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January 30, 2014

Get to Know

Second Base Prospects

by Craig Goldstein


If you would like to read previous articles in this series, click here:

As has been discussed, second base has been fairly deep in recent years, though it has lacked impact aside from a few key sources. This is largely the state of second-base prospects as well, with a deep group of names to choose from but few plus-plus skills among them. Instead, at the top are players at or close to the major-league level with well-rounded skillsets but no carrying tool. Further down they suffer from a similar condition but with either fewer overall tools or more risk due to distance from center stage. Few of these players boast the type of skills that will upset the balance at the top of the position, but they will aide in continuing the recent tradition of high-floor depth.

Names for 2014

Kolten WongSt. Louis Cardinals
Handed a starting job via the trade of David Freese and the subsequent transition of Matt Carpenter to third, Wong has pedigree and production at his back. It’s not necessarily a dynamic fantasy combination though, as his skills are grounded in contact (batting average) and speed (stolen bases). He should hit enough doubles to not kill you in power, but single-digit home runs should be anticipated. He’s a better real life player than he is in fantasy, but he’s still got top-10 upside (at the position) at his peak. It’s not top five, though, and that should be accounted for.

Jonathan SchoopBaltimore Orioles
Separating himself from the keystone mold, Schoop offers legitimate power and without the “for the position” qualifier, too. He might end up at third base, which explains the difference in his skillset to some degree, but with JJ Hardy and Manny Machado on the left side in 2014 and only Jemile Weeks and Ryan Flaherty in front of him at second, Schoop has a chance to seize some value. He performed well in a small sample size at the major-league level last season, and while his minor league production isn’t inspiring, he’s always been young for his level. Schoop doesn’t have the sex appeal of an All-Star-type ceiling and that can lead to him being undervalued. He’s got the potential for a major-league-average hit- and power-tool combination, which will earn him plenty of fantasy value.

Arismendy AlcantaraChicago Cubs
While he probably won’t shine as an asset until 2015, it’s impossible to ignore Alcantara on the 2014 landscape. His upside is such that if he does get the call, he becomes at least a top-20 option at the position. He can hit, run, and has a modicum of pop, so he should appeal to everyone. It’s not an impact skillset, but something more like a poor man’s Jason Kipnis in his ability to contribute all around. The best attribute he showed in 2013 was his ability to improve his game as he made the jump from High-A to Double-A, showing better plate discipline, doubling his career high in home runs, tripling his total in doubles from 2013, and setting a career high in stolen bases. Sure, a career high in games played explains part of that, but the other part is his ability to adjust, a skill he’ll rely on at the highest level.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Juri... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Get to Know: First Bas... (01/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Shortstop... (02/05)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (01/30)

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