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2022 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Many years ago, I noticed the managers in my long-time keeper league were consistently making terrible keeper decisions year after year. Instead of taking their money every year, I thought I would help them out and find a good set of Keeper League Rankings to share with them. What I found was quite disturbing.

There appeared to be two types of Keeper Rankings available in the industry: Type A is just the site's normal rankings with younger players boosted. These types of rankings only benefit leagues where all Keepers carry the same cost or no cost, such as Rounds 1-4 for everyone's keepers. I also found a Type B that I have no explanation on how any human could ever perceive to be useful in any type of fantasy format. So instead of pulling a rankings list for them, I sat down on Excel for a good month and the Keeper Value Formula was born.

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. In this piece, I'll break down second base values. In case you missed it, check out my First Base Keeper Value Rankings.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


JB's Keeper Value System

These rankings are based on Keeper "Values." In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is perceived by its customer (fantasy owner) to meet his/her needs or wants." The Keeper Values are derived from my Keeper Valuation Formula, which accounts for age, player cost (ADP), remaining player pool, past performance, future projections, missed playing time, and even position scarcity.

The final product is a quantitative depiction of a player's ability to meet/exceed fantasy owners' needs based on the cost they paid for the player in the previous season (2021 ADP) and will subsequently pay for in the current season's draft (2022). The higher the score, the higher the return the fantasy owner will receive from the player keeping him at their associated cost. Approaching Keeper selections with this value-based attitude will greatly increase the effectiveness of a fantasy owner's draft in a keeper league.

Whereas the main purpose of the Keeper Value Formula is for customization based on specific leagues and keeper costs, I create these yearly rankings with standard 12-team league data, 2021 ADP, and 23rd Round cost for UDFA just as a baseline to help managers get an idea of their options. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @RowdyRotoJB to check out your specific league's values.

1 >100 Finders Keepers! These are the Elite Keeper Values. MUST BE KEPT at all costs.
2 75-99 Great Keeper values. Unless you have a full load of Tier 1 players, these guys need to be kept.
3 50-74 You are gaining good value with these players. The majority of good keeper options tend to fall into this category.
4 25-49 Minimal value. The value exists, but not as much as your opponents are likely receiving with their selections. Consider if your options are limited.
5 0-24 Break-even point. Keeping these players will likely hurt your overall draft, as you are not adding enough value. The idea is if you don't use a keeper selection here you can likely still draft that player in the vicinity of their 2021 cost.
6 <0 The associated costs make it impossible to return any value, these players will ruin your draft. Stay far away.


2022 Second Base Keeper Value Rankings

Position Rank Keeper Tier Name Team 2021 ADP Keeper Score
1 2 Trea Turner LAD 1 94.36
2 2 Marcus Semien TEX 10 80.61
3 2 Jazz Chisholm Jr. MIA 23 80.10
4 3 Jonathan India CIN 23 74.49
5 3 Jorge Polanco MIN 20 73.80
6 3 Ozzie Albies ATL 3 57.78
7 3 Ty France SEA 23 53.72
8 4 Jake Cronenworth SDP 18 48.86
9 4 Luis Urias MIL 23 48.28
10 4 Chris Taylor LAD 21 45.71
11 4 Whit Merrifield KCR 4 45.32
12 4 Tommy Edman STL 11 45.23
13 4 Brendan Rodgers COL 23 38.66
14 4 Ryan McMahon COL 21 37.49
15 4 Jose Altuve HOU 8 31.14
16 4 Eduardo Escobar NYM 23 27.63
17 4 Jonathan Schoop DET 23 27.46
18 5 Javier Baez DET 6 21.69
19 5 Kolten Wong MIL 20 14.54
20 5 Enrique Hernandez BOS 23 13.31
21 5 Josh Rojas ARI 23 8.58
22 5 Brandon Lowe TBR 6 5.52


Tier Two

No Tier One scores for second basemen this season, so we begin with numero dos.

I absolutely love the range of this tier. We have a first-rounder, 10th-round, and one undrafted (23rd) displaying the unlimited routes to keeper value. Trea Turner is obvious up top, considering he's a consensus top-three guy for 2022. He finished last season as one of only six hitters to accumulate 60 HR+SB - but of course TT did it while also leading the league in BA and scoring the ninth most runs.

Marcus Semien was also one of those six hitters after surprisingly hitting a career-high 45 HR in his first and only season in Toronto. No one expects a power repeat in 2022 down in Texas with his middle-of-the-road HardHit% and EV, but even 30/15/.260 is a huge win relative to last year's ADP.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. did not reach the 60 HR+SB club, but the 24-year-old did hit a still impressive 18 HR while swiping 23 bases in 507 PA. He's got serious wheels (94th Percentile Sprint Speed) and serious pop (112,1 MPH Max EV), but his plate discipline still has a ways to go. Among all qualified hitters, his 0.23 BB/K was tied for sixth-worst. The good news is he's still 24, and he did manage to decrease the strikeout rate by 7% over the second half of 2021.


Tier Three

2021 was the first taste of the big leagues for Jonathan India, but it sure didn't look like it. Spending the majority of the season as the Reds' leadoff hitter, India led all rookies with 98 runs scored thanks to his impressive on-base ability. His 11.3 BB% and .376 OBP also led all rookie hitters with at least 300 PA. The power numbers aren't overly exciting, but I expect an increase on his 21 HR after watching his second-half power surge. 15 of his 21 long balls were hit in the second half and his ISO almost doubled to .245. Throw in the double digit steals and you've got a late-round steal in keeper rounds, one that I am personally taking advantage of in my long-time home league. India misses out on a Tier Two score by half a point.

There's no point in talking about how awesome Ozzie Albies is; 30/20 will never not be fun. But it's been Jorge Polanco as an early favorite for me in redraft leagues for 2022, and based on these keeper values, you are better off sacrificing 10 of those SB in exchange for the 17-round discount. Polanco set a career-high with 33 HR and finally got back into the double digit swipes after last reaching the mark in 2017. There are a lot of things to like about the 28-year-old: switch hitting in the heart of the Twins lineup, 2B and SS position eligibility, and, like India, ended 2021 with a serious bang. Only THREE players hit more HR after the All-Star Break than Polanco's 21. But none of those three did it while hitting .287 like our boy.


Tier Four

Fun Fact: every second baseman in Tier Four has multi-position eligibility except Jose Altuve. Since steals are the name of the fantasy-game these days, we'll start with Whit Merrifield and Tommy Edman, both of whom can be slotted in as OF and also represent 33% of the hitters with at least 30 SB in 2021. The power is fairly nonexistent (10 and 11 HR, respectively) and the BA won't necessarily help your lineup (Merrifield BA decreases three straight seasons). But STEALS!

Luis Urias finally got things going at the big league level, and it was very solid yet quite boring. He's essentially a 25-year-old version of Eduardo Escobar, who is a 33-year old-version of Ryan McMahon? At least Chris Taylor took advantage of that 91st Percentile sprint speed in 2021 and swiped 13 bases for the Dodgers who desperately needed him to step up with Cody Bellinger going AWOL. With Corey Seager gone, the universal DH Taylor should be in the potent lineup everyday - and we all know how valuable those double digit steals are, especially at such a cheap keeper cost.


Tier Five

The studs of the tier are Javier Baez and Brandon Lowe, who did pretty much as expected last year hence the minimal keeper value. But the other three names carry intrigue just because of their solid roles at cheap keeper costs. Kolten Wong is good at everything but not great at anything. He had a successful first season with the Brewers, going 14/12 with a .272 BA across 492 PA. He missed time from an oblique strain and calf tightness, otherwise we probably would have seen a sweet 15/15/.270 campaign from the leadoff spot. He's one of my favorite late-round middle infield targets.

Speaking of leadoff hitters, how important was Enrique Hernandez to the Sox in 2021? He's 1000% a more valuable real-world player compared to fantasy, but he's going to hit 25 bombs, score oodles of runs, and can play 2B or OF.

Then there's Josh Rojas. I owned many shares in 2021 because he was going so late and I knew the playing time would be there, and he ended up in most of my lineups throughout the year because of his versatility and dependability. As far as the production goes, I would sum it up as follows: imagine if the word "Meh" was a baseball player.


2022 Keeper Value Rankings by Position

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