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August 20, 2014

They Hold No Quarter

Second Basemen

by BP Fantasy Staff


If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues and who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).

Arismendy Alcantara, Chicago Cubs
“It's been a debut befitting a hyped 22-year-old prospect for Alcantara, which is to say he's struggled mightily to adjust to big-league stuff. His .213/.280/.346 line and .240 TAv have barely produced value in even the deepest of leagues to date. But none of this should be of any concern to managers with an eye on 2015 and beyond. The pedigree is still that of a perennial top-10 second baseman, and his double-digit pop and 30-plus-steal potential has already flashed in the majors despite his overall struggles. While there is a possibility that the Cubs' surplus of organizational depth could land him in the outfield it's all but certain he'll be in Chicago's starting lineup on Opening Day next spring, and he'll be there with 2B eligibility. He's one of the best flyers around for a Rendon-esque leap in value in his first full season and he makes for a strong end-game waiver claim or FAAB target if he's available in your keeper league.” —Wilson Karaman

Derek Dietrich, Miami Marlins
“After showing some pop in a 57-game stint last year, Derek Dietrich showed some improvements early on in 2014 with increases in all three triple-slash numbers up to .252/.349/.441 through May. He was sent down on June 3rd, but returned on June 22nd to post a .143/.250/.179 line in eight games before eventually succumbing to a right wrist injury that has sidelined him since. He has recently started a rehab assignment, the length of which is undetermined at this point, leaving us an indeterminate window to still acquire him for nothing (or next-to-nothing at the very most).

While both samples are small (just a total of 416 PA), it was nice to see Dietrich bump his walk rate up (from 4.7 percent to 7.1 percent) while his cutting into his strikeout rate (from 24 percent to 21 percent). That last eight-game stretch mauled his triple-slash gains, but I think it’s safe to say he has potential to greatly improve that .679 OPS from 2013 and even the .712 we’ve seen thus far in 2014.

I think he can be a 25-homer, .265-ish-hitting second baseman with his runs scored and driven in categories obviously dependent on the maturation of the up-and-coming Marlins. In today’s power-starved game, that is useful even if the batting average estimation is a bit aggressive. The 24-year old has hit at every level (his only stop south of an .800 OPS was his Low-A debut in the TB organization). What we’ve seen so far paces out to a .220 AVG, 96 runs, 21 homers, and 61 RBI over 162 games, and I think there’s more to come.” —Paul Sporer

Nick Franklin, Tampa Bay Rays
Franklin is currently owned in zero percent of ESPN leagues, but looking ahead to the 2015 season, the 23-year-old second baseman could be a sneaky stash. Though he’s only hitting .200/.279/.345 with the Rays’ Triple-A squad, Franklin has a long history of raking in the minors. It’s largely been an issue of replicating that performance at the major-league level. I’m not suggesting the switch hitter will approach the .294/.392/.455 slash line that he compiled in Tacoma; however, he already showed that he could hit double-digit homers, as he clubbed 12 with the Mariners in just 412 plate appearances. If the Rays commit to Franklin in a Ben Zobrist-type role or at least give him regular at-bats—and they wouldn’t have traded Price for him if they didn’t plan to do so—he could be an insanely cheap source of double-digit homers at a middle-infield position. That’s valuable when he’s on nobody’s radar. Franklin has shown strikeout issues in the majors and hasn’t exactly run wild, so he doesn’t appear poised for a massive breakout, but the name of the game is value when looking to stash guys for the 2015 campaign. Getting a guy who should see regular playing time and has shown reasonable power is wonderful value. I also think there’s some upside with Franklin. I just wouldn’t bank on it. If he somehow provides 15-plus stolen bases and hits over .275, that’s nothing but gravy.” —J.P. Breen

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Related Content:  Fantasy,  Second Basemen,  Keeper Leagues

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Bei... (08/20)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article They Hold No Quarter: ... (08/13)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article They Hold No Quarter: ... (08/27)
Next Article >>
The Lineup Card: Seven... (08/20)

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