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January 27, 2014

State of the Position

Second Basemen

by Paul Sporer


To read the previous editions of this series, follow the links below:

Perceptions of second base can vary wildly from person to person, but part of that comes from a skewed perception of depth. Depth at a position doesn’t mean there are 10-12 flawless options. Even first base, the unquestioned deepest position in most seasons, doesn’t offer that many prime assets. Second base has been deep the last couple of years with a strong top tier, thick middle tier, and a handful of later options either carrying real upside or a high floor that won’t kill you. Both profiles carry their own distinct value based on your roster composition at the time.

Given the dearth of talent we’ve seen at one or both of the middle-infield positions in recent years, the bar to clear for depth isn’t terribly high. If several breakout potentials actually come through, second base could end up just flat out being deep, as opposed to being deep with the disclaimer “for a middle-infield position.”

Second base is sometimes laden with multi-positional players, though the only position where they are definitely going to be more valuable is shortstop. Unlike catchers qualifying at first base, it wouldn’t be insane to use a shortstop-eligible player at second base, so those affected will still count toward the second-base depth. This primarily impacts Jed Lowrie, Ben Zobrist, and also Jordy Mercer, who had a sneaky-solid season in 365 PA. Other guys like Nick Punto, Jonathan Herrera, Daniel Descalso, and Maicer Izturis also carry both middle-infield positions, but none of them have enough bat for it to matter.

The League Breakout
This position is decidedly tilted in favor of the American League with no less than the top three coming from the junior circuit, and some rankings going four or five deep with ALers at the top. Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, and Dustin Pedroia are the unquestioned top trio while Ian Kinsler and Jose Altuve have been given top-five consideration.

The NL’s top tier has a pair of guys who have to prove they can repeat in Matt Carpenter and Daniel Murphy, as well as some steady-Eddie types like Brandon Phillips, Martin Prado, and Chase Utley (he steadily gets hurt, but also produces when he plays). I couldn’t label him steady after an 87-game season, but I think Aaron Hill has a good shot at being the NL’s top 2B earner in 2014.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Tar... (01/27)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (01/21)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article State of the Position:... (02/03)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Ja... (01/27)

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INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
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