CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe
<< Previous Article
Prospectus Feature: Co... (01/23)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville... (01/17)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville... (01/31)
Next Article >>
Banjo Hitter: Best of ... (01/24)

January 24, 2017

Welcome to Splitsville

Second Base

by Tim Finnegan


This is the second base edition of Welcome to Splitsville, where we discuss players at the position from both a daily and seasonal perspective. For an introduction and catcher week, click here. For first base week, click here.

Second basemen had a surge in production league wide last year, and by some metrics, to unprecedented levels. By wRC+, 2016 was the most productive season for second baseman since 1924. By ISO and slugging, it was the most productive season for second basemen in baseball history. Second basemen had a .154 ISO in 2016, up from .131 in 2015, and 16 ISO points higher than 2004's .138, which ranks second at the position all time. They slugged .425 in 2016, also the highest ever at the position, and 12 points higher than 1930's .413 slugging, which ranks second. 2016's power output from second basemen eclipses even the height of the steroid era at the position.

Partially fueling this surge for league wide second base production was incredible seasons for players like Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve, and Brian Dozier, who saw their production jump from 2015 to 2016 by 47, 27, and 20 wRC+ points, respectively. The adjusted wRC+ takes into account the league wide jump in power, which shows that those players had legitimate internal improvements in skill independent of league wide factors, such as a possible juiced ball. Murphy's 2016 156 wRC+ is tied with Jackie Robinson (1949) and Joe Morgan (1973) for the seventh-greatest offensive season for a second baseman since 1930.

Now, let's get to some splits discussion. Jose Altuve is one of my primary plays in daily leagues against average to below average left handed pitchers. Altuve made a swing adjustment in 2014 and has hit LHP to an elite 166 wRC+ (.956 OPS) since then with a .170 ISO. He also has 29 stolen bases off lefties in that time, which adds to that daily fantasy value. LHP are generally tougher to steal bases on, with a SB rate around 69%, compared to 72% for RHP. Altuve has been one of the game's most elite hitters vs left handed pitching over the last three seasons, ranking fifth in park adjusted wRC+, behind only Paul Goldschmidt, Nelson Cruz, Mike Trout, and Josh Donaldson.

Altuve is a better high-pitch hitter than low-pitch hitter. Altuve has hit .336 with a .501 slugging on high pitches since his 2014 adjustment, compared to .283 with a .401 slugging on low pitches, with high pitches defined as pitches in the top third of the strike zone or above the strike zone. Using Altuve against below average lefties who like to pitch up in the zone and have repertoires fit to pitch up in the zone is an excellent way to maximize his value in daily leagues. An example of this type of left handed pitcher is Hector Santiago, who threw 40% of his pitches at the top or above the zone, well above the MLB average of 31%, and had an ERA of 4.70 last year. I generally will use Altuve against most LHP, though, regardless of where they like to pitch.

Here are the best performers against right handed pitching and left handed pitching at second base over the last 2 seasons. I am transitioning to using park and league adjusted wRC+ in the table instead of OPS, which I used last week. wRC+ is very similar to OPS+, where 100 is MLB average. It gives a better idea of a hitter's skill set in a neutral setting.

Vs. RHP (min. 200 PA)

Player

wRC+

ISO

BB%

K%

Matt Carpenter

148

.255

13.8%

20.2%

Trea Turner

146

.243

5.1%

19.4%

Daniel Murphy

142

.227

6.5%

7.9%

Robinson Cano

141

.221

7.6%

13.8%

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Fantasy,  Splits

1 comment has been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Prospectus Feature: Co... (01/23)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville... (01/17)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville... (01/31)
Next Article >>
Banjo Hitter: Best of ... (01/24)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
What You Need to Know: Engel in the Outfield
Short Relief: Underappreciated Player Week: ...
Premium Article Weekly Wrap: August 18, 2017
Banjo Hitter: The First 162: Alex Bregman
Premium Article Guarding The Lines: Here The Fastball Are No...
Cold Takes: Doomed and Determined
Circle Change: The Best Failure in Baseball

MORE FROM JANUARY 24, 2017
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Let's Dig Into These Tunne...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Reliever Roundup
Deep, But Playable: Ventura and Marte
Banjo Hitter: Best of the Rest
Fantasy Article Player Profile: Matt Carpenter
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Ian Kinsler vs. Jason Kipn...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Second Base

MORE BY TIM FINNEGAN
2017-02-13 - Fantasy Article Player Profile: Michael Conforto
2017-02-07 - Welcome to Splitsville: Shortstops
2017-01-31 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Third Base
2017-01-24 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Second Base
2017-01-17 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: First Base
2017-01-10 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Catchers
2017-01-05 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 113: Statcast...
More...

MORE WELCOME TO SPLITSVILLE
2017-02-14 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Outfielders
2017-02-07 - Welcome to Splitsville: Shortstops
2017-01-31 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Third Base
2017-01-24 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Second Base
2017-01-17 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: First Base
2017-01-10 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Catchers
2016-02-17 - Fantasy Article Welcome to Splitsville: Outfield
More...