January 23, 2017
State of the Position
The Big Question: What if we’re completely wrong?
It’s no secret that major-league second basemen recorded a truly historic season at the plate last year. USA TODAY reporter Ted Berg highlighted the phenomenon in September, and Craig Edwards expertly recapped it over at FanGraphs this offseason. While offensive production increased virtually across the board, the most dramatic shift, a significant uptick in home runs, corresponds with the unattributed league-wide power surge, which begun in the second half of the 2015 campaign. Here’s an over-simplification: Second base has evolved from a pedestrian offensive position, to one of the deepest in fantasy baseball, in the blink of an eye.
In addition to hitting 585 home runs, second basemen posted a .771 OPS last year. That’s a higher mark than nearly every other position, with the exception of first base, third base and designated hitter. Seriously, the sheer volume of talent is incredible. For example, Ben Zobrist hit .272 with 18 home runs, 94 runs scored, 76 RBI and six stolen bases, and finished outside the top-10 at the position in 2016. Per Mike Gianella’s retrospective player valuations, an incredible 24 second base-eligible hitters earned $10 or more last season.