate in the majors, and it dragged JRam’s BABIP down over 60 points from 2017. This guy gets an additional boost in points leagues, as his 1.33 BB/K ratio led the majors last year, and even makes a case for the top pick against Mike Trout and Max Scherzer.

It was a disappointing 2018 for fantasy owners who took Jose Altuve in the first round, but the floor is just so solid you can never go wrong taking this Stro. We all knew the 20+ HR seasons weren't going to last forever, but the steep loss of SB is what really hurt Altuve's value. His 17 SB was the lowest output since his 57 game rookie season in 2011. Regardless of whether either category rebounds to 2016-2017 form, you have a 15-15 guy in the middle of one of the best lineups in baseball that will end a full season with over 200 hits. That more than qualifies for a second round pick, but with the depth of talent at the keystone position, you should focus on getting an ace or heavier hitter at this point in your drafts for points leagues.

Tier Two

Matt Carpenter enjoyed a career year in 2018, going yard 36 times and scoring 111 runs. Carp has always been one to tear the cover off the ball, but he has taken it to new heights after leading the entire league with an absurd 49.0 Hard%. We'd love to say we expect HR regression in 2019, but when someone is doing that to the baseball where do you expect it to go other than the stands?! His 19.1 HR/FB% was actually the lowest among hitters in the top-five Hard%. The Cardinals lineup should produce plenty of runs this year, and their powerful leadoff hitter will thrive again. I've always been a Carpenter fanboy thanks to the hard-hit rates and OBP, but the multi-position eligibility really boosts his value for me - hence the top 40 ranking. He finished 2018 as the 35th ranked player in fantasy and has the top first basemen in baseball hitting behind him this year. The fact that his 15.1 BB% ranked top 10 in the league and directly behind Jose Ramirez only makes him an even safer pick in points leagues.

Javier Baez went from a 98 wRC+ in 2017 to N.L. MVP runner up one season later. He was one of just seven players to hit 30 HR with 20 SB, and put up triple digits in both run scoring categories. All of this goodness while still striking out in a quarter of his bats for the third straight year. Can he keep up this level of production with such poor plate discipline? First off, the BA is not sustainable. His 25.9 K% ranked 14th highest in the league. Among those 14 batters, Baez had by far the highest BA, with the next closest (Giancarlo Stanton) being a whole 27 points lower. We expect the BA to drop down closer to the .273 he posted in back-to-back seasons in 2016-2017. Also, the power is bound to regress. Baez only hit a 32.3 flyball rate, with a 1.41 GB/FB ratio. Those certainly aren't prototypical power hitting profiles. On top of that, his 24.3 HR/FB% just simply isn't repeatable with his 35.8 Hard%. Bottom line, yes we expect some regression from Baez in 2019. But the bottom-bottom line is that he hits cleanup for the Chicago Cubs and has legit speed that should produce 19-21 SB again. The talent and situation should still outweigh the regression, but the terrible plate discipline drags down his value in points leagues, which is why he's ranked as an early 5th round pick by all three rankers. He won't likely reach that point in drafts, so let someone else deal with all those Ks.

Sure it took a while for Whit Merrifield to make his presence known at the big league level, but for the 2017 performance doubters, that's two consecutive fantastic seasons in a row now. In case you were not aware, it was not Trea Turner or Billy Hamilton who led the MLB in SB last season. So let's play a quick blind player comparison. Player A in 2018: 103 R, 19 HR, 43 SB, 27 doubles, .271 BA. Player B in 2018: 88 R, 12 HR, 45 SB, 43 doubles, .304 BA. You are going to take Player B, right?Player A is Trea Turner, who is being taken tenth overall on NFBC. That means Player B is our boy Merrifield, currently being drafted in the third round. Thanks to the run support in KC is ranked even lower in our points rankings. It's time to stop the madness and appreciate what the 30-year-old is doing. He doubled his BB%, increased his LD% by eight points, and increased his Hard% by six points last season. The production is here to stay, at least for a few more years until the juice in those legs runs dry.

 

Second Base Points League Rankings: Middle Tiers

Tier Three

Daniel Murphy is generating a lot of buzz right now, as most players do when they join the Rockies. Injuries derailed his 2018 season, but he is just one year removed from back-to-back campaigns with at least 23 HR and a .322 BA. He is projected to hit behind Charlie Blackmon and in front of Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. Talk about a fantasy boost. Through 120 career PA at Coors Field, he has hit 15 XBH but with a monstrous .330/.358/.536 line. If DJ LeMahieu can hit .348 at Coors, one can only imagine what kind of campaign even an aged Murph can put together. A low career K% mixed with being in the heart of a stout lineup in Coors presents a high floor, especially if the 2016-2017 mid 20s HR power returns this year.

Ozzie Albies and Jose Peraza are two youngsters that had great seasons in 2018, but take a bit of a hit in points leagues. Albies is coming off a 24/14 campaign while scoring 105 R at the top of the Braves lineup with Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman. But a 5.3 BB% and early projected lineups showing Snitker having Albies hit sixth in the order don't line up for a fantastic 2019 in points leagues. Peraza shocked many with a 14/23 season last year but likewise has a minute BB% and should also be hitting in the bottom third of the lineup with the acquisition of Yasiel Puig and the emergence of Jesse Winker's insane on-base abilities.

Robinson Cano is back in New York, this time sans-pinstripes. Cano missed half the 2018 season due to a PED suspension but looked completely rust-free upon his return. His half-season translates to a 20 HR, 88 R, 100 RBI campaign with a BA hovering around the .300 mark. In his 14 career games at Citi Field, Cano hit nine XBH with a .298/.344/.561 slash. If the 36-year-old's body can hold up all year, you're looking at a slightly poor man's Freddie Freeman fantasy season that you can grab outside the top-100 right now.

Tier Four

There is a new second baseman in DC, but Brian Dozier is coming off his worst offensive season since a rookie in 2012. His 21 HR were just half his 2016 output, and his 12 SB were his lowest since 2015. At 31 years old, I don't see the SB getting back over 15, but the power has to rebound and the RBI potential is limitless hitting behind Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto. If you waited out the keystone position up to this point, grabbing Dozier in the ninth round is a great reward for the patience.

Adalberto Mondesi might be the most polarizing hitter for 2019 drafts. You either are all-in on his insane 2018 numbers, 14 HR and 32 SB in 75 games, or all you can see is that 26.5 K% and 3.8 BB%. First off, these are points league rankings, so that 0.14 BB/K ratio surely matters. This is why none of our rankers have him near the top 50 NFBC ADP, but as you can see even between us three there is massive variance. The bottom line is if you are using RotoBaller rankings, Mondesi is going to be scooped up well before even our earliest expert ranking, Nick at 86 overall. In that case, let someone else take the risk.

The last second baseman that I feel comfortable having as a starter in my points league lineups is Cesar Hernandez, and I've already pulled the trigger on him in several leagues this off-season. This Phillies lineup is going to be pretty lethal in 2019, and Cesar is going to be at the top of it behind Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, and Rhys Hoskins. He scored 91 R last year and hit 15 HR while stealing 19 bases. He also set a career-high walk-rate. The switch hitter is trending up, the Phillies are trending up, and expecting anything less than 100 R this year would be ill-advised.

Tier Five

We've reached the point of concern at the position, but this tier has some big-name guys that will be plenty useful as MIF or depth in points leagues. The first duo is Dee Gordon and Rougned Odor. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon (or brain scientist) to understand why Dee Gordon's value takes such a hit in points leagues, as his 1.5 BB% was the lowest in all of baseball. Even if he doubled that, it would still be the lowest. Pair that with his SB total being cut in half from 2017 and there's not much to like for 2019 outside of roto leagues. But he did play a large portion of last year injured, so expect the SB numbers to jump back up near the half-century mark. Odor actually took a huge step forward with his plate discipline last year, doubling his BB% from 2017, and adding 50 points to his BA. The strikeouts are still an issue and will cap his upside, but playing a full season in the two or three hole with 30/15 potential makes him a very intriguing MIF choice in 2019.

The bad news for DJ LeMahieu is he is no longer playing in Coors Field. The good news is he is now playing at Yankee Stadium in one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball. He hit a career-high 15 HR last year and has struck out less than 100 times in three straight seasons. If he can revert back to his pre-2018 heavy-oppo line drive profile, that short RF porch would ensure the power stays in the double digits. The main concern here is the unknown playing time and spot in the lineup. Steamer projects LeMahieu at 455 AB (I'll take the over), and I would assume the majority of those come from the bottom third of the lineup. He makes for a good bench bat and when, not if, Troy Tulowitzki gets hurt you can put him in your lineup until Didi Gregorius is back.

If Jonathan Villar was the starting second baseman for the Brewers, this would be a much different blurb. But alas, the Brew Crew messed that up and we're looking at one of the few fantasy-relevant players on the Orioles for 2019. 15/30 talent and shortstop eligibility makes him a useful bench bat to cover injuries and off-days, but 150+ Ks and a minimally productive offense banishes Villar from starting lineups in points leagues.

 

Second Base Points League Rankings: Lower Tiers

Tier Six

The next super-utility, useful bench-fantasy hitter is a personal favorite, Joey Wendle. Wendle enjoyed his first full season in the MLB, hitting .300 with 16 SB, while qualifying at 2B, 3B, SS, and OF. The BA won't carry over, as his .353 BABIP is certainly headed for regression. But the Rays have made some upgrades to their lineup and in 2019 Wendle could very well be hitting out of the three hole behind Tommy Pham, and in front of Austin Meadows. It's a sneaky good situation for a sneaky good fantasy hitter. The mid-teen SB is almost a guarantee as he has stolen at least 10 every season since 2013, and that speed mixed with his ultra position-eligibility makes him a great value pick in the later rounds.

The two biggest names in the sixth tier are easily Jonathan Schoop and Yoan Moncada. Schoop is just one year removed from hitting 32 bombs and 105 RBI with the Orioles and joined a revamped Twins team this off-season. But coming off a season where his already putrid 0.25 BB/K ratio dropped to 0.17 and saw his HR total dip down to the low 20's, you might want to take a wait-and-see approach with him this year to see if 2017 was an outlier or if 2018 was just an unlucky season. Moncada has all the potential in the world and finally played a full season with the White Sox last year. The end result was 17 HR and 12 SB, with a .235 BA. Unfortunately, the plate discipline is still awful, as his 33.4 K% was only beat by Chris Davis and Joey Gallo. He is destined for 200+ K again and will take much more development until he can be trusted in points leagues.

Disclaimer, I am a Garrett Hampson truther for 2019, and you can tell by my ranking compared to Nick and Bill. Sure the Daniel Murphy signing and looming presence of Brendan Rodgers makes Hampson's outlook much murkier. But as of now, he should be the starting second baseman for the Rox, and as long as that remains a fact, I am on board. First off, the guy can fly. He stole 51 bases in A+ ball in 2017 and combined for 38 SB across two minor league levels and a short MLB stint last year. Secondly, he is an on-base machine. Hampson owned an OBP higher than .377 at all three stops last year, including boasting a 14.6 BB% across 24 games with the big league team. I have him as my MIF in a few leagues already this off-season, and I don't expect that trend to change anytime soon, even in points leagues.

I was not happy when the Mets signed Jed Lowrie, as it essentially blocked Jeff McNeil and Peter Alonso from a shot at serious playing time in 2019. But it bodes well for Lowrie, who is coming off his best season after setting career-highs with 23 HR and 99 RBI. There is nothing exciting about him, but hitting in the top half of the lineup with Brandon Nimmo, Robinson Cano, and Michael Conforto with above-average on-base skills makes Lowrie a sneaky value pick for your MIF slot. Like Hampson, I am higher on Lowrie than my colleagues, but I am willing to plant my flag on both of these hills.

Luis Urias is a guy I have been scooping up in the late rounds solely because of intrigue. The ceiling isn't anything crazy, but he should get a crack at hitting near the top of the lineup and posted the exact same .296 BA and .398 OBP at AA and AAA last season. Maybe we get lucky and the power develops out of nowhere, he is still just 21 years old. There's really no risk to snag him for your bench late in the draft.

Tier Seven

Naw, I'm good.

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