Updated May Rankings and Tiers: Second Base

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The time for chalking things up to “just April shenanigans” has come and gone, and we here at RotoBaller felt that it was time for a rankings update with roughly 20 percent of the season in the books. Kyle Bishop and I felt that the world needed to know what we thought after a month-plus of baseball, with this being the result after much hair-pulling and wondering what alternate reality we had slipped into.

The keystone world is an intriguing one, as many useful-but-not-elite types live here. We haven’t really seen any one of them “take over” and provide first-round utility yet, though Murph-dog is knocking on the door and it isn’t as though Altuve has been bad by any means. Remember, we’re not here to overreact, simply to reassess.

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2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Second Basemen (May Updates)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Nick Composite
1 1 Jose Altuve 2B 9 8 8.5
2 1 Trea Turner 2B/OF 14 9 11.5
3 1 Daniel Murphy 2B 15 27 21
4 1 Robinson Cano 2B 32 32 32
5 2 Brian Dozier 2B 49 47 48
6 2 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 47 75 61
7 2 Rougned Odor 2B 65 63 64
8 2 Dee Gordon 2B 71 79 75
9 2 Ian Kinsler 2B 66 85 75.5
10 2 Jean Segura 2B/SS 81 100 90.5
11 2 DJ LeMahieu 2B 101 81 91
12 2 Dustin Pedroia 2B 100 86 93
13 3 Jason Kipnis 2B 108 94 101
14 3 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF 138 143 140.5
15 4 Jonathan Schoop 2B 147 173 160
16 4 Cesar Hernandez 2B 156 191 173.5
17 4 Starlin Castro 2B 222 132 177
18 4 Neil Walker 2B 224 162 193
19 4 Logan Forsythe 2B 172 237 204.5
20 5 Joe Panik 2B 219 190 204.5
21 5 Devon Travis 2B #N/A 267 267
22 5 Brandon Phillips 2B 246 306 276
23 5 Jedd Gyorko 2B/3B 265 296 280.5
24 5 Ryan Schimpf 2B #N/A 281 281
25 5 Josh Harrison 2B #N/A 292 292
26 5 Javier Baez 2B/SS #N/A 315 315
27 5 Tyler Saladino 2B/SS #N/A 321 321
28 6 Howie Kendrick 2B #N/A 365 365
29 6 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF #N/A 371 371
30 6 Kolten Wong 2B #N/A 402 402
31 6 Jed Lowrie 2B #N/A 403 403
32 6 Scooter Gennett 2B #N/A 418 418
33 6 Jace Peterson 2B #N/A 427 427
34 6 Brett Lawrie 2B #N/A 436 436
35 6 Chase Utley 2B #N/A 447 447
36 7 Derek Dietrich 2B #N/A 456 456
37 7 Nick Franklin 2B #N/A 472 472
38 7 Whit Merrifield 2B #N/A 484 484
39 7 Greg Garcia 2B/SS/3B #N/A 485 485

 

Second Base Rankings Analysis: May

We’re holding fast with our top tier again, though Daniel Murphy does leapfrog Robinson Cano at the No. 3 slot. Murphy’s hot start does seem to be an overperformance considering how amazingly he’s swung the bat over roughly the past two calendar years. I realize that Trea Turner is in the midst of a little slump, but the opening month of his largely reflected the talent flashed last season and that ceiling needs to be respected.

Rougned Odor’s six homers and three steals are nice to see this early, but his four caught stealing’s and paltry .201/.252/.369 triple slash are quite frightful. It isn’t even his contact that’s the issue -- those are holding steady with last season -- but his soft-contact rate has soared from 15.4 percent to 21.9 percent to open 2017. When you rely on power to make value and have a fly-ball heavy profile (47.8 percent), then you can’t generate that many weakly-struck balls and expect to have a good showing.

I am officially worried about Jason Kipnis and I would tie a rock to his stock here and chuck it into a lake if I could. I know full well that he won’t finish the season batting .155, but he has just two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 74 plate appearances with only two walks against 20 strikeouts. His chase rate is up four percent, line-drive rate down five percent and soft-contact up nearly 10 percent. He’s upping his aggression at the dish with horrible results. He’s pressing and it’s not working. He’s talented, but he needs to reverse course quickly here. Or put up another 30-steal season like in ’12 and ’13, which would help too.

Cesar Hernandez and Starlin Castro have both shot up in the rankings, and deservedly so. Hernandez’s power has (predictably) slowed, but he continues to make consistent contact and score from atop Philly’s lineup. He’s also now six-for-seven on steal attempts after going a blah 17-for-30 on the basepaths in ’16. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns in a 100-10-45-25-.300 season. Castro has simply upped his zone-contact rate nearly six percent -- back to his 2011 levels when he hit a career-high .307 -- but he’s kept his power. Yankee Stadium gets the assist in that department, but between that and a career-best 22.5 percent line-drive rate thus far, I can back Castro in ’17.

I still believe in Devon Travis’ ability to bounce back here (also true for much of Toronto’s lineup, including Steve Pearce) but he’s been safe to move along from in 12-teamers for a while. I will say that his eight doubles in his last 60 PAs is encouraging, but he’s only logged five hits aside from those for a .232 average over that span. He’ll need more than two steals in that timeframe to compensate.

Also, Javier Baez has actually done fairly well for himself in 116 plate appearances, but I still find it too difficult to back him and his .243/.281/.458 slash line. He’s absolutely hit better of late after hitting just one long ball in April, but I have a hard time trusting this. I think he was rather unlucky in April and is riding a 30.8 percent HR/FB rate in May despite an unspectacular batted-ball profile. But hey, at least it helps him stay in the lineup and creep up toward the six-hole.

And yes, I disrespected Matt Carpenter with my ranking. Mea culpa -- he deserves to be higher.

 

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